How to Find Your Happy Place with Free Stock Files free stock filesIf you work with media, you are probably already familiar with – if you aren’t familiar with them, I’m happy to introduce you!

e-Learning instructional designers and developers, graphic artists, Web developers, technical writers, video production specialists, voice-over actors, eBook authors and publishers, copywriters, advertising gurus…the list could go on for several more lines. I know that there are several terrific sites on the WWW for finding and downloading stock photos, illustrations, audio, and video files.

For years, I’ve stuck with because, well…they just make it easy for me to find, save to Lightbox, purchase, and download stock files. Awhile ago, they began sending emails to members highlighting free, high-quality stock files.

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Mobile App Review: PhraseBoard

In early May of this year, I bought an iPad for my consulting business, and also because I was registered to attend mLearnCon, The eLearning Guild’s first annual mobile learning conference. As I continue to explore my iPad, I grow more and more excited about mobile devices in general, and what mobile learning can provide in the near future. I also will review mobile apps when I find an app that really gets me excited.

This week, I found an iPad app that, for me, demonstrates the amazing benefits that tablet devices will bring to society. When I saw this free app, I had to write a review.

PhraseBoard: iPad Medical Application

Imagine you’re in a hospital bed, or you’ve been in an accident, or a natural disaster. You’re unable to speak, yet you need to communicate with those around you: nurses, doctors, emergency personnel, etc. If the person attending you has PhraseBoard (currently, only for the iPad), you can use the touch screen to indicate your basic needs:

  • Answer “yes” or “no” to questions
  • Indicate your pain level and location, if any
  • Point to specific answers to specific questions

PhraseBoard also has a Custom feature that allows the device owner to enter and save phrases geared toward specific needs, such as “I need to see a … [add religious advisor or Chaplain]”, or, “I need a pepperoni pizza, NOW!” (That one is on my PhraseBoard.)

Video Demo of PhraseBoard

I’m not a videographer, but as a rank amateur armed with my Nikon CoolPix, I created a brief demo so you could see PhraseBoard in action….

PhraseBoard iPad App from JeniseCook on Vimeo.

Developer’s iPad App Web Site

Visit their site to learn a bit more about PhraseBoard. Remember, PhraseBoard is free.

Spread the word!

Share | Publish PDF Flipbooks

How to Turn Your PDF Documents into Online Flipbooks

Flipbooks are a current novelty and a fun interaction appropriate in some e-learning courses. The Articulate ’09 suite of rapid e-learning development tools has an Engage Flipbook interaction. However, I often find that the pages in the published interaction look too narrow to me.

Through my online, personal learning network I discovered from Brian Batt of Articulate. I viewed his screencast tutorial, went to to upload an old user guide I created some time ago, and created my first Web-based (Flash) flipbook from a PDF file.

Take a look by clicking the image below. (Note: The PDF file I used was a low resolution file.)

Diplomas in SumTotal Systems Total LMS 7.2

Click image to view flipbook in a new browser window.

Brian Batt of Articulate created a screencast of and added it to his post on the Word of Mouth Blog. You can insert the output as a Web Object in an Articulate online course to use it instead of the Engage flipbook interaction if you need wider pages for your content.

You can view Brian’s screen cast here:

Or, click the link below to view it directly on Screenr:

I’m already thinking of some ideas on how to use in future e-learning courses!


As of April 2017, I have turned off comments on this blog post. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at info @ RidgeViewMedia . com Thank you for visiting!



Virtual Collaboration Solves e-Learning Issue

It amazes me how learning and collaboration take place via the Internet and the World Wide Web. I thank Tim Burners-Lee for the Web and those who develop applications (Skype, Base Camp, blogs, etc.) to promote global sharing and team work.

tomkuhlmann07102009What inspired this post? Well, every Tuesday, Tom Kuhlmann of Articulate (he’s V.P. of Community) publishes a new post on his Rapid e-Learning blog. I’m one of many who comment on his posts to share ideas, experience, and even lessons learned.


One of Tom’s blog readers read a comment of mine, then clicked the URL to visit my Web site. ( At the time, my Home page had a news notice about an Articulate Quizmaker demo I had created.

I don’t know that reader, but he’s the Training Manager at an insurance company in another state and time zone. He liked the demo so much that he wanted his in-house e-learning team to recreate it for one of their courses. Want to view the demo? Click the link below (Note: Contains Flash, so it’s not HTML5 compliant for iOS devices.)

imgquizdemoswfs_smallClick to view quiz demo.

They began their efforts, and then one of the IDs/Developers contacted me via an e-mail message to ask for help. They ran into a problem with their Quizmaker project file. I asked him to send me their files so I could troubleshoot and find the issue, and he did (removing corporate proprietary information and including only the Adobe Flash SWF file).

Now, I have some experience as a Q.A. Tester, and I determined the issue came from their Flash SWF file. They weren’t quite sure what to do, so I sent them my Quizmaker project file and my Flash FLA file.

That did it!

The *.fla file I sent helped them resolve their roadblock, they successfully published their quiz, and their manager was very happy. (It’s a good thing when your manager is happy!)

Wrap Up

This brief experience with “strangers”, people I’ve never met nor seen, warmed my heart. First, I feel privileged to be a part of the global learning community. This community bubbles over with caring, active, and exciting professionals. As a community, we are always learning so we can help our learners to increase their performance by improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

And, all of this happened when a learning professional reached out to me to ask for guidance, and I provided the resources they needed to achieve success. I still feel touched thinking about it. And, in the spirit of learning and collaboration, if you’d like the Quizmaker/Flash project files for your next Quizmaker project, send me a message to: info AT

You and I are “Always Learning”, so feel free to share this post with others who use (or are planning to use) Articulate’s Quizmaker ’09 application.

If you like this post, you may also enjoy:

Adobe Flash SWF Scenarios Inside Quizzes

PowerPoint 2007 Designs for e-Learning

Creating Effective Assessments | Video of the Month 200808


Free ISD #1 | Welcome & Introduction

Instructional Systems Design Education | The Frugal Way

Gas prices for regular grade (87) at my local Costco are rising close to $4.70-9/10…well, as of today. And, everyone talks about rising fuel costs just like people talked about rising real estate prices during 2004-2006.

As fuel costs rise, the cost for anything and everything increases. Neighbors and coworkers are cutting back to the bare bones. For some families, it’s really, really tough as there’s too much month at the end of the money. What’s ironic is that now it’s common to share with others what you’ve cut out of your household budget. A few, random selections I’ve heard are:

“Oh yeah, we’ve cut out HBO and Showtime from our cable service.”

“I just canceled the pest control service.”

“We’ve changed newspaper delivery from 7 days to just Sundays, now. During the week, we’ll just read articles online.”

“We’ve started a vegetable garden in our backyard! Want some of my extra tomatoes?”

Limited Money for School

While we weather (and adjust to) the current economic situation, some of us are putting off getting certificates or degrees in online instructional systems design. However, I see an opportunity in all of this! Some weeks ago, I read a blog post on whether it’s really “worth it” to get an advanced degree in ISD.

Cammy Bean and Dr. John H. Curry had several friendly exchanges about this at his blog. Like Cammy, I have learned a great deal on the job and from talented mentors. Now, the fun part comes after you’ve read Dr. John Curry’s entire post. Look at the link near the bottom. See it? An “Aha!” moment!

My Personal Challenge

What a great list of resources! “Dr. John’s” and Cammy’s exchange has inspired me. For the past year, I’ve been thinking of getting my M.A. in EduTech, and I believe I will one day. As a former Adjunct Professor in the Community College district, I support academia whole heartedly. Until then, however, I am going nurture our household budget during these economic times and start on my “formal” ISD education the frugal way.

Thanks to the Internet and our wonderful community of online ISD bloggers, you and I can start our self-study ISD education at any time! The challenge for me will be to schedule the time and “git ‘er done”.

The “Free ISD” Series (Sharing It with You)

So, there. Now I’ve done it. This inaugural post begins a series where I will post the ISD/EduTech resources that I find. It will also serve as my journal to document my progress (or, lack there of!). Will you join me? Want to be a fellow learner or my mentor? I hope so. A graduation party by myself would be kind of lonely.

Yes, I’m “Always Learning”!

Photo credits (under Creative Commons license):

AgentAkit for “Arm/Leg”

Goodimages for “Graduation Ceremony Procession”

UPDATE, May 2016: Did I go get my M.A. in ISD? No, I did not, and that decision did not negatively affect my employment nor my freelance business.