Adobe Launches eLearning Suite

I develop a lot of elearning. Adobe has hopefully just made my job easier. I plan to upgrade to the newly released eLearning Suite as soon as I get my new laptop at work.
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The eLearning Suite consists of:

  • Captivate (massive upgrade from v3)
  • Flash (with exclusive eLearning Interactions)
  • Photoshop (I’d much rather have Fireworks)
  • Dreamweaver (with eLearning Add-Ons)
  • Acrobat Pro
  • Presenter (this is replacing Articulate Presenter for me)
  • Soundbooth (this will replace SoundForge)

I’m very disappointed that I’m forced to go with Photoshop instead of Fireworks. Photoshop is way more than I need for 98% of my graphics. I’m also much better at Fireworks for simple editing. I find it’s layout and workflow much simpler than Photoshop, and just as effective for the way I use it. What pisses me off most about all of this is that I will have to dump $600 to upgrade from CS3 Design Premium to the eLearning Suite. We picked up Design Premium last year, rather than Web Premium, primarily for InDesign, which again left me without a Fireworks upgrade. So I’m still using Fireworks 8, which is plenty effective, but does not integrate with CS4.

So, thanks to Adobe’s lovely pricing strategy, I now have to fork over an additional $149 to upgrade Fireworks. It’s like every year, to take advantage of new tools and features, I have to drop $500-$1000. I wish Adobe would have a loyalty factor in their pricing, so the more times you upgrade, the cheaper it becomes.

I do not have any hands-on with the eLearning Suite yet. I was supposed to beta test it, but I was unable to install the beta on my work laptop. Thanks IT.

I will probably install the demo on my home machine using Fusion – oh yeah, the elearning suite is Windows only. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Philip has more on the release here, with some interesting commentary about pricing, etc. In addition, Adobe has demos and a an overview (via Steve).

This Week In Browsing

My DevLearn Experience

This past week I was able to experience DevLearn 2008, the learning conference put on by the eLearning Guild. The focus this year was on Learning 2.0 – applying new technologies to learning.

I’ve posted plenty of session summaries, but I thought I’d share my experiences in a chronological storyline with a few photos – mostly for my own archival purposes.

Thursday, November 6th:

My trip to California was interesting.

Friday, November 7th:

Great round of golf with my dad, uncle and their boss. Gorgeous day, despite a bit of wind. Shot a 105 with an old set of borrowed clubs. Had some killer drives that I was very happy with. I really need a new driver when I get home (thank you Spanning Sync).

Sunday, November 9th:

After a too-short, but very nice trip to Simi, it was time to head up to San Jose. Thankfully, no issues on this flight. I settled in to the very nice Fairmont San Jose with some Clam Chowder and a Club Sandwich and some Sunday Night Football.

Monday, November 10th:

Adobe Learning Summit. I learned a lot about where Adobe is headed with learning products. They’re launching an eLearning Suite, which will include modified versions of Dreamweaver and Flash. It, as well as Captivate 4, will be released sometime in 2009. I met up with Philip Hutchison, who I’d only known electronically before today.

I also met Doug Welch via Twitter, and Steve Howard and Shameer (Adobe Product Mgr.) at the Adobe reception. We had a great dinner at Gordon-Biersch. Afterwards, Steve and I went over to a Pub and talked about life and politics over a couple rounds of Guinness. It was a great evening.

Links:

Tuesday, November 11th:

DevLearn begins. Day one is workshops and symposiums. I was a little disappointed in the workshop I attended, but I was able to provide some input and help a few folks out, so it wasn’t too bad.

Dinner was great – Amici’s pizza with my manager and coworkers.

Wednesday, November 12th:

The day started with a wonderful keynote on technology, alpha geeks and the future from Tom O’Reilly. The sessions were pretty good. Twitter was going strong and it was a great way to share session experiences and notes. Mark Oehlert live-blogged some sessions. (one guy I really wanted to meet in person, but never synced up).

I snagged a quick lunch/coffee with Doug Welch and we chatted about podcasting and technology. Check out his handouts – he had a workshop and a concurrent session.

Links:

Thursday, November 13th:

Another great keynote to kick off the day. Dan Roam and the Back of the Napkin. Brilliant stuff that I can actually use in real life, which is great. My Amazon wish list is getting longer. The sessions were pretty good again, except for the vCom3D sales pitch I went to that was supposed to be about learning portals. I hate that.

Links:

Friday, November 14th:

Well, this keynote definitely woke everyone up. Medina (Brain Rules) is hilariously hyper, but in a good way. He used an odd method of presenting by using 30+ Director movies – he had to open each one and click play, rather than using Keynote or PowerPoint or just combining all the movies with a “next” button. Weird.

I would have loved to have had this guy as a professor. He’s brilliant, but passionate and entertaining, and even though he talks 100mph, you’re able to learn from him. Yet another book I’ll be buying. Great stuff around how screwed up our learning environments are, both in education and in corporations.

I have a new exercise goal, now. Thanks John!

Went to a great session with Paul Clothier on using PowerPoint to develop animations. Very clever examples and shows how far you can push PowerPoint with enough vision and time. He also backed what Dan Roam was telling us, that we need to detach ourselves from technology now and again and just brainstorm, draw, doodle and map on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. This is definitely something I will be doing moving forward.

I didn’t get to stay for all of Avron’s session on LETSI and SCORM, but I’ll be more directly involved with that moving forward and Aaron promised to fill me in a little, as well.

Links:

General Thoughts:

I had a great time. I met some great people, and Brent did a great job getting people to use Twitter. I found it to be a great tool for sharing information quickly and also for networking. Total tweets sent all time before DevLearn: ~250. Total tweets sent while at DevLearn: ~300.

Overall, the theme of the conference was great, but the sessions could have been a little better. I want more panels and discussions rather than presentations. I want workshops that are actual workshops.

I will take a lot away from this conference. Thanks to blogging and Twittering, I retained a LOT more than last year, when I just took notes on paper and didn’t record much or share anything and it was lost. I hope to keep the conversations going on this site, Twitter and a few other ideas I have brewing.

I’m excited about the future of learning and eLearning. This trip, and my recent promotion, have really stimulated my passion for teaching people, improving the learning environment with new technologies, and carving a path for myself in this industry.

Thanks to the EG folks, Adobe and all the peeps I met at DevLearn. It was fun.

Full List of DevLearn 2008 Handouts