50+ Awesome Tools I Use To Run A Kick-Ass Blog . 50 recursos y herramientas importantes para bloggers by @twelveskip [infografia], [Infographic]

Hoy traemos a este espacio esta infografía tituladadA 50+ Awesome Tools I Use To Run A Kick-Ass Blog en  twelveskip.com ... un blog de Pauline Cabrera  que nos presentan así:

I often get asked about the tools I use to shape up my blog so I've decided to list them all here. I’ve been building different kind of websites for years now and obviously, I’ve tried a ton of tools along the way. Some of them are fantastic, and some of them just plain suck.

To ramp up your blogging business, you need to be a little more aggressive with your marketing. BUT you can’t do that alone. We all know that blogging takes a lot of hard work, time and effort to do it well.

So you need to find the right tools to help you get more work done faster, while providing quality content for your audience.

Here are the various tools, apps and resources that will help you boost your creativity, and make your blog even more awesome.(leer más...)

 Fuente: [twelveskip ]

E-learning Deployment – Considerations and Tools


So you decided to deploy an e-learning solution for your enterprise or organization. Or maybe build an e-learning school of your own. As long-time e-learning experts we welcome you to this exciting endeavor.

In this post we’ll try to give a comprehensive list of all the tools, services, accessories and software you’ll need for your e-learning deployment.

To Cloud or not to Cloud?

You of course are going to need a LMS. And we hope you consider using our industry leading e-learning solutions, TalentLMS and eFront. But even if you go for an inferior LMS (well, we had to say it), there are several things you have to consider, the most important being whether you want a Cloud solution or a custom LMS deployment (either hosted or internally deployed).

Cloud-hosted LMS

A Cloud based LMS is one that’s made available for you by a third party usually under a subscription model (like our flagship TalentLMS). The benefit of this approach is that you don’t need to be concerned with installing, updating and managing servers and software. Those are all taken care for you, and you essentially get a turn-key solution that’s known to work smoothly and that is maintained for you by the very team that created it in the first place.

You’ll still have to add your own content and customize some aspects of its operation, but that’s just the essential configuration that you have to do with any LMS solution. The complexities are hidden from you (and the architecture can get quite complex underneath, e.g files may be stored out of server in flexible storage services like Amazon S3 and there would be multiple web and db servers deployed, alongside CDNs and load balancers). You can start and stop your Cloud LMS use at anytime, easily add more e-learning sites, and even scale your projects automagically to multiple nodes and millions of users as your needs grow.

A Cloud is perhaps the preferred solution for most basic LMS needs, except if you want total flexibility and the ability to make changes to the e-learning environment (as Cloud solutions offer limited customizability). Another possible issue about using a Cloud LMS would be if your corporate policy doesn’t allow hosting your learning material with a third party (e.g because it contains sensitive information about your company). You might as well prefer a non-cloud solution if you want to avoid recurring charges.

Self-hosted (internally deployed) LMS

If you fall into the above category, then you probably need to invest in a deployed (or self-hosted) LMS platform (in which case, may we suggest our best of breed eFront product?). A self-hosted LMS platform is basically a web application, usually sold as a licensed product, that you get to install and maintain in your own server. You have (depending on the license) full control on all aspects of the LMS operation, as well as the option to alter its code to fit any special needs your might have, and you can even restrict access to it so that, for example, only people connected to your company’s intranet (or VPN) can use it.

With the increased power, though, come greater responsibility, as you’ll be responsible for things like backing up your data, updating the server software and scaling to more machines. You also need to contact the vendor and license updates and upgrades (though some might be included for free in the licensing price).

Hosted LMS

A hybrid option between those two would be the hosted LMS, were you have access to a full blown installation of an LMS platform on a dedicated server. This option, which we offer in the form of our hosted eFront product, gives you full customization abilities combined with the managed backups, updates and upgrades of the Cloud version. You also get the benefit of having an expert team making sure your server and LMS run smoothly.

The downside to the hosted LMS solution is that it takes some time to deploy a new one (usually 1-2 business days), as a new server has to be setup and provisioned for you. Also, like in the self-hosted case, a hosted LMS cannot scale without extra technical support, (although, in the hosted LMS case this can sometimes be provided as an extra service for a fee).

Shopping list

We’ll begin with the tools you’ll need if you opt for a self-hosted LMS solution, as they are more numerous and complicated:

– A server [or a hosting provider]: a machine that is setup with a server operating system and a network connection capable of serving web content to your users. That can be a machine provided and setup by your company’s IT deparment, or some server that you lease from a third party hosting provider.

– A web server and a database server: those are software solutions that serve web applications and store data respectively. The most commonly used are Apache and MySQL, but there are several options, including IIS and SQL Server in the Windows side of the fence. You’ll also need to install some web server add-ons to handle your LMS code (e.g the PHP modules if your LMS is written in that language). What kind of web and database server to use depends on the requirements of your chosen LMS platform, so you don’t have total flexibility in this matter.

– An email server: you’ll need to configure your server to be able to send and receive email. This is essential for some LMS features like Notifications.

– A domain name: you might not need one, if you just use your LMS inside the company. But if you want to have it accessible from the web for everybody, you’ll need to give it a domain name (e.g “www.mylms.com”). You can register a domain with any web registrar such as GoDaddy or Name.com – it will cost you something in the range of $10-$20 per year.

Those are just the basics of course, and it all depends on what extra services and functionality you might want to add to your self-hosted e-learning system.

If your deployment is intended as a commercial operation with paid users for example (as opposed to internal employee training for your own company), you’ll also want to invest in tools for monitoring your server’s health (there are several services that offer this, such as Pingdom and New Relic) and in a support system were your users can report problems and raise issues (e.g ZenDesk).

With a Cloud LMS, all of the above have been taken care of for you, with the possible exception of the domain name (and that’s only if you need a totally custom one. If not, then the subdomain you get that’s based on the LMS provider’s domain name is more than adequate).

In the next post in this series we’ll get to the tools and services you’ll need for your e-learning content creation and consumption.

The post E-learning Deployment – Considerations and Tools appeared first on eFront Blog.

LMS Market Report (and how eFront Delivers)


An LMS platform is an essential tool for the modern enterprise and organization. But, with all the available options and vendors, finding one with the right balance of features to cover all your educational and business needs can be quite daunting. Fortunately, there’s some help coming your way. Software Advice, the Texas based software experts offering detailed reviews, comparisons and advice to software buyers have just released their latest annual report for the LMS market.

Software Advice’s 2014 Learning Management System BuyerView report, aims to uncover “the top LMS buyer trends, including motivations for purchasing new software, deployment preferences and the most sought-after features“, by analyzing the information the firm gathered from interacting with thousands of LMS buyers.

Such tracking of e-learning trends can be very valuable for prospective LMS buyers, since it provides them with an overview of the market and offers them insight on industry trends and important buying considerations.

Now, if you allow us to proudly tout our own horn, we’d like to go through the key findings of Software Advice’s 2014 Learning Management System BuyerView report with you, and explain how eFront has your needs covered.

1) Automatic for the people

Over one-third of the prospective LMS buyers noted that they were using manual methods to train their employees, such as in-person training sessions. If this describes your organization, our eFront Enterprise Learning Management System can help you automate the whole training process, while at the same time letting your employees go through it at their own pace, without rigid training schedules and wasted productivity.

2) Web of trust

The overwhelming majority of prospective LMS buyers that Software Advice spoke to, said they prefer Web-based software. Makes sense to us: web-based software enables remote collaboration, requires no installation by the students, is cross-platform, and, with the advances in web technologies such as HTML5, is also mighty capable. Attributes that perfectly describe eFront, out web-based enterprise grade LMS.

3) On the right track

One of the most requested features among LMS buyers was the ability to track and record the training process. With eFront that’s a piece of cake ― or rather, pie. As in the comprehensive pie and bar charts produced by our highly flexible Reports Generator, with enable you to visually track your trainees progress. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: eFront offers full logging of student actions, comprehensive reports showing the skills and educational status of all employees, and the ability to assign skills to employees when they complete specific lessons.

4) What was old is new again

Also high on the priorities for potential LMS buyers was the ability to upload and store training content already created (e.g manually). eFront prides itself on its powerful and flexible visual content editor, but it’s no slouch when it comes to integrating existing content either. With support for a variety of media types, a comprehensive File Manager and Digital Library system that enables administrators to upload, organize, use and share files, and full SCORM compliance that enables SCORM content to be imported into the system, eFront has you covered. Plus, it’s modular nature enables the writing of custom plugins that can leverage existing content or talk to third-party systems.

5) Reporting without borders

Reporting is another must-have item, being the third most commonly requested feature in the Survey. And it’s one area were eFront excels, with a full blown Report Generator that makes creating reports a breeze, and tons of report types that cover every business need, like time-constraint reports, events reports, branch reports, participation reports, certificate reports, and more.

6) High scoring

Last, but not least, in our breakdown of most requested LMS features, is the ability to do automated testing and scoring. eFront is once again ahead of the pack here, with it’s intuitive Test Builder that allow teachers to create tests quickly, and reuse questions across multiple tests. And, acknowledging the fact that students learn best at their own pace, eFront enables you to identify the skills that your students lack and personalize their training paths.

If you’re looking to buy the right LMS for your enterprise or organization, we suggest you have a look at Software Advice’s 2014 Learning Management System BuyerView report. It will give you a pretty good idea of what features other LMS buyers value and what the current trends in enterprise LMS use are.

And then you’ll know why our own eFront Enterprise Learning Management System is really the best-of-breed LMS solution, that covers all those needs and more

Learning Management Systems BuyerView Report | 2014 from Software Advice

The post LMS Market Report (and how eFront Delivers) appeared first on eFront Blog.

The best elearning reads of 2013

Every month we put together a list of our favorite articles for our monthly newsletter (based on Jane Hart’s comprehensive monthly lists) – we’ve put those together and taken note of the most popular articles on social media (the ones with the most RTs, shares and likes) to create this list of best reads in elearning and learning for the year!

  1. YouTube another MOOP (Massive Open Online Pedagogy) Learning will not be televised, it will be digitised, Donald Clark
  2. It’s the end of an era – enter the knowledgeable networker, John Kotter, Forbes
  3. Ensuring knowledge flow through narration, Harold Jarche
  4. The Teacher’s Quick Guide To Digital Scavenger Hunts, Edudemic
  5. The End of the Web, Search, and Computer as We Know It, Wired
  6. Are you in the training ghetto, Donald Taylor
  7. Cognitive Dissonance and the Denial of Social/Informal Learning, Mike Britz
  8. Social media at work. Really? John Stepper
  9. Delivering a PowerPoint? Your Audience Will Tune Out After 10 Minutes, Forbes
  10. Learning technology: are we using it right? Julian Stodd
  11. The Connected Learners- A Book by Students for Teachers, Langwitches Blog
  12. Mapping with Google
  13. 3 ways to becoming a master learner, Erika Anderson
  14. Conferences Need To Focus More On Learning Design And Less On Information Transfer, Jeff Hurt
  15. Research in the digital age, it’s more than finding information, Scientific American
  16. Learning is too important to be left to professionals, Harold Jarche
  17. 5 Practical ideas for Embedding learning into the workflow, Towards Maturity
  18. Social First!, Clark Quinn
  19. Good, bad and ugly: 7 critics of social media, Donald Clark
  20. 19 Antiquated Employee Engagement Approaches Contributing to Organizational Anxiety, David Zinger
  21. Why every email should be 5 sentences long, Fast Company
  22. Do we still need the telephone? Lucy Kellaway
  23. The 4 things people can still do better than computers, Fast Company
  24. The Dysfunctionally Connected Workplace Problem-And How To Fix It, Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard, FastCompany
  25. The Emerging Collaborative & Sharing Mentalities of the Millenial Generation, P2P Foundation’s Blog
  26. How Technology Changes The Skills We Need To Learn, Forbes
  27. Being explicit about corporate learning, Clark Quinn
  28. Enterprise technology through the years (graphic), Forbes
  29. You can’t enforce curiosity, Euan Semple
  30. Why Learning is Complicated, Dennis Callahan
  31. Digital Natives Looking to Unplug, Connect, Scientific American
  32. Make your employees more productive, HBR BLog Network
  33. Six Classes Your Employer Wishes You Could Take, HBR Blog Network
  34. Dear C-Suite, we don’t do training, Dan Pontefract, CLO Magazine
  35. The tragedy of L&D, Nick Shackleton-Jones
  36. Conversation and collaboration: the next generation of working practices, Wired
  37. An “All You Can Eat” College Degree Could Be The Future Of Higher Education, Fast Co-Exist
  38. The Top 10 Workplace Trends Of 2013, Dan Schawbel, Forbes
  39. Technology and change, Euan Semple
  40. The science of storytelling: how narrative cuts through distraction like nothing else, Fast Co-Create
  41. The age of social products, HBR
  42. Gartner: Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2014, Forbes
  43. How to Build Effective Online Learning Communities, Edudemic
  44. eLearning: From the enclosure to the global learning commons, David Price, elearn Magazine
  45. L&D: Get into the Enterprise Social Conversation, the work social
  46. MOOCs will ultimately play a transformational role, Stephen Downes
  47. Does technology improve employee engagement? Dion Hinchcliffe, ZDNet
  48. Introducing Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) to a Corporate Audience, Eric Kammerer, Learning Solutions Magazine
  49. Big Data – bums on seats measures wrong end of learner, Donald Clark
  50. The simplest way to know what everyone’s doing at work, FastCompany

FREE eBook: eLearning 101 – concepts, trends, applications

ebook-banner-4The team at eFront and TalentLMS have got together to create a FREE elearning eBook to download on everything anyone needed to know about elearning! This eLearning 101’ book covers all important and relevant concepts, trends and applications of elearning.

People new to elearning will appreciate the first chapters which define elearning, describe best practices, goes over the basics on learning platforms, and online courses – how to make elearning effective and the tools that help you to do so.

Those more familiar with the basic concepts will find a wealth of information on current elearning trends which shape and define eLearning now, and in the near and distant future. Topics covered include: social and collaborative learning, blended learning, gamification, micro-learning, video learning, rapid elearning, personalization and elearning, and continuous learning.

Final chapters explore applications of elearning in customer service, sales training, safety training, customer training, IT training, healthcare training and product training.

This eBook will be updated from time to time so if you have any suggestions for chapters you’d like to see please do let us know! And happy reading! :)


Open Education Resources: Innovation for Development Asha Kanwar and Balasubramanian


Hoy traemos a este espacio  un artículo y su presentación  titulado

Open Education Resources: Innovation for Development 

International Perspectives on Technology-Enhanced Learning

University of British Columbia
Faculty of Education
Vancouver, Canada
13 July 2013

Jointly authored by
Professor Asha Kanwar and Dr. K. Balasubramanian
Commonwealth of Learning

Distinguished Colleagues, It is a pleasure and an honour to be here and I am very grateful to the Professor Tom Sork and the organisers for the opportunity. My topic today is: Open Education Resources: Innovation for Development?
I will first look at the Commonwealth context and the issues of development that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency if the internationally agreed development goals are to be achieved by 2015. I will then look at the emergence of OER which are seen as an innovation that cut costs, improve quality and enhance access to education and training. This will lead to the question of whether the development and use of OER are addressing some of the development challenges in many countries of the global south. I will outline some of the strategies that we need to harness OER so that the development objectives can be achieved. Finally, I will share some examples of what my own organization, the Commonwealth of Learning had done to promote OER for development.
But first a word about the Commonwealth of Learning or COL which might well be one of the best kept secrets of beautiful British Columbia.
COL is an intergovernmental organisation, established by Commonwealth Heads of Government when they met in Vancouver in 1987. COL is the only Commonwealth intergovernmental organization to be located outside London. We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for hosting us and for its continued financial and intellectual support. (...)

 Fuente: [ International Perspectives ]

Customer story: An International Maritime University & eFront for education

When the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University -DEOL Office conducted a study on different open-source LMS solutions to deliver education to a wide range of students around the globe – eFront came out on top. They decided that in terms of cost savings and ease of use and control, eFront was the best tool to use in engaging online distance learning.

Here’s what they had to say about implementing eFront:

“Among LMS solutions, eFront takes the lead in terms of integration with the corporate and educational environment. The overall implementation of the JBLFMU – ODL was successful and delivered on time and with beneficial results. The primary benefit is that all online courses provided by the school can now be delivered and accessed by all concerned. Instructors are now more adept at developing digital course content and have learned how to set, mark and record student progress online.” They added, “eFront is professionally supported and designed to last. It is always reliable because someone is regularly available on hand if something does go wrong.”

For more on this customer story, and the successful implementation of eFront for education, check this out!

Podcasting like a pro! (Part 2) – How to edit and publish your podcast recording

So you’ve gone through the steps of creating a podcast series and you have your first recording in hand. It’s now time to edit and publish your podcast for a professional result!

First step is to download Audacity & AoA Audio Extractor, and if you would like to use introductory and closing music you can find links to free resources in this post.

Two things must be done before you begin:

First, use AoA Audio Extractor to extract your file from GoToMeeting (or other recording tool) & convert to “WAV”. Note: if your recording tool allows you to export your file automatically to “WAV” you can skip the first step.

Step 1: Convert your file to “WAV”

  1. Extract ‘video’ files (those obtained from GoToMeeting, i.e. the podcasters recording) & convert to audio using Audio Extractor (AoA)
  2. Click add files, choose file
  3. Output options: check  export “to WAV”

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with Audacity by visiting any of the following

  • Audacity Quick Help (should be installed locally, internet version if it isn’t)
  • Audacity Manual (should be installed locally, internet version if it isn’t)
  • Audacity Wiki (the latest tips, tricks and tutorials, on the internet)
  • Audacity Forum (ask your question directly, on the internet)

Once you have a basic idea of how to navigate Audacity (it’s quite intuitive so if you’re a hands-on person you won’t need much time to get the hang of it) it’s time to ‘organize’ your audio files.

Generally a podcast is composed of the following:

  1. General intro with music [file]
  2. Introducing the speaker [record this in advance]
  3. Speaker’s response to greeting
  4. Host asking 1st question / 2nd  / 3rd / 4th etc. [steps 4 & 5 repeat]
  5. Speaker’s answer
  6. After final answer, Host’s concluding remark [record this in advance]
  7. Speaker’s response to closing remark
  8. Host’s concluding remark [record this in advance]
  9. General closing with music [file]

With this organization in mind, open Audacity and start to import your files. The following approach will take you step-by-step through the process of importing and editing your audio files using Audacity.

Use Audacity to import audio files & edit

  1. Go to  File > Import > Audio > Import WAV file (podcast recording only to start with)
  2. Import Intro WAV
  3. Place the intro where it should be (drag it)
  4. Listen to raw file (recording) and delete (cut) what won’t be included in the final podcast
  5. You can re-record host questions and insert them if you are not happy with recording quality. If doing so cut the questions out of the raw file
  6. If you have imported questions (step 5), insert where they should be
  7. Import closing and insert where it should be
  8. When you’re done with first edit (see below) click: File > Save project as > & copy selected audio into project
  9. Save projects regularly so that you can go back to an earlier edit if you need to

Editing sound quality using Audacity

  • To increase or decrease volume: use mute/ solo
  • To delete background noise: select noise profile (a selected “quiet” part – i.e. a flat line -of the recording that contains ONLY the noise you want to delete) > effect > noise removal > “get noise profile”
  • To apply noise profile to a section of recording (to remove that noise) you must select the whole section and apply profile: effect > noise removal > OK

When finished to save your edited podcast:

  • Go to: File > export either as WAV or MP3

With your edited WAV or MP3 files, you can upload your podcast to your blog and share widely through your social networks!

If you have any questions or podcast recording/editing suggestions please share them with us in comments!

In the meantime, happy podcasting :) ~@rgogos