A relatively quick one today: Cutting corners doesn't save time and it will increase your stress! In a position with responsibility for three dozen project staff and hundreds of active publishing projects, I frequently see attempts to cut corners. It's for a good reason: Delivery dates just can't change and the corporation expects projects to start right now without impacting work already underway. We're lucky in that our PMs are talented and full of good intention; but they aren't made out of time.
A typical restraint on successful digital publishing is the print-first workflow. There's a lot of advice on how to reengineer publishing processes and plenty of opportunity to spend millions on silver-bullet content management systems. But my experience is that an organization is wasting time and money on anything that comes before a change of mind. My advice is start with the basics and break free of the page by first switching to commissioning content, not pages.
When considering opportunities for learning materials, it can be very helpful to consider "learning surfaces" in the classroom. Doing this allows us to abstract away from a focus on "is it print? is it digital?" to something far more important: "What are students and teachers paying attention to?"
Tonight I had a conversation about e-learning tips for editors with a good friend who knows publishing in and out. She's going off to help some international editors get better with 'e' and flattered me by asking my thoughts. During the conversation this idea came out: Learning opportunity = context + learning materials.
The following slideshow supported my presentation at mLearnCon 2012, in San Jose. The purpose of the presentation was to try and develop a frame for inclusion of mobile learning with structured syllabi. I'm a big fan of mLearning but we are still in early days and that means that much of the content one finds is add-on. I think we can do better.
Today The Record, notable northern New Jersey newspaper, featured Limitless Horizons prominently in an article about app entrepreneurs. We're thankful for the help in getting the word out: Apps can be good for education and the field is open to small players with good ideas and clear goals. For us, that means helping kids learn throughout the day using devices they think of as toys.
Today the Wall Street Journal reported that New Jersey, our home state, is suing an educational games publisher for collecting personally identifiable information about their customers. Presumably those customers are kids, making a bad situation worse. Limitless Horizons does not collect personally identifiable information, although it does collect analytics. Here is our plainest explanation of what you can expect for your child's safety with our products.
eBooks are certainly all the rage. Vendors pop up daily to support publishers testing the waters. At TESOL 2012 Pearson raised eyebrows with a (kind of sort of) print bookless booth display. But at the end of the day, learning is not about just books and eBooks are mostly trying to be just books.
Scott Thornbury is one of the world's best English teachers and ESL materials designers. So when he blogs what a good eLearning experience is, one should read up.
Been thinking about eBooks a lot. How to make them, how to align them with publishing processes. Been reviewing a new vendor almost every day.
When trying to communicate findings, three general types have emerged: Flat eBooks, embedded media books, and interactive books. This short post quickly defines these, reviews some options, and shares my own cost expectations. I think it's important because "eBooks" is too big a term-- Ford doesn't talk about "cars", they design coupes, sedans, trucks...
Publishers need to segment eBooks.
At the Turkish Private Schools Association annual symposium in January 2012, I gave a presentation on coordinating mLearning with structured education.
Slides with Turkish translation (if you'd like to help finish translating the last slides, please do!):