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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, May 02, 2016 10:13 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    Some tools are just too cool and easy, they don't need much training on. I like those tools, especially when they can be SOOOOOO helpful. Tricider is one of those cool tools. Even better than being free (which it is) is that you don't even need to register an account.

    To create the embedded question below, all I did was go to www.tricider.com, type a question and click the Go button. Next, I clicked the link at the bottom to Embed in a blog or website. I copied the html code and pasted it into this blog post.

    OMG, could it be any easier?! Now I can just sit back and wait for the options to come rolling in. I could have easily changed the deadline, shared via email, subscribe to updates, etc. all options available at a simple click of the mouse.

    So how can I use this in training? It's great for assessments and querying knowledge. You can use it to help structure discussions and feedback on the course's topics. If you want to create a training course, but not sure what areas need the most training, use Tricider. I'm just beginning to figure out how I will use it. Please share your ideas in the comments of this blog. I'd love to hear from you.


  • Fri, April 08, 2016 9:53 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    My apologies for the delay in this post, and it's brevity, but Influenza A caught me the end of March and really wiped me out. I had planned to research this one a little more, but I'll let you explore it. I can't remember where I found it, but did you know there is FREE certified training available at Alison.com? OMG!

    If you are a small business with little resources, but you need to train your people in customer service, there is an entire online course for that. There is Business, IT, soft skills, languages, health & safety compliance, and so much more. I'd love to hear back from you to know what you think of their quality as I have not had the time to try it out myself. Did I mention it is free?


  • Tue, March 01, 2016 9:00 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    If you remember last month's post, Up Your Presentations with These Resources, I mentioned a great site for presentation information, https://presentations.zeef.com/tmiket. As I was poking around on the links of this page, I began to discover this is more than just a page full of great resources. It's more like a social bookmarking site. Last March, I wrote a blog post on Visual Bookmarking for Resources where I highlighted Symbaloo.com. This reminds me of something like that, but I love the layout and design. There is also a link to make suggestions back to the page owner for additions. This site is called ZEEF.com, and their vision statement describes what they do best:  All the best resources for development & technology, split up in categorized lists. That’s what you’ll find on ZEEF. Hand-picked by our community members and grown with your suggestions.

    I logged in and created an account. I also created a page full of the resources I've mentioned in this blog through the years. I went to publish and found that it had to be reviewed before it was made public.  A few hours later, I received an email that my page was approved and live. Although I was a little sad how it was reworded to work tools, I'm still glad it's live and active for all of you. It's nice to have the tech tools I've blogged about listed with links all on one page. Well, at least those that are still active. I did find a few from years back that are no longer around. Oh well, that's technology for you!

    Over the past month since I created my page, I've received a few emails whenever someone subscribed to my page. Also, I've received notice when the page I'm following updated/add links on their page. And, just yesterday I received an email letting me know that one of links on my page was broken so I could fix it. I'm so glad I don't have to remember to test my links every so often just to keep them active. I love this feature. I will definitely be adding to this page as I blog about more tools and resources for you.

  • Mon, February 01, 2016 8:30 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    This morning I read a great article about avoiding ten images in your presentation. Unfortunately, the article was named How to avoid 'death by PowerPoint' so I almost skimmed right by it. I'm glad I didn't. I've read and written and presented on this very same topic so many times, it's getting worn out and the message is always the same. However, as I read the article, it mentioned how that phrase is getting overused and hated. I'm glad I stuck with the story. I got some great tips. One thing I'll keep handy is the list of images to avoid. I've seen these same things far too many times and I tune out when they come up in a presentation.

    1. cogs
    2. images of people holding hands around a globe
    3. stacked pebbles
    4. thumbs up
    5. archery targets (with optional arrow)
    6. jigsaw piece being fitted into puzzle
    7. businessperson poised to run a race
    8. handshakes
    9. rosettes
    10. groups of business people staring intently at a monitor

    I encourage you to read the entire article. There really is some great stuff in there.

    After I read and bookmarked this page, I found another resource for presentations at https://presentations.zeef.com/tmiket. There are a ton of resources including lots of great options other than PowerPoint. I have already bookmarked this page, too. I'll be coming back here to check out some of the great resources and see how I can begin to use them.

    Enjoy these great resources!

  • Tue, January 05, 2016 1:07 PM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    Someone gave me a great tip for the new year; don't make resolutions, make goals. Having recently gone through a fantastic leadership program last year, this stuck out for me. A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. A goal is the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. If I don't complete a resolution, it seems like a failure. If I miss a goal, I still succeeded at making an effort. 

    In relation to the trends currently happening in technology and learning, here are my goals for the new year:

    1. THE CLOUD. Box.com, Dropbox.com, Google Docs, Microsoft OneDrive,  Jumpshare.com, or Copy.com offer free and paid solutions. I've already begun to move my files to share to the cloud and it's made my life easier. I provide a simple URL when people ask for a file or folder. If my computer is ever lost or stolen, no worries. Everything is a login away. Depending on the service and your plan, you can even embed files or folders. You can view an example at my site, http://its.unl.edu/itskills/handouts.
    2. WEARABLES. Okay, so this is a tech trend and for myself, I really don't have a good example on using this for training and learning. However, I will make it a goal to learn more to see if there is a use for what I do. If you have an example, please offer it in the comments below.
    3. MOBILE. Everybody tells you to think mobile, but what that really means for you can be interpreted many ways. For some, it means creating a mobile app. For others, it can be ensuring your website can be viewed on a mobile device. Make it a goal to find what options you need to consider and learn more about it. I'm lucky as the mobile option is built into our website templates and our cloud storage has a mobile app already.
    4. ONLINE. It used to be that online training and learning meant a floppy disk (for you old folks) or a CD-ROM. Then came web-based training (WBT) which consisted of watching recorded video tutorials via the web. Now it can also include instructor-led training (ILT). No, it's not face-to-face, but the next best thing. Last year I began to play around with delivering live training via Adobe Connect. I've had a great response. I thought this would be mostly from our outlying campuses and offices, but many people attended from here on the UNL campus. Why? First, no commute time. Whether that means walking or driving (and let’s not even get into the parking thing), it saves them time. Second, weather. No one wants to get out when it's pouring rain or freezing cold. But to get back on track, I'm adding more online training to the schedule this year. Although UNL has a license for Adobe Connect, there are many other options such as Zoom.us, BlueJeans.com, Skype for Business, GoToMeeting and WebEx.com. I've used all of them and they all are great systems. Pick one and try it out.
    5. ANALYTICS. I know this sounds weird as a tech trend, but I've added it anyway. If you haven't found a good way to record and report on what you do, explore the options and find one. Not only does it help you report your worth for what you provide, but it is a great help when forecasting trends for the future. I couldn't put together a training schedule without it. Some systems have reporting built in. I end up downloading data and formatting it in Excel for the answers I need.
    6. OPEN-SOURCE. Look for the options. There are a ton already out there so you don't need to recreate it. Do you have some great training? Share it. Learn more about protecting your work at CreativeCommons.org. If you took the time to view my handouts from goal #1, you'll notice they come with the CC attached. Since I teach technology, you can find a lot of my favorite resources to share at http://its.unl.edu/itskills/learning-demand.
    7. SOCIAL. Social media can be used for so much more than just posting about your day. Create a group in Facebook for new employees, departments or training classes. Make a twitter account to tweet tips, tricks and other things learned. Use Instagram to share new training tidbits. There are a ton of options, so get creative.
    8. HAVE FUN. Okay, so this is not tech related, but it is always a goal of mine. Have fun in your training, have fun in your job, and have fun in your life!

    Please don't try all of these goals all at once. Pick one. Just one, and begin. It doesn't have to be perfect. Make mistakes and make changes. Not all technologies are designed for everyone and every situation. Most important, don't be afraid to fail. Good luck with your new year's goals!

  • Tue, December 01, 2015 8:00 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know my favorite adjective is "free." I love free stuff. I work at a University and for a couple of non-profits, so I'm used to having little to no budget. I search for all things free when possible. So when it comes to the season of giving, I like to give back and share some of my favorite freebies. This year I'm sharing my favorite font sites.

    Before we get into the free stuff, let me start with a fantastic resource I share with my InDesign students. The Font Shop is a beautifully designed website. The have some great fonts for sale and if you have the budget, please shop around. But we're not here just for the font, I want you to check out their Typography Glossary. There may be way more information here than you want, but it defines typography terminology in a really easy way to understand with visuals.

    Typography Glossary

    Now that you have a better understanding of the font and typography terms, let's get into the free stuff. At work, I'm limited to our basic branded fonts, Minion and URW Grotesk. The University paid for these fonts as a part of our branding and your workplace may have the same. However, we are allowed some leeway when it comes to titles or special events. I'm also not restricted in the fonts used for internal training, so I can be creative. That's when I like to pick the perfect font to convey the feeling I want. My "go to" sites include DaFont, 1001fonts, 1001 Free Fonts and Font Squirrel.

    All of these sites categorize fonts into families, which is great when I'm specifically looking for a script, handwritten, holiday, etc. font. There is a lot of cross-over, so the same font can often be found on multiple sites. What is fun about Font Squirrel is the "Matcherator." You upload an image with type you like, and it will match the font to the image.

    Enjoy the free fonts. Thank you for reading my blog and sharing your kind comments. I appreciate hearing from you and knowing someone is reading this besides me. 

    Happy Holidays

    Christmas Card font
  • Fri, November 06, 2015 10:30 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    My apologies for the late post. October was a blur. I did get to attend a great conference the last week of October. I'm not going to share the things I learned, but instead I'll share the technology they used. When I arrived for the conference, I checked in and all they handed my was my name tag. Next, they asked if I had downloaded the program guide app. I had. Everything was in there, a map of the venue, updated schedules, contacts of attendees, session surveys, etc. When there was a room change at the last minute, a notice was pushed through the app. When one of the handouts didn't work, a quick note to the organizers was soon followed by an update and I could then download the handout.

    The app was created using Guidebook. I have found there is a free version (my favorite adjective) and paid versions. I've been playing with it and started to create an app for a conference I'm hosting next year. Next, I started one for a weekend-long reunion next fall. I was having so much fun, I totally forgot to write this post. It is so incredibly easy. No instructions are needed, although they have a great support page. Once you choose the template, you choose and arrange the features (icons) as they would appear on the mobile device. Just click an icon to edit and fill with information. When you are ready, publish it. Please note that once published, you cannot edit the dates of the event, so be sure everything is set in stone before you publish.


    Guidebook provides templates, but you can start from scratch. Here are some of templates and ideas of how you could use them. I can't wait to use this next year!

    CAMPUS

    • Student Handbook - use for a company handbook or job description/handbook
    • Homecoming - use for large company when people come to tour the home facility
    • Career Fair
    • Campus Guide - if you have a large campus, use for new employees to learn to navigate around
    • New Student Orientation - use for new employee orientation

    PLACE

    • Museum
    • Community Center
    • Park or Landmar

    EVENT

    • Music Festival
    • Arts and Crafts Fair
    • Wedding
    • Film Festival
    • Conference and Tradeshow - you don't need an idea for this one, the name says it all

  • Thu, October 01, 2015 9:00 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    Yes, I'm using the internet's catch phrase to get your attention. But, that's what every good presentation should do. We've seen a bazillion PowerPoint presentations and we can pretty much name the template used as soon as it opens. Then, it follows the same linear path, with bullet points, images and charts. Prezi.com gives you another option for presentation.

    Imagine a piece of paper that has an image on it to provide a "big picture" view of an idea. Then you notice a bunch of little bits of text scattered around and on the image. You click and your view zooms in to text about that area. Then you click again, and move to the next concept. Imagine this littered with text, images, graphs and even embedded video.

    Prezi doesn't follow the linear path that PowerPoint or Keynote does. It allows you to zoom in, out and around to better represent your message. You can use a predesigned template if you need some help getting started, or start from a blank canvas.

    Prezi is online and accessible via a web browser, desktop app for Windows or Mac, iPad or iPhone, and Android. If you are presenting face-to-face, you can present full screen. If on a conference call, you can share a link to your presentation. You control the presentation as others watch via the web link. You can also choose to share a link for the viewers to watch and advanced on their own. Prezis can made public for everyone to find and watch, hidden for only those with the URL, or kept private for you only.

    Here is a sample of what you can do. If you want to learn more, come to my session with ATD-Lincoln on October 15th.

  • Wed, September 02, 2015 9:09 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    Broadcast live video to the world. Why, you ask? Because you can.

    Let me start over. There must be a better way to introduce this.

    Imagine I'm on a job site and there is a piece of equipment too big to bring to the classroom. I want to provide training on it, but my class is back in the training room. Using Periscope, I broadcast live video and interact with the learners live via Twitter.

    Was that a better introduction?

    Periscope works with Twitter for you to follow people and watch their live video. If you love the UNL Cornhusker Marching Band, follow their band director/drill writer @DougBush2 for insights into their rehearsals and game day activities. He is a regular user. You can set an alert to know when someone is live on Periscope to watch.

    This is an app you can find in iTunes and the Google Play store. Link it with your Twitter account to tweet when you go live with video. There is a live map for you to click on current video, but you never know what you may see. To send your own video, tap the camera icon, title the broadcast and GO!

    How do you think you could use it?

    Perhaps I'm out of town for a conference and want to recap my day with my team. Maybe I was sent onsite but need help. I can live broadcast to several subject matter experts and ask for their opinion.

    These are just a few scenarios, but I'm sure you can come up with some innovative ways to use Periscope.


  • Mon, August 03, 2015 11:09 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    The other day, one of our student workers and I were in a meeting and he was taking notes "old school" on paper. When we were done, he wanted to share his notes with me, so he took out his phone and took a picture. I was concerned since it was a horrible angle and the light from the window was reflecting on the paper. The picture of the notes he sent was auto corrected, angle adjusted and perfectly readable. WHAT?! I had to know what it was. He told me Office Lens. Best of all, it's free. There it is. My favorite adjective:  FREE. Tell me more.

    Office Lens from Microsoft is available for free for Windows phone, iOS and Android. It will allows you to take a picture of a photo, document or whiteboard and then save it where you want. When taking the picture, it will work to frame the subject as you move. When you have the subject framed, take the picture. It's not perfect, but I've found it far better than others. After taking the photo, you have the opportunity to crop even more if needed. When you're ready, click the Save icon at the bottom. You'll be asked to name the image and where you'd like to save it. You can save it on your phone, or if you want to save it in OneNote or OneDrive you'll need to sign into your Microsoft account if this is the first time.

    I love the option to save to OneNote since I use OneNote for taking notes in meetings and at conferences. I often take a picture of a flip chart or presentation slide since a picture is better than retyping everything. I used to send pictures to OneNote on my phone, but the angle or lighting can be weird and make it hard to read. Office Lens does a great job with the lighting and angle. Also, OneNote has the option to make the text in an image searchable. Just right-click the image in OneNote and click Make Text in Image Searchable. SWEET!

    Now for the big questions, "How can I use this in training?" Easy answer. If you ever do brainstorming sessions or group breakouts, you can use Office Lens to capture the information quickly without retyping everything. HUGE time-saver. Plus, it's so easy to share from your phone or tablet.

    Below are two photos. The first is the picture I took from my phone's camera. The second I took from the same distance, same lighting and same angle using Office Lens. Notice the lighting and angle adjustment to make it more readable? Yeah, it's pretty nice. 

    Phone Photo

    Office Lens Photo

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