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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Snip, a free screen capture tool

If you occasionally need to take a screenshot (or a screen capture of your screen), recent versions of Windows provide you with the Windows Snipping tool. It works well for simple jobs, but a recent Microsoft Garage project called Snip takes it to the next level.

snip

It offers a number of advantages:

  • it runs in the background and is always available
  • it stores your screenshots in a “library” without having to save manually to a file
  • you can annotate your screenshot with various drawing tools. Especially useful when you are using a tablet
  • you can save your annotations in a video file and add voice-over to it (very handy for describing an issue)

 

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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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My top 10 tools for Learning 2011

Like every year, Jane Hart of the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is inviting learning professionals to list their top 10 learning tools. These are mine for this year:

  • Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects
  • SharePoint 2010: Microsoft’s enterprise collaboration platform. Fan of the “My Sites”, that allow you to create your own “portfolio”
  • Adobe Captivate: by far the best e-learning development tool of the moment. Looking forward to the future HTML output
  • Diigo: social bookmarking tool that replaced my delicious account
  • Tweetdeck: invaluable for organizing my twitter stream. Like the fact that it is cross-platform
  • Google Reader: allows me to follow more than 400 websites or other information sources (RSS) in one single web-based application
  • Feeddler Pro: iPad app that connects to your Google Reader account and displays your RSS feeds on iPad
  • Microsoft OneNote: the best note-taking application on the Windows platform. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint and a tablet pc. If only they would release the iPad app in Europe…
  • Office 365: brings the power of Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and Lync to your home network
  • WordPress: one of the most user friendly blogging platforms
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