Wednesday, October 07, 2015

“Current Need-to-Know Tools and What’s Around the Corner” Nick Floro #olconf

These are my live blogged notes from a concurrent session at this year’s Online Learning Conference, hosted by Training Magazine and happening in Denver. Forgive any typos and incoherencies.

“Current Need-to-Know Tools and What’s Around the Corner” Nick Floro with Sealworks

  • eLearning community and what we’re doing is rapidly changing.
  • There are almost as many cell phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as people on the planet (7.2 billion)
  • 70 billion apps were downloaded in 2013.
  • Over 10 apps per human.
  • In 2014 the average user has 95 apps on their phone.
  • On average, most of us create over 200 MB of data a day.

As an ID, designer, developer – think about shifting, realigning, being flexible.  Make sure it’s easy to update, replace, enhance. In the old days, we’d launch a course and it would be up for a few years. But today a typical shelf life may only be 3 months. How can we easily swap out data?

In the old days, we used to make big courses (a loaf of bread); today we think about chunk sized content (slices of bread).

When creating content, think about making it more flexible – tagging and organizing it so you can easily shuffle it together.

Tag things so they are easily searchable. Make sure your content is easily accessible/easily discoverable.

A system that allows the teacher/leader to create their own course (sort of like a play list) – from all of these small chunks/slices.

Each piece of content (each slice) can stand alone – it has a beginning, middle, and end. The teacher/leader can link to outside content. They can assemble a program from all of these bits.

Gamification/scenario based learning
Storytelling is so key. Can you start to build in storytelling – that flip things – that ask people to do things. Use humor, if you can.

Use characters if you can – find ways to pull people into your content.

Think about the tools. Think about golas/levels – can you add levels to your game or learning content.

Put the user into the play. Ask them to solve a problem. Have them make a choice and see what happens. Putting them into this context makes it more real…

American Red Cross example – Advanced Child Care (a course on babysitting) – all scenario based.  You work with different kids through a babysitting simulation – all done with 3D animations. Pretty slick example.

How can you advance the learning in the outside world? (Nick shares an example created by Koreen Pagano when she was at Tandem Learning – a fictitious person who had a FB page, etc. – they even hired actors to show up at a company meeting, playing these roles and the employees had to interact with them. IMMERSIVE).

How do we find things today? WE GOOGLE.  If your current LMS/learning system doesn’t have the ability to do accurate searching, it’s up to you to make sure your content is well-tagged and discoverable. Make sure everyone who’s creating courses is providing that level of data.

Break things up and tag them.

Personal learning networks. Exchange business cards, share. Find a peer network. Check out #lrnchat on Twitter ( - a team communication tool for the 21st century. Free tool. Text chat within your team and it maintains that content and is searchable.

Google Hangouts – great way to talk to your team, your SMES. Video sharing.
Check out the google hangouts page with video as  a background – a way to pull people into the content and engage them.

Create connections at the conference, and then connect with those people again in the next few months.

Share your experiences and share your data.

Check out the Backchannel – this is the online stream that often accompanies a conference as people share information on Twitter, through blogs, and more. Check out -- David does a great job curating the conference backchannel from many industry conferences. If you’re not doing a similar thing within your organization, please consider it!

Personalized learning. Give people diagnostic assessments to provide a customized learning plan. “Don’t just study for the test. Grock it.” You take some diagnsotics and then Grockit gives you questions at your level to optimize learning.

Khan Academy. Sign up for a free account. Check out how they’re delivering the content. Do you like how they deliver? Why or why not?

Google Analytics. Focus on your audience – what technology, what devices are they using?

Video. We all have amazing video cameras in our phones. Get a tripod – capture real video in the moment and get it out there.

Ebooks. Make ‘em interactive.

Web. Stop creating in Flash. Nick’s studio does everything mostly with HTML - makes it easier to access, update, swap out content.

Touch screens. How do we create interactions that take advantage of the touch feeling that goes with our current devices?

If you’re not experimenting with androids and ipad devices – you should be out there and checking them out.

How do we create experiences and make them more challenging for your users?

Master design. Design is about how something works. It’s about communication and problem solving. (Nick shared a really nice video done by apple about design and intention. This is the link he shared, but I’m not finding the video there. Keep searching, keep searching…)

Look and play outside of our field. See what’s out there – what can you bring into your courses to enhance them?

Microsoft HoloLens – “the era of holographic computing is here”

Autodesk 123D – an app on your phone that lets you take a series of pictures. He shows a video of someone taking a picture of his son. And then it turns the son into a 3D model – he can even print it out on a 3D printer.

Mobile – it’s a big thing. Continuity – if you start doing something on your phone and then move to your laptop, the experience should pick up right where you left off.

Google Goggles (different than google glass) – take a picture of something, then it pulls up information on that thing – e.g., the Mona Lisa.

Geolocation. Your smart phone knows where you are. How can you use your position? Captivate has geolocation now – based on where you are, it can give you different content.

HTML5 – explore that.

Yahoo Weather. A beautiful picture of your area with highs and low temps. When you scroll down, you find more data and info. Can we use that mobile movement in our elearning content? Can people scroll down to reveal more info?


(learn more about HTML programming – free training! Also a good example of online learning to check out) -- open source to create mobile apps

Google Chrome has developer tools. Open your content in Chrome then go to View > Developer > Developer Tools – it will show your content on multiple devices. It will also let you test network speeds – so you can see what it’s like to run that 10 minute video on a slow network. – show me my course on these different browsers. So you can see what works and what doesn’t. Great way to spot check content.

Sketch – prototype with pen and paper. The caveman did it! Doesn’t have to be pretty.

Built in Recorder on your mobile device. Take a picture, record some audio.

Capture & Analyze – take screen shots of your favorite sites and keep a folder on your desktop.

Books on design: slide.ology (duarte), resonate (duarte), presentation zen (garr reynolds)....

1 comment:

milesmac said...

Read with interest your move from big courses to more granular content and using tags to facilitate use. I've been reading about this for some time and have a surface appreciation for SCORM though I've never really seen it in action... or maybe I have but I'm not recognizing it. Is SCORM something you are actively using? Thanks.