January 16, 2008
Adobe Brio (Connect / Breeze)
BRIO is the codename for the next version of Adobe Connect (Breeze) being developed using the revolutionary Adobe Flex framework. It is easy to signup for the beta and use the Beta hosted on Adobe's servers to conduct web-meetings with upto 3 people.
I tried the tools in isolation and it has all the features one would imagine and the look and feel are more enamouring than Centra or WebEx. The UI elements are Flash and the requirements are Flash Player 9. Not bad at all in terms of a solo flight. Now I will see if some folks might be interested in going for a short test drive.
(Image from RIAPedia
January 13, 2008
Spresent: Powerpoint-like Flex application for the web
Stumbled across Spresent while browsing the Adobe Flex Gallery of applications (PHP technology). This web application allows building Flash presentations and is being projected as the free alternative to PowerPoint:
January 09, 2008
eLearning Gold-standard: Rosetta Stone Language Learning
Rosetta Stone Language Learning in Hindi made a great gift this Christmas for my wife, who has been scraping internet websites and "multimedia" courses to learn basic Hindi. There are a few early observations I allow to make myself as a witness:
1. Instructional Design is very important. Developing a good script for learning modules has no substitute. A good design here means lots of direct, relevant, performance based feedback.
2. Terrific content: Good teaching strategy, in the sense that the knowledge transfer is both organic and telescopic. Because the knowledge builds in the learning like a seed planted, sprouted, stemming, branching etc. towards the end goal. This holds true for the Pimsler approach too, which I am using to learn Portuguese.
3. USB Headset enforcement: This strategy validates, for me, the recommendation I strongly make to all our distance learners: use USB mic/headsets rather than rely on on-board sound cards. Rosetta Stone CD version ships with a USB headset and I am happy to have found a validation to my tech recommendation; especially because it has been challenged as a tech superstition on my part. I rest my case.
However, the downside is, if I go on to buy another Rosetta product, I will pay for another USB headset. Por Que?!
I already have one from my previous purchase. They will make me buy it, no matter if you already own the $30 USB headset they sold you with your previous purchase. Bad? Terrible.