Back from a year-long Sabbatical from Tech: 9 Things I’m excited about

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As you may have noticed, I have been mostly inactive online for the better part of the year (on a bit of a sabbatical from Tech if you will) and now I’m slowly coming back, more excited than before, motivated, inspired and ready for the new year!

Looking back, perhaps I should have done this right after leaving Adobe.

I’m feeling refreshed and ready for round two with new ideas for my blog, books, courses on mLearning, presentations, and excited to take on a new projects for organizations looking to mobilize their learning.

Technology moves fast and waits for no one and right now I’m in catch-up mode, reading up everything I missed and reviewing product updates, and here are 9 things I’m really excited about:

1. Storyline 2.0 and the new Android Support and Sliders – I’m now working on a review of Storyline 2.0 and there’s a lot to be excited about, especially the new Android support and Sliders, which I personally believe is one of the ways to re-imagine eLearning on Desktop into thumb-friendly mLearning on any device. Kudos to Articulate!

2. Techsmith’s new AppShow, Mac and Windows mobile features, including TechSmith Fuse – I see that my friends over at TechSmith have been busy embracing the mobile revolution by adding features that make it easy to develop mLearning. The idea that you can use Camtasia on a Mac to record your iPhone and then add mobile gestures to the recording is very exciting to me and should be to you, too. They also have a mobile App called Fuse, that can allow you to record video on the go and then import it into Camtasia to supplement your projects. This is exactly the type of innovation we need these days from Tools vendors. Kudos to TechSmith!

3. Captivate’s new Responsive Workflows – I’m also excited to see that Adobe has been listening to us bloggers about adding truly important functionality into Captivate for mobile learning and while I’ve only started testing Captivate 8’s responsive workflows, I see a lot of potential. Kudos to Adobe!

4. Mobile Learning in General – The Mobile revolution waits for no one and much has evolved in the past few months, Apple has bigger phones, that once again challenge everything we knew about designing for 4.7″ screens, the onslaught of new Android phones continue and we need to constantly adjust how we address all of these new mobile devices in our learning design.

5. Skype Translator – Microsoft has been busy working on some exciting technology for Skype. Turns out that an upcoming version of Skype will translate the spoken language between two people, all on the fly while they chat. This is amazing and it opens up a whole lot of possibilities for the future of education, colaboration and learning in general. If you haven’t seen it, take a few minutes to watch this video: Kudos to Microsoft and the Skype team!

6. Wearable Technology – As Samsung would say, this is the next big thing after mobile and I’m excited about it. Having said that, I’m still not convinced an iWatch-like device is supposed to be a simple replacement or even an extension of today’s mobile smartphones, I think there’s more to it, but I do think what we see today from Apple and Samsung are a good start, to at least start thinking and brainstorming about it. I think what Google is doing with their Glass project is a more accurate view into the future of wearable tech, so I’m excited about that, too.

7. Amazon Echo – When I first heard about this new product from Amazon I thought it was a crazy idea but not anymore, I think Amazon is on to something. I recently received my new Amazon FireTV stick, which allows me to connect it to any of my TVs and stream most anything from Amazon, including Prime video. That’s pretty cool. Echo to me is an illustration that voice recognition is an exciting technological advancement and a better way to communicate with our devices, through natural speech recognition. I don’t have one right now but will eventually buy one. Kudos to Amazon and the Echo team!

8. ProProfs – I came across this company that is doing big things in Learning and it made me wonder whether the future of Learning Design apps will be web-based vs. the traditional desktop based apps we use today. I plan on posting a review but in case you haven’t looked at it, I recommend you check them out. They have a number of products online, but the one that caught my eye as innovative is Quizzes. What I find unique about ProProfs is that they are ‘democratizing‘ the creation of Quizzes by allowing anyone to create assessments in a few minutes and by knowing little about the subject. Say you are tasked with creating a Quiz for HR on ‘new hire training’ and you don’t know where to start. Just type ‘New Hire Training’ into the search box and just like that ProProfs returns 11,181 quizzes on the topic and you can reuse any question in any of them for developing your own quiz. Now that is amazing in my mind, and it challenges everything we know about creating learning today. According to their web site, there have over 100,000 quizzes and assessments that users can reuse. Kudos to ProProfs!

ProProfs Quizzes

9. Mindfulness – I watched this fascinating piece on 60 minutes by Anderson Cooper on Mindfulness, which is the idea of being present in the now through meditation and I started practicing it and recommend it to anyone, who is involved in technology especially mobile technology with all the distractions it comes with. Here’s a short video: http://bit.ly/rjacquezMindfulness

What are you excited about?

These are the things that I’m excited about, how about you?

What Can I do to Help?

As I prepare for an awesome 2015, I’ve been thinking a lot about where to focus my time, especially here on my blog, but why not ask you. What can I do to help you with your eLearning and Mobile Learning projects? What is it that you are struggling with and what type of topics can I write about to help you? Equally as important, what topics are not of interest to you that I should not spend time blogging about? It would mean a lot to me if you share your honest feedback with me. Either leave a public comment below or write to me directly via the simple form on my About Page.

Thank You for your time reading my blog and here’s to an amazingly productive 2015!

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  • Christian Lee

    RJ, firstly nice post on the things you’ll be doing in 2015. The topics I’d like to see you write about are m-learning using intranets and accessibility issues and m-learning for those new to tech ( I volunteer teaching tech for the over 55’s). Thanks in advance, Chris

    • RJ Jacquez

      Hi Chris, many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and know that all of your recommended topics are on my list for the new year, especially mLearning topics for those new to tech. Much appreciated and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    • rjacquez

      Hi Chris, many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and know that all of your recommended topics are on my list for the new year, especially mLearning topics for those new to tech. Much appreciated and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

  • ermphd

    Yo RJ I saw your 3 yr work anniversary on LinkedIn and was about to say congrats when I saw this. Glad you are back. I’m working on Video for hands on TS type training. I predict that 2015 is the year of video in learning. Check out what one can do w Premiere Pro & Audition. Made my 1st movie last week. Awesome tools. Your list above looks good, but don’t neglect video. Will share a little something else via email soon, Ciao Ed

    • rjacquez

      Hi Ed, good to see you here and Happy New Year, my friend. I’m with you on the video bit, I think everything is in place to develop powerful learning experiences, including video.

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