It’s that time again: Jane Hart is running her 2016 (and 10th!) Top 100 Tools for Learning poll. It’s a valuable service, and points out some interesting things and it’s interesting to see the changes over time. It’s also a way to see what others are using and maybe find some new ideas. She’s now asking that you categorize them as Education, Training & Performance Support, and/or Personal Learning & Productivity. All of mine fall in the latter category, because my performance support tools are productivity tools! So here’re my votes, FWIW:
Google Search is, of course, still my top tool. I’m looking up things several if not many times a day. It’s often a gateway to Wikipedia, which I heavily rely on, but a number of times I find other sources that are equally valuable, such as research or practice sites that have some quality inputs.
Books are still a major way I learn. Yes, I check out books from the library and read them. I also acquire and read them on my iPad, such as Jane’s great Modern Workplace Learning. In my queue is Jane Bozarth’s Show Your Work.
Twitter is a go-to. I am pointed to many serendipitously interesting things, and of course I point to things as well. The learning chats I participate in are another way twitter helps.
Skype is a tool I use for communicating with folks to get things done, but also to have conversations (e.g. with my ITA colleagues), whether chat or voice.
Facebook is also a way I stay in touch with friends and colleagues (those colleagues that I also consider friends; Facebook is more a personal learning tool than a business tool for me).
LinkedIn is a way to stay in touch with people, and in particular the L&D Revolution group is where I want to keep the dialog alive about the opportunity. The articles in LinkedIn are occasionally of interest too, and it’s always an education to see who wants to link ;).
WordPress is my blogging tool (where you’re at right now), and it’s a way I think ‘out loud’ and the feedback I get is a wonderful way to learn. Things that eventually appear in presentations and writing typically appear here first, and some of the work I do for others manifests here (typically anonymized).
Word is my go-to writing tool, and while I use Pages at times too (e.g. if I’m traveling with my iPad), Word is my industrial strength tool. Writing forces me to get concrete about my thinking.
Omnigraffle is as always my diagramming tool, and it’s definitely a way I express and refine my thinking. Obviously, you’ll see my diagrams here, but also in presentations and articles/chapters/books. And, of course, my mindmaps.
Keynote is my presentation creating tool. I sometimes have to export to PowerPoint, but Keynote is where I work natively. It helps me turn my ideas from diagrams and/or writing into a story to tell with visual support.
So those are my ‘learning’ tools, for now. Some are ‘content’, some are social media, some are personal representational tools, but reading and talking with others and representing my own thinking are major learning activities for me.