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My Top 10 Learning Tools for 2009

This post is a contribution to c4lpt’s call for learning professionals to contribute their Top 10 Tools for Learning. Well, here it goes, not in order of preference.
  1. Mindomo is a an excellent online mind mapping software that supports critical thinking. It is highly customized for education. Educators can embed their own maps in any website or blog. Students can use it with ease due to its user-/student-friendly interface. Students and educators can share and organize researches in an “interrelated form”.
  2. Etherpad is a great web-based word processor. The great thing about it is that you can edit the same document in real-time and you don’t need to register. Just invite and share the unique url. This is great with regard to teaching and learning in real-time. Teachers, colleagues, and students can collaborate on the same word processor in real-time. Another great feature of etherpad is that you can export or import to and form MS word, PDF, and Open Document. (scriblink is another real-time WP sharing but not as  flexible as etherpad).
  3. Twitter doesn’t need an introduction and is the most well known microblogging platform in the world. A lot of learning projects were based on twitter. The implications for learning in twitter are endless, both for the professional and student. Jane Hart has a list of 10 twitter resources for classroom use on her blog if you wish to explore the learning implications of twitter.
  4. Wikispaces is still my preferred tool when it comes to collaborate on projects. This wiki platform makes it possible for the teacher to engage students on a wide range of projects. Wikis in general tend to be chaotic so the teacher should be a constant regulator of the wiki project. 
  5. Diigo is a web-based social annotation software that I have included in the top 10 tools instead of delicious due to its learning implications. Diigo users can annotate any piece of information in any website and share their notes and comments. This has great implications for online critical reading skills.
  6. Simplybox is a relatively new tool where a user simply boxes an info. on the web he wants to share and add to his account to share and annotate with other users.
  7. Hotpotatoes  is a free authoring software that produces highly effective interactive exercises and quizzes, especially for language learners. It has been and still is my favorite authoring tool. It is also SCORM compliant.
  8. Microsoft’s free Learning Content Development System is yet another great authoring tool that produces professional-looking courses online (SCORM compliant) or on CD’s.
  9. Google Docs should not be excluded form this list. Google Docs makes it possible for users to create, share ( link or embed) , and edit documents, presentations, and spreadsheets with great easy. Google Docs is highly efficient with regard to teaching and learning. Google Docs also makes it possible to conduct an online form. Great tool!
  10. Pageflakes is an RSS reader very similar to netvibes and igoogle. Some call them the PLE as they are customized to the preference of the learner following website and blogs. What I like about pageflakes is its great user-friendly interface, customizable pages, and pagecasts that you can share with anyone. You can see an example of one user’s pagecast here.
Well, that’s it. This is my top 10 learning tools list for 2009. Of course other tools are abundant and probably deliver the same learning outcomes as the ones mentioned above. The main notion is that what you, as an educator, can do with these tools to enhance learning.

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