I love all of the web apps and cool sites that pop up on the Internet. Many of them are cool in a gadgety way but not always practical; but they are fun to play with. And then there are some that are practical. For example, I use the social bookmarking tool, Diigo, quite a bit. At my last place, the internal network was so lame that I used Diigo to bookmark and manage all of my internal links. It made my life a lot easier and more productive. Currently, we use Diigo’s linkroll feature to track our community tutorials.
I’m also a big Dropbox fan. It’s one of my favorite tools because it makes team collaboration and file syncing so easy. I also use Clusterurl quite a bit. I like to create clusters when I’m doing research. Here’s a screencast I did to show how that works.
Those are just a few of the types of sites that can make your life and work easier. In today’s post, I thought I’d share a few that work well with this blog and allow you to access the blog posts in a different format.
Listen to a Podcast of the Rapid E-Learning Blog
Hear a Blog offers a free service where they convert the blog posts to a podcast. So if you’re a fan of this blog, then you can always download and listen to the blog posts rather than read them. It’s a great way to share all of this elearning goodness with your friends and family (especially children on long road trips).
Of course, lost in the podcast are the graphics and links to examples. So you may think that it could make the podcast irrelevant, but that’s not the case. Let me tell you why and how it relates to elearning design.
When we access information the same way all the time, the familiarity could produce a certain level of complacency. For example, I have hundreds of RSS feeds in my feed reader. I’ve gotten used to quickly scanning headlines, images, and bold text for pertinent information. I can quickly get the gist of the posts, but I definitely don’t get all of the details, and many times miss important points in the posts.
The post as a podcast makes me stop and listen. It changes how I focus on the information and possibly helps something different stand out. This is something to consider when you build courses.
Are there ways to change up the info or structure of the elearning course so that it forces the elearner out of a complacent mindset? Find ways to keep your learners looking for the next button.
Seth Godin had an interesting post about doing a 200 slide presentation to change up the pace of your presentation. It’s similar to what I’m suggesting. With multimedia communication it’s as much about the content as it is about the flow and pacing.
As a side note, if you’re looking for a voiceover career, Hear a Blog may be a great place to start. It looks like there are opportunities to record podcasts to pad your portfolio.
Convert the Rapid E-Learning Blog to PDF
Many blog readers ask how to print the blog posts so they can read them offline or share the posts with others. Web2PDF offers an easy way to create a PDF of any blog post.
Here’s what you do:
- Copy the blog post’s address
- Then go to Web2PDF and paste the address into the form to create a PDF
- Now you have a PDF version of the post with comments included. This is good because sometimes there are a lot of nuggets in the comments section. It looks like all of the links work, as well.
While this is a cool site to use with the Rapid E-Learning Blog posts, you’re not limited to creating PDFs from this blog alone. Use it anytime you find a post you like.
The other day I was going through a folder of web links that I’ve collected over the years. They have all sorts of content from meeting with clients to Photoshop tips. Unfortunately, about 60% of the links no longer work. The content was gone. Now, when I find a post or site that has information I want to preserve, I just save it as a PDF. Even if the site no longer exists, I’ll always have the content and source for reference.
Web2PDF offers some browser tools that make it super simple to save the page as a PDF. Here’s what it looks like if I right-click on a blog post while in the Firefox browser.
Those are two good sites that let you get the blog posts in a different format. What are some of the sites you use that help make your life easier? Feel free to share them in the comments section.
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- May 22-24 (Atlanta). ATD International Conference & Expo. We'll be in booth 738. Swing by to chat.
- June 20-21 (San Diego). FocusOn Learning conference.
- Articulate Roadshows. Join us for one or two days of e-learning goodness. Day 1 focuses on more general type e-learning topics and Day 2 is centered on learning to build some nice, reusable interactions. Learn more and sign up using the links below. Seats are limited for the events. If you're interested in presenting at one of the roadshows, let me know.
- There are a couple of other events planned. Once we get all of the bookings confirmed, we'll add the registration page and info.
Free E-Learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.