I was trying to come up with my "Top 10" to contribute to Jane Hart "Top 10 Tools for Learning 2009" but I can't get to ten if I sticking to the tools I truly use regularly. So here are my Top 8 tools for learning, the tools that are part of my personal knowledge management system.
* TiddlyWiki (portable wiki) - excellent to develop a searchable notebook and many other things, including writing a novel.
* iGoogle - excellent to organize your desktop, quick access to Gmail & quick links. I've created three tabs in iGoogle (home, office and KM). That way, if I'm at the office and my screen shows my iGoogle desktop, anything on that screen is work related. The KM tab is for everything that is related to knowledge management and/or professional development that isn't directly work-related.
* Google Reader (organize rss feeds) - the key is to regularly review what's useful and what's not and not be afraid of unsubscribing. Once in a while I also go hunt for new interesting feeds.
* CMapTools (concept mapping): I use Inspiration at work because that's what our office uses but I have a strong preference for CMapTools for concept mapping. I've been slightly obsessed with concept mapping and it's become a hammer looking for nails.
* Captura (screen capture) - I don't know that it's really a "learning tool" but I use it regularly.
* Diigo (social bookmarking) - I love it since I discovered its highlighting and comments capabilities. I was using FURL for a few years, they were bought by Diigo and the transfer of my bookmarks went relatively smoothly.
* Blogger - I've added Zemanta to it recently, an easy way to enhance my posts with related links and to automate the process of creating hyperlinks.
* iTunes (for podcasts and audiobooks) + iTunes University
If I had to pick the top 2, it would be TiddlyWiki and CMapTools.
That being said, I don't use any of these things when it comes to supporting my youngest daughter's learning. For that task, I rely on a white board, index cards, and the local public library.
Some students have also mentioned that a fast paced lecture helps to keep their brain focused. It also helps them if they have the control to vary the pace of the lecture. Myspeed from enounce is one of the elearning tools that can help them speed up or slow down online lectures.
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