My Top 10 Tools for Learning in 2018

Jane Hart is gathering votes again for her annual “Top tools for learning“. You have until September 21 to contribute, and results will be available on October 1.

Here is my top 10 for this year:

  • Microsoft OneNote: still the best note-taking application. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint or OneDrive, and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen (like the Surface, or recently the new iPad with the stylus). It is fully cross platform with a nice and stable client for OS X! (personal and professional learning)
  • Wallabag: a self-hosted “Read Later” web application (or Pocket competitor), that allows you to capture websites via a “bookmarklet”, tag and store them for later. For those who don’t want to give all their data away and don’t mind playing with a webserver, it is a must try. (personal and 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. I’m looking forward to their update that has the new editor. Administration is a piece of cake, even for non-tech users, with e.g. the auto-update feature. (personal & 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, or “scanning” a document when you don’t have a scanner. (personal and 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 Fever is unfortunately no longer maintained by his author, but it remains very stable. (personal & professional 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. The price is very reasonable and once everything is set up for your domain, it “just works”. (personal and professional learning)
  • Mindmeister: mindmapping tool with extensive possibilities and a very good iPad app. (personal and professional learning)
  • Twitter: if you don’t mind reading an occasional rant or filtering out the corporate BS, the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects. (personal & professional learning)
  • Microsoft Teams: gradually replacing Microsoft Lync as a communication tool, and trying to compete with Slack. I’m still discovering all the possibilities, but the integration with SharePoint and OneNote looks very promising (workplace learning).
  • Microsoft To Do: Microsoft recently acquired Wunderlist, and Microsoft To Do will hopefully gradually integrate all the nice features of this “GTD” app. It is still a bit rough on the edges, but with a nice iPhone app and a good Windows client, it is keeping me organised throughout the day. (personal and professional learning)
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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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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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Top 100 learning tools for 2014 – my top 10

Jane Hart is gathering votes for the Top 100 learning tools for 2014. Every year, this is a very interesting way of getting to know new learning tools and explore their possibilities.
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 and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen. Now finally available for OS X!
  • 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 getting easier with e.g. the auto-update feature.
  • Fever: after the “death” of Google Reader, and the competition between various RSS platforms, I decided to choose a self-hosted solution. Fever is exceptionally easy to install and very stable.
  • ReadKit: excellent RSS reader for Mac, with support for Fever.
  • WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool.
  • 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 slowly becoming a serious competitor of tools like Google Drive and DropBox.

You can still post your own top 10 and contribute to the list until September 19.

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