Thank you voters! Epignosis eFront LMS Won the Best of ELearning! Award

ELearning! Media Group Awarded Epignosis for Best Open Source Solution

We’re very happy to announce that Epignosis eFront won the Best of Elearning! Award for Best Open Source Solution, and an Award of Excellence for Best Learning Management System (SaaS, Open-Source, or Content Supplier) at the annual Enterprise Learning! Conference & Expo at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, CA which were held last week, September 26th. So a big thank you must go out to all our voters!

The Elearning! Media Group’s Best of Elearning! Awards are the exclusive reader’s choice awards program for elearning products and services. Recipients are chosen by Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines’ reader community via an open-ended online ballot. Altogether, 72 products across 21 categories were named best-in-class by learning professionals and executives in 2012, and approximately 3881 nominations were collected over the balloting period. Continue reading

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! 

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eFront the 1st open source eLearning solution that join OW2

eFront, the award winning, open source, and SCORM certified learning system, join the OW2 consortium – The open source community for infrastructure software. Some of the organizations that also joined the OW2 consortium include SugarCRM, France Telecom Group, XWiki SAS, in a total of 58 corporate members. It is true to say that OW2 if it isn’t the only one, it is the only substantial open-source foundation based in Europe.

What is OW2?

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Professional Support for an Open Source LMS: Interview with Athanasios Papagelis Co-founder & Technical Director at Epignosis Ltd

C.P.: What is one of the reasons that SMEs choose eFront as an eLearning solution?

Athanasios Papagelis - Co-founder & Technical Director at Epignosis Ltd:
One of the reasons that eFront is an extremely successful eLearning solution especially for medium organizations is the fact that is well supported. By saying well supported, I mean that eFront is professionally supported and although designed to last, our clients can always rely that someone is on hand if something does go wrong.

=> I will very much appreciate if you share your thoughts concerning the following question “Is Professional Support  IMPORTANT for an Open Source LMS?”

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eFront Best Open Source Solution Announced as Honoree for Best of ELearning! 2011

ELearning! Media Group announces eFront as a finalist for the Best of ELearning! 2011 Awards. Nominated as Best Open Source Solution, eFront was selected by worldwide readers and professionals from both the private and public sector involved in the eLearning industry.

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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. 

Top 10 Open Source e-Learning Projects to Watch for 2011

2011 is the e-Learning year! Traditional instructor led training is expensive and, in some cases, difficult to track its effectiveness. e-Learning is the only solution for organizations to save time and money and benefit from just-in-time training, faster learning, consistent instruction, higher levels of retention, greater levels of assessment, no travel expense, and no need for a classroom!

However, nowadays small and medium size organizations struggle to adopt an expensive e-Learning solution. This is why I created the following list with the Top 10 open source e-Learning projects for 2011 that will help you implement a low cost e-Learning solution.

Enjoy! 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 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