I was recently invited by Jane Hart, Head of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies in UK, to share my Top 10 Tools for Learning with her. Jane has done an excellent job of compiling the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2007 which provides a very useful information for learning professionals. Currently, she is updating the list by inviting the learning professionals worldwide to submit their Top 10 Tools to help her compile the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008. Below are my Top 10 Tools for Learning 2008 submitted to Jane today.
1. Firefox. My favorite browser. It is customizable with a great collection of extensions, plug-ins and add-ons. It is fast and more secure way to surf the Web.
2. WordPress. A great open-source software for creating blogs. I use WordPress for my blog which is hosted by WordPress.com for free. WordPress provides a variety of attractive themes, plug-ins, and widgets.
3. Slideshare. A fantastic Web 2.0 tool that lets students and instructors to upload their presentations and share them online through a YouTube-like interface. Also, it is a good place to discover presentations and slideshows from others.
4. Ning. An excellent online service where I create and customize my own Social Network for students in my classes. Ning has customizable themes and templates. Also, it offers a public or private option.
5. Wetpaint. A great place to create a free wiki that can be a private or public site. Wetpaint Education Wikis are Ad-free for teachers and students.
6. Google Docs. A web-based word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation program that makes collaboration more efficient. It is a free online creation tool which is great for teachers and students. Also, Google Docs allows mobile access.
7. del.icio.us. A social bookmarking site that allows me to store bookmarks on the Web instead of inside my Web browser. Also, I use del.icio.us to share bookmarks with students, colleagues, friends, family, and the del.icio.us community.
8. Camtasia. A powerful screencasting software that I use frequently to create instructional videos for my students. Camtasia allows screen recordings, audio, voice narration, PowerPoint, Picture-in-Picture and webcam video. Also, I can edit and enhance my video with callouts, titles, credits, zooming, panning, quizzes and additional audio tracks.
9. VoiceThread. A Web-based digital-storytelling application that enables me to share my stories or slideshows through audio, images, videos, or text with others online. VoiceThread allows visitors to make comments on my stories or slideshows in: voice with a microphone, voice with telephone, text, audio file, and video with a webcam. I have used the VoiceThread as an online discussion tool in my class and it works quite well.
10. Skype. A great telecommunication tool that lets me use my own PC to make free voice-over-Internet and video calls to my students and colleagues (who are the Skype users as well) anywhere in the world.