A proliferation of new tools is blurring the lines between websites, games, learning tools and movies. The internet has changed how information is created, retained, organized and presented and these changes continue. These emerging tools are generally referred to as “Content Creation Tools”. Examples include Prezi, Powtoons, Animatron and countless others, with new ones coming out every day.
What these resources all have in common is that they integrate graphics, images, text, video and sound to author customized media presentations. The value of these tools for content creators is that they allow one to inexpensively develop web based material without the need to write code. Beyond these commonalities, the similarities stop. Different tools target unique users, audiences and platforms. For example, some tools gear themselves towards those looking to create content specific to Youtube or Facebook. Many of them are aimed at the business sector to create presentations or marketing campaigns. In the context of a course of instructional technology, one is likely to explore these new resources (curata.org., n.d.).
Its noteworthy that educational resources often have unique concerns. Full blown courses have to have mechanisms for communication with the instructor, educationally specific data analytics, assessments and a way of tracking grades. Furthermore, educational programs need to be held to a higher standard than a Facebook marketing video. For this reason, the Department of Defense (one of the partners which developed the internet in the first place), has established a set of protocols called “SCORM”. According to the SCORM website, “SCORM is a set of technical standards for e-learning software products. SCORM tells programmers how to write their code so that it can “play well” with other e-learning software”. SCORM is not about the content, but rather the technical elements (SCORM.org., n.d.).
While those who design content creation tools may have a specific use in mind, their use may not be merely limited to this idea and educators are increasingly turning to these tools to create engaging, interactive learning activities. In addition, the demand for elearning and mobile learning is driving instructional designers to consider these options. It isn't surprising that, in this regard, marketers and educators are turning to the same tools, in that both of these professions ultimately have the same goals; providing information and changing behavior. However, like the wild west, order depends on law. Some communities are like Las Vegas, seemingly, eternally rooted in frontier. While others, like elearning platforms, are more akin to Salt Lake City, where acceptable standards matter more.
Curata. (n.d.). [web log comment]. Retrieved from: http://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketing-tools-ultimate-list/
SCORM (n.d.). [web log comment]. Retrieved from: https://scorm.com/scorm-explained/