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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.

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  • Mon, August 02, 2010 9:08 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)
    Need some practice speaking, but don't want the embarrassment of messing up in front of a live audience? Try the Virtual Audience! The Virtual Audience program allows you to practice in a virtual reality performing in front of a living, breathing virtual audience.

    The software runs on the free Adobe AIR runtime environment, so you will need to download that first if you don't already have it installed. You can get it at http://get.adobe.com/air/. Next, download and install and the Virtual Audience for free. You must have a web cam and microphone to use.

    Initially, a member of the music faculty asked to have a DVD with looped video of an audience to give music students a chance to practice in front of an audience that did the distracting things that audiences do, cough, sneeze, whisper, etc. In theory, this would allow the student to be desensitized to audience distractions. This prompted the program's creator, Britt Carr, to make a more interactive version using Flash’s ability to sense user’s movement and sound using a web camera’s lens (as the audience’s eyes) and mic (as their ears).

    It is a pretty cool little program. If you would like to more about the program and how it works, you can read Britt's blog post at http://learningactivities.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/virtual-audience-using-adobe-air/. You can also find the download for the program there as well.

  • Thu, July 01, 2010 9:05 AM | Ranelle Maltas (Administrator)

    On June 15, 2010, Microsoft Office 2010 became available. It seems for the last few updates, Microsoft has treated PowerPoint like the red-headed step child, giving just enough attention, but not really putting a lot into it. This latest upgrade is different.


    There are a lot of general changes and enhancements to all of Microsoft Office 2010, but for the purpose of this article, I’m only going to focus on the specifics of PowerPoint that you, as trainers, would be concerned about.


    Organize your slides into sections

    This new feature does not change your presentation show, but instead allows you to section your slides to allow for easy navigation as you edit. In the Navigation pane (left side of Normal view) you can create section headings that you can collapse and expand to allow you to easily get to the slide you need without all the scrolling up and down.


    Merge and compare presentations

    If you work with others on presentations or just want to compare your new presentation to an old one, you'll love this. You have one presentation open, then click the Compare button and find the other presentation to compare to. Little icons appear where changes occur between the two versions. You can click the icon to see the change.


    Embed, edit, and play video in your presentation

    Videos in your presentations become part of (embedded in) the presentation file. That means when you move your presentation to a flash drive or send in an email, you no longer have to include the video file; it is a part of your presentation. WOO-HOO!!! But wait, there's more... 


    You can trim an audio or video clip in PowerPoint. You can't fully edit, but if you need to knock out the extra bits at the beginning and/or end, you can. You can also place bookmarks at different places in your audio or video clip that will trigger an animation or to jump to a specific location in the video. COOL!


    Link to a video from a website

    For those of you have wanted to show YouTube videos, you can copy the embed code from YouTube and then add it to your presentation. Can I get a, "WOOT WOOT" for that one? That's worth the price of admission right there. 


    Improved Format Painter/New Animation Painter

    If you have used Format Painter to copy and paste formatting between text, you’ll be happy to know it now also will copy and paste formatting shapes/images.

    The Animation Painter allows you to copy animations, similar to how you would use the Format Painter to copy text formatting. 


    New 3-D slide transitions

    You may have heard me preach against using the Random slide transition. It was an option that decided your slide's transition for you. It changed every time and you never knew what you'd get. I've always said it was the worst option ever. Have you noticed I'm using past tense? Yes, it's finally gone and you now have a nice variety of new 3-D options. If you have have ever watched an Apple Keynote presentation, you may have been jealous of the cool transitions. You don't have have to be any more. 


    Turn your presentation into a video

    In the past, if you wanted to share your presentation but not allow anyone to edit it, you had to save it as a .PDF. If you wanted to share it online, your only options were to upload to SlideShare.com or authorSTREAM.com or some like service. Now you can record your presentation as a video for you to email or post on YouTube.com.


    Broadcast your slide show

    Share a slide show with anyone, anywhere, over the Web. You send a link (URL) to your audience, and then everyone you invited watches a synchronized view of your slide show in their browser. There are;, however, some limitations.


    • Anyone with the link to your slide show can view it. If an invited audience member shares the link with someone else, that person can view your slide show as well.
    • You need to be connected to the Internet and logged into your Windows Live account.
    • The broadcast slide show feature can be viewed in the Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari for Mac browsers.
    • Some features are changed when broadcasted online. (Only the Fade transition is used, audio/video cannot be transmitted, no links to websites, no annotations).


    Turn your mouse into a laser pointer

    When you want to emphasize a point on a slide, you can turn your mouse pointer into a laser pointer. All you need to do is while in Slide Show view, hold down CTRL, and click the left mouse button to point.


    There are other neat new features and changes to the customization of the Office button (now called Backstage view), you can also customize the ribbons and so much more. For more details about the changes to Microsoft Office 2010, you can visit http://tinyurl.com/GetStartedOffice2010, or talk to me at a meeting sometime. I'd love to chat with you.


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