Top 10 List of Tools for Learning – 2011

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Jane Hart is in her fifth year of coordinating what is possible the best list of tools used for learning. The emerging list is amazing. This is my list of tools that I find the most value in. Some I value because I learn so much by using the tool and some because I have found them extremely useful in helping others learn. This is in no particular order.

Twitter – Free – I can learn more in 30 minutes on Twitter than I have in any semester of formal learning. Yes, the learning is less in depth but  broad learning is becoming more important. I see it as an internal collective intelligence process. Diversity is a key element of collective intelligence and Twitter allows me to include diversity inside my own head. That diversity of knowledge helps me see things from multiple perspectives.

Sliderocket – Free and paid versions, affordable monthly plan – Flash based cloud hosted alternative to PowerPoint and Prezi. It’s beautiful and with integrated forms, polls, and analytics I can create sharable presentations that at least engage by asking questions that viewers can respond to. It;s become my number one tool for online presentation.

Camtasia – Software –  Not free but wothwhile if you do a lot of screen recording. I use it for editing all my other video also.  Screen recording software does pretty much everything I need it to do and it does it smoothly and easily. I use it when I need sharable video and often record my Sliderocket presentations as an alternative way to share them. I also love the Techsmith “News You Can Use” newsletter. It’s like a mini class in Camtasia use every time, great layout and really great hope-to’s.

Audacity – Free , open source – If you do video or online slide shareing with audio you have to pay attention to the sound. Audacity is relatively easy to use and works as well as software you pay for.

Screenr – Free from Articulate – Great little screen recorder to use when you have short pieces of information you want to share quickly. Generates a short link and embeddable code. Auto posts to social media if you want.

LinkedIn Groups – Free or paid – I use LinkedIn’s  for learning about business related topics. The Values, Culture and Leadership group is amazing and more than a few researchers hang out in some groups, sharing knowledge, asking and answering questions and posting links to research.

Voicethread – Free and paid – I love Voicethread and have had a paid account for years just cos. I love the way it looks. It’s like a virtual circle with the topic in the centre and learners contributing their thought via video, text or voice around the outside. It’s a great tool for collective intelligence gathering via stories.

Moodle – Open source but paid hosted options available – I am still a Moodle fan. The new 2.0 has lots of great options. Sometimes you need a bounded community space for learning and Moodle provides walls for you virtual learning while facilitating social and collaborative learning within.

THOUGHTstream – Paid subscription, free trial available, cloud hosted – Of course I’m fan of THOUGHTstream, especially for collecting tacit knowledge. Because it is facilitated and begins with a question or question posed to a group that hold local knowledge, organizations and groups can collect and curate the who what, where when and the the why of organization behaviours and processes. Informed decisions become easier and corporate history can be preserved. No wonder so many educational organizations have adopted it, teachers always know best 🙂

Google plus – aka Google+ –  free – I’m going to include this here because there seems to be so much potential. It’s bridged the space between Twitter and blogging. It’s visually superior to Twitter with inline pics and video, the circle feature allows for open and closed groups sharing and the Hangouts feature works great for spontaneous or planned team, group, meetings.

K, that’s my 10.. I could go on for another 10 or 20 quite easily but will resist the temptation 🙂 Am interested in what others are using and finding value it. What are your top 10 or 20 tools for teaching and/or learning?

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