My Top 10 Tools for Learning 2011

This is the 5th year I have been building a Top 100 Tools for Learning list (based on the Top 10 Tools contributions of learning professionals worldwide), so I thought it would be interesting to compare my choices in the first year I ran the activity in 2007, with my choices today.

1 – In 2007 I selected Bloglines, as my RSS reader – and said it was “probably the most indispensable tool for my work”.   In 2011 I now use Google Reader, and although it is no longer my most indispensable tool, it is still an important tool for me to keep up to date with what is happening in the “learning” world

2 – In 2007 I chose Microsoft FrontPage as it was the web page tool I used to build the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies site.  In 2011 I now use WordPress to power my website.  It is such a sophisticated tool, and it also now powers my Learning in the Social Workplace blog.

3 – I still use TypePad, which was my blogging tool of choice in 2007 – which I used for Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day blog, but it’s not on my 2011 list.

4 – In 2007 Feedblitz was an important tool for me to create a daily email from the RSS feed, although I now use Google Feedburner to do this job, it’s not one of my Top 10 tools.

5 – In 2007 I chose Polldaddy, as I could use it to create short polls and surveys.  Polldaddy is now owned by WordPress so I see it now as just another WordPress plugin.

6 – In 2007 Skype was a key tool to keep in touch with my colleagues and clients, and in 2011 it still is very  important to me, so it is another of my Top 10 tools. Skype is always-on for me, which means I am only a mouse click away from texting or talking to my contacts.

7 – In 2007, I used PBWiki (now known as PBWorks) to build collaboration spaces with my colleagues, now 5 years on Google Docs is my collaboration tool of choice, and defintely on my Top 10 Tools list.

8 – In 2007, I used Powwownow ShowTime for web meetings.  In 2011 I have to say I don’t use it all now – maybe I should try it out again.

9/10  - In 2007  I also  listed two course creation tools on my list – PointeCast Publisher and CourseLab.  I don’t create content in this format anymore, so they are not on my 2011 list.

So what does my Top 10 Tools for Learning 2011 look like?  Well I’ve already mentioned four of them:

  1. Google Reader
  2. WordPress
  3. Skype
  4. Google Docs

The other 6 are:

5 – Twitter - this is probably my most indispensable tool again this year

6 – Tweetdeck and Tweetchat are also key tools for me to make good use of Twitter.  Tweetdeck to manage all my accounts, and schedule postings for the live Twitter chats I host, and Tweetchat to watch the chat taking place.

7 – Yammer - has become an important tool, as it powers the Social Learning Community, where members have focused discussions around social learning and the use of social media for learning.

8 – Buddypress - the WordPress plugin – is also on this year’s list as it such a powerful tool for creating a community, and powers my Share&Learn social learning platform.  I’ve also been helping others build their own learning communities with it too.

9 – I have to admit I still like using PowerPoint to create presentations and Slideshare is definitely the place to host and share them

10 – Finally, Google Chrome has now become my browser of choice – together with many of its useful extensions.

So what are your Top 10 Tools for Learning?  Please do share them here.  You can just the list of tools if it’s easiest, or perhaps provide a link to your blog posting where you provide more detail.  It would also be interesting to read any comparisons you can make over the 5 years too.

I’ll be closing the list in the middle of November, so there is still a bit of time.  But meanwhile you can see the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2011 emerge here.

7 comments to My Top 10 Tools for Learning 2011

  • No shame in admitting to liking Powerpoint Jane. If it’s used badly you shouldn’t blame the tool!

  • I would say my top tools for education are: ePals (I love global collaboration), blogger (we have google apps at our school, so the students already have a logon, and it is so easy to use!), Google Sites (same reason, easy, and already have logon), Google Reader (to keep track of my student’s work), Wikispaces (love the versatility), Edmoto (kids like the Facebook aspect), iMovie (we use it all of the time), and of course, the be all end all, Twitter. I get more information in a day from Twitter than in a month from any other source.

  • Michael de Groot

    Hi Jane

    Thanks for sharing this, really useful and it’s made me think about my Top 10, which I had not done before. So here goes;

    1. Flipboard. 
    This by far is my favourite learning tool.  To have all my social media, lists, blogs, RSS feeds, google reader and much more in one place in a magazine style format is just amazing.  I can’t praise this app enough and the people at Flipboard have continued to improve it and I am sure it will even get better.  Highly recommend this.
    2. Tweetdeck
    Much prefer Tweetdeck to Hootsuite.  It runs on your desktop and it allows me to manage all my tweets, followers, lists and much more. Easier then using a web app and it’s free for now, which is even better.
    3. Fuse (New Social Learning platform by Fusion-Universal)
    I have just started working as a partner with Fusion this year and they are a great team and have developed a fantastic learning tool.  In only a short time, I am learning some great stuff on their platform.  Again they are continually improving it as well.
    4. Google Alerts
    This is amazing for giving me information that I might otherwise have to search for on the web.  Google alerts does the work for me.  It’s just a big RSS feed pinpointing very accurately the info that I am looking for and delivering it to my inbox.
    5. Keynote
    I moved over to Mac last November and although I love PowerPoint, I find Keynote simpler and able to make presentations look newer and more interesting.
    6. Google Docs
    Not been a big user yet, but I do find their forms section great for doing online survey questionnaires, with some great results graphs and for free!
    7. WordPress
    Only been blogging a short while but find wordpress great.  Soon I will be moving over to .org but for now using .com to get used to it all.
    8. Yammer
    Well Jane thanks to you and the Social Learning group, I find Yammer great too and have been able to embrace it and learn new stuff through it.
    9. Skype
    Been using it for years, but find it amazing that I can share my desktop with someone for free.  Obviously just one to one.
    10. Safari (With reader option and turning web articles into PDF’s for saving via dropbox onto my iPad and in iBooks).  This is so great it means I have been able to go paperless, which is something I have been wanting to achieve for ever!

    Thanks to Apple I am enjoying my iPad as an amazing tool for learning.  Not that the actual device teaches you anything, but what you can do with it means you can have books, PDF’s, mind maps, videos, podcasts, audio, images on it and have stuff available, literally at your fingertips!!

    Michael de Groot
    @stayingaliveuk

  • Philip

    I hope http://www.learnclick.com will be on your list of top learning tools in 2012! It’s a new tool that lets you create cloze test flashcards. Excellent for learning in context.

  • Sunny Lim

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the list. For myself,

    1. Delicious – to share bookmarks or to incorporate it into a wiki
    2. Confluence – Enterprise wiki, fantastic tool to use, especially for collaboration
    3. Tweeted Times – Personal Newspaper based on the people you follow on twitter (you are one of them :))

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