My Top 10 learning tools for 2016

Jane Hart has a long tradition (10 years, congrats!) in gathering the world’s Top learning tools and I am happy to contribute again this year.

Some changes: there will now be a top 200, and a split on education, workplace learning, and personal and professional learning.

Here we go, in random order:

  • Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects. (personal & professional learning)
  • Microsoft OneNote: still 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 fully cross platform with a nice and stable client for OS X! (personal and professional learning)
  • Office Lens: a Microsoft mobile app (Windows, iOS, Android) that “scans” about everything with the camera of your phone. I especially like the way it “straightens” pictures of documents, whiteboards, flipcharts…
    Invaluable for capturing the notes of a meeting. (personal and professional learning)
  • Office Mix: the top tool to “convert your PowerPoint to e-learning” (even if that is not always a good idea), almost dropped out of my list because Microsoft suddenly removed the support for SCORM export. But I give it the benefit of the doubt for another year, there is still LTI compatibility. (workplace learning)
  • Pocket: with the “read later” button in your browser toolbar, you can save interesting articles for later, and read them afterwards. Love the fact that it is available on and syncing with my e-reader. (personal & professional learning)
  • 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. (personal & professional learning)
  • 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. (personal & professional learning)
  • WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool.  An international company could not do without it. (workplace learning)
  • Microsoft Snip is a “garage project” that goes beyond the functionalities of the traditional “screen capture” tool. Love the fact that you can easily annotate your screen captures to document your findings, and the idea to let you record voice annotations is very useful for support purposes. And it is free. (workplace learning)
  • 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.
    Some nice extensions became available, like Sway and Flow, but for me it is too early to mention them separately …(workplace learning)
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Export to SCORM suddenly removed from Office Mix?

We were all so happy that Microsoft recently added support for SCORM to Office Mix. Well, there might be some bad news: I installed Office Mix on a new pc today, and the button to export to SCORM is no longer there. And it seems that I am not the only one that is having this issue

So until further notice, it might be wise not to update the Office Mix plugin.

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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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Converting PowerPoint to SCORM is now free…

Update: It seems that this feature has been removed from the latest build !

Microsoft seems to be shaking the world of e-learning authoring tools. After announcing Office Mix, a free plugin for PowerPoint 2013 that adds screen recording, voice-over and cam recording to PowerPoint, it now seems to have added SCORM export functionalities to the Mix add-in.

mix ribbon

This means that you can create your PowerPoint, record your voice and cam, annotate the presentation, and then publish it to your favorite LMS using the SCORM export function. It must be dark times for the competitors, as Microsoft suddenly has an e-learning authoring tool installed on almost every pc…

Below you find an example of the output, by the Master himself.

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