It’s been 14 years since the birth of the Best of Elearning! Awards. The first edition in 2005 featured 9 categories, 29 brands receiving 245 nominations. The 2005 class included GeoLearning, Centra, WebEx, Books 24x7, and Adobe. Many of these brands still reign under different owners. Yet, they represented the need for SaaS or Cloud systems, learner-directed online learning, and effective e-learning development tools. A lot has changed….yet much has stayed the same. In 2005, 49% of learning professionals reported they had referred an e-learning brand to a peer. In 2018, that figure is 85%. Professionals still look to trusted resources for information. The Best of Elearning! Awards were launched in 2005 to formalize this recommendation process through its online user’s choice awards format.

In 2018, the Best of Elearning! Awards recognized 73 brands across 23 categories with thousands of nominations counted. This year 20% of the brands are new to the awards program — continuing to inspire us with constant innovation. We welcome Strivr VR, Sumarian, Modest Tree, Brainier, and other first time honorees to the Best of Elearning! family.

We are entering an exciting time in the learning technology industry. We see Artificial Intelligence powered knowledge and data systems. Machine Learning enabling professionals to focus on strategic actions versus rote activities. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are entering the mainstream with Healthcare and Entertainment applications leading the way.

The heavy lifting in learning technology still lies at the feet of the stalwart brands that continue to innovate, evolve and inspire talent. These brands include Adobe, SumTotal Systems, a Skillsoft Company, Cisco WebEx, and Articulate who have earned honors every year since 2005.

We can’t forget the editors who have brought you these 14 years of innovation. John Watson, Jack Gordon and Jerry Roche have brought Elearning! Magazine to life — Earning 24 editorial, design, website and eNewsletter honors for excellence from the Western Publishing Association.

Thank you to you all who have voted for the Best of Elearning! this year or in the past. Thank you to the technologists and solution providers who innovate and inspire. And, a big thank you to John, Jack and Jerry for making it all happen.

Published in Insights

The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first self-lacing - or adaptive lacing in Nike’s terms - brings those Back to The Future shoes worn by Michael J. Fox to life.

“When you step in, your heel will hit a sensor and the system will automatically tighten,” explains Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator, NIKE, Inc., and the project’s technical lead. “Then there are two buttons on the side of the shoe to tighten and loosen the lacing. You can adjust it until it’s perfect.”

Nike says that the shoe translates deep research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. They went on to say that it challenges traditional understanding of fit, proposing an ultimate solution to individual idiosyncrasies in lacing and tension preference.

According to Tinker Hatfield, “Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it.” “We’re able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.”

Published in New Products

Nearly two years ago, Salesforce acquired RelateIQ for $392 million and has been buying several other machine learning startups since. Most recently, it purchased BeyondCore, a specialist in statistical analysis and the company announced that it is combining all of these parts as part of a project, Salesforce Einstein, which will be detailed at the upcoming Dreamforce conference taking place October 4-7 in San Francisco.

Einstein will allow Salesforce’s applications for sales management, marketing, automation and commerce to merge with machine learning that uses data it’s collecting to spot trends and identify problem and successful areas.

—Learn more: http://www.salesforce.com/einstein/

Published in New Products

 

eXact Learning Solutions’ new version – known as ‘M16’ – includes some major upgrades and brings important changes to the Project Management area of the platform. It features a fully interactive Gantt chart software, enabling project managers to manage a project directly from the dashboard — including assigning tasks, setting deadlines and more.

M16 also features major updates to the LCMS’s Online Editor. These bring the Online Editor closer the company’s authoring tool, eXact learning Packager, by offering, among other things, full support for interactions, along with theme personalization.

eXact learning Packager offers users HTML5 templates to make creating screens and courses merely a matter of dragging and dropping raw assets (audio, images, video and so on) into a visual tree structure representing the template.

—Learn more: www.exact-learning.com

 

Published in New Products

Recently launched OutCons has more than the typical LMS capabilities, it acts as a distribution center for learning. Whether mobile, on site, or hosted in the cloud, consultants help adminstrators optimize their LMS and its infrastructure allowing employees to get information they want and need. The program offers custom software and mobile applications, data and content migration, and SCORM/AICC Courseware integration. Their customer software solutions include application development, system architecture, search engine optimization and website and graphic design.

—Learn More: www.outcons.com

Published in New Products

 

Microsoft Office is launching a new product to its line-up, Microsoft Planner. The team collaboration software gives users a visual platform to organize plans, assign tasks, share files, chat and more. Planners use of “Boards” keep projects organized. “Cards” are on the boards and utilize due dates, attachments, categories and conversations. The Cards can be organized into “Buckets” which can be color-coded and prioritized.

One of the benefits of Planner is that it’s easily integrated into other Microsoft Office services allowing users to attach Word, Excel and PowerPoint files to a card. Beyond that, the program integrates with OneNote and every plan has a OneNote Notebook created for it.

—Learn More: www.microsoft.com

 

Published in New Products

College students often have great ideas for apps — they’ve been associating with technology for their entire lives — but often don’t have the development skills to match. To meet this need, Bizness Apps, a DIY app development platform, gives free access to its services to any students with a .edu domain in their email address. The company is partnering with nearly 50 universities and 30,000 students have registered for the platform.

The company is focused on creating as many student entrepreneurs as possible, after all, it was started by student entrepreneurs who want to pay it forward. It may not be as effective as learning to build on a native app, but students will get valuable experience and can help them create a prototype to prove traction and raise the money required to hire real developers.

—Learn More: www.biznessapps.com

Published in New Products

Building on its success of designing and producing whiteboard videos for clients such as Microsoft, NASA and Nestle, TruScribe is launching a software program that allows organizations to create their own whiteboard videos.

Whiteboard videos are effective because they introduce pictures with words, helping to engrain lessons in the brain. With the new software program, subscribers will be able to create lessons on their own with script development tools, a library of artwork, voiceover and editing tools.

—Learn more: truscribe.com

Published in New Products

 

Organizations invest more than $148 billion on training programs annually, but often don’t get a return on investment because the skills taught are not clearly defined and implemented.

PerfectCoaches offers a solution by helping learners become more self-aware and focus on the behavioral skills they need to improve. The program acts as a diary and uses AI and mentors in the individual’s own organization to target key words and lessons that can be improved.

—Learn More: perfectcoaches.com

 

Published in New Products

 

Because TalentLMS is always available in the Cloud, there is no need to install, upgrade or backup anything. Features:

>> You can reuse your presentations and videos or a wide range of online material with social integrations.

>> Because it’s customizable, you can create your own custom domain, logo and theme and make your LMS look the way you dreamt it.

>> Simple and comprehensible analytics provide everything that happens inside your e-learning environment.

>> Mobile friendly: works with iPad, iPhone, Android and similar mobile devices.

>> Support for SCORM & TinCan (xAPI), notifications, course selling, video conferencing, gamification, extensible user profiles, etc.

—More info: www.talentlms.com

 

Published in New Products
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