Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
April 2, 2003

Power Point Conversion Shoot-Out I don't know why people would want to convert PowerPoint slides to e-learning, but about a dozen products accomplish (more or less) the task, and they were recently subjected to a Brandon Hall shootout. This page describes the contest and - best of all - links to the conversions produced by some of the products so you can see the results for yourself. Since I viewed them on Gaelon, a browser for Linux, I probably viewed results other than the software designers intended. OnPoint put up some blank pages and otherwise was very slow. It alone of the products, though, provided things like notes and discussion. Intellidon was a lot faster, but the navigation was unclear and the images didn't resize to fit my screen. The first time I tried iPresentation it couldn't find any streaming media software and punted me; the second time I tried it wanted me to make a long distance phone call, if you can believe it. Skyscan was very quick but did nothing but show the slides. DazzlerMax didn't scan my browser for plug-ins and simply gave me the unsupported plugin icon. Still, these products are miles ahead of the other six (including Macromedia and Docent) who couldn't be bothered to post their demos for all to see. The URL for this page is not an archive URL (I searched but couldn't find one) so this item will probably disappear (Note to Brandon Hall: place all resources on their own permanent URL - this allows people to link to them and makes the web better for everybody - oh, and give your page a title, too, so I don't have to make one up). By Various Authors, Brandon Hall, February 26, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Terrible Training Tips It's silly and not always helpful, but hey, I read the whole thing without intending to, so you may as well. By Loretta Weiss-Morris, Quick Training Tips, April 1, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

RSS at MSDN The Microsoft Developers' Network (MSDN) has announced the release of a half dozen RSS feeds for developers. Writes the author, "We've already started getting requests for features, like categories. We have lot of work to do on our internal systems to get some of this stuff working the way we want, so please bear with us! We have big plans for using RSS going forward!" The fact that it takes 'a lot of work' to get their systems to support RSS is not encouraging. But hey, it's a step in the right direction. Note to Microsoft people: do NOT create your own Microsoft-only version of RSS. By Tim Ewald, Got Dot Net, March 21, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Frame This! Sad but true... what once passed for communication in e-learning is now drowning under a weight of obscuring verbiage. By Anonymous, After 5, April 3, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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