Monday, August 01, 2011

Element K Blog: Learning and Development Roundup (vol. 21)

I'm reading: Element K Blog: Learning and Development Roundup (vol. 21)

I'm also working on a presentation for a guest lecture I'm going to be doing at Bloomsburg University. I can't seem to stop working on it, really. I'm obsessed. I spent most of my free time on the weekend on it and should have sent it out this morning, but there is so much to put in there still!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 15

I'm in the middle of a bunch of stuff at work here, but wanted to add this before I forgot. I learned how to add a password to a PPT file (easy!):

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save As.
  2. Click Tools, and then click General Options.
  3. There you are! Just enter your password and away you go.
I also figured out an easy way to check in and out in SharePoint, but I don't have enough time to explain.  
Sometimes learning even simple things make my day!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 14

Taking a little time today to learn more about my iPad. I had started some lessons on a while back, but since then the iPad 2 was released and now the lessons have been updated. I'm excited to pick up a few new tips and tricks!

Did you know the lock button on the side can work to either mute or lock the rotation? I'm not sure yet why I'd want to lock the rotation, though. Perhaps if something is viewed better in a certain orientation/layout? I also learned you can mute by just holding down the bottom volume key.

I am also learning about the multi-tasking bar. I have found this by accident on several occasions, but didn't realize how much easier it could make using my iPad.

I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't used the caps lock before. I didn't realise all I had to do was double-tap to get it.

One thing I am not embarrassed to admit I didn't know - when you're on a page which asks you to enter an email address, and the altered keyboard appears - if you tap and hold the period button, you'll get some autofills for the end of a typical email (.com, .edu, etc). I can't wait to try that!

That's all for now... let me know if you have any cool tips or tricks to share!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

My chat about Zenler Studio

I saw this tool in an e-newsletter and this tag line caught my attention:

"World's First Fully Integrated Game-Based eLearning Course Development Tool"

I decided to check it out. Their website doesn't provide much by way of samples and comparison, though they do offer a free trial. A pop-up offered to connect me to live support and after my chat I'm still not sure I want to download the trial. Anyone know anything more about this tool?

Marc says:
Welcome to Live Help, how are you today?
Rachel says:
I have some questions about the tool
Is everything from within PowerPoint?
Marc says:
Our software are add-ons for PowerPoint.
Rachel says:
can you publish certain sections of a course or only the entire course?
Are you still there?
Marc says:
the entire course has to be published
Marc says:
Rachel says:
Is the interface customizable?
I don't see any photos or samples of what a finished course might look like - are there any on the website?
Marc says:
You can have our trial version and test it by yourself
Marc says:
it has all the features as the licensed
Rachel says:
Can you create your own templates?
If so, what tools would you use to create the temaplates? Flash? XML? PowerPoint?
Marc says:
you mean to ask about using your own template
Marc says:
yes you can
Rachel says:
What tools or knowledge would you need to make a template?
Marc says:
Rachel says:
Can you also customize the quiz templates?
Marc says:
Yes, But the font might not allign properly in some cases
Rachel says:
Ok, thank you

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 13

Yesterday I learned something interesting while updating a course in Captivate 4. It appears as though the Table of Contents (TOC) that you can automatically create in the publish settings will leave out any slides without titles unless you access the TOC menu and select otherwise.

I noticed that a few slides weren't appearing and after looking at the timelines and making adjustments, I finally stumbled upon the TOC menu.


From a demo perspective this totally makes sense. If you are familiar with Captivate, you know that when you're recording a demo there are many slides that go into one "movie" and if they each had a line in the TOC it would be a little overwhelming to the user (not to mention that some slides in a demo are a fraction of a second long and wouldn't really deserve their own line).

Now, if you're developing an entire course in Captivate this could prove to be problematic. All of the slides I created in Captivate (even though they look just like the PPT slides I imported) didn't have a title or label.

Easy fix. In the filmstrip view, I double-clicked each slide that didn't have text next to the slide number. This brought me into the properties for that slide where I added a label (note - you can't use the same label more than once) and saved my changes (both in the publish settings and the actual Captivate file).

Pretty easy. I obviously don't use the TOC option very often. Most of the time I publish out pieces of Captivate, Flash, etc and string together with XML. However elementary, I consider this a victory for myself :)

More on the TOC in Captivate 4 available at

Friday, April 15, 2011

Location, location, location by Dr. Doll

I am here on the last day of CAC, watching Dr. Doll present. For me this is the highlight of the week. I always learn something new and leave feeling excited and motivated. Here are my notes. He talks fast, so if something below doesn't make sense, please let me know!

The grab bag -random topics

JQuery mobile - tool to build mobile apps with HTML - link shortening tool, interview with one of their developer about privacy and analytic data. They will not sell data. Ly at the end of their name means their site is hosted in Libya. Add a + at the end of a address and you can see the analytic data for access through the URL.

JotForm and Dropbox - create a form which will automatically send a file to your Dropbox

Slideshare - start a meeting through zip cast using your already uploaded PowerPoint. VoIP, chat, broadcast with Twitter or Facebook all with one click.

Why mLearning?
Access no matter where you are.

Phase 2
Contextual, situated and location-aware mLearning

Present and future
Marker-based and markerless tools

Augmented reality - combining real world and virtual data

Word lens
Demo of reverse words - takes a pic of a sign and translates

Apps that recognize where you are through gps and photo and overlays data about locations (restaurants, nearest Starbucks, etc)

Google goggles - take a photo and it analyzes and pulls info from google search
App that "rebuilds ruins" from photo you take

2d codes
-UPC codes, barcodes
QR codes
-Amazon, blog posts, books to go for more info, business cards to go to your online portfolio?
-NYC parks had game using QR codes
-Campus tours?
RFID codes
-Ez pass
-Library management system
-tracking student attendance using student ids
-disney Kim AR game
-campus tours?

Near field communication
-at museum - Cebtre Pompidou SmartMuse - fields in the floor that visitors use their phones to interact with

AR fun - hallmark app

Friday, April 08, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 12

I'm officially over a week behind on my challenge and I've decided not to be so hard on myself. I do afterall, keep my plate pretty full. I am going to finish my challenge though, regardless of how long it takes me, I'll get 40 of these Lenten Learning posts up!

Today's post is about pasteurizing milk. Goat's milk to be exact.

Ivan has a sensitivity to cow's milk. My husband also had it when he was a child and grew out of it, so we are hoping the same goes for Ivan. In the meantime, we've been spending a small fortune on pastuerized goat's milk. We currently have a gallon of unpastuerized goats milk in the fridge. I read a little online, mostly from the following site:

Purchased a few necessities including some cheese cloth, a candy thermometer (which has yet to arrive) and a metal spoon. Turns out I had not one metal cooking spoon. If you've ever been in my kitchen, you'd be as baffled as I was as I turned over the various draws and canisters looking...
So it looks like my process will be:
  1. Wash the cheesecloth (dip in boiling water?), clean the milk containers and pot
  2. Strain the milk into the pot
  3. Heat the milk up to 165 degrees while stirring constantly
  4. Cool the pot of milk in ice water (I may just use one side of my sink to do this)
  5. Put the milk into jugs and put into freezer to cool further
Wish me luck. If it doesn't go well I'm going to dip into Ivan's college fund for one of these contraptions... Ok, well, probably not, but pastuerizing ourselves will save us close to $400 a year!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 11

We go through a lot of eggs in our house. Organic, of course, since non-organic are full of antibiotics and hormones. As you can imagine they can be a bit pricier than the non-organic variety. My husband jokingly mentioned raising our own hens the other day and I thought... well, I don't think our neighbors would like that, but it might be an interesting thing to read up on!

From what I can tell there are 3 important steps:

  1. Selecting your chickens (did you know hens start laying eggs at 5 months old?)
  2. Housing (portable pens are the way to go - "Portable pens make keeping chickens easier and less messy or smelly.  The manure is spread around for just a day or two, and then the pen is moved so that your fowl can eat the bugs and fertilize the next patch of lawn or pasture.")
  3. Feeding (whole grains retain their nutritional value no matter what - "Whole grains retain all of their nutritional value, and nothing is ever wasted.  What hits the ground does not dissolve.  It stays there until a) it is eaten, b) it sprouts and is eaten, c) it sprouts, grows and is eaten.  Either way, you win."
Quotes are from this site:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 10

I have had some issues with writer's block the last week or so. I just couldn't bring myself to write more than a sentence or two about any one particular topic. Combine that with a few lost posts due to technical errors and I was in need of some serious inspiration. So, I turned to my friends for help.

I asked my FaceBook friends for a little inspriation and within 24 hours I had a list of potential topics. The first one I am tackling is:

How to Stop a Toilet From Running

I'm not sure if this is what Abbey meant, but what she posted got me thinking about how annoying it is to have to lift the back cover to get the toilet in our master bathroom from running. This is one of those annoyances that I secretly hope will just go away and next thing you know its a few weeks later and it takes a post on FaceBook to remind me that lifting the cover after every flush is NOT normal (now that I've written this down it seems pretty crazy... maybe I'm not cut out for

Well, I watched the movie above, and I am about to go into my bathroom to identify the issue. Wish me luck.


I fixed it! I found two potential issues and took me all of 10 minutes and 3 flushes, but no more running toilet!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Learning Challenge - Day 9

Once again my motivation has found me so very late at night. Or, early in the morning if you're a glass-half-full kinda gal like me. After putting Ivan down, I came downstairs to look for my motivation for tonight's blog posts and in between google searches and trips to the kitchen for fuel I watched "Ip Man".

Soon, I was totally engrossed. I've always been intrigued by martial arts and since meeting my husband, who has studied on and off since childhood, I have a whole new appreciation and respect for this sport which truly is an art.

Instead of focusing on Ip Man, I turned my attention to Wing Chun itself.

I've always loved the story and the science behind this discipline fascinates me.

After Wing Chun rebuffs the local warlord's marriage offer, he says he'll reconsider his proposal if she can beat him in a martial art match. She asks a Buddhist nun- Ng Mui, who was one of the Shaolin Sect survivors, to teach her boxing; this still nameless style enables Yim Wing Chun to defeat the warlord. She thereafter marries Leung Bac-Chou and teaches him the style, which he names after her.
Ivan is stirring, so I'll pause here and hope to continue more tomorrow. Or today...

I added a bit more to this entry... and then my computer crashed. I will say the Wikipedia page above is a great read. I'm also including a video below which is also a great overview of Wing Chun.

PS - also added a new iPad tip on my Day 5 post.