Category Archives: Technology

Online Casual Gaming Trendsetters Gen-X, Millennials, and High-Tech: The Fast and the Future

Humphrey Watson, a writer, submitted the article below for publication on my blog. I find it an interesting read in general, as it highlights the fact that simple games, sometimes, are better than complex ones to increase learner retention and attention…

From old-school to new-school: Bingo! Video games remain popular as educational tools

A challenge educators face daily: how to make learning fun

One big hurdle that a lot of educators inevitably come across is the fact that some students just don’t take to specific subjects as easily as others. In K12 schools, Math is a good example. In the corporate world, think of that compliance training! How do you teach an otherwise dry and sometimes boring subject matter to disinterested students? Why, by turning it into a game, of course!

Using casual games to teach isn’t at all a novel concept. Remember The Oregon Trail and bingo? The educational benefits of the latter, which has been in use inside classrooms for longer than most of us have been alive, can even trace its roots back to Germany. During the 1800s, German teachers started to incorporate bingo into their classes to teach math, spelling, and history.

Consider the simple game of Bingo. Thanks to its easy-to-learn gameplay mechanics, customizability, and the added fun factor in yelling out “Bingo!” every time you form a line), bingo has had great success as an educational tool. From maths to music, geography to geology, bingo can be adapted into a teaching tool for a wide range of subjects. Simplicity is key!

In addition to the borderline obscene amounts of money that bingo companies spend to promote their games (Gaming Realms recently poured millions of pounds into the BingoGodz; ad campaign), the simplicity and adaptability of the casual game mechanics into different contexts has kept this sort of game alive through the years.

New advances in technology have also pushed the “serious games” industry to new and greater heights. Numerous studies, including a recent one from NYU and CUNY, have found that video games can be highly effective in motivating students to learn less popular subjects.

Educational institutions, foundations, and even the government are taking notice. GlassLab;, a California-based non-profit that works out of gaming giant Electronic Arts, has been given $10.3 million by The Gates and MacArthur Foundations to create educational games. GlassLab is not alone, either. It’s just one of many such developers found all over the United States.

Thanks to these new developments, the field of education is certainly shaping up to be an exciting one for educators and students all over the world.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2014-01-27 07:34:56). Online Casual Gaming Trendsetters Gen-X, Millennials, and High-Tech: The Fast and the Future. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 18, 2014, from

Wasted Time in the Workplace: INFOGRAPHIC

We all know technology can provide great tools for simplifying (work) life and improve results. However, it can be the culprit of a lot of the time wasted in the workplace as well, as depicted in this infographic.
I wonder how these numbers play out in the home-assigned employee’s realm.
Also, how can we turn these numbers around for increased productivity?

Wasted Time in the Workplace - Infographic
Time Doctor – Track your time. Track your team’s time. Know EXACTLY what is REALLY going on.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-10-15 09:44:25). Wasted Time in the Workplace: INFOGRAPHIC. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 18, 2014, from

MOOC – What Is It?

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel and explain what a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is. Tons of people are trying to explain this “new” trend.

While I think most of the craze around MOOCs is the fact that some big institutions are offering interactive versions of their courses with recorded slides and video lectures, the what makes a MOOC engaging is what makes any sort of eLearning or Learning without the “e” engaging: clear objectives, connectedness, knowledge/skill transfer optimization, fun (why not?), scaffolding… all those words you threw around in grad school.

So, whether you’re designing a MOOC or any type of learning experience, forget the term, design it thinking of your audience and objectives that will help them acquire skills and knowledge they can actually USE.

The technology is an enabler, not a driver.


What is a MOOC?

The MOOC Guide

Massive Open Online Course (Wikipedia)

MOOC Guide (Wikispaces) Providers List

Massive Open Online Course (references from Educause)

MOOC Advisor (blog and resources about MOOCs)


To learn more about how to design a MOOC the most effectively, consider earning an instructional technology masters degree.


Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-09-27 11:57:28). MOOC - What Is It?. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 18, 2014, from

Trends in Educational Technology (eLearning Trends INFOGRAPHIC)

I know, too many buzzwords flying around. So, how do you keep up with all the terminology and make sure you’re not missing out on trends that *might* have a positive impact in your learning programs or personal learning experiences? Answer: keep up with resources such as this cheat sheet for Educational Technology Trends compiled by the people at Boundless in infographic form:


Educational Technology Trends Cheat Sheet

Learn about some of the latest trends in eLearning, in one infographic by @GoBoundless

Source article from LearnDash.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-08-07 10:52:03). Trends in Educational Technology (eLearning Trends INFOGRAPHIC). Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 18, 2014, from

Storyboarding Made Easy and Automagic by Amazon Storyteller

It looks like creating a professional storyboard from an existing script just got easier with the a href=”″Amazon Storytelling Service/a.

I’m curious to if and how filmmakers, educators and others use this tool to create content.

Please share your experience here in the comments.

Why confine creativity to a closed space? How Yahoo set back the workplace to the dark ages

How interesting that people confine creativity to collaboration in a closed space…

There is creativity in solitude and in collaboration (the latter being virtual or in person)…

Creativity and productivity are organic…

Open up your minds…

In recent news, Yahoo steps decades backward in workplace evolution by banning their work-from-home program.

All their CEO and high execs needed to do was search the Web for an Infographic or other sources of information on the advantages of working from home, and they’d have recanted this tragic decision:

Source: via Enzo on Pinterest

TONS of Free Tutorials and Videos for Learning Designers

I came across this post on the Instructional Design and eLearning Industry Professionals group on Facebook. Whether you’re trying to learn how to use Adobe Captivate 6, how to administer Moodle, create content in Articulate Storyline, or even how to use Udutu, there’s a learning opportunity for everyone.

Visit for more “free video tutorials for Educational Technologies” and sign up.

55 Free Adobe Captivate 6 Video Tutorials

34 Free Flash CS6 Video Tutorials

105 Free Moodle Video Tutorials

21 Free iSpring Presenter Video Tutorials

31 Free eFront Video Tutorials

13 Free Udutu Video Tutorials

35 Free Articulate Storyline Video Tutorials

and much much more!

Getting Creative with Videos and Presentations for Learning (birthday parties too)

Death by PowerPoint is a myth. The true fatal diagnosis to millions of audience members that die daily in seats at training events, classrooms, conferences, and webinars world wide is the epidemic of poor design boredom.

With a little bit of creativity and just the right tool (and that includes PowerPoint), you can design simple yet effective visual presentations for concepts that are hard to visualize, or that you’d simply like to make more engaging, fun, eye-catching.

Here are a few tools I’ve used in the past that let you create live presentations and/or videos that won’t kill your audience and will keep their attention for longer than 5 seconds… oh, but again, the best tool is a creative brain that is not afraid to experiment, have fun, make mistakes… as much as we designers like to say humor isn’t universal, it is. Why not have fun and entertain your audience while they learn. Airlines have caught up to that idea


Sparkol / Video Scribe – While Sparkol is a presentation tool while Video Scribe is an animated, well, video scribing tool. I’ve always enjoyed seeing those videos that have artists draw on the screen concepts that are being explained in real-time, as the narrative progresses. This is exactly what Video Scribe lets you achieve without having to draw a single image. It recognizes lines in vector graphics (readily and freely available on websites like OpenClipart) to generate an illusion of a hand drawing the images progressively on the screen. Videos can be exported into various formats available (including direct publication to Youtube).

Prezi – Prezi has been around for a while. It allows you to create zoom in/zoom out presentations and videos on what they call an infinite canvas. Sequences created in Prezi don’t necessarily have to follow the linear nature of most PowerPoint presentations, and can be quite stunning. Prezi also lets you collaborate with your teammates in real time.

Spicynodes – This tool allows you to create non-linear and interactive mindmap presentations that can better represent your thought process or sequence.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2012-11-14 16:30:37). Getting Creative with Videos and Presentations for Learning (birthday parties too). Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 18, 2014, from

Edutaining Airline Safety Videos

Dying on a plane crash is one of my nightmares. I am afraid of flying on commercial aircrafts, it’s tense. So, why not catch my attention in that sweaty-palm moment with a fun little video about air travel safety? I’m already tense enough to be bored by the traditional video segments.

Here’s to the airlines that like to break tradition and provide more engaging educational videos to their passengers:





Skype in the Classroom

Skype has changed the way I communicate with my family (who lives in Brazil). When I was dating my wife long-distance, in between international trips to see each other, we communicated via instant messaging (Yahoo! Messenger), email, and expensive phone cards. That was mid-2000s, video chat wasn’t available, let alone video chat via mobile devices! Fast forward to 2010, and now Skype offers video calls on the iPhone: and since I’ve been living in the U.S. for years, I can not only talk to my family in Brazil for free but also show them where I live!

Now Skype aims at changing the way the classroom sees the world and interacts with it too.

Skype in the Classroom is a project that wants to connect teachers and students with professionals out there for live video conferencing sessions. It provides an online community that allows teachers to share projects and find people that want to contribute to them. Skype has also partnered with organizations to provide expertise, be it in the form of a quick Q&A with an expert at a certain field, tagging along a professional doing their job, or having an author perform a book reading for students.

Skype in the Classroom also has a Resources section where teachers can share materials and articles to support lessons in a variety of topics. Content, can be searched and filtered by Age Group, Language, Country, and  Category.

Projects can be searched and filtered by age group, language, type of expertise, and category.

This is a great idea to expand the students’ world beyond the walls of the classroom by using a free tool!

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