Keep Up With Your Twitter Lists (and a whole lot more) in Flipboad

You know about Flipboard right? The super visual, great looking way to keep up on all the things you love and discover other new sources of news and learning? (If not, get over there now and check it out! )  Their iPad app is how I usually browser my Flipboard magazines, but you can call get them on the web at flipboard.com

Right about now, you’re probably wondering what Flipboard does and why you should care? Flipboard aggregates news, images, video, social networking updates, and more in a slick, print style design that gives you an experience similar to having your own personalized magazine rack including your favorite blogs, news, Twitter accounts, etc.

In a nutshell, it’s a visual way of flipping through content from a variety of sources.

One of my favorite tricks for using Flipboard is to create a “magazine” out of a Twitter list.

Add your Twitter list to Flipboard, and it will pull out all the great content and links that get shared through the list. Here is what my PowerPoint list from Twitter looks like:

Web version: 

BLog-FLipboard-TwitterListWeb

iPad version:

BLog-FLipboard-TwitterListIpad

A few other things you might want to plug into and follow via Flipboard include:

Here’s how to add Twitter lists to Flipboard and a few other relevant tutorials.

You can also curate your own content into a custom magazine of your own. Check out what JD Dillon has created and follow his magazine here.

Get started by signing up at https://flipboard.com/ and be sure to give the Flipboard app a test drive.

An ‘Edgee’ Way to Curate & Share Your Best Stuff

I’ve been experimenting with a new online tool called Edgee that is a different type of platform. Think of a cross between visual bookmarks ala Pinterest and a blog. This overview video below, gives you a good idea of how it works.

I like how easy it is to assemble a page around a topic using text blurbs, links, video and other embeddable content from other places like Slideshare, etc.  This works great for curating the best resources around a particulate topic and it has the added benefit of being easy to update. For example, visiting your Edgee page link will always show the most up-to-date content no matter how long after your presentation someone visits.

I have used my recent ATD Techknowledge session on Elearning Portfolio’s as an example to illustrate how it works. [ You can see it here ] I’ve included a brief text intro, my slides and the accompanying handout embedded from Slideshare, links to the articles and tools I want to highlight, and a link to a lot of additional bookmarks on Diigo.

Edgee-Portfolios

If you’re curious check out this one on “How to build an Edgee” and if you like it let me know — I’d love to see what you’re doing with it!

Connecting & Collecting Info the Easy Way

This post was originally published on my weekly tips blog which you can get in your inbox every Friday via email by registering here.

There are a lot of us who at one point or another need to collect information from a number of different people. Traditionally, you send out an email asking for the information you want. Then the ‘fun’ begins…a flood of email replies overwhelm your inbox…at some point you have to take a trip to the copy & paste rodeo so you can consolidate everyone’s answers into a single place so you can make sense of it all.  It is painful and time consuming.

Today, I’ll tell you how you can say good bye to those overloaded inboxes and the copy & paste-apalooza and make the whole process quick and painless. The secret is to use a web form that will automatically collect all the responses for you in a nice, neat spreadsheet. Once you’ve setup your questions all you have to do is sit back and watch the data roll in, while sipping a nice, warm cup of coffee (or whatever drink you prefer). Easy peezy – here are a couple nice, free options.

These online survey tools let other people fill out a form—like a sign-up sheet or questionnaire—where you can see it all in one place online. You can create a survey, send everyone a link and all the responses are compiled for you, automatically in a spreadsheet.

Google Docs Form

1. Go to Google Drive at drive.google.com.

2. In the new Drive, click New in the top left, hover over More, and chooseGoogle Forms.

( In the older version of Drive, click the Create button in the top left, thenForm.)

In the form template that opens, you can add any questions you’d like. You can also organize your form by adding headers and dividing your form into several pages. Learn more about editing your form.

One of my favorite things about Google forms is that you can set it to notify you when people respond.  Choose Tools – > Notification Rulesand select the option that says Notify me when “a user submits a form.” You can also set how frequently you would like to be notified – if you have created a “Contact Me” form, the “email right away” may be a good choice but for mass polls and surveys,  the daily digest option might be a better choice.

See it in action and take this sample form for a test drive

GoogleForm

 

Another good option that works very much the same way as the Google forms, is available using Excel Online.

Excel Online

You’ll need a free Microsoft One Drive account

1. Sign-in to One Drive

2. Near the top of the screen, click Create, and then click Excel survey. You’ll get a form that walks you through creating your survey.

ExcelSurvey

3. Anytime you want to work with your survey to edit or share it, just click the Survey button on the ribbon.

Survey

See it in action and take a sample Excel form for a test drive

ExcelForm

 

The possible uses for these forms is virtually endless:

  • Include the link in your elearning courses to gather questions and comments
  • Use it for event/course sign-ups and registrations
  • Collect email addresses for newsletters
  • Add it to your website to use as a contact form
  • Many,  many more…what are yours?

Get Things Done Faster With This Handy PowerPoint Toolbar

If you’re anything like me,  you love anything that enables you to do things more efficiently. (And who doesn’t like that?) So with that in mind, I’d like to share the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) that I use in PowerPoint.

The QAT is basically your own personalized toolbar that puts all your favorite and most used functions in a single, easy to access place. No more extra clicking to find the right tab or sub-menu!

Another cool thing about them is that you can share them with others. So here is mine. It will give you a big head start and you can always tweak this to suit yourself after you get it.

Go ahead and grab a copy. It takes about 2 seconds to import it and you’re off to the races! If you need instructions for importing this into your PowerPoint set up, you can get them here.

QAT

Download my PowerPoint toolbar

I got my own headstart from Bright Carbon & Tom Kuhlmann

Here are a few other things you may be interested in if you start playing around with your own Quick Access toolbar. Note that this works the same way in other applications including Word, Excel, Articulate Storyline and others.

How to Customize the QAT

How to Create a Customized E-learning Toolbar in Articulate Storyline

20 Free Tools For Creating An Awesome Online Portfolio

Last week at the ATD TechKnowledge conference in Las Vegas, I led a session on tools anyone can use to easily create a great looking portfolio. It went really well with lots of great feedback. We covered options for getting your courses online and 20 free tools ranging from super fast personal landing pages that can be created in minutes up through more powerful, flexible (but still easy to use)  options. Here are the tools and resources I shared.

Build Your Elearning Portfolio: It’s Easier Than You Think!

Standard resumes and cover letters are no longer sufficient if you want to stand out from the crowd. Having a good portfolio has always been important for freelancers, but it’s quickly becoming a must have for anyone in e-learning who hopes to snag the best opportunities that come along, inside your organization or out. Having a portfolio is a great way to showcase your accomplishments, skills, experiences, and personality. A good portfolio highlights your best work, along with personal achievements that can accentuate your abilities and help you successfully market yourself to potential clients or employers. Even if you’re not in the market for a new job, now is the time to build a portfolio that showcases your talents and proves you can actually do what your resume says you can do. Waiting until you need it could be too late. Creating a great looking e-learning portfolio is easier than you think. With more options than ever before, anyone can build an e-learning portfolio that looks like a million bucks.

Grab a copy of the handout: 20 Free Tools For Building Your Portfolio

…or explore additional resources and examples from my shared collection of portfolio bookmarks.

Getting Your Courses Online

If you want to get your course online for others to see, you’ll need to host your published course files on a web server. But don’t worry, there are several free, easy to use options available that will have you and your course up and running in no time.

Articulate Tempshare:

If you’re using Articulate authoring tools Tempshare is the quickest, easiest way to get your courses online. Just publish your project, click the .zip button and then drag your zip file onto the tempshare page. In a few seconds, your project is online and you can share the resulting URL with anyone. You can see a screencast and get more details in this post “Get Your Projects Online with Tempshare

NOTE: The link is only good for 10 days. After that you’ll need to re-upload your project and get a new URL. 

Google Drive

If you’re using other authoring tools or need a longer term solution, Google Drive is a great option.  Google Drive has a web hosting feature, that gives you 15GB of free storage space that you can use to host your online course. For details, check out this article I wrote on the Articulate E-learning Heroes site “How to Share Your E-Learning Course for Free With Google Drive“. It’s super easy!

SCORM.com: 

If you’d like to have some LMS type features, SCORM.com will host your courses although you’ll only get up to 100MB of storage space. Still a great option for access to features normally only available in an LMS and a great tool for testing your content. Sign up for a free account and try it out for yourself.

Dropbox

Check out this screencast on how to use Dropbox for hosting your course.   Signup here for a Dropbox account.
NOTE: Accounts created after October 4, 2012 require the $5 plan for this to work.

Amazon S3

This is definitely the LEAST user friendly option to get started with. But Amazon S3 offers you 5GB, free and is a very inexpensive option if you need a lot of storage space. Learn more and sign-up for a free Amazon S3 account here. 

Nameplate or Personal Landing Pages

These ‘online business card’ sites are great because they’ll give you an online presence within a matter of minutes. They’re very visual and you can choose a template, fill in some details and you’re all set.

about.me

flavors.me

Strikingly.com 

LinkedIn

Almost everyone has a LinkedIn profile, but not everyone realizes how you can add appealing visual content to their profiles. Using LinkedIn’s professional gallery feature can make your profile stand out from the crowd. Learn how to enhance your LinkedIn profile with the professional gallery.

LinkedIn Visualizers 

Infographics are very popular these days and these sites will translate the information from your LinkedIn profile into a great looking infographic/visual resume.

Re.vu

Visualcv.com

Visual Resumes

Another great idea is to show off your own design skills by creating your own visual resume. Once you’ve created your visual resume slides here are several sites that can host them online for you.

Slideshare

Speakerdeck

Office (PowerPoint ) Online

Custom/DIY Options

Evernote:

Create a note including any images, links, etc that you want and then use the sharing option for anyone to view it online. A cool thing about this option is you can update it even after sending the link, which allows you to make corrections, additions, etc without needing to reshare a new link. See the slide deck above for an example.  Get Evernote

Postach.io:

If you’re already collected things for your porfolio in Evernote, postach.io can turn them into a great looking online blog/website format. Just create your note and tag it with “published” to add content to your postach.io site. Check out what it can do at postach.io

Use Your Authoring Tools

Finally, another creative way to show off your skills is to build a portfolio using your authoring tools.

Here is a simple Storyline portfolio example I created.  You can download a copy over on my templates page.

Stephanie Harnett and Bruce Graham have even built their entire websites using Storyline.

Portfolio Websites

There are tons of sites built specifically for the purpose of creating an online portfolio. I’ve kicked the tires on a lot of them and these are a few of my favorites.

behance.net

This is my favorite one of the all. Behance is very complete, gives you some insightful stats and allow you to connect with others by appreciating and following people you like.

krop.com

coroflot.com

carbonmade.com

Website Builders

If you’re looking for a good balance between flexibilty and ease of use without needing any html/css coding skills you might want to consider one of the many website builder tools.

Wix.com

Weebly.com

WordPress

In my opinion, if you have some time to put your portfolio together and you want the best looking, most flexible option you should use a WordPress site. WordPress.com sites are quick and easy to create while offering a wide variety of free design themes that work great for portfolios.

To get an idea of what you can do check out these WordPress sites I’ve created :

Free Skitch Inspired Icon Set

I’m a big fan of Evernote’s screenshot tool, Skitch. If you take many screenshots you should definitely check it out – for a free app it is hard to beat. One of the things I like about it, are the great looking, built in icons. For a recent project, I wanted to use a similar style icon set, but needed more options and sizes that what is available in Skitch. So I created several version in PowerPoint and thought I’d share them in case they’re useful for anyone else.

I used the free Sosa font, but you can use any other font or icon images you want.

SkitchIcons

Feel free to grab a copy of my PowerPoint file and use them for any of your own projects.   |  https://app.box.com/SkitchIcons

Merry Christmas!