Creating E-learning for Teachers – Part 2

Creating E-learning for Teachers – Part 2

The need for targeted e-learning courses for teachers was emphasized for me recently when speaking to a special education teacher. The district implemented a new online system for creating IEP’s and offered little to no training. This would be a perfect opportunity to create an e-learning course available for veteran teachers starting with the new software as well as new teachers hired in future years. This could easily be accomplished with the tools described in Creating E-learning for Teachers – Part 1.

Similar to the scenario described above, look at this situation. You implement new grade reporting software for your district. Maybe you offer instructor led training for your teachers during the in-service week before school starts. This is obviously a strain on everyone’s schedule and teachers would rather be in their rooms working. Some teachers miss the training and new teachers are hired at later dates. Not to mention, most of the information is soon forgotten after the “sit n’ get” training. Help calls will be flooding your office in a few weeks when progress reports are due. What about next year when a new crop of teachers join the district?

Does this situation sound familiar? You need to let technology help! Let’s take a look at some more powerful, and yes, more expensive e-learning development tools. Even though the costs are higher, the ROI is still positive. Keep in mind, to use tools at this level you really need an LMS. See my post, Your School Needs a Learning Management System for more information.

Articulate is an excellent e-learning development product that works hand-in-hand with Microsoft PowerPoint. In fact, Articulate runs inside PowerPoint and adds tremendous e-learning features. You can easily add interactive features, quizzing and reporting. If you need to develop a course quickly and like using PowerPoint, Articulate is a good choice.

The downside of Articulate is the lack of screen-capture ability. If you want to include a screencast video, which I highly recommend, you need to create a video with a different product (see Creating E-learning for Teachers – Part 1) and embed it in your PowerPoint presentation.

Lectora is a powerful e-learning authoring tool that runs independent of PowerPoint. It integrates with TechSmith tools, Camtasia Studio and SnagIt, offers great flexibility in creating your courses. Interactive features and quizzing are easy to add and it also includes Flypaper, software to easily create Flash animations.

The price, at about $2500, may be difficult to swallow but in the long run you are sure to achieve a positive ROI.