Learning Tools: for the Learner

Jane Hart thinks the following list is the ‘Top 10’ tools for learners (in no particular order):

I’m not so sure. If I was forced to lis them I’d be a little less specific, a little more descriptive:

  • Internet Search Engine: I use Google a lot. But also like to use www.live.com as this can sometimes gives better results for non-commercial activity (blogs, news, information, etc).
  • Video: I don’t usually go looking for video, but YouTube is a good starting point. The fact that, for eLearning purposes, YouTube now has the Education branch www.youtube.com/edu  makes it better for students and professionals alike. We can’t ignore iTunesU as well, simply as there are so many major Universities producing their materials there.
  • Internet Browser: I like IE7, I don’t like Mozilla 3, and I do like Google Chrome. There I said it, now I can sit back and wait for the backlash to begin!!
  • Wikipedia: While there is so much information available through Wikipedia, so very little of it has been checked and verified. No, I can’t and don’t  recommend this as a source for information, unless it comes with a very large ‘be warned’ sticker attached.
  • Social Bookmarking: I’ve only just starting using Delicious, so can’t really say much on this yet, other than it’s confusing, yet handy when I work on several machines (work, home).
  • Social Network: I’ve deleted myFacebook account, so don’t care about FB anymore, it’s had it’s day and is only surviving due to the pre-15 year olds that think it makes them look older to keep harping on about what they’re saying and doing on FB. I love Twitter (see below) and try not to use too many others or I’ll never get any work done.
  • RSS: a valuable way to keep track of many important bloggers and information sources. Again, I’ve never really got the hang of it, but I do (try to) use FeedDemon on the bloggers I like to follow.
  • Blogging: I use WordPress here, and I’d recommend anyone else to use it too .. but make sure you install it to your own server and host it yourselves – you are too restricted in templates and plugins on the hosted (free) version. There are other blog tools, but I think this is the best (I did try Blogger as well, but gave up in favour of WP).
  • Skype: I love the simplicity of it, but hate the endless time wasted having to explain it to everyone who isn’t on it … and they are often the people I want to talk to. It’ll only be any good once everyone uses it.

As for Twitter … I feel a little silly saying this as I’ve only been using it for about 2 months, but I really can’t remember how I found anything f any use before I used it!

  • I like the 140 character limit and the fact that it stops my rabbiting on about naff all, and it stops others doing the same. 
  • I use the ‘favourite’ option to tag tweets when I’m on the move with the iPod and see something I want to read in more detail (add it to favourite for later).
  • I live for the endless new and different information and viewpoints that people that are 10,000 miles away, or only 1 mile away, have.
  • I hate the fact that so much good tweeting happens during the night in the UK, and I have quite a bit to catch up the next morning.
  • I will stop following anyone if they buy and get more than 140 characters. That is not the point of Twitter, now stop being stupid!