Please note that the LodeStar Journal is being updated to reflect the new practices and techniques of the upcoming LodeStar 7. LodeStar Learning is preparing for the transition to LodeStar 7. We are in the process of redesigning all of our tutorials, journal articles and example pages to explore all of the new capabilities of the LodeStar 7 interface. Here is the official announcement that appeared in the journal before it was suspended:
By Robert "Bob" Bilyk
Look to the northern sky in late fall. You will see the sudden brightening of a new star called LodeStar Nova . Our new project is aptly named. A nova happens when two stars are close together in a binary system and one star pulls material from its companion star. LodeStar Nova is the envisioning of a whole new product but one that borrows from the successes and capabilities of its parent star.
Immediately after Ignite Minnesota, a regional Desire2Learn conference, work began on LodeStar Nova, the complete redesign of LodeStar. LodeStar's foundation was initially designed in 2001 and then cosmetically reworked in 2003. Because of its design we have been able to evolve rapidly as technology evolved. We began by supporting Java applets, and then created a better student experience by producing Flash objects and, later, HTML 5 and eBooks.
Twelve years of experience has also given us a lot of feedback on what works and doesn't work for both instructors and students. With that experience, we know what LodeStar can do well and what it can't do well. We know from recent feedback, for example, that LodeStar's branching capabilities are powerful but instructors need a way to visualize the branches. We know that LodeStar must integrate better with new media and new interoperability standards. And we've always known that LodeStar needs to be accessible not only in its output (the learning objects) but on the authoring side as well.
So with that challenge in mind, we've begun to build LodeStar Nova. You won't hear from us for months. But we've always promised something special to our Facebook followers. You will be the first to download the alpha versions. You'll get a free license. You will get a chance to comment and give us feedback. Alpha, beta and even the gold releases won't have all of the functionality of LodeStar 6. It will, however, do things better and in a more intuitive, integrated way. Think of it as LodeStar Lite. Despite the reduced functionality (e.g. initially, no drawing), we think you'll love it and will find it very useful.
Tell your colleagues to join us on in Facebook if they would like the same opportunity extended to them. We need all of the suport from our community that we can get.