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August 28, 2008

Leaving on a World Trip

This will be my last blog entry for a year, because I am taking a personal leave of absence to travel the world!

Visiting Central and South America plus learning Spanish along the way has always been a dream. This dream is now coming true and tomorrow will be my last day at work - at least for a year. I'll be back - no worries.

You will be in good hands with Aunindo Ghosh (you can meet him at the Adobe Learning Summit), Marketing Manager for Director and now Adobe Captivate, and RJ Jacquez, our Senior Evangelist. Plus, you'll 'hear' from me soon - in September, we will be publishing a white paper I just wrote on eLearning going green with lots of tips and ideas for your department to adopt a sustainable strategy (once published, you'll find it on our Adobe eLearning page).

I also want to thank you - some of you have visited this blog whenever I posted new content. I loved receiving comments and suggestions and meeting some of you at conferences. I enjoy the elearning industry and will miss being in touch with you. There will definitely be lots to tell when I am back!

For new tips and tricks and product news, please subscribe to RJ's blog - he'll keep you updated of what's going on with Adobe eLearning.

 

See you in a year! ... or should I say - Hasta la vista ;)

Silke

 

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June 30, 2008

Presenter 7 detailed new feature list

I keep receiving questions about the detailed feature list for Presenter 7. The product manager Paresh (Thank you!) just sent me the release notes, which contain the info you are looking for: >> Open PDF

 

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Trivia learning game on saving energy

Flash GameFlex Your Power, California's outreach campaign for energy efficiency, has a Flash-based trivia game on energy savings facts online.

I think it was completely created in Flash.

It would be cool to see games like this created in Adobe Captivate. This one is fairly simple since it's question based, has a game show background, and uses an animated character - all these pieces could be done in Adobe Captivate. Not sure though how to display the running score ...

 

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June 9, 2008

V-Learning: The Skills Needed for Success in Today's Real World

My co-worker Ellen Wagner has given a session V-Learning: The Skills Needed for Success in Today's Real World at the Innovations in eLearning Symposium last week. There is a great summary on this blog: In the Middle of the Curve.

 

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May 20, 2008

Educational pricing for Adobe Captivate

Adobe Education Solutions PageBased on some comments I have received, it seems to be difficult to find our educational pricing. We have a great section on our website completely dedicated to education and it includes the educational store which offers the special pricing for those that qualify.

The Adobe Captivate 3 educational price is $249 and you can benefit from your licensing program with your specific discount level. In addition, we offer special High Volume pricing (please contact your sales rep).

Additional resources:

 

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March 27, 2008

Stories, Comics, and Manga - Oh My! Making Learning Stick For Your Audience!

Recently, Tom King has hosted a great session in our luminary series:

Stories, Comics, and Manga - Oh My! Making Learning Stick For Your Audience!

This session offers many examples (see links below) that are very compelling and I didn't know that comics used to be created in the past effectively for military training. I really hope that instead of PowerPoints with bulleted lists, we are going to see more and more engaging stories we can actually relate to.

And for non-designers like myself, I liked the tip of staging environments and characters in Second Life so you can easily create stituations and take screenshots for your training. And how about dropping the images into Adobe Captivate where you can engage the learner even further by providing choices and alternate endings using the branching capabilities.

More info and examples:

 

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March 19, 2008

Adobe Flash Player Coming to iPhone

Read more in Bill Perry's blog - Adobe Flash Player Coming to iPhone.  Bill is an Adobe product evangelist in Adobe’s Mobile and Devices group.


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March 18, 2008

Providing learners with content offline and online with AIR and Flex

Imagine, you could offer your learners with just in time material that is available in a customizable viewer, can be installed regardless of the operating system, and updates itself as soon as it has internet access ... Well Adobe AIR and Flex make it possible.

Find out how in the article that Karl Matthews has published in our developer center: Building an XML viewer on AIR with Flex.

It's a step by step guide that teaches how to build an XML viewer with Flex.

 

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March 12, 2008

Social Network for content professionals

There is a new social network available for content professionals - it's called The Content Wrangler Community and is targeted mainly to technical communicators but anyone who writes content, handbooks, manuals or the like will benefit from this. There are some great groups ranging from Writing for Reuse to Component content management and there are some product related groups as well.

Membership is free and it's time to get an Adobe Captivate group started :)

 

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February 21, 2008

A Vision of Students Today

Elliott Masie's Learning TRENDS email today included a link to a great 4 min video on YouTube that shows how students are changing e.g. Students 2.0.

Great reason to create interactive multimedia simulations :)

January 31, 2008

Simulation Tools survey

The eLearning Guild has a special report planned on Immersive Learning Simulations. As part of this report, the Guild will publish side-by-side comparisons of the top e-Learning simulation tools.

1. Log into the Guild web site at www.elearningguild.com
2. Click Update My Profile from the menu along the left side.
3. Click Simulation Tools Survey.

Can't wait to see the results! I think the surveys need to be in by February 7.

January 7, 2008

Adobe Captivate won Best of ELEARNING! 2007 award!

Adobe Captivate elearning awardWhat a start into the new year - I just learned today that Adobe Captivate is a winner in the Elearning! best of 2007 awards. The category is Best Simulation Tool. Adobe Captivate also won the Technology & Learning Awards of Excellence which was announced mid-December. Thanks to all of you who nominated Adobe Captivate or participated as judges. And thank you for helping us making Adobe Captivate the authoring tool it is today.

We are now actively working on new features for Adobe Captivate 4 but there is still plenty of time to submit feature requests. The more detailed you are in describing why you need the feature and how you would use it, the easier it is for engineering and product management to understand what you are looking for.

FYI: My blog will be silent for a few weeks - I'll be going on Sabbatical and will return beginning February.


December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!

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It's been a busy year and I can't believe the holidays are starting already. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported our team so much this year. Our jobs nor Adobe Captivate would exist without you and your feedback. It's been a pleasure to meet many of you in person at the conferences I have been to and listen to your ideas and new feature requests. So here are some pictures and screenshots to reflect on 2007. With that, I wish everyone happy and peaceful holidays as well as an unforgettable 2008!

Watch the slide show full size

FYI: The eLearning Guild has a special holiday gift: 162 Tips and tricks for working with eLearning tools (there are also a couple of tips on Adobe Captivate). You can find more tips specific to Adobe Captivate in my blog.

Holiday Cards

Oddcast Santa Card From Oddcast - you can customize this Christmas card and create your own

 This is probably supergeeky - Christmas Time in Dun-Morogh - video game style.

 

And if you are out of ideas, you can create a quiz question card - check out this one from Pedagogue.com.

If you have seen cool or funny ones, please add them in the comments. Happy Holidays.


November 19, 2007

eLearning Guild - free industry reports

If you need up to date industry reports, the eLearning Guild is a great answer. During DevLearn, they have announced a change in that electronic versions of the printed research reports are now available for FREE for all paid Guild members and all associate members that complete the survey related to a particular report.  

The following links to completed reports will work if you are logged in as a member (the links also validate if the member is entitled to the report):  

One of the next reports is most interesting to me: Authoring and Development Tools Survey.

However, the guild needs more people to complete the Simulations, Media, and Combining & Deploying portions of the survey. So please log in and complete those sections today so we can all benefit from a report that correctly portrays our industry.

November 12, 2007

Rumors ...

During the conference I have heard two rumors and I'd like to let you know that neither is true:

 

1. Adobe is taking over the eLearning Guild

 

This one was quite funny to me and it makes me wonder, how rumors like it even start ...

 

Adobe has partnered with the eLearning Guild since the event was held in San Jose, head quarters of Adobe. We have been working with the Guild for so long already, we figured it's a great opportunity to tag on our first Adobe Summit for eLearning. We have no plans to 'take over the eLearning Guild.'

 

2. Adobe Captivate 4 will be released in Spring

 

This one would be an absolute nightmare if true and I would not have had time to attend the summit at all or any other conference or have a life. We just released Adobe Captivate 3 and our release schedules are usually 12-24 months. Adobe Captivate 3 seemed to be an exception with 9 months after version 2. To me, it was like catching up to our normal release schedule after version 2 was delayed so much due to the acquisition. Our team is currently in the process of gathering feedback to determine the best feature set for version 4. This is a good time to let the team know what you are looking for - go to Adobe.com and search for 'wishform' to get to the feature request form or use this direct link.

 

See you again next year!

October 4, 2007

Video - how our customers use our tools

We just published a great video on our website how our customers use our tools all over the world: Enabling Engaging eLearning

Just hearing customers talk about Adobe Captivate makes my day!

We want to learn about your stories and see what you do with Adobe Captivate - please submit your success story. See you in our future videos :)

October 2, 2007

Authoring and development tools surveys


The eLearning Guild recently added new surveys to the member profile.

If you are a member, please check in the profile section and complete these new surveys:
(If you are not a member, you can join free if you complete a profile)

1) Rapid e-Learning Tools Survey
2) Courseware Authoring / e-Learning Development Tools Survey
3) Simulation Tools Survey
4) Media Tools Survey
5) Combining & Deploying Authoring Tools

What I like about their surveys is the option for members to pull real time data from the thousands of completed profiles. You'll find out about which tools and services are being used most, which ones members are satisfied with, what the typical salaries are, as well as some trends. You have powerful filter options to drill down to the data you are interested in.

September 12, 2007

New eLearning Resource: eLearningPulse.com

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eLearningPulse.com - the daily source of all things eLearningIf you have always been looking for the one stop resource on eLearning related topics, "Your daily source for all things eLearning" is now available: www.eLearningPulse.com

B.J. Schone and Ben Edwards have developed a great site with free resources. You can find everything from eLearning news and forums to jobs.

September 11, 2007

Vote for the best of 2007 authoring tool

Elearning! Magazine is running its survey again for "best of 2007". Here is your chance to cast your vote for your favorite eLearning tools in many different categories.

It's really easy to vote - please submit before November 30, 2007.

July 16, 2007

MERLOT - content repository for educators

We just published a new case study on MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) that shows how many of our tools, including Adobe Captivate, are used to build/update/support this >great repository.

I found some nice German language learning pieces :)

June 28, 2007

Help fine tune Adobe Captivate and chance to win

Our Product Management team developed a survey (about 10 min to complete) to find out more about tools usage for capturing knowledge and creating eLearning.

You can win a copy of Adobe CS3 Web Premium (that's a value of $1,599!!!) or one of four American Express Gift Cards valued at $100. You'll need to submit before 7/7.

Take the survey now.

June 26, 2007

Did you know?

>Brent Schlenker has links to some great movies on his blog - "Did you know?" and "When I grow up"
Lots of great stats and it gets you thinking to encourage kids to learn and use technology. My nieces are going to school in Germany and I am still surprised how little computers are part of the daily school life ...

If you are a teacher, think of projects where you could encourage students to use Adobe Captivate - it's visual, it's easy to learn, and they can use the SWFs for their own portfolio. Here is a cool case study where Thane Williams, a Spanish teacher at North Charleston High School, had the students create storyboards in Adobe Captivate: they had a topic, needed to create a slide show and record their dialog in Spanish. Watch the video (It's #3).

PS: We do offer educational pricing at only $199 for a full license of Adobe Captivate.

June 8, 2007

Adobe case study on using our own tools

We just published our first Adobe eLearning case study on how we use our own tools for training and development.

If you would like to see your company listed on the Adobe site, the customer showcase or site of the day is a good start. The Customer Success Showcase including Site of the Day is actually one of the most popular sections of Adobe.com. We've received a lot of positive feedback from our customers and partners regarding increased awareness of their organization as well as traffic to their web sites. Having your projects listed there might help you get more recognition in your own organization (and who knows, maybe a bonus?)

Submit your project for consideration.


June 6, 2007

SWF Content

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From our research team :

Hello –

Adobe’s customer research team is collecting an assortment of SWF content. We are looking to get a wide range of content for a variety of purposes so that we can better understand the types of projects people are working on, and better support those projects that are not as always posted on the web. We are especially interested in uses of SWF beyond web sites and advertising – such as (but not limited to) presentations, e-learning, character animation, prototypes, games, rich internet applications, etc. We’d also like to get representation of a variety of skill levels, so feel free to submit your project even if you are not an ActionScript user.

For every 50 submissions we receive, we will select one at random to receive an Amazon.com gift card for $50 (US dollars). You can submit as many projects as you like!

For each submission, please send the following to flashresearch@adobe.com by July 6, 2007:

  •          Your SWF or a link to your project or a screenshot of the project
  •          A brief description (3 to 4 sentences) describing the audience and purpose of the project
  •          Descriptive tags to categorize the project’s content and purpose – Use as many or as few tags as you like, and feel free to make up your own. Some examples tags are included below.
  •          Percent of all your projects that are SWFs
  •          Percentage of time you spend writing ActionScript
  •          Percentage of time you spend using the timeline
  •          Your name
  •          Your job title and company
  •          Your phone number (so a member of the Adobe’s customer research team can contact you for a quick 15 minute phone call if they need more information)

Please feel free to forward this message to others who might be interested or post it on your blog.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Adobe Customer Research Team

_________________________________________________________

Example category tags:

  •          Advertising  
  •          Banner ad
  •          Broadcast graphic
  •          Character animation
  •          E-learning
  •          Forms
  •          Game
  •          Interactive motion content
  •          Interactive prototype
  •          Interactive video
  •          Mobile content
  •          Presentation
  •          Rich internet application
  •          Slideshow
  •          Software demo or simulation
  •          Web design

April 20, 2007

Create a Knowledge Base

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The marketing manager for RoboHelp just sent me a link to our RoboHelp and Framemaker eseminars, which are a bit hidden on our site. To me, RoboHelp is not just an online help authoring tool. It's ideal to create an online performance support system or a knowledge base and here is why:

  • Editing is easy using a built in text editor (it's actually an HTML editor but you don't have to know HTML) or an HTML editor of your choice (you can also import existing word docs)
  • Content is organized and quickly accessible: A table of contents, index, and search are automatically created for you in a format that any computer user is already familiar with
  • You can include media such as images or Adobe Captivate demos
  • You can create any kinds of links including cross-linking to other topics/pages or linking to files on the web or even create hotspots on inserted images
  • Just in time information can be included via drop down text - your pages look clean and not overcrowded with info and learners can choose to drill down deeper
  • Context sensitivity is possible: You can link to particular topics from your intranet or work with your engineers who are developing inhouse applications
  • Use single sourcing to create different output formats (for web and print for example)

It's a great application I always enjoyed working with. I am glad Adobe instantly saw its value and released the new version :)

April 19, 2007

Easy way of tracking meetings: MeetingSense

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I have been a beta tester for a cool software application called MeetingSense. It's a really neat application if you are using Microsoft Outlook and you have to deal with many different meetings, participants, decisions, etc. In my position I am constantly working on so many projects that it's sometimes difficult to keep track of what was discussed in which meeting, who attended and who missed it, what were the key decisions and action items.

Well, the simple solution in my life is MeetingSense.There is a free trial download and some demos of the app created with, guess what, Adobe Captivate! The trial only works for 14 days - but for me, it took me only one meeting to know that this app is going to help me in my job.

Thanks Hannon for creating this cool tool and telling me about it :)

March 26, 2007

Easily creating color schemes

Have you ever tried to create a harmonized color scheme for your new eLearning project? Well, it's extremely easy now with Kuler - it's a neat technology and available for free in Adobe labs.
For more info, you can check out the logged in article on kuler.

February 23, 2007

Judge or submit: 2007 Brandon Hall Awards

It's the time of the year again to submit an entry to the Brandon Handon Hall Excellence in eLearning Awards. Adobe Captivate has won this award numerous times.

I'd like to encourage you to submit an entry yourself in one of the many categories. All judges have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so your content won't be available publicly. You can also password protect your content and only the judges have access to it.

To show your work, you can easily use Adobe Captivate to create a short demo for the judges. Adobe Captivate supports screen recording after all :)

Here a few tips:
- keep your file size small check out the developer center article on size considerations
- add interactivity you don't want to bore judges
- add audio, animations, zoom, etc. to keep the content engaging
- if you have created PowerPoint slides, review them and cut half of the text! Add images instead. As a good presenter, you simply explain the key points using your narration. You don't need to write everything on the slide. Use a tool like Adobe Presenter to make your presentation available online (You can even add Adobe Captivate content inside your presentation)

It's actually a lot of fun to be a judge since you will be able to see amazing projects, find out about new technology (possibly Adobe Captivate 3), and learn how teams achieved great results. I have signed up last year for the category custom content and I saw some impressive projects.

Hope to see you at the awards ceremony in fall receiving an award for your Adobe Captivate project!

December 22, 2006

I wish you captivating Holidays :)

On my wishlist this year is one wish to the Adobe Captivate community: Create a slide show of your favorite or worst (thinking of airport camping pictures that make the holidays unforgettable - don't let it stress you if it happens, turn it into a party w/ the other stranded travelers) Xmas moments this year! Add captions, interactivity, and mouse overs or avatars and have fun with Adobe Captivate! Please submit the link to your creation via the blog comments - I'd love to see what you come up with and how you celebrate this year.

If you haven't sent out Xmas cards yet, there is still time to do it online. We have developed a fun site to create your own holiday card. It's very cute and the animations are funny.

With that, I wish you a wonderfully captivating holiday season, no stress, lots of fun, beautiful moments with your loved ones, peace at home and on earth, and don't forget to be nice to others and the environment. See you in 2007.

Silke

PS: If you get bored during the holidays, check out this blog entry - it also includes a nice Adobe Captivate demo

November 14, 2006

Qualify for upgrade if you purchased v1 after announce

I keep getting questions from customers if they are eligible to receive an upgrade if they purchased Macromedia Captivate around the timeframe of the Adobe Captivate 2 announce.
We have all the info on our website - check out the current post-announce upgrades and post-announce upgrade FAQ.

From the site:
If you purchased a previous version of any of the following Adobe products within the dates shown, and you can provide Adobe Customer Service with your proof of purchase (please see proof of purchase qualifications for details on what Adobe accepts as legitimate proof of purchase) then you are eligible for a post-announce upgrade.
Adobe Captivate 2.0
September 5, 2006 to December 4, 2006

Hope this helps :)

October 13, 2006

Cover Story: eLearning explodes

I am on my way home from the DevLearn conference and my plane is delayed, which is great because I had the chance to pick up the latest edition of U.S. News (October 16, Volume 141 #14). The cover story: eLearning explodes. What a timely topic!
The story focuses only on elearning as distance education and doesn't include any corporate aspects.
Some of the topics discussed: textbooks moving online, choosing an online program and the Blackboard patent.

September 13, 2006

Earn money recommending our products

I know that many of you recommend our products and I have read and heard many great stories with Adobe Captivate, how you got your clients or coworkers to buy a copy based on your suggestion. Why not earn money for this?

We actually have a great affiliate program and I am not sure if a lot of people are actually aware of it. I myself had a hard time finding it by clicking through our pages - the search however picks it up right away! Just type in "affiliate."
You can earn up to 15% commission! The only work: sign up for free, add the links to your site or newsletter, continue recommending and provide your links :)
It's really easy and I hope you can take advantage of this program. Just imagine, your recommendations pay for your own next upgrade or your personal version!

May 31, 2006

Receive recognition for your work

I just received an email from industry analyst Josh Bersin about a new Learning Leaders Program. This program will recognize 15 organizations that have developed and implemented effective learning programs. The winning organizations will be featured in Elearning! magazine early next year. What a great opportunity to show upper management the value of your work! Apply

Here is another way to get recognition for what you do: Adobe Customer Success Stories.

Just implementing Macromedia Captivate has created incredible results for many of our customers. One of the most exciting examples I have seen is the case study about Safety-Kleen. It's one of the few success stories where actual cost savings have been calculated - and the numbers speak for themselves. If you have any data about your own implementation of Macromedia Captivate, please let me know - we are always looking for success stories to share and our customers are always looking to hear from others about their experiences.

May 11, 2006

Hello eLearning Bloggers!

Welcome to my new Adobe blog! This blog will be somewhat of a continuation of the blog Tom King used to share with me at the Macromedia blog site, where you can still find a wealth of resources on eLearning.

Captivate is my life and my friends even call it my baby - So in this blog, I will focus on Captivate, simulation-based training, and anything else eLearning related that sparks my interest and might be of value for you.

I'll post cool Captivate and other training examples I can find and encourage you, to submit links to content you have created with Captivate.