Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inspired by the Lectora End-to-end eLearning Solution

This week two of my team members and I attended the Lectora User’s Conference in Cincinnati. (Lectora is an elearning development tool from Trivantis.) It has been a few years since I last attended this conference. It has certainly grown. There was double the number of attendees at this year’s event, which was a bit surprising. The last Lectora conference I attended was held in Las Vegas, a place that certainly offers more to do in the off hours. But it was the tool, not the location that compelled me to return to this event. Before the end of 2010, I purchased a few licenses for Trivantis’s then new release: Lectora Inspire. The Inspire version of Lectora improved on what was already a great tool for authoring elearning by including the ability to launch and use flypaper, Camtasia and Snagit right from inside the software. My team members and I wanted to attend this conference to get ideas from both the folks at Trivantis and the other conference-goers, on how to take advantage of these great new capabilities. We got that and much, much more.

The Trivantis team put together a terrific event that included captivating keynote addresses from Elliott Masie, on key learning trends, and Tim Ferguson, CIO at Northern Kentucky University, on the explosion of mobile learning. Each day, these were followed by practical, informative sessions and workshops on how to use the new tools built into Lectora Inspire.

But the biggest news from the conference was the four announcements from Trivantis:
  1. They’ve entered into an agreement to acquire flypaper, a tool that allows you to add interactivity to your courses by creating flash animations and effects simply, without having to be a flash developer.  This should lead to even more capabilities in future versions of the Lectora tool.
  2. They introduced Snap! by Lectora, a PowerPoint-to-elearning tool to serve the same needs as Articulate and Adobe Presenter at the low cost of $99.  From the looks of it in the demonstration, they are going to give the other guys a run for their money.
  3. They launched WeLearn, a new social eLearning network. They tried something similar a few years ago, but didn’t get much traction with it. WeLearn is a retooled approach that is currently in Beta.
  4. They introduced CourseMill Express, a lower end version of their CourseMill Learning Management System that should be helpful for small businesses that don’t have the funds to invest in a full-blown LMS.
All-in-all, this was quite an event. It gives someone like me, who leads an enterprise team of instructional designers and course developers, a lot to think about. The Lectora line up now creates a strong end-to-end solution with Snap! at one end and Inspire (including flypaper, Snag-it and Camtasia) at the other. I could outfit my team members with the tools they need based on their level, but have them all working across the same platform.

Note:  To read messages from the conference-goers on twitter, search on #2011LUC

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