Monday, January 01, 2007

OpenSource eLearning XHTML editor (eXe)

In this fast pased world, knowledge rules and providing information to stakeholders using an accessible media is critical. Instructional Designers for Online Learning (IDOL) understand this all too well. Having access to reliable development tools is vital to both rapid design and universal deployment. This means, we need something to create structured content quickly and for a variety of delivery systems (ie, Bb, WebCT, Moodle, etc ...).

This where eXe can be a lifesaver. In addition to being FREE to use, it allows the user to customize the interface by accessing a feature called iDevices (instructional devices).

iDevices are a collection of structural elements that describe learning content. Examples of these include, objectives, pre-knowledge, case studies, free text. Learning content is created by selecting iDevices from the iDevice menu and entering your learning content.
Now, for the serious IDOLer out there, you have access to the raw files for five (5) styles that can be edited for your convenience. Add more if you like, but this provides a start for rapid development.

It gets even better, and this is my favorite feature. There is a version of this software which can be run on a USB flash drive without requiring any installation. The total file size is only 12.2mb. I should also mention that there is a Mac OS X version available as well.

A special thank you to the eXe development team - Jim, Sean, Matiu, Brent, and Jenny. You have made a great contribution to the field of Instructional Design for Online Learning!

... download the software here
... read the manual here

IDOL Toolchest - 07

Performancing for Firefox -
Just like the integrated HTML editor and EMAIL client built into the old Netscape Navigator web browser, Firefox now has a FREE Blog Editor (plugin) that will allow you to create, post, and edit your blog postings. Especially useful is the ability to create notes while you are browsing and then later use that content for creating your next blog entry. Add to this the ability to upload images and link to files (mp3, pdf, etc ...) and you have a neatly integrated blog creation solution.

GrandCentral -
Now here is a great idea that has been a long time coming. Imagine that you might give your telephone to anyone that asks, online or in person. You don't really know who this person is, but you need to provide a way for them to contact you by phone. This service is completely free and will allow you to use their service to filter your calls. Imagine being able to have all the calls ring to multiple telephone numbers at the same time! Imagine having different voice messages for each specified telephone number - personalizing your voice mail for your boss, your mother, a potential employer. Then imagine being able to reject the call or redirect the call to your voice mailbox AND listen in to the message as it is being recorded! That is

Joopz -
This site allows anyone with a free account to send a text message, from their browser (connected to the Internet) to a specified cell phone capable of accepting text messages (SMS). There is more! You can broadcast a message to a group of cell phone users AND you can schedule the date and time that the message will be sent. Remember, that users might have to pay a small fee for each message that you send, so be thoughtful.

Jott -
This site just crossed my path and I felt it was appropriate to share. JOTT (still in beta) allows subscribers to register the phone numbers they will call from and leave a short audio message. What makes this different from other sites is the fact that a real person will be transcribing your voice message into text. This message will be stored on their website as well as emailed to an account that you specify. When you want to leave yourself a friendly reminder, remember this new service jott - a great idea with lots of possibilities.