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Summary:

Mindflash is a training solution that helps you create educational presentations that include your existing training documentation, such as Word documents, PDFs and PowerPoint presentations, along with multimedia such as video and quizzes. The tool is designed to be easy-to-use for the both trainer and trainee.

presentation-arranger-for-press

Training your staff when you have a distributed team can be a challenge. Getting a new team member up to speed with the way you want things done, or making sure they understand compliance issues and other detailed and technical information can necessitate a patchwork quilt of applications for training. You could web conferencing tools such as Dimdim or GoToMeeting, but then you could find yourself repeating the same information over and over to each new hire. You could also email documents for them to review, but how do you know they’ve read them?

Mindflash is a training solution that helps you create discrete educational presentations that include your existing training documentation, such as Word documents, PDFs and PowerPoint presentations, along with multimedia, such as video and interactive quizzes. The tool is designed to be easy-to-use for the both trainer and trainee.

Besides offering training modules, Mindflash also has features for monitoring the results of the training and reports on progress and completion.

Tools for Trainers

As a trainer, you can access a dashboard where you can add courses and see your course drafts, courses in progress, and an archive of old courses. You can add some customization to each training package, including changing colors and adding a company logo.

To set up a new course, you name it, describe it, and then begin uploading and arranging files. The upload process is relatively fast; the Mindflash system converts anything you upload into Flash to ensure the integrity of your presentation pieces. You can upload a PowerPoint slideshow and it will be stored on the Mindflash system — and be displayed to the trainee — with the exact appearance you designed in the first place, including any animations you may have added to the original.

Next, you can insert a video anywhere in the presentation by uploading one and then choosing the exact place to embed it. And if you want to add a quiz, just decide where the quiz should be inserted and choose what type of quiz it should be.

You can then view a preview of your course as the trainee would see it. Once it’s ready, you can invite others to the training as well as monitor enrollment, send reminders if they haven’t taken the course, then see when the training has been completed.

Mindflash is targeting small business owners and individual trainers with their affordable price points, which will be based on the number of trainees: about $2 to $4 per active trainee in the system per month. There is a 30-day free trial available, and if you only have 10 trainees or less, the system remains free.

Other Uses for Mindflash

I was impressed with Mindflash’s easy plug-and-play interface to create elegant and interactive training modules, and the first thing that came to mind was: I can use this to package my live presentations and train others without me having to be “live.” But the idea of me paying for each trainee didn’t sound so good. So I asked Mindflash’s CEO, Donna Wells, about adding a monetization feature for trainers who want to it this as an income-generation tool. While she did say it was a future feature under consideration, it wasn’t an immediate opportunity the company would be exploring.

Then I thought an interim solution might be creating an event in Eventbrite to handle registration. Whenever someone pays for the training, they’ll receive the invitation to the Mindflash training module. I’m going to play around with that concept and report back on how it goes.

In the meantime, I can see immediate use for Mindflash in the social media marketing agency I co-founded, because we have to train new hires on the exact same information every time and then as information changes and updates, we might need to retrain team members. We also provide training social media marketing training to clients, and compact and resuable training presentations would be a time saver for everyone.

Mindflash are currently offering a special launch discount: Sign up before Oct 1, during the beta, for 20 percent off the regular price.

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  1. Great to talk to you last week. Eager to see how the EventBrite mashup works for you. A favor? If you post the monetization idea in our Help and Support forums, the whole Mindflash.com user community can vote it up/down … helping us prioritize it in our roadmap. We take community feedback to heart…we launched two of the top 3 user-voted ideas just this month.

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  2. Hey guys,

    This looks like a great overview of a cool service. I have a question about powerpoint presentations being uploaded as online course material. I’ve done a bit of research, and I specifically enjoyed Anita Rosen’s “e-Learning 2.0.”

    Her basic premise being that powerpoint presentations do no transfer well to web, and from a trainer’s point of view, “this is just an easy way to get the e-learning initiative off the desk.” Furthermore, she notes that powerpoint presentations are boring, and are only made valuable in the context of classroom learning.

    I would love to hear your rationale behind your decision, because maybe we’re missing something in our product.

    Best,

    Max

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    1. Hey Max,

      Great book and I agree with much of what Anita Rosen says. Have to disagree with a blanket statement that all PowerPoints do not transfer well to the web, or that all are boring. Seems like blaming the wrench for shoddy work by your plumber!

      My POV:
      1. PowerPoint is a great training tool for certain types of content. I’m thinking of the high volume of basic education that happens in companies daily, e.g. instructions on how to submit expense reimbursements, requests for Tech Support, new employee info to payroll/benefits. It’s also great for educating employees about internal policies and standards. Putting that type of content in a PowerPoint and getting in on the web…with tracking…is the right use of the trainers time and the company’s resources.

      2. The fact that PowerPoint on the web is an “easy out” — our engineers would disagree that our conversion technology is easy to build. But it does make it easy for the user — points out another good use case. When time is critical, I think it’s totally appropriate to use PowerPoint to get education out fast. Let’s say your CEO has great news (We Won!) or bad news (Houston, We Have a Problem) that must be conveyed quickly. PowerPoint to web is often a great solution, especially with better features which have rolled out since Anita’s book, I think. Embedded video, audio and new animation controls (all of which Mindflash supports) can add to the experience as well.

      3. Do agree that nuanced e-learning, or information that is intended to deeply inspire or motivate, content that would benefit from active dialog and personal story-telling are not great use cases for PowerPoint.

      More of our perspective on how to make great training can be found on our blog http://www.mindflash.com/blog. I hope you’ll subscribe and share your perspectives there, too.

      Best, Donna

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  3. Good luck with the eventbrite mashup. Look forward to seeing how it works for you.
    Just for the record while mindflash suggest you ‘vote’ for the idea inside the support forum you will see from the comments inside that they are adamant that a payment feature is not on the roadmap despite beta testers calling out for it.
    I really like the look of the product but it is expensive to use properly if you are in the setup phase and an entrepeneur.
    I was interested in the free account but it appears you cannot archive trainees in that level of membership – a shame really as I would have considered setting it up and testing out. To keep removing trainees in order to stay under 20 would be a nightmare!!
    They do have to be congratulated on the interface – it is very attractive from what I’ve seen and quick to set up.
    Interested in setting it up for some of my corporate clients but my smaller ones will have to use my other online learning system for now!

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    1. Helen,

      Thanks for checking us out and for your feedback. You’re right that we’ve said that an e-commerce service is not on our roadmap now. But we watch our user forums closely and have changed our roll-out plans based on that input. Two examples: we launched Full-Screen Video, and increased Question and Answer fields in August, two of the top three highest-voted features. Neither were high priority items for us in May…until users told us they should be!

      I hear your concerns about pricing. I hope you will try us out for a 30 Day free trial. I believe you may find that the software quickly pays for itself. If Mindflash saves you just one business trip to deliver live training, you’ll be coming out ahead, no?

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