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Tech in Training

Tech  in  Training

Welcome to ATD Lincoln's source for everything technology in the training profession.  You will find tips, trends, as well as links to websites and resources that anyone who conducts training can use.

Our guest writer is ATD Lincoln Past President Ranelle Maltas.

  • Mon, September 08, 2014 9:41 AM | Deleted user

    Photo by hotblack from morgueFile.com.A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it can also cost nearly as much. Well, it seems like it when you have no budget for it. There are so many times I need a great photo for a presentation, training session, or visual aid. If you know me, you know that "free" is my favorite adjective. Here are some great places to get free images.


    Since I just talked about Creative Commons, let's start there. ccSearch (http://search.creativecommons.org) has more than just images. But you can search images that are free for your use and not restricted with copyright. Be sure to follow the rules and give credit where credit is due.


    A simple image search with Google Images or Bing Images is another great place to start. There is a little more work on your part to ensure you follow the rules and not use anything with a restricted use. Since these searches yield any image on the internet, you have to do the research to find out if you can use the image or not.


    And my new favorite, morgueFile. Take a moment to click their link to find out how it got its name. So why do I like it so much? The photos are amazingly beautiful. You can crop and resize the image before you download. Yep, you read that correctly. Love it! If you register with them, you can like and favorite images to use when you come back to the site.


    Recently I've discovered stockvault.net. Lots of great photos and you can view other photos from the user. Nice search tools, and lots of photos. You can donate, too, it you find something you really like and use.


    Photo by hotblack from morgueFile.com.

  • Tue, July 01, 2014 9:02 AM | Deleted user

    OER or Open Educational Resources are a great thing. Not every organization has the money or the resources to create or purchase all the training they need. Reusing OER can save you time and money. But you must understand that Free is not the same as Open.


    OER are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.*


    CreativeCommons.org is a nonprofit organization that provides free copyright licenses. Let's break down what types of licenses there are and what each one means.


    The Conditions:

    Attribution (BY)

    Others may distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.

    ShareAlike (SA)

    All new works based on yours must also carry the Share Alike condition as well as keep any other conditions you set.

    NonCommercial (NC)

    Cannot be used for commercial use.

    No Derivatives (ND)

    Allows for redistributions as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole.


    The Licenses:


    CC BY

    This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

    Attribution ShareAlike

    CC BY-SA

    This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

    Attribution No Derivatives

    CC BY-ND

    This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.


    CC BY-NC

    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.



    This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.



    This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.


    Whenever you use material licensed by the Creative Commons, you must give the correct attribution (see http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Best_practices_for_attribution). There are four parts:

    1. Title
    2. Author
    3. Source (where did it come from)
    4. License (i.e. CC BY John Doe)


    So now that you know what OER and the Creative Commons license is and you know how to attribute the material, here are some great places you can find OER:


    To learn more about Open Education, read the declaration at http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/read-the-declaration.


    *Dr. Cable Green, director of Global Learning with Creative Commons.

  • Mon, June 02, 2014 9:28 AM | Deleted user

    Not every organization can afford a full-blown LMS (Learning Management System). Sometimes, that's not even what you're looking for. If you have been wanting an online environment to bring together a group to study where you can have discussions, online chat, share files and collaborate, check out the social learning tool ThinkBinder.com. Super simple to setup and super easy to use.


    You'll notice it is designed for study groups of students working on a problem or collaborating in a class. I can see it being used in training in much the same way. For an excellent video demo, check out this.


    A year ago, Echo360 purchased ThinkBinder, but I haven't noticed much change in it. Echo360 is a neat lecture capture program, so it makes sense to bring these two companies together.


  • Wed, March 26, 2014 3:55 PM | Deleted user

    ASTD launched their Trainer's Toolkit app for iOS and Android. I've downloaded it on my Android phone within one minute, I found the next ice-breaker I'm going to use at our next departmental managers' meeting.

    ASTD Trainers Toolkit Home

    You can find activities based on closings, energizers, forming groups or topical openings. You can also find activities based on the group size or time for the activity. After I found an activity I wanted, I could "star" or favorite the exercise. You can also add your own notes and save it with the activity description. You can even add your own activities.


    While the idea is great, I found almost every time I open the app, I am forced to restart it. I tried to use the timer button next to the activity, only to have the app completely freeze my phone so I had to force reboot. It's a little slow in response, but that I can deal with. I'll hold on to the app and hope that updates come that will make it a better experience.

  • Wed, February 05, 2014 9:27 AM | Deleted user

    This month's post has two themes. I cannot separate them into two posts because they are so intertwined. Social media is designed to blended into the learning, not separated from it. First theme: the power of social media and what you can learn from it. Second theme: what we can all learn from the social media backchannel of ASTD TechKnowledge 2014 (ASTDTK14) held January 22-24 in Las Vegas.

    For those attending ASTDTK14, the social media backchannel becomes the hallway conversations. It is the sharing of notes taken in sessions. It is the personal commentary, story-telling and application of what was learned. For those of us not attending, it is hearing the buzzwords and topics that others in our field are talking about. It is the sharing of notes for a session we were not able to attend. It is the personal commentary, story-telling and ideas of how to apply what others learned.

    The following information is from HR Marketer Insight at https://insight.hrmarketer.com/InsightReport/astdTK14/. This made it tons easier for me to go back and catch up on tweets and resources I missed while following the conference via Twitter. Usually I do a hashtag search and find interesting tweets with links to resources and personal blogs and save the shortcut links in a folder. Then I try find people or topics that were frequently retweeted, giving me an idea as to what people found meaningful or insightful. This site saved me a bunch of research by pulling it all together for me.

    So, here it is! From a total of 4,889 tweets, here are the top trending topics and articles from #ASTDTK14. Happy learning!

    Top trending topics linked to from tweets using #astdTK14 hashtag:

    1. mobile learning
    2. gamification
    3. social learning
    4. Social search
    5. learning technologies
    6. assessments
    7. Instructional Design
    8. Learning Technology
    9. digital learning
    10. workplace learning

    Top 10 articles linked to from tweets using #astdTK14 hashtag:

    1. ASTD TechKnowledge 2014 Conference Backchannel: Curated Resources #ASTDTK14 (58 tweets)
    2. Twitter for Learning Professionals - Soup to Nuts: Resources shared at #ASTDTK14 (34 tweets)
    3. Why You Need a PLN, and How to Develop One: Resources Shared at #ASTDTK14 (31 tweets)
    4. 6 Lessons from the Trenches of Digital Learning Game Design at #ASTDTK14 (26 tweets)
    5. #ASTDTK14 Slides and Resources Karl Kapp (24 tweets)
    6. Putting Curation to Work at Your Organization: Curated Resources from #ASTDTK14 (23 tweets)
    7. Four Ways to Make Interactivity Count (20 tweets)
    8. image uploaded by @LearnNuggets (Kevin Thorn) (16 tweets)
    9. ASTD 2014 TK Backchannel (13 tweets)
    10. There were 13 tied for this spot.

    If any of you were able to attend in person, please use the comment section below to share. 

  • Thu, January 09, 2014 3:56 PM | Deleted user

    As trainers, we all know it's hard to get everyone to remember everything they learned in your training class. With so much going on in our lives, we are bombarded with a ton of information and only so much of it can stick. That's why it is recommended for you to follow up with your students after training. Following training, you should touch back with the learns after two days, again after two weeks and finally after two months. Not only is it good customer service, but it's your chance to help them in applying their learning.


    One way to stay in touch is in person. This is my favorite because I'm often time met with chocolate or candy, but with so many people coming through my training, it's nearly impossible to do. I do use email a lot. It allows me to send links to resources they can use and it's not time sensitive. If they are gone on vacation, the email is waiting for them when they return. However, I'm finding more and more that people are not checking email as frequently as before. I know of several of my coworkers that rarely check it and only if they have to.


    A lot of the younger generations (i.e. GenY and especially the Nexters) rely on instant messaging through social media or texting. I do have Facebook and Twitter accounts for my training, but there is the occasion people ask if I could just text them. It's direct and instant. Here is where Remind101.com comes in. Not only is it free (my favorite adjective) but it is so easy to use. My kids' sports coaches use it to stay in touch with kids and parents for canceled games or practices. You send ONE message to everyone on the list. I also know of several of my K-12 teacher friends that are using it for their classes, too.


    First of all, all phone numbers are kept private. You can't see the learners phone numbers and they will never see yours. I love this because I don't want to be fielding phone calls and questions on my off time. Learners sign up by sending a text message or email--easy peasy, right?!  The message is one-way, so learners cannot reply to the message (see two sentences back). You can also schedule texts to be sent at a later date making your time easier to manage. You are limited to only ten classes, but you can rotate people in and out of the classes. It is available on iOS and Android.


    Use this to send quick tips, reminders of how to apply the learning, or tell them of the next level of training that will be offered. So many options! 

  • Mon, December 09, 2013 11:39 AM | Deleted user

    Some days I am not in the creative mood. I love templates I can fill out and tweak. I have templates for my training handouts, for my email reminders, etc. The other day a friend shared an informational digital flyer with me about being safe while shopping online. I loved it! When I found out how easy it was for her to create, I loved it even more.


    Smore.com is free, but you can pay for an upgrade for more options. You can create flyers for events, a business, news bulletin, a class/activity/seminar, or a sales flyer. You can distribute them via social media, email, embed on a web page or use the print option. Not only that, but they also provide analytics so you know how many views your flyer has received. Did I mention they are also mobile-friendly?


    I'd usually spend some time telling you how to use the tool here, but this was SO SIMPLE and walked me through the process so well, it doesn't require any explanation. I created the flyer below in minutes.


    This is one tool I will most certainly use again.



  • Thu, November 14, 2013 3:18 PM | Deleted user
    Thank you sticky note

    Last month, our department performed a SWOT analysis with our entire staff. In order to be sure everyone could attend, we had a couple sessions to choose from. For those that couldn't attend, each person was asked to submit via email their thoughts to be added to the list later. There were a lot of people in each session, so we broke out into multiple groups. We spent two hours in the session I attended. All items were to be consolidated and the results shared with everyone.


    I spent two hours just attending. I can't imagine how much time the facilitator put in. We still haven't seen the results and I've thought of a few more items I wish I could have added later.


    Bored yet? I am. And it's my own department. All I could think of is, "why didn't we do this electronically?" There is a great program called Padlet.com (formally Wallwisher) where you create online walls and people can add their own "sticky notes" to the wall. We could have had four walls for all areas of the SWOT. We could have been given so much time to add our thoughts. We'd be able to view the results instantly.


    At some time in the future, we are supposed to meet and work on goals we'd like to achieve as a results of the sessions. It hasn't happened yet. If our SWOT would have been "flipped" and used Padlet.com (check out en.linoit.com, too) we could have spent our time together working on solutions instead.


    I've used Padlet.com to create my publication schedule for this blog. I'll embed it at the end of this blog post. I created two columns:  Ideas and Done. I keep notes on things I'd like to write about on the left. When I blog it, I move the note from the left to the right and re-label it with the month. Notes can have images, URL links, or webcam pic or video.


    When I am ready to share the wall, I can embed, email, or print. I've got a QR code for the wall. Users can subscribe to changes. You can email or print the wall. Export options include PDF, Excel or a CSV file. AND there are easy share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest, tumblr and LinkedIn.


    Each wall has different privacy settings for Private, Password Protected, Hidden Link (only those with the link, or Totally Public. Also, I can edit the read/write settings, too. If I allow others to post, I can set it for moderation, so I have to approve new posts. What is nice is that I can share the wall with friends and coworkers. When they come across a cool new tool or idea, they are able to post  note in the Ideas section for me to see.


    When developing a new training, I can storyboard the sections and move them around or  in/out of the timeline. Not all ideas can make the cut, but it's a nice visual to see where I'm going to take the training.


    I've seen this used for digital posters, too.


    Lino has apps for iOS and Android. It's has tasks with due dates and all. Lino has more formatting options with note colors and you can rotate or pin notes. You can still share on Facebook or Twitter besides sharing the URL (depending on your public view settings). You can add images, video or attachments, too.


    Both are great. Check them out and find the one that will work best for you in your situation.




  • Mon, October 07, 2013 9:57 AM | Deleted user

    As you know, there are a ton of tools out there. So how do you know which ones are worth the time to look into and use? Most of us depend on the word of mouth from our peers. Back in 2007, Jane Hart started building an annual Top 100 Tools for Learning list based on the contributions of learning professionals worldwide. You can view the alphabetical list from 2007 to present at http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/top-100-tools-2007-2013/.


    It is interesting to see how tools move up and down the list. Some tools are a flash in the pan but others hold steady as reliable tools. Twitter has been #1 for five years running. I agree. This is where I get so much information about what people are using, how they are using it, and the success or failure of it.


    Some tools that used to be popular but have had significant drops recently are wikis (Wikispaces and PBWiki), Delicious, and Google Sites. I admit, I've dropped my Google Site and have not visited my Delicious site in some time.


    Tools on the rise are Dropbox and Skydrive providing cloud file storage and collaboration. Emodo is an educational social networking site that has been rising and holding steady the past five years.


    Tools that have held steady over the years include:  Blogger, Camtasia, Diigo, Evernote, Facebook, iTunes/iTunesU, LinkedIn, Moodle, PowerPoint, Prezi, Screenr, SharePoint, Slideshare, Snagit, Survey Monkey, Udutu, Wikipedia, Word and Yammer. I hope most of these sound familiar to you. There may be some you don't know. If so, it's worth your time to look into them as they have been around for a while and have proven themselves to be worth the investment.


    To view the 2013 Top 100 Tools for Learning, visit



    Jane Hart is an independent adviser on Workplace Learning & Collaboration, and Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Jane has been a speaker at conferences and training around the world. She is the 2013 recipient of the Colin Corder Award for Outstanding Contribution to Learning, presented at the Learning Awards 2013 by the Learning & Performance Institute.

  • Tue, September 03, 2013 12:52 PM | Deleted user

    This is so cool! I just created a course using a string of lessons from Guru Ji on how to use the IF formula in Microsoft Excel. He has a wonderful Facebook page that I follow and a YouTube channel I subscribe to. You can also visit his web site, mylesson.org. Most of the lessons are in multiple parts and sometimes I want to share the entire course together as one. To make it better, I want to add notes to clarify certain areas or I want flash cards to ask questions.


    Here is where I use Teachem.com. Registration is required to create a course, but it's free. You build a course based on a series of videos from YouTube. Use the flashcards to add notes or ask questions. The note will highlight at the time in the video where you typed it. If you ask a question, the viewer just needs to click the turned up corner to "flip" the card over for the answer.


    Learners also have the ability to take their own notes while watching the course using the SmartNote system. SmartNotes and flash cards can be emailed to others and the flashcards can be shared via Twitter or Facebook.


    If you want to view the course I created, click here. I plan on using this fun and easy way to create online learning for so much more. So glad I found this tool!

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