ASTD TechKnowledge 2013, Day 2

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Wow, wasn’t that marching band fantastic? I loved the lip synch of that tune. Okay, time for the 2nd half to begin, so let’s go right to the kickoff. As before, please excuse text line space funkiness – WordPress app on iPad.


The product comes in two flavors – a simple and a more robust. I focused on the more robust. Talk about a nice run to the end zone! This version ($40/u/m) is geared towards the instructional designer/developer. What I liked about it:

  • Easy to define objects and enable them to have a lot of capabilities
  • For folks who really want to do this or that and lots of it – you can
  • Instead of following the Storyline layout – which kind of reminds me of Photoshop – aka layers/triggers on the side of the screen, ZZ instead has these box like things which you simply click on and move the mouse to various objects which creates this line like thing – trust me, I’m not doing it justice in the explanation – but it is very nice to look at and use – simple!
  • Comes with App store and gadget store , where you can download and install into your product – the apps are like objects created by them and others, and gadgets are widget like things – them and end users; oh the majority are free, but if as an end user created one and wanted to sell it – you could
  • SaaS product – but here’s the thing – if you want the course to be in your LMS – it can but it still sits on the ZZ server side and not in your system (should note that the LMS connectivity is available only in the $40/u version). To me, that is a major misstep, although I understand why they do it

    Adobe Presenter

    It really doesn’t get any easier then using this product, but while it is not ideal as a standalone it is perfect as a component within your course. Although you could use the product as a separate video and publish to YouTube, Vivemo, one of their products, your desktop and I think the web (I admit, I forgot the last one, but you get the idea).
    So, what’s to like about it?

    • Easy to use
    • Outputs to MP4
    • Can record you via a web cam, your voice and also you can upload slides – presentation for example
    • Able to zoom in on certain slides or even the presenter
    • While you can cut “scenes”, you can not move them around i.e. the slides to a different point in the timeline, nor the presenter – as in they are in the middle and you want to move them to the beginning
    • In the next updates which I was told was in a week or two- ADA 508 compliance and Speech to Text
    • IMO this is not an authoring tool, although I’m sure you can spin it that way if you want to.


    Callidus Cloud – Litmos

    The Litmos LMS has some new features – some I liked, one I didn’t.

  • SSO for Google and (you have to have the product)
  • Languages included – lots actually to choose from – more than previous
  • No longer limited to the themes – you can now edit the CSS. While folks who know CSS or have IT resources that can jump right in and do the CSS, most training execs I know – have no idea what CSS is and more importantly, how to code.

    The same with LMS administrators. How about – Litmos actually skinning the product themselves – as the majority of vendors do – at no additional charge or more simple click customization options.

    Currently, Litmos does not offer the ability for online/offline synchronization with a mobile device. Regarding Rapid Intake – they were not there (also owned by Callidus), but my gut tells me that RI will become in some fashion an add-on option for Litmos (but still keeping the product available for the masses – who have their own systems) or be able to push out directly into the Litmos LMS (besides you being able to download the SCORM course and upload into any LMS).

    When talking to some of the folks at the booth, they said that there are discussions around the authoring tool and how it will play with the Litmos system, but nothing is defined.



    I was told by some folks who stopped by the NL booth that they now offer the professional version – their uber advanced product for $43,000 USD – it comes with unlimited licenses. But, still – yowsa!

    You also have the option to go monthly for 2K USD – but that is NOT for unlimited licenses. So, in essence they now offer a monthly option.


    Well, let’s end on a positive note and talk about some of the additional items – rarely mentioned.

    To the folks at ON24, I’m sorry but virtual learning is not something brand new. The interface you showed was similar in many ways to the old GeoLearning 3D look back in 2002 (which Geo eventually dumped – too bad).

    Yeah your social was nice and yeah you had some cool features – but there were plenty of VLEs before you showed up on the scene – and I’m not even thinking Second Life.

    Oh, and communities of practice, which you have in your social? COPs hit their heyday back in the mid 2000’s. Show us something new and cool – most of their social – was seen that, others do that.

    What I saw was a LMS with a 3D like user interface and offered social – and yes, analytics. Maybe, it was just me.

    Best giveaway – You won Adobe! A web cam valued at $100 (according to Adobe). Of course you had to sit down and go through the presentation/demo of Presenter – but still – nice one. I also liked the T-shirts from Maestro and WebEducator.

    However there were plenty of vendors who had — NOTHING. I’m sorry but you spent a few thousand for that booth space and you are telling me that people who stop by are not even worth a $4 bag of candy?

    Well, that’s it from San Jose. The final score: A tie.

  • One comment

    1. Thanks for the informative update Craig. Great to hear the latest in learning systems from across “the pond”. I am glad that you have shed some more light on the ON24 offering, as this confirms our view that underneath the UI there is a (limited) learning deployment tool.

      I also cannot understand why Litmos do not provide a skinned system for their client. We cannot see any reason not to, as many organisations not only don’t have the skillsets to do this themselves but they don’t want to be spending the time on it either. We apply branded skins to our platform and it requires minimal resource and effort, but is seen as great value-add.

      I look forward to your next post.

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