Sometimes we get so busy that we lose sight of the great resources available to us. It’s not until you pull your head up from your desk and look around that you realize what’s available. That’s why it’s important to be connected to other people who have similar interests or do similar work. You’ll learn from them and have access to all sorts of information. If you think about it, there’s really not much that you know (if anything) that you didn’t learn from someone else or because of someone else.
Last week I was at PowerPoint Live 2009 in Atlanta where I spent some time with people in the PowerPoint community. The thing that impressed me the most was the power of connecting with others. I met a few blog readers, many of the PowerPoint MVPs that I’ve followed over the years, and was reminded of a few tips and tricks that I can use in my rapid elearning courses. I’ll share some of the tips and tricks in some future posts.
Today, I’d like to share a little of what I learned from the PowerPoint community and provide some great resources and tools that will help you do a better job building your elearning courses.
The Community Inspires New Ideas
- PowerPoint MVP Glen Millar shared quite a few animation tips. His session inspired a few ideas that could work well for rapid elearning courses although some of the animations may be a bit too much. In either case, the session inspired a few ideas, you’ll see them in some future posts.
- Lesa Snider, Chief Evangelist for iStockphotos, talked about graphic design in your PowerPoint slides. She has a site with some free Photoshop Elements tutorials and tips. During her session she was zooming in and out of her application. This made me consider how I’d do that in Screenr and possibly during my own presentations. So I found a couple of free screen zooming applications. You can find links below.
- The Twitter stream for the conference was a great way to meet people and to get some additional information about the other sessions. In fact, I had a bunch of people ask for some PowerPoint info so I put together a free blog that contains the Twitter stream for #pptlive, some blog posts, and free PowerPoint tutorials.
- AlacrityPC: allows you to shut down unnecessary services and programs before you run a resource intensive application. This comes in handy doing screencast tutorials, working with multimedia authoring applications, or freeing resources during conference presentations. Thanks to Glenn for the tip.
- ZoomIt (PC): ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for presentations that include application demonstrations. Click here to view the ZoomIt demo.
- OmniDazzle (Mac): a set of fun and useful enhancements that help you highlight certain areas of your screen, create visual effects, and track the location of your mouse pointer. Click here to view the OmniDazzle demo.
One of the best resources to learn more about PowerPoint comes from the MVP sites. These are people who are noted for helping the community of PowerPoint users. They have all sorts of tips and tricks. It’s worth bookmarking their sites. Here are some of the MVPs I met. You can find more at the PowerPoint MVP site.
- Geetesh Bajaj
- Troy Chollar
- Glen Millar
- Shyam Pillai
- Tony Ramos
- Steve Rindsberg
- Echo Swinford
- Julie Terberg
Microsoft PowerPoint Help & Resources
PowerPoint is a versatile tool. I can think of few applications that have as many diverse uses. People use it to create presentations, storyboards, elearning, animations, graphics and much more. The trick in getting the most out of PowerPoint is to tap into the community of resources.
The Microsoft site has all sorts of resources for those who want to learn more about PowerPoint. There are tips and tricks, tutorials, blog posts, and templates.
The Rapid E-Learning Blog
I’ve also included a few of the posts that I’ve written concerning PowerPoint.
- See How Easily You Can Create Graphics in PowerPoint
- Unleash Your E-Learning Graphics from PowerPoint 2007
- 5 Must-Know PowerPoint Tips That Will Save You Time
- The Secret to Creating Your Own PowerPoint Templates for E-Learning
- Here’s Why PowerPoint 2007 Helps You Build Better E-Learning
Being around others who share similar interests is inspiring. First, you always walk away with great information that will help you do a better job. Most important though is that you feel connected to something bigger. And it’s this connection that is exciting and keeps you motivated to learn more.
What do you do to stay networked to other elearning developers? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- We'll be adding events for 2017 soon. If you'd like to see one of our workshops in your area just let me know.
- Mar 20 (Orlando). Want to learn to build courses with the right look & feel? Join David Anderson at his all day workshop on Graphic Design Essentials for Non-Graphic eLearning Designers.
- Mar 22-23 (Orlando). Come by the booth at Learning Solutions and say hello.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Variables Made Easy with Articulate Storyline. Limited seats, so sign up now.
- April 13 (Minneapolis). Articulate User Meet Up. Details coming soon.
- April 14 (Minneapolis). PACT Meeting: Facing Today's Instructional Design Challenges.
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.