DevLearn 2011 The Exhibitors

DevLearn 2011 The Exhibitors One of the most useful aspects of DevLearn is the Vendor Expo.

Here's Jackie stabbing wildly at an LMS voodoo doll.

And here is a quick summary of the exhibitors who caught our attention.
ZebraZapps – Allen Interactions made a big stripy splash at last year’s Devlearn , announcing their plans for a new cloud based approach to content development and asking volunteers to sign up for beta testing.

This year we saw the results – ZebraZapps - and it is an impressive visual authoring tool. Essentially it is a very friendly user interface that sits on top of Flash AS3 and allows a non-programmer to develop complex interactions using a “wire” metaphor to link object properties. The resulting learning objects can then be published to a web site or the cloud.
Underlying this development is a belief that the future of on-line learning will be granular, cloud based, with flexible aggregation of reusable assets to create unique learning experiences.

Writing Assistanceare a new exhibitor this year. They provide an agency service for sourcing freelance instructional designers, and could be very useful to us as we look to grow our US presence while keeping our cost base flexible.
iSpring – the developers of our favourite Powerpoint based rapid authoring tool were showcasing some innovative new features, including AS3 compatibility. They also tell us they will have export to HTML5 by Spring next year. I see us making a lot more use of iSpring in the coming 12 months.

Articulate - the  most high profile launch at this year’s DevLearn was unquestionably the new Articulate StoryLine. This looks to be a significant advance in functionality for the rapid learning tool. It includes a library of characters, each with a range of expressions, and an easy to use interface for building these into animated scenarios. Definitely  a useful advance and we will upgrade, but on balance for Unicorn iSpring remains the better product (and it is a third of the price).
Nexlearn - This is the third year we have spent time at the NexLearn stand. They have a really impressive SimWriter tool for rapid creation of high quality branching case studies and simulations. We’ve previously been deterred by the cost, but they now provide a $1500 entry level version which looks to meet all our needs. We have a project for a branching case study in the pipeline so this could be the year we take the plunge.

NeoSpeech Inc – another new exhibitor with  very impressive Text to Speech screen technology. Very realistic speech synthesis, multiple language options. Could be a useful accessibility tool within SkillsServe?
Plenty of old friends too - Codebaby, eLearning Bros, Rapid Intake, GoToTraining and it was good to catch up with Lani and Sarah at the Sound 80 stand and sample Angies’s authentic  Kettle Corn, Milwaukee’s finest.  If you are looking for US voices for your elearning, then we highly recommend Sound 80.

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