“Can I Be Articulate?” Rap Song & Lyrics

Earlier today, I tweeted about a rap song that I created that took the e-learning world by storm:

rap-tweet

Did it really take the world by storm? No…it did not. However, I received a lot of positive feedback and requests for the lyrics.  So, without further ado, you can listen to the song below and check out the lyrics as well:

Lyrics:

Verse 1:

I’m about to descend into a SCORM cloud with my Word of Mouth
Shout out into the forums, tout my Engaging vows
All the learners say wow, wow, widipiddy wow
When I twitter my course by sending the hyperlink out

Record a narration, add an annotation
Publish to AO with my tracking specifications
Set the content to private, sent out an invitation
I’ll be like, goodbye Adobe, salutations

Now, check your sanitation, you got a rolling brownout
That means you’re about to explode and your eyeballs are hanging out
So while I jump rope with your optic nerve, put it on swerve
Hit the publish button and watch Presenter work

View the presentation, now watch the escalation
You see the conversation? Oh yes, it’s elevated
Have you been persuaded? I think it’s been stated
Slated in concrete, no need to be debated

Chorus:

Can I be Articulate?
Give me a batch of bundled grapes
I’ll smash ’em all up with Engaging confidence
I’ll smash ’em all up with Engaging confidence
Can I be Articulate? Now, can I be Articulate?

(Repeat chorus)

Verse 2:

Now it’s time to screenr, an in-between-er
The storyline says we got a mean demeanor
But I’m an e-learning hero, an AO pro
My bandwidth’s on a new level that nobody knows

Heads up to the browsers, attention to browsees
Can you please get Chromed out or at least IE’d?
Or watch the Fox get fired up on your Safari?
And whether you’re a Mac or PC, it doesn’t matter to me

Because the tracking is irrelevant, my content sets a precedence
The future is the present-tense and Paine is my common sense
DC is not my residence, but I get more votes than Presidents
I’m the opposite of sediment and that’s just my sentiment

Well, I’m a jack of all trades, an ace of all spades
One mouse click away from a cliche
Engaged, quizzed out, presented, all in one day
Now can I be Articulate?

Chorus:

Can I be Articulate?
Give me a batch of bundled grapes
And I’ll smash ’em all up with Engaging confidence
And I’ll smash ’em all up with Engaging confidence
Can I be Articulate? Now, can I be Articulate?

Can I be Articulate?
Give me a batch of bundled grapes
And I’ll smash ’em all up with Engaging confidence
And I’ll smash ’em all up with Engaging confidence
Can I be Articulate? Oh yes I am Articulate!

How to change the world with minimal effort

In the fast-paced world of smartphones, cloud computing, and social media, techfreaks like myself are not only working more hours, but are also increasing their efficiency.  We have learned to wear more than one hat due to the economical hardships of the past few years.  As business has steadily increased, however, we are required to continually maximize our efforts and keep the head count as lean as possible.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that other aspects of our lives have taken the back-seat to our employment.  Whether it’s family time, exercise, church events, recreation, or volunteering, we simply don’t have time to that we used to.

Fortunately, creative uses of technology have enabled us to change the world with minimal effort.  Here’s a few free options that you can utilize to make a difference:

World Community Grid

The World Community Grid enables you to donate your unused computer time to many research projects.  Simply by installing a free program on your computer, you can help conquer cancer, fight hunger,  cure Muscular Dystrophy, and more.

world-community-grid-boinc

The best thing about the software is that you can tune it so that it only runs whenever your computer is idle or at certain times of the day or night.  Are you one of those people that constantly leaves their machine running overnight?  Why not use the World Community Gird to put that idle time to use?

world-community-grid-settings

You can join the World Community Grid by using this link.  If you’re interested in joining the “Articulate Community Users” group, you can join by using this link.

For more information on the World Community Grid, check out the informational video below:

CauseWorld

CauseWorld is a free application that is available for both the iPhone and android that enables you to donate “karmas” to support a cause of your choice.  The causes range from offsetting carbon to donating a book to children in Southeast Asia, India, Afraid, and more.

causeworld-causes

To earn “karmas”, simply walk into a store, launch the app, click on the “check-in” button, and select a store.

causeworld-checkin

While the application doesn’t have a leaderboard to compare your karmas and donations to other users, you can earn badges and “level-up” as you donate to various causes.  You can also check your own stats right from the application.

For more information on CauseWorld, check out this link.

gazelle.com

Do you have an old gadget sitting around the office or your house that you simply don’t know what to do with?  Why not recycle it with gazelle?  Not only will they send you a box and pay for the shipping, you may actually receive cash for your old gadget.

gazelle

Whether you need to get rid of an old personal printer or your business needs to recycle some old laptops, gazelle.com is the free, green, and easy choice.

For more information, check out their website here.

4 Chrome Extensions that you should already have installed

google-chrome-extensions

Google Chrome is quickly gaining speed as the browser of choice among people that aren’t stuck with IE due to corporate restrictions.  Not only is it fast, but it’s also expanding quickly due to the vast number of extensions that are already available.  If you’re one of “those people” that haven’t made the switch to Chrome, I suggest doing it now before you read this article and become insanely jealous.

Session Manager

Session Manager is an extension that enables you to save a session that contains every tab that is currently open in the browser.  So, if you have 3 or 4 websites that you immediately open when you start your day, you can have this extension automatically open these sites for you with just a few clicks.  For more information on Session Manager, check out the screencast below:

You can download the Session Manager extension here.

Bit.ly Sidebar

If you’re into social media like Twitter and Facebook, you already know how much time you can save by using the Bit.ly Sidebar.  No longer do you have to actually go to a URL shortening site, copy and paste the URL, and then generate the short URL.  With this extension, simply go to the site that you want to shorten, click on the Bit.ly Sidebar extension in Chrome, and you’ll automatically have the shortened URL ready for you.

bit-url

How many clicks and keystrokes will this save you in an average day?  Probably a bunch.

You can download the Bit.ly Sidebar extension here.

IE Tab

IE Tab is one of those add-ons that you don’t think about until you run into a website like this:

outlook-web-access

With Office Outlook Web Access, if you aren’t using IE 6 or later, then you’re stuck with a “light” version of email.  Here’s what the same page looks like in Chrome with the IE Tab applied:

outlook-web-access2

Just by opening the website with an IE tab, you have access to the full-blown version instead of the “light” version of the email client.

If using the IE Tab extension doesn’t excite you, then you’re likely not stuck in a corporate environment.  For whatever reason, a lot of IT departments require their intranets and other local resources to be accessed with Internet Explorer.  This extension will allow you to access those resources without any issues.  I highly recommend installing this extension even if you don’t have an immediate use for it.  You’ll likely find a website to use it on after installing it.

You can download the IE Tab extension here.

PageShot

pageshot

PageShot is an extension that enables you to screen capture a webpage and then crop it as necessary.  Before PageShot, I would hit the PrintScreen button on my keyboard, open Microsoft Paint, paste the image, crop it, and then either save it or copy it to my clipboard.  With PageShot, I can simply click on the extension, crop the image, and then right-click the resulting image to save it or copy it to my clipboard.  This extension saves me a lot of time in a typical day.  The only downside to this extension is that the functionality isn’t what I expected.  Personally, I would like to see the cropping tool drop onto my current screen instead of opening the page into a new window.

You can download the PageShot extension here.

An un-honorable mention:  Roboform

roboform

Amongst all of the great extensions available for Chrome, there are a few that shine about as nicely as your toilet.  Unfortunately, no matter how clean or white your toilet looks, it’s still a toilet.  Out of all of the extensions mentioned in this article, none of them excited me as much as Roboform.  I’ve literally been waiting months for Roboform to come out on Chrome so that I can finally get rid of Firefox.  To my dismay, Roboform for Chrome is about as intuitive as installing Ubuntu on a PS3 (yes, I said it).  To the developers of Roboform, I ask that you take a look at the Bit.ly Sidebar extension & copy it EXACTLY.  Until then, Roboform wins my award for the saddest implementation of an extension for Chrome.

You can download the Roboform extension here.

Have a recommendation for a Google Chrome Extension that wasn’t mentioned here?  Leave a reply below and I’ll check it out.

Understanding tracking in Articulate Online

Tracking user scores and data in Articulate Online is a very simple process as long as you understand the difference between public content, private content, and guestbooks.

Public content

public-content

Public content is exactly what it sounds like…public content.  This means that anyone with a direct link to the content itself can access it.  Keep in mind that if someone accesses a public content item via the direct link, they will not be required to log into your Articulate Online account.  Thus, when you run a report on that content item, their attempt may show up as “anonymous” instead of an actual first and last name.

anonymous-access

If you insist on keeping your content public, I recommend that you only do so in the following situations:

  • Surveys – In most cases, surveys can be anonymous and still be effective.  For example, if you are trying to find out if your employees like the new cafeteria vendor or even the new CEO, it might be best to keep the survey anonymous.
  • Knowledge Checks – Are you trying just to get an idea as to how much your employees or students know about a certain subject?  Create a “knowledge check” in Quizmaker, list it as a public content item, and then email invitations to your users.  Using knowledge checks is a great way to determine if there is a need to create a full-blown course on a specific subject.
  • Other content / Engage interactions / Quizmaker quizzes that do not require a need to know who actually accessed the content.  This will likely need to be determined by you…the e-learning designer.

Private Content

private-content

If you need a way to ensure that your users’ scores are linked to actual user accounts, then you’ll want to make your content Private.  When a user tries to directly access the content through a link or button that you provide, that user will be required to log into the Articulate Online system.  Thus, when they access the content, their progress and their scores for that content item will be tracked.

tracking-user

Guestbooks

guestbook

Guestbooks are used to provide supplemental information about the people accessing content in your Articulate Online account.  They should not be used an alternate means of attempting to track a specific user’s score.  Rather, they should be used in the following situations:

Public Content – Using guestbooks with surveys, knowledge checks, and other content is a great way to ensure that a specific person has completed the content without associating their name to specific responses.  This not only keeps the attempt anonymous, but also helps you track whether or not someone has accessed it.

Private Content – Using guestbooks with private content is a great way of getting additional information about the people accessing your content without having to customize the content itself.  Without guestbooks, you would need to add additional questions to your survey or quizzes to get additional information about the user.  However, by using the guestbook feature, you can request (or require) a wide range of information, including:

  • Company
  • Job Title
  • Department
  • Phone
  • Cell
  • Fax
  • Address and more

Summary

If you need to track users and their scores in Articulate Online, be sure to do the following in order:

  1. Set the end-user up in the system
  2. Set the content up as private
  3. Invite the user to view the content

If it’s not necessary to link a specific user to their progress of a specific item, then set the content up as public.  Finally, be sure to use guestbooks only as a means to get additional information about your users instead of as a means of tracking progress.

New Engage Community Interaction – Carousel

carousel engage community interaction

Articulate Customer Support Engineer David Burton recently unveiled a new Engage community interaction via @articulatebrian on Twitter.  The interaction is called “Carousel”.  You can see it in action here.

You can download the interaction by going to David Burton’s site at the link below:

http://builtbyburton.com/2009/10/30/articulate-engage-carousel-interaction-v1-3/