I've never been to any of Julie's past events but given how well known she seems to be in the UK's elearning community, I'm quite keen to hear what she says.
These are live blogged notes from the event and as always I'll do my best to capture the proceedings with some of my views thrown in for equal measure! Julie promises to focus on tools that'll help us with our changing roles as trainers - being facilitators, graphic artists, animators, designers, and every new aspect of our jobs.
So here's a quick list of the tools that Julie showcased today.
A Quick Fix for Amateur PhotosA good picture is worth a thousand words and given how cool digital photography is turning out to be, it's more an more available - though very few of us are good photographers. So how do you make your photos look better on slides, elearning, etc. So what tool did Julie show? One of my current favourites - Poladroid. It's a great tool to create vintage style polaroid pictures. You will see some of these on my blog posts and demo elearning modules. Mywebface and Zwinky combined with Poladroid, can be a potent combination. Polaroids - don't have to be 'posh' as Julie says -- they just need to be real.
A great new tool Julies showed was Shape Collage, which can just convert a bunch of pictures you own into a collage of the shape of your choice. And the output looks just great.
Message PostersWho doesn't like to do posters -- but if you're like me then you perhaps suck at it. So if you want to create a motivational poster, Big Huge Labs has an online app called Motivator. And then again, the output may not blow you away, but I guess the fact that you can make things really quick makes it very useful for a lot of people.
Colour scheme toolsBig Huge Labs has a colour schemer too, but then I like Kuler much better and on my desktop I like Color Schemer studio and Pixie. Obviously colour coordination lends a huge amount of professionalism to your presentation. I've written about this on my recent blogpost as well, so this is handy advice.
Screen Annotation ToolsJulie demonstrated this screen annotation tool called Mouse Shade -- on the Mac I use Omni Dazzle. They're great to annotate the screen when recording screencasts or doing application training or even doing some special effects during presentations. They're definitely two great tools that you should have depending on which platform you're on.
Free Tools for AccessibilitySome tools that I couldn't keep track of especially amongst Julie's accessiblilty tools list:
- Rapid Set
- Big and Chunky Mouse Pointers
Finding Tunes to play in Elearning or TrainingJulie showed a great site called Television Tunes for you to find and use the kind of tune that you want for training and to use in your courses. You should get a broadcast license to use them for yourself. You can get a broadcast license by asking PRS for Music. It's a great way to get social culture into the classroom, help people relax and takes the edge off some of your difficult subjects. Please check the legal statement before you use these PLEASE!
Creating Animation Sequences
I'm sure what I'll see here: another of my favourite free tools - Xtranormal. Julie, you've won my heart by promoting my latest favourite tool.I recently put up a demo with this on a previous blogpost.
Creating Simple PropsOften you'll need props to create the right kind of environment in training - for example a 'Britain's got talent' style buzzer maybe! Julie told a very interesting story of how she used this kind of a prop -- you should make Julie tell the story. I'll be no good with it. You can get your own stuff from I want one of those. Very very interesting!
Julie's webinar was so fast paced, that I got a lot out of this session. Some of the other tools I love are:
Twitter or over email.