Top 100 learning tools for 2015 – my top 10

It is that time of the year again: Jane Hart is gathering votes for the Top 100 learning tools for 2015. This is a very interesting way of getting to know new learning tools and explore their possibilities. Just exploring the top 100 of last year is already a nice learning experience.

This is my top 10, in random order:

  • Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects.
  • Tweetdeck: invaluable for organizing my twitter stream. I like the fact that it is cross-platform.
  • Microsoft OneNote: the best note-taking application on the Windows platform. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint or OneDrive, and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen (like the Surface). It is now fully cross platform with a nice and stable client for OS X!
  • Office Mix: my “new kid on the block” this year. Why would you invest in expensive and complicated authoring tools if you just want to “convert your PowerPoint to e-learning” (even if that is not always a good idea)? Although this is certainly not a full blown, finished product, I think Microsoft deserves to be in the list because they seem to take this very seriously (SCORM export, LTI compatibility…) Certainly a tool to watch closely in the coming year!
  • Instapaper: with the “read later” button in your browser toolbar, you can save interesting articles for later, and read them e.g. in the iPad app.
  • WordPress: excellent blogging platform. Recent releases have been focussing on the usability for the writer, and it is setting the standards for usability. Administration is now a piece of cake, even for non-tech users, with e.g. the auto-update feature.
  • Fever: this “self-hosted Google Reader” is still my main information hub, gathering hundreds of RSS feeds that would otherwise be impossible to follow. Fever is exceptionally easy to install and very stable, and has some nice clients like ReadKit.
  • WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool. An international company could not do without it.
  • Yammer: the enterprise social network in our company keeps us up to date of what is happening in the various locations and business units.
  • Office 365: the “swiss army knife” of productivity tools: enterprise-grade e-mail and calendar, SharePoint sites for collaborating or storing knowledge, and OneDrive that has 1TB of storage and that is a serious competitor for tools like Google Drive and DropBox.

You can still post your own top 10 and contribute to the list until September 18.

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Office Mix adds LTI support

In an earlier post, I talked about Office Mix, a new way of converting PowerPoint presentations to SCORM packages. I had some comments of disappointed testers who used the “interactive” features of Office Mix and observed that those were not exported into the SCORM package. Yes, I am afraid that is “by design”…

However, there is a way you can use these features and integrate your Mix in your LMS: Microsoft added support for LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability), and it seems to work very well! You upload your Mix to http://mix.office.com, configure the LTI integration with your LMS (which is not much more than copy/pasting some security keys).

You can find all details on https://mix.office.com/lti

lti_support

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Leaving the nest…

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Small birds are getting bigger…

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How to build a nest

Early this year, we started a small hobby tech project: we built a webcam into a birdhouse, connected it to a Synology NAS and started recording footage triggered by motion detection. For three months, nothing happened (except some short visits of a couple of birds checking out the area).

We had already given up on it, until this morning I checked the camera again. I saw three eggs. This is what happened in the last three days:

Check the top right widget of the blog for a recent picture from inside the birdhouse. For more footage, see this Youtube channel.

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