Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm moving this blog

After 6.5 years, I'm moving

Wow - I started this blog on October 5th 2002 when I blogged about embarking on my journey towards an MSc in Multimedia Computing! I am stunned - I really had no idea I'd been blogging here for so long. but it's time to leave Blogger and mosey on to WordPress instead. I know. It's a chore, but it has to be done. Besides ... it seems everyone 'in the know' is using WordPress so who am I to argue.

Please update your bookmarks/RSS to the new blog location Thanks!

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Features in Adobe Captivate 4

Tridib Roy Chowdhury has posted an extensive list of Adobe Captivate 4 new features to The Adobe Captivate Blog

  • Productivity, Richness, and Robustness

  • Round-trip PowerPoint workflow - optional linking or embedding

  • Variables and Advanced Actions

  • Text-to-speech functionality

  • Customizable widgets - Flash components

  • Adobe Photoshop layer support- Preserve layers in imported Adobe® Photoshop® (PSD) files.

  • Table of Contents and Aggregator

  • Streamlined workflows and enhanced usability

  • inline editing of text captions

  • project templates

  • design templates

  • panning

  • right-click support

  • drawing tools

  • image editing

  • expanded output options- publish to a PDF as well as AVI

  • Adobe® ActionScript® 3.0 support

  • Improving Efficiency of the ID-SE interaction

  • Air Review app (swf commenting)

  • Single SWF Output

  • Panning while screen recordings

  • Performance and Robustness

Be sure and check out Tridib's blog post for more details of these features and more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Adobe Captivate and eLearning Suite Workflow Demos

adobe has released a couple of workflow demos of the eLearning Suite here. There's also a great video demo posted here by RJ.

Adobe Captivate 4 announced


Adobe announced the release of Captivate 4 today.

Top new features in Adobe Captivate 4

  • SWF commenting
  • Professional project templates
  • Customizable widgets
  • Roundtrip PowerPoint workflow
  • Table of Contents and Aggregator
  • Text-to-speech functionality
  • Variables and Advanced Actions
  • Expanded output options
  • Adobe Photoshop® layer support
  • Streamlined workflows and enhanced usability


Adobe eLearning Suite Announced


Adobe has released the eagerly-awaited eLearning Suite.

Offering seven innovative applications in one complete, integrated package, Adobe eLearning Suite combines full new versions of:

I'll be presenting on my favourite features of this suite at the eLearning Guild's Annual Gathering in Florida March 11-13.

Here's the full press release from Adobe:

"Adobe Introduces New eLearning Suite And Captivate 4 -- Learning Professionals Gain Unmatched Productivity Through Courseware Authoring Tools

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jan. 20, 2009 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Adobe eLearning Suite software, a new content-authoring solution for learning professionals, educators and trainers to create rich learning experiences that can be delivered via the Web, desktop, mobile devices and learning management systems. The new suite boosts productivity by tightly integrating a major new version of Adobe Captivate®, Adobe Flash® CS4, Adobe Dreamweaver® CS4, Adobe Photoshop® CS4 Extended, Adobe Acrobat® Pro, Adobe Presenter 7, Adobe Soundbooth® CS4, Adobe Bridge CS4, Adobe Device Central CS4 as well as eLearning extensions for Adobe Flash® CS4 and Adobe Dreamweaver® CS4.

“The new Adobe eLearning Suite is a unique and highly integrated set of tools designed to help professionals author, enrich, review and publish rich eLearning content all within one environment,” said Naresh Gupta, senior vice president of the Print and Publishing Business Unit at Adobe. “By leveraging different applications and streamlined workflows, learning professionals can be truly innovative and reach learners in new ways anytime, anywhere and through any medium.”

Adobe Captivate 4

Adobe Captivate 4, a new point product release and also the cornerstone of the suite, is the latest version of Adobe’s eLearning software for creating professional eLearning content and courseware that combines simulations, scenario-based training, quizzing, rich media and interactivity. Professionals can take advantage of more than two dozen new features including single SWF file publishing, text-to-speech conversion, a drawing toolbar for simple graphics, enhanced project templates, and round-trip Microsoft® PowerPoint® workflows, which let users import and edit PowerPoint slides with audio and interactivity. Adobe Captivate 4 also preserves Photoshop layers, which can then be animated individually, and supports PDF publishing and Audio Video Interleave (AVI) output for publishing to YouTube™.

With Adobe Captivate Reviewer, a new Adobe® AIR™ application, learning professionals can capture reviewers’ feedback regardless of their operating system and insert comments directly into an Adobe Captivate SWF file, simplifying the review process. Adobe Captivate 4 also enables users to add customizable tables of contents that automatically update as a learner navigates a project. To further boost engagement, learning professionals can use system and custom variables to provide learners with a personalized learning experience. For example, a learner can be prompted to type their name into a blank field in the beginning of the course and Adobe Captivate 4 will automatically personalize upcoming slides with the learner’s name.

Workflow and Integration Benefits

By integrating Adobe’s industry leading content creation tools, the Adobe eLearning Suite presents learning professionals with workflow benefits that are unavailable when purchasing individual products. With the Dreamweaver CS4 CourseBuilder extension, course designers can use Dreamweaver CS4 to directly create HTML-based eLearning modules, complete with assessments, by utilizing standard question types. Using the new Shared Courseware Object Reference (SCORM) packager, designers can also combine Adobe Captivate 4, Flash CS4, Dreamweaver CS4 and Adobe Presenter content into a single course, which further simplifies course creation.

With the inclusion of Soundbooth CS4, learning professionals can easily remove noise from recordings, polish voice-overs, customize music to fit a production and mix multiple clips on several tracks. Course designers can further engage their audiences with powerful visuals created within Photoshop CS4 Extended, which includes added features for editing 3D images and motion-based content. The visuals along with media developed in Adobe Captivate or other components can be easily organized, browsed, viewed and directly placed into Adobe Captivate 4, Photoshop CS4 and Flash CS4 from one central location using Adobe Bridge CS4.

Once content is ready for delivery, users can select one of several standardized output formats, including SWF, HTML, PDF, AVI, and SCORM, enabling easy delivery to the Web, desktop and learning management systems. If course designers don’t have access to a learning management system, the Adobe eLearning Suite allows users to publish directly to Adobe Acrobat® Connect Pro™ (sold separately). Additionally, Adobe Device Central CS4 allows course designers to design, preview, and test content for viewing on more than 600 mobile device screens.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe eLearning Suite and Adobe Captivate 4 are immediately available through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store. Estimated street price for the suite is US$1799 and US$799 for Adobe Captivate 4 as a standalone product. Upgrade and education pricing for both products is available. Both the Adobe eLearning Suite and Adobe Captivate 4 are compatible with Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) and Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1. For more information about the Adobe eLearning Suite visit, for Adobe Captivate 4 visit .

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information – anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

7 Random Things

This morning I was tagged by Brian Dusablon with a difficult task: blog 7 random things about me. And as if that's not hard enough, I've to tag seven other victims friends too. Without my morning coffee, I'm not sure I can even count to seven, so let's see how I do:-

  1. In 1988 I coached the Scottish Ladies Powerlifting Champion in the 60Kg body weight class. She set 4 records on her way to winning. She also competed in the British championship the same year and placed 3rd.
  2. I played clarinet at school, and later in a band while at college in Edinburgh. The band was called Satori and we played covers of Bauhaus, Joy Division, Wedding Present etc. Somehow I didn't realise that we were Goths until years later. And yes - I was very bad at it, but we played several times at La Sorbonne, a very seedy student bar that was THE place to be in 1983/1984.
  3. I emigrated from England to Mississippi in 2004 to marry Amy and start a new life in the steamy, sweaty sauna that is south Mississippi.
  4. I'm a teeny bit of a speed freak. I've driven motorbikes since I was 21. My parents both had motorbikes as teenagers and until after my sister and I were born. I like nothing better than driving around Scottish roads at crazy speeds, dodging sheep and drystone dykes. That's the stone walls at the side of the road ;-) In 1999 I misjudged a corner and slammed into a telephone pole at around 80 miles an hour. Destroyed the bike, but not me, amazingly. 3 months later my sister paid for me and my brother in law to spend the day at Donnongton Park racetrack riding CBR600s at the Ron Haslam Race School. It was my first real ride on a bike following the accident and it was fantastic!
  5. I like all sorts of music aside from country, hard rock and that bland rock music that America has been churning out ad nauseum since the early 70s. My wife bought me an XM radio a few years ago and I was pleased to discover Upop radio, where we can hear all sorts of British, European and World music. I particularly enjoy bad British rock/rap like the Arctic Monkeys. I seem to have grown mellow in my musical tastes over the years. I'm particularly turned on by young ladies who can croon me into relaxation. Who couldn't love Corrine Baily-Rae or Lilly Allen ... OK Lilly has a special sense of humour :-) Sadly Upop got shuffled off of XM-radios lineup recently, so I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms - no new music for me.
  6. Amy and I live on 6.5 acres, out in the country in south Mississippi. We have 20 chickens, 3 goats, 5 dogs, 3 cats and a 2 acre pond full of bream, catfish, turtles and a rumoured alligator.
  7. I all-but stopped reading paper books in 2003 when Amy bought me my first PDA. I discovered that the convenience of being able to carry 2, 3, 30 or 300 books with me all the time, perpetual bookmarking, built-in night illumination and a built-in dictionary far outweigh my lifelong addiction to paper books. I have a 2 Gb library of digital books - around 3500 books - that I am slowly working my way through. I'd guess I've read about 100 digital books a year since 2003, and maybe 3 paper books, not counting tech books.

OK think I might have sneaked in a couple more than 7 actual facts there. Oh well - no one ever accused me of having nothing to say.

I tag:

The Rules:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pockets of Potential

Study outlining the need for a national strategy for mLearning for schoolchildren

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center has released a study into mLearning in schools. It outlines a suggestion for a national mobile learning strategy for the US and includes suggestions for teacher training to ensure that our teachers are equipped with both knowledge and understanding of mobile technologies and usage so that they can best use them to teach our children.

The study is a must read for anyone in the USA who has an interest in mobile learning, whether as a teacher, a parent or developer of training solutions. Click here to read the Pockets of Potential study.