Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Top Ten Tools for Learning

Jane Hart, Head of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, lists Top Tools for Learning on the Centre’s web site. She compiles lists of Top 10 Tools from learning professionals around the globe; from those lists she derives the Top 100 Tools. Check out the latest Top 100 Tools for Learning. I decided to also make a list of my top ten tools. Here they are.

My Top 10 Learning Tools
1. I use Firefox, along with many addons and extensions including FoxClocks, ScribeFire (which I sometimes use to help me while writing blog posts), FoxyProxy, Web Developer and others, as my main browser. It forms the foundation of my personal learning environment.
2. I use Delicious to keep track of much of the information I need. I have many tags for project information with which I can sort out information for the various projects I am involved with. I use the toolbar along with Firefox tabs so I can quickly open multiple sites containing project information.
3. Google provides many tools (Calendar, Notebook, Scholar, etc.) that help me keep on track through my day and week. It is difficult to point out one of the tools above the other. Many are quite useful. Nevertheless, for the purpose of my top ten tools, I would choose Calendar as one of them.
4. I have been on Blogger since 2004. I recently looked seriously at changing to Wordpress or Typepad but decided I had no compelling reason to do so. I have only been writing very sporadically but this year hope to be much more consistent. Still, I think Blogger will continue to serve me well.
5. Bloglines helps me sort through the mass of information I try to keep up with.
6. I like to use Pageflakes in combination with Bloglines for a different view of what might be of interest to me.
7. Although I wish I could say otherwise, I tend to use PowerPoint as my main design and development platform. Much of the work I do is on the front end Analysis and Design phases, with limited forays into development. Since this requires a lot of interfacing with customers and clients, who typically all have Office but probably do not have other programs, I have found it easier to simply stick with Office. Nevertheless, I welcome better methods.
8. I have found Basecamp to be a great collaborative tool, also helping with project management tasks, particularly while working with geographically dispersed groups.
9. LinkedIn is my favorite tool to keep in touch with, or at least keep tabs on, other professionals.
10. I think Ning is like Yahoo Groups on steroids. It is a great tool for online communities, one I hope to use much more during 2008.

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