‘Show your mouse the finger’, written by Angus last week, talked about the types of cool futuristic gadgets and interfaces that made up Spielberg’s futuristic vision of the world in 2054 in the film Minority Report. I actually think that we may not have to wait another 45 years to realise some of the technologies used in the film.
Creating original graphics for an e-learning course can be a challenging task, particularly when anything that’s created has to comply with strict branding guidelines. An engaging graphic environment is essential for an interesting and successful learning experience. Read on for our top five tips for achieving this.
In 1999 director Steven Spielberg assembled a team of 15 of the world’s leading futurologists and scientists and tasked them with creating a plausible vision of what life would be like in the year 2054. The best ideas were picked and used in the film Minority Report.
If it’s not your day job, setting up and running a photography session can seem daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. A few pieces of equipment, the appropriate preparation and a small dose of confidence are the keys for success. Here are our top five tips to make your next photo shoot go swimmingly.
A couple of years ago Adobe acquired an online word processor called BuzzWord from a company called Virtual Ubiquity in order to further enhance their collection of online applications. The web-based word processor was built using the Flex framework which is part of the Adobe product line and targeted at creating rich internet applications (RIAs) that can be deployed to the web or desktop through the Flash and AIR runtime environments. So how user-friendly and effective is BuzzWord as an online word processor?
Many clients want to include video in their e-learning courses meaning that we need to become film directors as part of our day job too. But it’s not just about having a director’s chair with your name on the back. Follow these tips to ensure your video shoot runs like clockwork.
I hate telling someone I studied languages at university and then having them say ‘ooh, say something in French’. There’s nothing worse than being put on the spot and there’s no surer way to scare all the fancy French words from my head and leave my mind blank. It’s the same with creativity. Inspiration strikes at the most random moments and more often than not eludes you when you most need it – like when you’re racking your brains for a new take on performance management training or trying to come up with a catchy course title. It’s not always easy to be creative on demand, day in, day out.
XML can be a great tool when used correctly, but it does sometimes suffer from being a development buzzword. The trick to understanding how best to use XML is to remember that its focus is to provide an independent structure for a collection of data. What happens with that data is a problem for other programming languages that need to work with it.
1. Create a stylesheet
XML can be viewed in many different formats but creating a stylesheet is a great way to ensure that the data is displayed in a readable way. Using tools like Microsoft InfoPath it’s possible to create a customisable view that will allow users to make updates to your XML document using familiar form based controls like textboxes and dropdown menus.
2. Group data
When using elements that belong in a group it’s best to create an element to represent that group. For example, if you wanted to create an XML document to show information on a series of books, you would want to create an element labelled “books”, then create sub-elements within the group to hold the information on each specific book.
3. Use elements and attributes appropriately
When choosing between elements and attributes, try to remember that elements should be used to group or hold data and attributes should be used to store meta-information for a specific element. Also try to avoid starting any names in your document with the letters XML or any punctuation characters.
4. Ensure compatibility
There are various ways to encode XML, such as ASCII and ISO/IEC 8859, but to ensure greater compatibility it’s generally best to make sure your documents are saved encoded as UTF-8. You can usually see how your document is encoded by opening your XML document in a simple text editor and checking the encoding attribute on the first line.
5. Experiment with your software
You don’t always have to have expensive dedicated software to edit your XML documents correctly. Programs like Microsoft Word are capable of transforming an XML document directly into a familiar looking editable document that you can save onto your PC.
The most recent post on the Spicy Learning Blog is an extra special one, because it’s our 50th post – a great milestone which we’re very proud of!
The recent turmoil in the financial markets and the resulting chaos in all of our businesses have both intensified our desire to be ‘rapid’. We want things faster and cheaper. We want minimal fuss and we just want to get on with it. We’re practical people, we get things done and we want to prove this to the world. Music to the ears of anyone selling a rapid development tool but what about instructional designers (IDs)? Where do they fit in? Pah, I hear you say. Who needs an ID? Our subject matter experts know all there is to know. If we give them a tool that allows them to put their knowledge online, surely this will be better and more authentic than having a third party develop the material? It will certainly be a lot cheaper and faster!