Getting to the Hart of learning technologies

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Blue heartJane Hart reports on Luminosity - an elearning platform which has been designed to save valuable time and money – as well as a new authoring tool with an embedded sound recorder, a new resource from the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, and a Powerpoint to Flash converter for Powerpoint animations.

New elearning creation platform

CM group has recently launched Luminosity, a web-based rapid development elearning platform designed to enable large organisations to reduce the cost of elearning creation whilst increasing the volume and speed of content output. Luminosity aims to enable the author to work either online or offline and to publish the content to users via websites, via a SCORM compliant LMS, to SharePoint or to other intranet sites, or to a mobile device. Once published, the content can be updated and re-published by the authors themselves in minutes, a task which has historically been protracted and often costly.

Elearning authoring tool updated

Harbinger Knowledge Products has announced the release of Version 7.0 of Elicitus, its award-winning rapid elearning authoring tool. The highlights of this release are an embedded sound recorder - one of the most appealing additions in this new release. Now users can record their own narration, voice-overs and include those in their elearning courses. Of course, they can also bring in pre-recorded voices, music or sound effects.

JIT performance support gets faster and easier

Workstation-based just-in-time learning has just got faster following revisions to design and content sign posting at online resource www.learningmatters.com. Operated by Echelon Learning, the site - one of the online community’s foremost business and management virtual learning centres - hosts a growing library of 2,000 generic modules, offering skills development solutions, best practice essays, business and management book digests, development toolkits, performance diagnosis and audit solutions. Users range from individual pay-as-you-go visitors to corporate customers.

Two new virtual applications to explore

SmallWorlds is a 3D virtual world that runs inside your web browser. It enables you to build your own room, house, or even your own world, and fill it with a wide variety of items and fun activities. Google has also just released Lively: create an avatar and chat with your friends in rooms you design.

New release of LCMS announced

Xyleme, a provider of learning content management systems, recently announced the release of Xyleme LCMS 3.2. This is Xyleme's newest version of its learning content management system. The new release includes dozens of customer requested features and has been designed for greater ease-of-use for SMEs to contribute expert learning content. It also boasts improved performance and security to meet the highest enterprise-grade requirements.

Screencast comes out of beta

Screencast.com is a TechSmith solution for business and academic professionals looking to manage and share videos, images, documents, or anything else online. Screencast.com's high-quality content-hosting gives you complete control over how, when and to whom your content is distributed.

Zoho updates its suite

Zoho, the free online office suite, has just announced significant updates to Zoho Show, its presentation application. Here are some of the new features: you can now export to PPT, PPS, PDF and ODP; there’s Picasa and flickr integration and support for personal groups and contacts. There are also embed enhancements and the ability for remote presentations. Updates to Zoho Show follow on the heels of recent updates to Zoho Writer and Zoho Sheet.

Want to find out more about social media?

The Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies has recently launched a new learning resource, 'Engaging with Social Media', aimed at helping L&D professionals (and others) to increase their experience with social media tools in order to understand how they can be used to improve personal productivity and learning, as well as job and business performance. There’s also a free profiling tool to help individuals self-assess their current level of engagement with the tools to identify the activities in the resource to work on. Workshops are also available to support organisational use of the resource.

Store and manage learning or knowledge objects

HarvestRoad Hive, from learning and mobile content management technology provider, Giunti Labs, is a software system to store and manage 'learning' or 'knowledge objects' and their metadata. It assembles these into standards-compliant packages, and delivers that content on demand to learning and course management systems, corporate training systems or web portals. Hive can interface with almost any enterprise resource planning (ERP), learning or course management system and is already integrated with several commonly used course management systems, authoring and content assembly tools.

Create digital ebooks

[email protected] offers two services: [email protected] on line is a pay-per-page service for the creation of online electronic flipping books. Convert your PDF documents and many other formats into online electronic books. Then, add links/contents, sound, streaming video, search facilities before you publish online. [email protected] desktop is a stand alone - unlimited use - Windows software for the creation and management of multiple interactive digital documents. You can save printing costs and quickly create a digital flash book with page turning effect and interactive content.

Convert Flash presentations from PowerPoint in one click!

iSpring Free is a free PowerPoint to Flash converter that retains PowerPoint animations, transition effects and embedded multimedia objects; iSpring Pro helps any PowerPoint user convert presentations to Flash and get professional results. It is extended with advanced tuning capabilities and a smart new customizable player with many skins from iSpring Solutions. PowerPoint presentations can then be uploaded and shared freely on the web-based SlideBoom platform.

Jane Hart is head of the Centre of Learning and Performance Technologies. For more information go to www.c4lpt.co.uk. Or you can email her.

For a daily item of elearning interest, take a look at her blog, Jane's elearning pick of the day.

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