FREE eBook: eLearning 101 – concepts, trends, applications

ebook-banner-4The team at eFront and TalentLMS have got together to create a FREE elearning eBook to download on everything anyone needed to know about elearning! This eLearning 101’ book covers all important and relevant concepts, trends and applications of elearning.

People new to elearning will appreciate the first chapters which define elearning, describe best practices, goes over the basics on learning platforms, and online courses – how to make elearning effective and the tools that help you to do so.

Those more familiar with the basic concepts will find a wealth of information on current elearning trends which shape and define eLearning now, and in the near and distant future. Topics covered include: social and collaborative learning, blended learning, gamification, micro-learning, video learning, rapid elearning, personalization and elearning, and continuous learning.

Final chapters explore applications of elearning in customer service, sales training, safety training, customer training, IT training, healthcare training and product training.

This eBook will be updated from time to time so if you have any suggestions for chapters you’d like to see please do let us know! And happy reading! :)

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE EBOOK COPY

Top 10 Free and Open Source eLearning Projects to Watch for 2012

Nowadays small and medium size organizations (SMEs), educational institutions, and independent consultants struggle to adopt an expensive eLearning solution. This is why I created the following list with the Top 10 Free and Open Source eLearning projects for 2012 that will help you implement a low cost eLearning solutions
 => Please leave a comment if you would like me to include another Free or Open Source eLearning project that needs to be mentioned!

Enjoy! 

Continue reading

Royalty Free Music for eLearning

Recently a fellow member of the Instructional Design & E-Learning Professionals’ Group (14K+ of members) asked “If anyone know of where to find royalty free background music for training? As you can understand this question was the inspiration for the following list that contains Royalty Free Music websites for eLearning.

Enjoy! Continue reading

We support Free eLearning Resources! Do you?

We support Free eLearning Resources and have posted the Free eLearning badge.

I support Free eLearning

If you support Free e-Learning Resources, use the following code to post the badge on your website and/or blog and share with your viewers (students, colleagues, etc) the Free e-Learning Resources.

If you are blogger and you want to share your Free e-Learning Resources with the e-Learning community, and you use the Free e-Learning Resources badge contact us to let us know. We will post your website and/or blog link on the Free e-Learning Resources page.

=> Every week a newsletter to 25,000+ professionals involved in the e-Learning industry will be send!
=> Every week a broad network of 5000+ eLearning Twitter users will re-tweet this page!

Here is the list! Continue reading

Free and Open Source Text to Speech Tools for eLearning

Open source software can be used as we wish, without long-term commitments and with a community of professionals that extend and support them. This post is a post of the series “Free e-Learning Resources” and I am going to talk about free and open source text-to-speech tools for e-Learning.

We support Free eLearning! Do you?

I support Free eLearning

Before I present you the list I would like to answer two important questions:

1) Why not use Human voice over?
As a eLearning consultant I would prefer to use a human narration professional. However, you should consider the following factors:

  • It is more expensive
  • It needs more time
  • It is difficult to maintain the training
  • Few professional have the necessary skills
  • It is difficult to update the eLearning course
  • The pace is not steady
  • It is difficult to maintain your organizations’ identity

2) If I use text why I need to use voice?
For me it is unacceptable that eLearning organization create courses that they do not have voice. Come on guys are you serious! Are you familiar with the learning styles? How an auditory learner will succeed in your eLearning course? Some people will say that not all computers have speakers or that the voice is annoying. You are going to invest in your employees but you do not have money for headphones! Is it difficult to lower the volume or turn it off? Text and voice are extremely important factors to an eLearning course.

So, let see the list of the free and open source text-to-speech tools for e-Learning.

=> If you know a free or open source text-to-speech tool that is not included in the list I will highly appreciate if you write a comment with a link!

Free and Open Source Text to Speech Tools for e-Learninghttp://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=freeandopensourcetexttospeechtoolsforelearning-110116112807-phpapp02&rel=0&stripped_title=free-and-open-source-text-to-speech-tools-for-elearning&userName=CPappasOnline

The MBROLA Project
The aim of the MBROLA project, initiated by the TCTS Lab of the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium), is to obtain a set of speech synthesizers for as many languages as possible, and provide them free for non-commercial applications.

The Festival Speech Synthesis System
Festival offers a general framework for building speech synthesis systems as well as including examples of various modules. As a whole it offers full text to speech through a number APIs: from shell level, though a Scheme command interpreter, as a C++ library, from Java, and an Emacs interface. Festival is multi-lingual (currently English (British and American), and Spanish) though English is the most advanced.

The MARY 
MARY is an open-source, multilingual Text-to-Speech Synthesis platform written in Java. It was originally developed as a collaborative project of DFKI’s Language Technology lab and the Institute of Phonetics at Saarland University and is now being maintained by DFKI. As of version 4.3, MARY TTS supports German, British and American English, Telugu, Turkish, and Russian; more languages are in preparation. MARY TTS comes with toolkits for quickly adding support for new languages and for building unit selection and HMM-based synthesis voices.

YAKiToMe!
Free text to speech. Uses the world’s best text to speech (TTS) software. Upload documents, cut and paste text or link to feeds. Text reader converts text to speech automatically. Download audio and podcasts. It’s fast and easy to use. Get started right away! No software to download or install.

SpokenText
SpokenText lets you easily convert text in to speech. Record (English, French, Spanish or German) PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, and web pages, and convert them to speech automatically. Create .mp3 or .m4b (Audio Book) recordings (in English, French, Spanish and German) of any text content on your computer or mobile phone.

eSpeak
eSpeak uses a “formant synthesis” method. This allows many languages to be provided in a small size. The speech is clear, and can be used at high speeds, but is not as natural or smooth as larger synthesizers which are based on human speech recordings. Google has integrated eSpeak, an open source software speech synthesizer for English and other languages, in its online translation service Google Translate. The move allow users of Google Translate to hear translations spoken out loud (text-to-speech) by clicking the speaker icon beside some translations.

Praat
Praat is a free scientific software program for the analysis of speech in phonetics. It has been designed and continuously developed by Paul Boersma and David Weenink of the University of Amsterdam. It can run on a wide range of operating systems, including various Unix versions, Mac and Microsoft Windows (95, 98, NT4, ME, 2000, XP, Vista). The program also supports speech synthesis, including articulatory synthesis.

FreeTTS
FreeTTS is a speech synthesis system written entirely in the JavaTM programming language. It is based upon Flite: a small run-time speech synthesis engine developed at Carnegie Mellon University. Flite is derived from the Festival Speech Synthesis System from the University of Edinburgh and the FestVox project from Carnegie Mellon University.

Festvox
The Festvox project aims to make the building of new synthetic voices more systemic and better documented, making it possible for anyone to build a new voice.

Flite: a small, fast run time synthesis engine
Flite (festival-lite) is a small, fast run-time synthesis engine developed at CMU and primarily designed for small embedded machines and/or large servers. Flite is designed as an alternative synthesis engine to Festival for voices built using the FestVox suite of voice building tools.

The Epos Speech Synthesis System
Epos is a language independent rule-driven Text-to-Speech (TTS) system primarily designed to serve as a research tool. Epos is (or tries to be) independent of the language processed, linguistic description method, and computing environment.

by Christopher Pappas M.B.A., M.Ed. 

Free Storyboard Templates for e-Learning

What I really like about the e-Learning community is that the most e-Learning professionals have a great passion of sharing their knowledge. The least that I can do is to share with you a list of 37 (update 5/17/2011) Free Storyboard Templates for e-Learning! Feel free to use these storyboard templates for your projects. All the credit goes to donators! Continue reading

Free and Open Source Web Conferencing (Online Meetings, Webinars) Tools for e-Learning

I received several emails, message on Twitter, and InMails on LinkedIn concerning the Open Source Authoring Tools for e-Learning and the Free Stock Photos Sites for e-Learningposts. Guys the most of you find these posts a valuable resource for the e-Learning community. As a result, the following post is Free and Open Source Web Conferencing (Online Meetings, Webinars) Tools for e-Learning.The following list contains free and open source Web Conferencing tools that are n’t in particular order.

Also, you should be sure that the e-Learning community will highly appreciate:

  1. if you post a comment with your experience with these tools and/or,
  2. if you post a comment with a link to any other free and open source Web Conferencing tool. Continue reading

Free Stock Photos Sites for e-Learning

As an e-Learning developer I had to invest a lot of time to find images for my e-Learning projects. I am sure that the most of us work with tight budgets and limited resources. To take a digital camera and take my own images wasn’t an option. As a result, I had to do a research and find the best FREE stock photo sites.

I hope that the following list of 23 (Update 06/02/2011) 14 Free Stock Photos Site for e-Learning  will be valuable to you. You should be sure that the e-Learning community will very much appreciate if you write a comment with links to FREE stock photo sites.

Free and Open Source Authoring Tools for e-Learning

As an e-Learning consultant I was always a fan of open source software. Why? The answer is simple. Because I could use them as I wish, for whatever I wish, without long-term commitments and with the extra bonus of a community of professionals that use, extend and support them.

In this post I am not going to talk about open source learning management systems such as eFront[1] but rather dedicated open source “authoring tools”. The list that it follows is not in particular order. I highly encourage you to leave a comment if you know any other open source authoring tool. Continue reading