Top Tools for Learning

Jane Hart’s presentation at the Learning Technologies Conference,  30-31 January 2008


Picture by Jay Cross

Presentation slides

Presentation Notes

Slide 1: Title slide

Slide 2: 

  • I have been working in education and training for over 25 years and last 10 years been providing consultancy to businesses and education.
  • In 2007 I set up the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies a free resource about learning trends, technologies and tools.  This includes a Directory
    of Learning Tools that now holds details of over 2,000 tools that can be used for learning and performance support purposes.
  • Every day I post about a new item of interest on her blog usually a new tool There are now so many tools available -
  • what are the best?

Slide 3: Top 10 Tools for Learning

  • July 2007 I asked this simple question of my learning colleagues
  • I didnt know what to expect
  • Jay Cross kicked it off

Slide 4

  • Over 100 people responded
  • Although many well known many are practitioners from academia or workplace learning
  • They are not all LT specialists but rather normal people using the technology in their daily lives

Slide 5:  Some facts

  • Some facts about the people and tools involved
  • Can’t cover all the tools so will mention only a few selected tools

Slide 6: Top 10 Tools

  • First of all the Top 10 Tools

Slide 7: Top 3 Tools

  • No 1 was Firefox – for many it was key enabler for everything they did; it was their window on the web; it was akin to an operating system.  IE adn Safari also
    appeared on the list but lower down.  FF is “more than a web browser” because of the 100s of add-ins that it supports (e.g. Zotero, Firebug, ScribeFire and so on)
  • No 2 was delicious – social bookmarking tool – people no longer storing bookmarks in their browsers but online, where they can categorise/tag them and share them with others, e.g. students,. colleagues etc.  Searchable resource to find other useful sites.
  • No 3 was a tie.  Google Search – the ultimate e-learning tool – if you had a question, you simply Google-it.  Skype is “IM on steroids” as it supports VoIP - ie voice calls between colleagues, students, etc

Slide 8: Top 5-10 Tools

  • No 5 was PowerPoint, the first “true” content development tool, and the basis for other tools, although for many multi-functional
  • No 6 was WordPress – blogging tool for personal and professional blogging, e.g. reflecting on learning or focus for learning for a group of people
  • No 7 was another tie:  Gmail, web-based email with large storage capacity and Google Reader, a place to aggregate and manage RSS feeds.
  • No 9 was Blogger another blogging tool
  • No 10 another base tool for creating content, Word

Slide 9; Personal Learning

  • Many of these tools had in common was that they are tools to manager your own personal learning.  No longer are people relying on LMS to manage their learning,
    but are doing it with tools of their own choice.
  • This includes social networks (like Facebook) and productivity tools  like Google tools

Slide 10:  Google tools

  • Google tools dominated the list as can be seen here – and what they also have in common are they are free

Slide 11: Free v Commercial tools

  • 75% of tools are free – open source, freeware, litware or online services.  Being free is important but allows you to explore safely and at no cost to find what you really want.  Alhough no such thing as a free lunch as some of the larger server-based tools do require some config and customisation, but most tools are easy to use.

Slide 12: Producer tools

  • Content development tools of all kinds on the list

Slide 13: Popular free producer tools

  • 4 interesting tools
  • Audacity – open source cross-platform sound recorder and editor, makes creation of an MP3 podcast very easy
  • Moodle is an open source CMS – miles ahead of nearest competitor Blackboard, and no corporate LMS on the list
  • Wikispaces was the top wiki tool – for collaborative writing, working and learning
  • Ning lets you create private social networks for groups of people, e.g Jay Cross’ InternetTime group, and Classroom 2.0 for educators interested in using Web
    2.0 technologies in the classroom

 Slide 14: Popular free file hosting and sharing tools

  • These tools make it easy to share photos (FLIckr), documents (Scribd), videos (YOuTube and TeacherTube) as well as presentations (slideshare)
  • Embed code into web/blog page to create a great resource very esily

Slide 15:  Popular commercial producer tools

  • Captivate for creating software demos/screencasts
  • Articulate for creating narrated
  • presentations/rapid e-learning content
  • Dreamweaver for web authoring
  • Elluminate for web conferencing

Slide 16: Summary

  • The fact that these tools are on the desktop AND being used for learning purposes makes them VERY powerful tools
  • Resource of Top 10/100 Tools has provided valuable

Slide 17

  • View individual contributor lists or aggregated lists for each tool

Slide 18: What makes a tool popular

  • Collaborative and sharable is becoming key
  • As is the cost
  • People passionate about their tools - when did you last hear people talk like that about enterprise or other learning tools?

Slide 19: Summary PDF

  • All lists available online or as PDF

Slide 20: Top Tools for Learning 2008

  • Now building this years list.

Slide 21:

  • Please contribute your Top 10 Tools list


Karyn Romeis reviews Jane Hart’s presentation at the Learning Technology’s conference, 14 February 2008

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