#LSCON keynote Tom Wujec: Return on imagination


The opening keynote of LSCON was interesting. I’m still processing it. Here are some quotes from Tom:

  1. “Pure computer power can mimic natural selection mechanism coming up with a best fit solutions”
  2. “Fostering creativity and innovation will be the role of learning”

What I think that he is telling us is that the way we work and produce in the future will be very different from today. Computers, big data and 3d printers will do a lot of things for us, and they are better at it than we are. As humans we need to focus on creativity and imagination. If this is true we need to educate and train in a very different way. Here is my mind map, but I do have to think on this and read more before I can give a more detailed opinion on this. Conclusion: a great keynote because it really makes me think and wonder on the implications.

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People that inspire me: my 5 eLearning heroes


My elearning heroes

Recently I was doing a presentation on eLearning trends. During that presentation I realized that there are just a handful of people driving fundamental change in eLearning. These are the people who really change our landscape and have a big influence on my working eLearning life. So I decided to share these 5 eLearning heroes with you, so you can plug-in to these sources of inspiration as well.

ELearning Hero #1: Jay Cross

Jay Croos in his famous kethup bottle shirt- by  Ignite Gnomedex 2009

Jay Cross in his famous ketchup bottle shirt- by Ignite Gnomedex 2009

Jay is the guy that coined the term eLearning for the first time in 1998. So he is around already for a while. Not only has he been a driver and an advocate for online learning, but he moved beyond. He is also the person that initiated the informal learning movement. His book Informal learning was at least for me the start Informallearning Jay Crossof that. He writes about informal learning at the informl blog. He is the founder of the internet time alliance, a group (Jay Cross, Jane Hart, Harold Jarche, Clarck Quinn and Charles Jennings) that focuses on workplace learning. together they created the great book ‘The working smarter fieldbook’, that is all about workplace learning. You can buy it as a book but they are constantly changing it, you can follow the changes here. So for me if I’m thinking about someone who inspires me in eLearning, it is Jay in the first place. But there is more. He is also a great person. I met Jay for the first time at the Online Educa Conference. He gave a workshop that I attended and we spoke briefly afterwards and exchanged business cards. In 2010 I became CEO of easygenerator, one of the first things I did was writing a mission and vision statement to give clarity to our direction. I was having a lot of doubts on it and decided to mail it to Jay. To my big surprise he did respond and in great detail, it was more than helpful. I was so impressed. He is not only a great inspiration but also a great person. To get inspired, check out this video where Jay is talking about Informal learning.

ELearning Hero #2: Michael AllenMichael Allen

Michael Allen is also someone who is around for a long time, but as with Jay he doesn’t stick to his old ideas, he is an innovator and a driver for change from the very first start of his carreer (he was the man behind the very first authoring tool ‘Authorware’.)  Michael is also one of the leading alleninstructional designers in the world. He fights against boring and bad eLearning and does that in a very constructive way. He wrote a ton of books, all of them are classics and must reads.  He is the CEO of Allen interactions, in my mind one of the leading instructional design firms. His book ‘Michael Allen’s guide to e-Learning’ will cover all the basics on eLearning for you but  I can recommend reading all his other books on instructional design as well. But there is more to Michael. His fight against boring and bad e-Learning. He is one of the instigators of the Serious eLearning manifesto but he is also the founder samof ZebraZaps. ZebraZaps is a tool that will enable you to create all kind of interactive elements for your eLearning, and it is one of the truly innovative tools out there. There is nothing like it. But that is not all. He is also the one that made agile e-Learning development main stream with his book Leaving ADDIE for SAM.  ADDIE is the ‘old’ approach of building eLearning through the so called waterfall model, Sam use agile principles that come out of the world of software development.  And as with all his books it is very practical, it is not just theory, but he shares a lot of practical stuff based on his vast experience. I wrote a book review on this one. Read this interview with Michael Allen, it is a great way to get to know him and his ideas better and to get inspired by him.

ELearning Hero #3: Cathy Moorecathy moore

Cathy Moore is the only one of my heroes that I haven’t met in person, but that does not mean that she inspires me less. As Michael she is an instructional designer that fights boring eLearning. But with a very different approach. Cathy came up with the action mapping approach back in 2008. The approach is very simple but has a huge impact on learning and my thinking about learning. There are four principles:

  1. Identify the business goal
  2. Identify what people need to do (instead of need to know), translate them into actions
  3. Design a (real world) activity for each action that help people practice each behavior
  4. Identify what people really (really?) need to know, add that information

action-mappingThe first big thing is that she connects learning to the business goals, and with that she helps to integrate learning into the business. The second thing is that she points out that learning is about changing behavior, it is about what people do, not what they know. Also a game changer. I wrote several blogs on her ideas because her ideas may have the most direct impact on my work. To get inspired check the action mapping blog and read this interview with Cathy.

ELearning Hero #4: Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredsonmosher-gottfredson

I could not decide between them, so I marked them as hero #4 together. They do work at the same company together as well. Our eLearning world is changing rapidly, Workplace learning, retention, performance support and more are all developments that have a big impact on eLearning now and in the near future. It is a real Performance supportstruggle to juggle all these balls. Bob and Conrad came up with a very comprehensive approach that combines all these things and gives you clear guidance in how to make that work. I attended last year a session by them at the Learning Solutions conference that was really an eye opener for me. The have a solution for the ‘Forgetting curve, and they found a way to give you guidance in workplace support as well with their 5 moments of learning needs. I wrote about their ideas Performer support logoseveral times in this blog so check that out for more detail. To make it even more practical they run the performance support community. The best way to get inspired by them is to join that community. It is by invitation only. If you want in, drop me an email @ mail@kasperspiro.com and I will invite you to this community.

ELearning Hero #5: Aaron SilverAaron

Aaron is probably the least famous person of this list, but he is very likely the guy that will have the biggest impact on learning for the next decade. Aaron is the driving force behind TinCan, now

tincan

called the XAPI. For more than a decade eLearning was confined in the bounderies of your LMS. We needed (outdated) standards to run our course in a LMS and track results from our learners. To make things worse we also had competitive standards (Scorm and AICC). Aaron is the guy that changed all that. XAPI is a real revolution for learning. First of all it is about tracking and tracing experiences not just formal learning outcomes, that is a big one. The second thing is that it xapiallows tracking and tracing from anywhere (also mobile devices). Freeing us from the tight boundaries of the LMS and opening up a whole new range of possibilities. Third is that it is personal, you can track and trace your experiences and you can decide what or when to capture. It opens up the possibility to build a personal learning and development portfolio, and a lot more. In fact it is so new, that we all still struggle to wrap our headS around it and come up with applications that use XAPI to its full potential. On top of that he also managed that both SCORM and IACC will merge into a new standard CMI5, based on XAPI. It will enable the tracking and tracing of formal learning in a unified way as well, with all the benefits of this new open standard. Get inspired by Aaron and read this interview with him.

Shocking outcomes from ATD research on Instructional design


The ATD published a report on Instructional design: “Instructional design now: a new age of learning and beyond”. They did a survey among 1120 learning professionals. I find outcomes of this report shocking. For 92% the most popular tool is traditional classroom training, and only 38% believes that they meet their learners needs. Here is their info-graphic.

Instructional_Design-Infographic

Info-graphic by ATD on report: instructional design now

Some more detail from the report:

Top 10 approaches in Learning:

  1. 92% – Traditional classroom instruction
  2. 77% – Assessments
  3. 70% – LMS
  4. 70% – Blended learning
  5. 69% – In person coaching
  6. 66% – Structured on the job training
  7. 65% – Courseware authoring tools
  8. 65% – Synchronous learning systems
  9. 63% – In-person mentoring
  10. 61% – Asynchronous learning systems

All this is really old school stuff. No social learning, no informal learning, nothing about connecting learning to the business. 35% does not even use an authoring tool at all. Are the still using pen and paper? I knew that the Instructional Design community is not the most innovative community, but I was unpleasantly surprised with these outcomes.

Challenges
Another interesting list is the challenges instructional designers face.
At number 1: 41% of the respondents indicates that the lack of leader support is their main challenge. Another clear sign that learning is still not integrated at all in the business side.
Number 2 is lack of skills and competencies (40%), a shocking 40% believes that the are not able to do their job in a proper way! There probably is a relation with the fact that 38% doesn’t have any qualification in eLearning or instructional design at all.
Funding, measuring of effectiveness, technologies and keeping up with developments are among the other top 10 challenges. But number 10 is really interesting again: 16% of the respondents indicates they are challenged by the loss of control due to the success of informal learning. This indicates to me that informal learning is happening despite the L&D department and that they see it as a threat, instead of an opportunity they should embrace.

But the most shocking figure for me was that 38% of respondents believes that they meet their users needs. This means that 62% believes that they are not doing a good job. Meeting the learners needs is a basic requirement. Improving their skills and behavior so that can contribute more to the business goals is the real goal. It does say in the report that almost half of the respondents do believe that they have a positive impact on business goals. But that still means that almost 70 of the respondents believe that what they do is of no importance to their organization! And more than 50% believes that what they does not have any impact on their organizations goals.

I gave my summary post after the last DevLearn conference in Las Vegas the title ‘The gap is widening, we are in a crisis‘. The reason for that was that I noticed an increasing distance between the speakers at the conference and the audience. I did have some doubts about that title. I thought that maybe I was exaggerating it a bit. But after this report I would say:

The canyon is widening: We are in a crisis!

You can download the white paper or book at the ATD (The white paper is free for members, $ 19.99 for non members)

Preview of the Learning Solutions and the Learning Performance Ecosystem conferences


Next week I will be attending the Learning Solutions conference and the co-located Learning Performance Ecosystem conference. I have checked out the conference program for you so you can see if there is anything of interest for you. This is hopefully helpful if you are attending, but if you do not go to Orlando there are many ways to tap into the rich conference resources. I have listed them as well.

Shared keynotes of LSCON and ECOcon

Both events are being held in the same hotel. They have separate sessions but they share the keynotes. As always there are three:

Tom Wujec – Return on imagination
Tom Wujec will open the conference with a keynote about innovation in Fortune 100 companies. he promises that I “will learn from proven approaches that encourage exploration, engagement, prototyping, and innovation testing.” We will see.

Michael Furdyk – The future of learning at work
This is about workplace learning, how to use available devices and techniques and social media to engage learner in their workplace.

Juliette Lamontagne – Design Thinking to enhance learning
A keynote about design thinking, learning innovation and solving real world problems.

I’m curious to see what they will bring. The descriptions are not a guarantee for great keynotes. I do not know any of them. But Learning Solutions has a great track record for great keynotes, so I do hope that they will surprise and inspire me.

Learning solutions conference March 25 -27, Orlando

This years theme is ‘The convergence of technology and training’. There are three featured panels:ls15-logo

  1. The power of community in the new social workplace
  2. The importance of adding performance support to the mix
  3. Bridging the gender gap

All panels have interesting panel members. From Jane Bozarth to JD Dillon. I attended a session of JD Dillon last year at Devlearn (see my session report) , that was really inspiring. I’m looking forward to these sessions.

Morning Buzz sessions
Morning buzz sessions are great. You gather with your coffee with a group of people and discuss a certain topic. Great way to start the day, although they are really early.

LSCON concurrent sessions
As always the conference starts for me already at home. I download the app (LSCON) and start selecting potential sessions that I want to attend. There are a lot of design and instructional design sessions available this year and a lot of them are dealing with gamification, ans responsive (mobile) design. Other repeating topics are agile, XAPI, SMe’s as authors and curation. Quit surprisingly hardly any workplace learning sessions. I have selected 4 or 5 sessions for some time slots. So the conclusion is that I will have a good time and learn a lot, but I also have to make some difficult choices.

Learning Performance Ecosystem March 25 -27, Orlando

This years theme is ‘Building connections that matter’. There is a super session by keynote Tom Wujec. He will help us toeco15_600 visualize and contextualize your organization’s Learning and Performance Ecosystem. There is also a featured session by Marc Rosenberg and Steve Foreman. Their session has the same title as the white paper the wrote for the eLearning guild, so I’m not sure if the session will add a lot of added value.

Ecocon concurrent sessions

There are about 20 concurrent sessions, a lot with case studies. I have to dive in deeper to see what is really interestingand what not. It is clear that in combination with LSCON there are plenty of choices.

Places to go

Preparing for these conference is fun and necessary if you want to get the most out of it. But even if you are not going to attend you can still follow the conference.

Backchannels
David Kelly will host the back channels for both events (LScon back channel and Ecocon back channel). They are a great way to get a quick overview of what is happening and pick out the most interesting posts from the conference.

Twitter
Follow all tweets and join the conversation via Twitter. Use and follow the hash tags  #LScon and #Ecocon

The websites
The full program with all keynotes and sessions is the for both LSCON en ECOCON

The apps
There are apps for both conferences. A must have if you go, a nice to have if you stay at home and follow. For LSCON search the app stores for ‘LScon’ and ‘Ecosystem 2015′

This blog
I will try to report on every session I attend in this blog. So stay tuned in.

A week of working and Learning in Ukraine


This week I visited Ukraine because the easygenerator development team is located in Zhytomyr (Ukraine). I have been working there but also gained new insights on the situation the country and the history.  I thought I should share these experiences with you.

The situation in Ukraine

I have visited Ukraine on average 3 times a year over the past 4,5 years. So I know that life there is very different from my life in The Netherlands. The Soviet history, the corruption, the division in the country all makes living there much more difficult than it is in my save and well-organized homeland. But with the war the situation is deteriorating even in the parts that are far away from the conflict zone.

Getting drafted

In our team we have a lot of young men, they all are at risk to get drafted into the army. Imagine that you as a 26-year-old software developer suddenly have to fight against the Russian army. But next to this uncertainty there is more. The history of Russia and Ukraine is tightly intertwined. In the recent history Ukraine has been part of the Soviet Union for a long period, basically making it to one land. This means that a lot of people have relatives living across the border in Russia. Fighting in the east can mean fighting against your own family!

History

What I learned during this visit is that the history of the two countries is different from what I thought. It is not just that Ukraine and Russia have a shared history. In fact Russia originates from Ukriane. Cities in Ukraine like Zhytomyr and Kiev are older than Moscow. Moscow was founded by Yuri Dolgorukiy who was an Ukrainian Prince that reigned Kiev in the 12th century. So Russia originated from Ukraine some 850 years ago. I didn’t know that and it does place the conflict for me in e new perspective. Making it clear that it is the war of politicians like Putin and local men who want to gain power, influence and wealth. It is not the war of the Ukrainian people. Although propaganda tries to turn it into that.

Economics

The other thing is that the war has a big impact on the Ukrainian economy. The worst effect is that the currency the Hrivna has devalued dramatically. Last year 100 Hrivna was worth 10 euro, now just 4. And the fall against the dollar is even more dramatic. It means all imported goods have more than doubled in price (energy, food, cars and much more). It also means that an average teachers salary now is the equivalent of $100. People are really struggling to survive in this economic situation.

Presenting at at Zhytomyr state university

I had the honor to give a presentation at Zhytomyr state university about eLearning trends. I enjoyed doing it.

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My colleagues Oleksandra and Olga who translated my presentation live into Russian

The lecture hall where I presented

The lecture hall where I presented

But at the same time it is a strange idea that you are presenting on a topic like eLearning in a country where there is a war going on and people are struggling to make ends meet (most of the people in the audience are teachers). On top of that eLearning in Ukraine is hardly developed, there is a huge gap with the developments in the European Union and the US. It really made me realize how privileged I am.

Working with my team

I have been working intensely with the development team during the week.  And I’m so proud of them. Despite everything that is happening in Ukraine they are not only working but they are improving all the time. Both quality and productivity has gone up significantly over the past months. In the period of a year and a half they have created a tool that already stands out from a lot of other authoring tools. During the past week we made plans to bring out a large number of additions, improvements and innovations over the next half-year. I will not go into detail now, but if you are one of the more than 8.000 users of our eLearning software you might appreciate their effort maybe a little extra.

Even bigger contrast

Next week I will be in Orlando USA, close to downtown Disney to visit the 2015 Learning Solution conference. The contrast will be even bigger. I do have a strange but interesting life. I will blog from the conference every day.

Looking for information on eLearning? Here are my favorite 8 places


After the post that I wrote on how to find copyright free images I got a number of requests to also share other eLearning sources that I use. Places that get you started in eLearning or will give you more detailed information. Websites that have independent information on eLearning, tools, communities, things like that. So out of the thousands of places to go, here is my top 8. Click on the separate logo’s if you want to check them out.

Elearning sources

1. eLearninglearningelearninglearning

If you want to find the latest post on any eLearning related topic, this is the place to go. ELearningLearning is an aggregator, this means that they automatically collect posts on eLearning for you from selected eLearning blogs around the world (including this one). You can search the side on any topic or keyword and they have a list with most popular posts (based on reads and social interaction). If you subscribe (it is free) you will get a weekly overview in your mail. It is a goldmine and an easy way to keep up or to get started.

2. ELearning industrydownload

ELearningindustry has developed itself over the past two years as one of the major places to get info about eLearning. And it is free. They have a lot of articles published by themselves (and external authors like me), they have very active LinkedIn groups and they also have elearning feeds where they collect blog posts on eLearning. This is also a great entrance point if you are looking for post on certain topics.

3. Performer support communityPerformer support logo

A real cool community that takes it to the next level. It is not just about eLearning but about how to support workers in their moment of learning needs, so it is not about education but about workplace learning. Best community of its kind. It is by invitation only. If you want to become a member, just let me know (mail@kasperspiro.com). I can invite you.

4. David KellyDavid

You will find the eLearning Guild and the ATD at number 7 and 8 on this list. Not because they don’t give great information but because you have to become a paying member to benefit from their services. Both of them offer great conferences as well. David is the master of the back channels. Collecting post on keynotes, session reports and conference overviews, and putting them for each conference on a single page. It is the next best thing to being there live.

5. Jane Hart jane hart

Jane Hart with her center for Learning & Performance Technologies has earned her place on the list. Jane focuses a lot on workplace learning and has great info on her website, but she is most famous for her Top 100 tools for Learning. If you are looking for a tool, you should check out her list. And you will find easygenerator on the list as well.

learning theories6. Learning theories

A great side if you want to get an introduction in learning theories. They have a very rich overview of all (e)learning theories. You will find an overview of the main streams (from behaviorism to humanism) with a description and for each stream they have more details on a number of the primary thinkers. If you want to expand your knowledge in eLearning, this is a great way to start.

7. The eLearning guildguild

Probably my favorite place to get info on eLearning, it is a community for eLearning professionals. They have some free access, but to get to the interesting downloads you should become a member ($99 per year). They have reports, conferences, blogs, online sessions and a true eLearning community and of course the Learning Solutions Magazine which has often great articles and is free. I attend many of their conferences and I always report on them through this blog. I will visit the Learning Solutions conference this month en blog about it.

8. ATDdownload (1)

The ATD focuses on learning and development and not solely on eLearning. It requires a paid membership as well. They also have local chapters all over the world, this will give you an opportunity to connect to people in your area!. A huge amount of info, also conferences and more.

 

3 practical tips that will make your eLearning course more effective


More and more people with no eLearning background are creating eLearning. I see the result of their work every day. I found that there are three simple things that will make the eLearning courses more effective:

  1. Have a clear goal
  2. Define proper learning objectives
  3. Do things in the right order

The wrong way to start creating an eLearning course

Many people who start creating eLearning for the first time start with a presentation in mind, and that is the wrong way to start. An eLearning course is very different from a (PowerPoint) presentation. Here is how you should do it.

1. Have a clear goal

Before you start with eLearning you need a well-defined goal for your eLearning course or quiz. Also remember that your eLearning course will probably not be the only thing you do, maybe you will combine it with a face-to-face meeting, maybe you will put a video online. All these things will help you to reach your goal, but every separate element will have its own specific objective. Make sure you have your overall goal clear and the separate objectives of separate element (course, quiz, classroom session, video, blog) that you will create.

2. Define proper learning objectives

When you have defined your objective for the e-Learning part of the goal you should work this out in more detail. This leads often to more than one learning objective. Defining learning objectives can be hard. But there is help and that help is called Blooms taxonomy. The taxonomy divides learning into 6 different levels, so the first step to take is to  determine the level (or levels) you want to reach with your goal:

Levels of learning

1.      Remember Students can use knowledge and facts from long term memory.
2.      Understand Students can make sense of what has been learned.
3.      Apply Students can use new knowledge or information in a similar situation.
4.      Analyse Students can break down knowledge to see how it all relates.
5.      Evaluate Students are able to judge based on standards.
6.      Create Students can use what was learned and create something new.

If you break down the learning objectives you will find that there are always the same six elements present.

lo

You need to define all six of them to make a good learning objective. The nice thing is that there is a range of verbs connected to each level of Blooms. For the remember level you have verbs like define, describe, state and many more. You will find that choosing a level of learning and then choosing a verb will help you greatly in creating your objective. To make it even easier, we put these levels and the verbs in a free tool. We call it the learning objective maker and it is available for everybody that wants to create a learning objective based on Bloom’s taxonomy.

Here is an example of the result of the tool:

lo2

3. Do things in the right order

The last thing for a proper start is not to start writing content. Here is the proper order:

  1. Create your learning objective
  2. Create questions that will assess this objective
  3. Create content that will help the learner answer this questions.

Try it out, it really help. Remember, less is more, so only add the content that is really to help the learner answer a question. If you want more detail and instruction on this. I have created an eLearning course on this topic feel free to take it.

Sell your eLearning course? Here are three options


More and more people are creating eLearning and for very different purposes. Making money with them is often one. This post will tell you how to do that.

coins

Create your eLearning courses and sell them

Some of the services offer an authoring facility, for other you need to create your course in eLearning software like Easygenerator. Notice that some of them will require you to upload your courses in a specific format (Scorm or AICC). So make your choice for a selling platform and check the upload requirements. If this is a specific format, make sure that your authoring tool supports that format.

Open sesame

Open sesame is a marketplace for eLearning courses. They have a nice option for buyers of a course to run your courses in their own Learning management system. You have to create courses in an external authoring tool and then upload it (In SCORM or AICC). They don’t charge anything upfront, but will take 40% of your revenue. More info: Opensesame 

Skillshare

Upload your course and share or sell it. Nice feature where you students can upload material to your project. Skillshare will take 30% of your revenue.  More info: Skillshare

Udemy

Udemy offers the same services as Skilshare and Open Sesame, but it has a build in authoring environment. Easy to start, but they will take a 50% cut of your revenue. More info: Udemy

More

I know that there are some more services. You can create your own website for example with wordpress and a plugin that will help you sell your course. The advantage is that you don’t have any revenue sharing, but you also miss out on the marketing of the three I put in the list. They generate a lot of traffic for you that will help you sell more courses. So your own website is only an option if you figure out the marketing.

Do you know other services and know how they work from first hand experience? Let me know. I will add them to the list. Leave a reply with the info or post them at twitter to @kasperspiro

How to find free images and other resources without copyright restrictions


Finding good illustrations and other resources is a challenge and the question always is: Am I allowed to use this resource? When you find a resource trough a search engine it may appear to be free of copyrights, but very often it isn’t. This post contains a short description on the rules of copyright and a list of websites with resources that you are allowed to use.

Rules for copyright

The save way is to ask the creator for permission to republish his work. If you use work without permission you might be infringing on the copyrights. There is a ‘fair use’ rule. You are allowed to quote or use small parts of the work with the proper attributes, without asking permission or infringing on the copyrights. But that is for non-commercial usage only. The moment you have a commercial goal, the fair use rule does not apply. Barbara Waxer added these instructions:

  • Attribution placement:
    • Preferred placement is with the content, but at the end is also acceptable. Just be sure to indicate clearly, such as in the example you list above: Figure X, Large and small tomato, by Friedrich Haag CC-BY-SA. You must also include links in that info to the image, author’s website (if different), and to the specific license at Creative Commons, respectively.
  • Including the name:
    • Attribution is always required for CC-licensed work, so never skip this one! Ever. Absent any other info that accompanies the content, it’s good to assume that however the author appears is how he or she wants to be listed.
  • Using media in an online course can get tricky. For example, remember that when CC-SA content, you must distribute what you create under that Share Alike license.

Creative common (CC) and GNU licenses

cc

Creative Commons is an organization which supports free and open content. It enables a creator (of images, courses, music, videos) to get registered as the owner/creator of the resource but at the same time grants other people the right to use this resource. If you create something you can add a CC license (there are several options), allowing others to reuse your work (of course with proper attributes to you the creator). This also means that if you find CC licensed resources through a search engine, you know that you are allowed to use that. This blog is published under CC, as you can see in the side bar. A Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This license means you are allowed to use, reuse, change and share all the information in this blog, as long as you recognize me as the author. Another license is the GNU license, that is mostly used for software but also other resources like images and videos. Work under GNU license may be reused, shared and changed, so that is save as well. Before you use any image, audio, video or text file, make sure you are allowed to use it and always attribute the creator.

My list of websites with free images, sounds and videos

Brainy Betty A website with free resources images, sounds, backgrounds. Mostly focused on PowerPoint users but also usable for eLearning
Death to the stock photo A service created by two photographers. You can signup for free and you will get a pack of free photos in your email every month. If you sign up for a premium account ($10 per month), you will get access to the full database.
http://allthefreestock.com A website with links to other free stock photo and video websites.
http://www.freeimages.com/ This is a search engine for free stock photos. All your searches will give paid results at the top, but if you scroll down you will find the free ones.
http://www.morguefile.com/ A ton of free stock photos. Clear description if there are limitations on the usage.
http://www.stockvault.net/ Does contain free images, but also a lot of images that you have to pay for.
Xpert attribution A website with images, audio and video most of them under CC license. It has a nice feature to embed the attribute into the images.
http://www.vectorportal.com/ A website with free images (no photos)
https://commons.wikimedia.org The wiki of the CC organization with lots of free images, sounds and videos.
pixabay Free photos. Some them have watermarks of commercial stock photo websites. But there are plenty without that you can use for free
Getty images Free and paid images. it has an option to only search on free images. I found that that filter doesn’t always work.
Flickr You do need a Yahoo account for this one, but it offers the option to filter on creative common resources.
1001freefonts It is what is says, a 1001 free fonts for you to use
They claim over 30 million copyright free images and vectors
splitshire Stock photo’s for personal and commercial use
stokpic Same here!
Wallpapers, photo’s and images

I got a lot of responses on this post. Some people are suggesting other websites for copyright free images and other resources. If you have suggestions, please add a comment with these websites or tweet me  @kasperspiro. I will add them to the list.

A great tip from Margie Shiels: If you use Google (or Bing) for an images search, it is possible to filter your results by usage rights.

  1. Use the Images search in Google
  2. Click Search Tools above your results list
  3. You’ll see a Usage Rights drop down where you can select a number of variations (labeled for reuse, labeled for noncommercial reuse, etc.).

Teachers and trainers: Use eLearning to flip your classroom and take it one step further


If you ‘flip your classroom‘ you reverse the lecture and homework elements of a lesson: lecture at home and do homework at school. The idea is that you replace instruction by a video or an e-learning course. This gives the student the opportunity to apply his knowledge under supervision of their teacher. This is the advantage of the flipped classroom. In this blog I will explain what the flipped classroom is and how you can start flipping your own classroom. But I will also show you how flipping your classroom together with the right use of eLearning tools can increase the retention significantly. You will see that technical skills or a large budget are no longer a requirement to make this happen. Everybody can flip his classroom now. I believe all teachers and trainers who do face-to-face lessons or training should at least consider this option.

Flip your classroom?

The ‘old school’ method is preparing at home (hopefully), the classroom lecture, and an assignment at home.

Flipped classroon - traditionalWith the flipped classroom you switch the lecture and the homework. Originally the flipped classroom idea was done very simple. You record a video of your lecture and the students watch this at home. This frees up time in your class, so you can spent time on assignments that focus on the higher levels of learning.

Flipped classroonThere is one big problem with flipping the classroom. A lecture that only has as a goal to transfer knowledge is not very effective and the same goes for a video of such a lecture. You know as a teacher or trainer that there is more to knowledge transfer. So there is room for improvement

Use e-Learning to flip your classroom!

eLearning gives you the ability to raise the level of the home lecture. A course with video and quizzes will be much more effective than just a video recording of you explaining something. Creating eLearning used to be technically challenging and expensive, but that is in the past. You now have elearning software like easygenerator that you can use. You don’t need any training, you don’t need to code anything. It is simple, intuitive and not expensive (there is even a free version). eLearning will not only raise the level of the home lecture it will also give you tracking and tracing. You can see how much time your students have spent and how they did. That is a nice check before class but even more important is that it will give you insight which elements they are struggling with. That is important information in the preparation of your face-to-face lesson.

Use e-Learning to increase retention

You probably have heard about the forgetting curve. In order to protect itself from overload, the brain will forget the majority of the information that is receives.

theforgettingcurve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image from: http://www.mentormegate.com/wordpress/2014/06/10/mentor-me-gate-the-forgetting-curve/)

In order to prevent this you need to repeat things, they more you repeat the better it will stick. Just plain repetition is one thing, but the retention will increase significantly if your brain has to process the information, if you have to think on it. Flipping the classroom in itself already offers a big advantage here, you have time to make your student think in the classroom, because you don’t have to lecture. But you can do better.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Repetition is the way to go, but if you just repeat the same thing over and over, it will be boring. eLearning allows you to follow-up the lesson with a whole series of small courses (learning nuggets or learning snacks) and quizzes. You can offer the content over a period of time, so you repeat it, but you change the form all the time. From video, to a question, to a learning nugget, a small case, to an assignment. This will have a huge effect on the retention, you can increase it from 30% to 80 er even 90%. This is a form of spaced learning, where you spread out the learning over time with the right repetition (repeat something at least three times).

 

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