aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Quick Clicks

Posted by Ellen on July 11, 2011

Once again, aLearning is pleased to be able to save you enormous time and energy by perusing hundreds of blogs and resources to summarize those likely to be of particular interest to you. If you have any links that have been especially insightful or helpful to you, please feel free to add them to the comments section or send them to me directly for inclusion in a future Quick Clicks post.

These are in no particular order…. so scroll the entire post to be sure you won’t miss anything.


LMS? LCMS? What’s the Diff?

Thanks to this article by Nic Hinder, courtesy of the “Funderstanding” ( site and brought to our attention by Julien R. Barlan, Research Associate at Funderstanding, we’re all a little bit clearer on what distinguishes the two types of systems, the features that most often overlap, and when each system is put to best use (and by whom). That’s a lot to cover, and the article does it clearly and succinctly. You can find it here.


iSpring Free Update

If you’ve browsed our aLearning Fundamentals tutorials lately, you’ve noticed we went from a pure PowerPoint download to using iSpring to compile the PowerPoint for easier access and viewing. Though we use iSpring Presenter for most of the tutorials, we want to pass along this update regarding the iSpring Free version, which is available to non-profits for — you guessed it — free (although the Presenter version is not that expensive, compared to its competition).

According to an e-mail from Tanya Mosunova at iSpring:

iSpring Free 5.7 can generate Flash content that is compliant to SCORM 2004 R3, the most popular standard used in today’s eLearning. This means that with iSpring, courses created in PowerPoint can become compatible with Learning Management Systems (LMSs) that also support SCORM. Moodle LMS is a perfect example of an LMS that is great to use with iSpring-generated courses and is also free. We have just released a new version of iSpring Free, which upgrades it from Flash creating software to eLearning authoring master.

I’m not sure what upgrading to an “eLearning authoring master” means and haven’t taken the opportunity to test it out, so feel free to explore it on your own. Try this link (and let me know if it doesn’t work for you).


Ideas for Getting More HOW Into Your Face-to-Face Sessions

Trying to figure out how to make your sessions focused on “HOW” rather than “WHAT”? Though written for elearning development, the process and examples described in this article by Patti Shank can help you think through how to handle a session for FTF. This great Learning Solutions Magazine article, “The MOST Crucial Learning Activities and Media,” can be found here.


Flipped Classroom

Maybe you’ve tried this… it’s new to K-12 and catching on in higher ed.

You provide links to recorded lectures, discussions, and readings prior to the event, then focus on hands-on activities during the face-to-face (FTF) session. Though we should make it a goal to make this a model for educational sessions at conferences, established, stand-alone FTF events (institutes, seminars, etc.) are a good place to start. We often know more about our attendees, earlier, which is essential for making this model work.

I’d add that refusing to support poor learner behavior would also be critical to its success: if pre-event preparation is necessary for the FTF session to go well, you must resolve to start those sessions on time and with the assumption that learners have completed the preparatory assignments. No coddling those who “just didn’t have time” — doing so only punishes those who followed the rules and it jeopardizes your timeline.

So — keeping in mind that such a model will probably require managing some change around the current culture of the event — here’s more on the flipped classroom (or reverse instruction, as it’s also called). Note that these are just a few of the many resources a general Google search is likely to scare up for you:

“Flip your classroom through reverse instruction,” from The Electric Educator blog 

“Reverse Instruction: Dan Pink and Karl’s ‘Fisch Flip'” via the Connected Principals blog. 

“3 Keys to a Flipped Classroom” from the “David Truss: Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts” blog.

“The Revolution of Reverse Learning” from 2footgiraffe’s Blog.

“Advancing the Flip: Developments in Reverse Instruction” from the Connected Principals blog.


Why Knowing How the Brain Works Isn’t All You Need to Know

Yes, it’s important to know how we process new information and experiences, and that’s all about how the brain works. But don’t stop there. See “We are not our Brains,” from Norm Friesen’s blog  for more.


Need Coaching for Your Volunteer Online Content Leaders?

Looking for resources to provide guidance to your online volunteer content leaders? The University of New South Wales in Australia has provided some great tutorials, available free here. (Of course, don’t forget to access the free aLearning Fundamentals tutorial on “Leading Learning Events.” Just click the aLearning Fundamentals logo on the left.)


Help in Selecting an LMS

Janet Clarey’s “Wait. What? I can buy an LMS with a credit card?” doesn’t just provide a summary of her review of Intellum’s Rollbook LMS, but includes some great tips for your LMS/LCMS selection process. If you’re shopping for an LMS, you must read this post.


Ads on Twitter?

Mike at the electronic museum blog says it’s likely and cites the evidence he sees that your Twitter stream will soon carry advertisements in his post, “What if Twitter goes rogue?”

Don’t shrug this off. If you rely on Twitter, you need to think about what this could mean. Will you have any control over what those ads are for? What could it mean for your members, following a backchannel for your conference, to suddenly see an ad for something your organization doesn’t support? Ads on Twitter could mean a change you need to be ready to face.


Who Owns Your Photos In Social Media?

Kathy E. Gill at MEDIASHIFT asked this question, and answered it as well. Don’t assume you know the answer! (BTW… Facebook’s fine print on this matter is why I axed my account there.)


Attention K-12 Education Organizations!

If you or your members create online educational content or resources for students, teachers, administrators, or parents, you need to know about the “Learning Resources Framework Initiative” which will “improve search results for educational content on the Web” using a “common language of codes [that] Web producers and developers should embed within a digital learning object…”

Read about it in Education Week’s Digital Education column here.


Higher College Tuition Opens Opportunities for Associations

What could you be offering through your organization to those who might be affected by the rising cost of college tuition?

Here’s the data.

Because tuition and fees at public universities “have surged almost 130% over the last twenty years” while “middle class incomes have stagnated” fewer people are able to afford higher education. This creates a learning gap that your organization could fill… or some other organization could fill that gap, if you don’t. Why take that chance? So I’ll ask again: “What could you be offering through your organization to those who might be affected by the rising cost of college tuition?”


Social Media Tutorials

…Okay, they’re not tutorials in the sense that we use the term here at aLearning (the few links I clicked led to blog posts), but they’re still chockfull of great information, leads, and how-tos. Get started here, courtesy of Socialbrite.

2 Responses to “Quick Clicks”

  1. Suzanne Aurilio said

    very useful thank you !

  2. Ellen said

    You’re very welcome, Suzanne!

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