Glance to the Rescue

While I have been using Glance for awhile now and tend to use it to do webinars, many of you may not know you can also use it to view and take control of your colleagues computer. Just this morning I was able to send my colleague a link and within seconds I was viewing their computer and able to help diagnose the problem he was having. The experience went very smoothly and it was as if I was sitting next to my colleague clicking their mouse and using their computer. While I was not able to initially solve my colleagues problem seeing what was happening allowed me to think about the issue and hopefully tomorrow morning I will get another chance to do a another session and resolve my colleagues issue. I will let you know what happens. But all in all Glance is a handy tool to have access to not only for webinars but for jumping in and doing technical support.

Postscript: This morning I took control of my colleagues computer and successfully resolved the issue, it took about 30 seconds- with tools like this, it makes me look good.

Moving from Mind Mapping to Knowledge Mapping

Much can be said about the benefits of using mind mapping software for the personal, academic, and business needs that many of us have. I know for myself that I greatly benefit from using mind mapping software on a daily basis to plan workshops, overview my content for courses, and for managing projects that I am working on. Using mind mapping software makes me more effective at the work I do and allows me to share information in a rich graphical way that resonates with my colleagues. For me, having access to the tools and techniques of mind mapping provides me a rich palette of tools to draw from when I am doing the work that I do. While using mind mapping software in traditional ways has been quite effective for me- my eyes were opened to a whole new way at looking at mind mapping when I learned about a product called Context Organizer about two years ago.

Context Organizer is a summarization tool that can extract summaries from PDF's, Word, and from URL's. With a click of the mouse I can have Context Organizer a MindManager add-in, build me a rich in information map. When I first tried Context Organizer I couldn't believe how fast I could produce my map filled with contextualized information, I was interested in researching. And so that was the "aha" moment for me going from "mind mapping" in a traditional sense to "knowledge mapping" with a click of the mouse. Going from a blank mind mapping canvas to a completed "knowledge map" was quite exciting to see. Imagine the power I felt having all this information in my map that I could organize and structure the way I wanted. This is the true power of knowledge mapping. The synergy between Context Organizer working within MindManager is exquisite giving the user the opportunity to reorganize information as they see fit. As a Professor of Education I am constantly doing research to keep abreast of new trends in special education and assistive technology and have come to rely on Context Organizer to comb the web looking for new information. Developing my own knowledge maps helps me to see the big picture and look at the current trends in the field and gives me a point of access to determine if I need to read the original articles.

Since the release of Context Organizer for MindManager, Context Organizer has evolved and now works in the cloud with an online mind mapping application called Comapping. Comapping works within the browser and the user with a annual subscription can access their maps and collaborate in real time with any browser and a connection to the web. This is a true paradigm shift and one that all of us are weighing as we begin to dip our toes into the cloud. For me having access to my maps whenever I am connected to the web is quite powerful and I have come to utilize Comapping more and more in the work that I do. But more importantly, I have been able to use Comapping with Context Organizer which has been seamlessly integrated into the application. Now I can attach Word and PDF files to my Comapping maps and have them summarized within seconds. An even more powerful feature is being able to attach a URL link to a branch on my map and have the entire contents of the website summarized. For researchers this is an incredible tool and one that you should take a look at. Now I can develop my personal "knowledge maps' that I can store online in a mapping tool that allows me to organize the information the way I want.

Looking ahead Context Organizer is moving to a soon to be announced portal that will enable users to type in a URL which will then return key words and a summary. This new tool called Web Summarizer will give you the capability to type a URL and have the information instantly summarized complete with key words. You will also be able to search your knowledge database to find links to the information you are interested in. With Web Summarizer you will be able to build you own knowledge databases and when you are done you will be able to export the summaries to your mind mapping application-creating the perfect repository for your information set.

So at least for myself, I am using a new term called "Knowledge Mapping" to share with you a new way to think about mind mapping and handling vast amounts of information that can be personalized to meet your needs. If you are interested in learning more how you can handle the information overload with these tools send me an email and I would be glad to share with you how your business or school could benefit from using "knowledge mapping." So happy "Knowlwdge Mapping."

xPaper - Great Digital Pen Solution

I have been a long time user of digital pen technologies and am always amazed by its feature set and simplicity. At the core of digital pen technologies is Anoto functionality which gives software developers the tools to create innovative solutions. For the past several years I have been using a solution from Talario called xPaper. In it latest iteration xPaper, lets you print your forms on ordinary paper and write on the form with the digital pen. Once the pen is docked the ink is automatically downloaded to the form and within seconds you have a crystal clear PDF of your contents that you are ready to add to your work flow.

xPaper is comprised of several different components; the xPaper software, the xPaper printer driver, and a commercially licensed digital pen. Once you load the xPaper software and XPaper printer driver you are ready to get started. You simply open any form on your computer and using the xPaper printer driver you print the form on your color printer. Talario has a list of suggested and approved printers that can be used with their solution on their web site. Once the form is printed you will notice a light watermark dot pattern on your print out. These dots allow the digital pen, which has a camera at the base to know exactly where the ink is being written. It is quite ingenious to say the least. Now all you have to do is write on the paper and dock the pen to see the results. Within seconds the ink appears on the form and you are ready to add it to your work flow. Talario has a number of Connectors that let you decide what you would like to do with the form that is stored in the xPaper application. Using one of the connectors you could easily send the PDF to your Gmail account or FTP it to your server. In any case with a couple of clicks of the mouse you can transpose your form into a digital document and archive it.

This past semester I was teaching a graduate course in Action Research and utilized xPaper to record my biweekly meetings with my students as I mentored them through the process. To get started, I printed my Conference Log Sheet with xPaper and once the students met with me I would record our session notes with the digital pen along with my expectations for our next meeting. When my student's left our meeting I would hand them the form as a review of the session for them as a take away and then I would dock my pen so that I had a record of the meeting. xPaper worked flawlessly and many of my students remarked at the end of the semester that having the progress notes really helped them to move through the process. Using xPaper saved me a great deal of time, energy, and paper. Having my students' archived notes on my computer that I could quickly access worked out extremely well for me as well. Now that we are in the process of accreditation it is great that I can archive this information.

If you are looking for ways to add digital pen and paper solutions to your work flow send me an email and I can share with you how you can use Xpaper in the work that you do to increase efficiency. xPaper is ideal for anyone who uses forms on a daily basis and needs a way to move them to the computer for backup and archival purposes.

Web Summarizer Takes to the Cloud

Over the past year I have watched Context Organizer morph into a truly powerful summarization tool that is ready for the big leagues. Starting out as a standalone application, Context Discovery proved to be a powerful tool for the desktop-able to summarize URL's, PDF, Word, and PowerPoint files. When Context Discovery saw the value of being able to quickly built information maps within a mind mapping application Context Discovery developed a MindManager Add-in which has received rave reviews from it users.

Just this past year Context Organizer was integrated into Comapping which showed the versatility of Context Organizer working in the cloud and being totally platform independent. With all these steps in place Context Organizer has moved to a new dimension being able to deliver summarization in the cloud by placing these tools in the hands of businesses and corporation that need to process large amount of data. Imagine being able to analyze and summarize large amount of URL's, RSS feeds, and News feeds on your own internal server. Web Summarizer has been optimized to be able to serve your corporate data needs and we are ready to work with you. Please see the video below to get an idea of what is possible with Web Summarizer. If information is power think about how you can take advantage of Web Summarizer to get ahead of your competition!

Write Online Adds a Mind Mapping Workspace

I have been impressed with Write Online from Crick Software since I first saw it, and initially remarked that this Web 2.0 application breaks new ground for assistive technology. Write Online provides the user with a rich feature set for writing that is accessible from any web browser. Just this past week John Crick alerted me to the addition of a mind mapping workspace to Write Online which I had a chance to use this past weekend.

When you open Write Online you will notice a Document and a Workspace tab. If you click on the Workspace Tab you will see that it puts you into a mind mapping mode that lets you do some quick brainstorming using a variety of different shapes to get your ideas down. Using some of the short cuts I was able to quickly prepare my mind map and link my ideas. You can see from the screenshot that you can add linking text to the ideas and add color to the various shapes that are provided. You will find it an easy to use addition to the program. Once you are done you can quickly transfer your mind map to an outline in the Document space- which is a great feature. But it even gets better than that! With one click you can create a Wordbar with the words you used to generate your mind map. Imagine all of the possibilities for having students create their own mind maps with the support of a customized Wordbar. Write Online continues to innovate and now provides a quick way for students to brainstorm using mind maps to do so. For more information about Write Online click here.

Adobe Announces eLearning Suite 2 & Captivate 5

SAN JOSE, Calif. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe eLearning Suite 2, a significant upgrade to its tightly integrated, end-to-end solution for easily creating, reviewing and maintaining eLearning content. The suite, now natively compatible with Mac OS in addition to Windows, enables eLearning professionals, educators and trainers to turn creative ideas into dynamic eLearning materials that engage learners with multimedia and interactivity. eLearning Suite 2 - anchored by the new Adobe Captivate 5 - includes Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, Adobe Presenter 7 and Adobe Soundbooth CS5.

"Today's educational and professional learning departments are under enormous pressure to deliver impactful content quickly and efficiently," said Naresh Gupta, senior vice president, Print and Publishing at Adobe. "eLearning Suite 2 is a major leap forward in eLearning content creation. It addresses the challenge with its tightly integrated toolset that allows content creators to develop powerful media-rich eLearning experiences without the time and expense of programming."

Adobe eLearning Suite 2 enhances productivity with smarter aggregation capabilities included in Adobe Captivate 5, eLearning extensions for Dreamweaver and Flash, and new application round tripping workflows between authoring and asset creation tools. For example, a course designer can now insert Adobe Photoshop CS5 (PSD) files as smart objects into an Adobe Captivate project and update the images with one click should the original files change without having to resave and reinsert images. Similar workflows exist between the other eLearning Suite components including Adobe Captivate, Soundbooth and Flash.

"Timely, effective training on the use of our products is critical for us and our customers to meet compliance requirements," said Mary McGivern, Instructional Designer, Omnicell, a leading provider of comprehensive, technologically advanced automation that enables healthcare facilities to acquire, manage, dispense, and deliver medications and supplies more effectively. "The new user interface in Adobe Captivate 5 lets me work more efficiently and is now similar to other Adobe products. This will speed up my workflow and help me meet timelines more effectively."

Introducing Captivate 5

Adobe Captivate is the industry-leading, rapid authoring solution for developing demonstrations, application simulations and branching scenarios - without requiring programming expertise while not compromising quality. Version 5, which introduces the software to Mac OS, offers exciting new features that allow users to do more complex tasks faster such as enhanced importing and round tripping for Microsoft PowerPoint.

The new user interface - similar to the Dreamweaver CS5, Flash CS5 and Photoshop CS5 interfaces - lets users create and revise content faster and more easily than ever before by supporting multiple document editing and personalized workspaces. The Properties Inspector tool also boosts time-savings, as course authors can edit object properties in fewer steps. Additionally, eLearning professionals can leverage an expanded asset library and use customizable widgets to quickly create tables and design graphical buttons. Other major enhancements include support for rich animation effects, the ability to import videos in popular formats (AVI, MOV, FLV, MPEG) and synchronize video across multiple slides.

For more effective collaboration, Adobe Captivate 5 customers can upload, exchange and review content, as well as track and report learner scores by signing up for Adobe's online productivity software, (available separately). Also, a new widget lets students and educators interact via Twitter, facilitating online Q&As and group discussion.

To ease the process of maintaining content, Adobe Captivate 5 introduces Object Style editing, which facilitates changes project-wide with just a few clicks, allowing content creators to easily define and modify the look and feel of buttons, text, images and other elements. eLearning designers can also create Master Slides with preset themes and styles for text, shapes and graphics. This accelerates authoring as contributors can focus on content rather than formatting details, and ensures that the look and feel of an organization's presentations are preserved. Once eLearning content is published, training and learning professionals can track and report key performance metrics via or their own Web server.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe eLearning Suite 2 and Adobe Captivate 5 are expected to be available via Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at in June. Customers can pre-order Adobe eLearning Suite 2 and Captivate 5 today. Estimated street price for the suite is US$1799; upgrade pricing starts at US$599. Estimated street price for Adobe Captivate 5 is US$799; upgrade pricing starts at US$299. Educational pricing is available for both products.

Both products are compatible with Mac OS X v10.5.7 or v10.6, Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended), Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 or Windows 7 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7). The Mac OS version of eLearning Suite 2 does not contain Adobe Presenter.

Helpful Links

eLearning Suite 2 and Captivate 5 Customer Quote Sheet
eLearning Workflows in eLearning Suite 2
eLearning Suite 2 home page
What's new in eLearning Suite 2 (On-demand seminar)
Top new features in Captivate 5
Captivate 5 home page
What's new in Captivate 5 (On-demand seminar)

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information - anytime, anywhere and through any medium. For more information, visit

(c) 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, eLearning Suite 2, Captivate, Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Acrobat and Soundbooth are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Press/ Analyst Contacts
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Stefan Offermann, 408-536-4023
A&R Edelman
Gina Pucci, 650-762-2897

Remote Printing from your BlackBerry with BreezyPrint

As I rely more and more on my BlackBerry Curve for the work that I do when I am not in my office I have found the need to be able to print my emails or attachments when they come in. When I heard about a new solution for printing on the BlackBerry I had to give it a try. BreezyPrint offers a unique and simple solution to printing from your BlackBerry to any printers that are connected to your computers. To get started you need to install the BreezyPrint application on your Windows based computer as well as the BreezyPrint application on your BlackBerry. After you have installed BreezyPrint to your computer you can select which printers you would like to give BrezzyPrint access to when printing from your BlackBerry. The set up was easy and intuitive. With the printer configured I turned to an email on my BlackBerry and pressed the Menu key to find the Print option. BreezyPrint will give you the option to print the body of the email or any attachments- select the option you want and then within seconds the list of installed printers pops up for you to choose. Since I configured my HP wireless printer I selected this as my option. BreezyPoint let me know that the attachment would be printed and within a minute my printer was printing the attachment. BreezyPrint sends your encrypted documents to the cloud where it gets processed and then gets sent back to your computer for printing the job.

I have found BreezyPoint a real time saver and great for remote printing documents that I receive on my BlackBerry. I often get emails from my students with attachments that need to be printed and with BreezyPrint I can direct them to print in my college office so that when I arrive I simply can pick them up. The remote printing option is a real time saver and one that has worked well for me. As long as you have the BreezyPrint software on your computer you can direct the print job to any of your configured printers that you have installed. Personal accounts start at $24.95 a year for access to the BreezyPrint service. So if you have a need for printing from your BlackBerry, BreezyPrint is a solid, reliable and easy to use solution. For more information go to BreezyPrint.