Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Top 10 Learning Tools (2016)

It has been 10 years since Jane Hart (http://c4lpt.co.uk/has been publishing the annual Top 100 Tools for Learning as nominated by more than 1,500 learning professionals around the world! 

For the 10th Anniversary, we will be able to see not just the Top 100 but the Top 200! Also, the tools will be categorized based on their context of use including Education, Workplace Learning and Personal and Professional Learning. Jane defines a Learning Tool as any software or online tool or service that can be used for your own personal learning or for teaching or training. The results will be out on 03 Oct. (Voting closes on 23 September.)

I submitted my vote via the form available on Jane's website. But I also wanted to use this blog post to share my submission with my peers and friends in the L and D community and reflect some more about this activity. 

Here are my Top 10 Learning Tools for 2016 (in no particular order):
  1. Google - My window to the world. I ask and it provides
  2. Tweetdeck - My access to my PLN; groups, lists and chats and a community who offers me fuel for thought 
  3. Blogger - My stage for reflection and continuous learning
  4. WhatsApp - My lifeline to stay connected with my friends and family around the world. I live, I learn
  5. Ted Talks - The tool that triggers out-of-the-box thinking and gives me access to diverse views, thoughts and ideas from people around the world
  6. Instagram - My tool of choice when I have no words but can use photographs to build connections
  7. Podcast App (Apple) - I listen when when I want to read less and imagine more. It is my walking partner and helps me connect dots where I didn't think was possible
  8. Skype - My tool of choice for conversations and collaborations
  9. LinkedIn - My tool for discovering people who share common interests and a platform for me to highlight my skills and expertise
  10. Facebook - My go to tool to catch news, views and fun stuff on a daily basis  

This annual exercise becomes a lot more interesting when I get a chance to read more about how my peers are using these and other tools for learning. It is also a way for me to reflect back on whether my list has changed from last year and what tools I am using more and why. 

There are other new tools that I try each year and some old ones that I continue to use but didn't make it to my Top 10. Some of the new tools that I have tried this year include Degreed, Pocket and Coursera App on my iPhone (as opposed to Coursera website). I am still exploring how best to leverage them for personal and professional learning. Some of the old tools that I continue to use are MS Office, Dropbox, Wikipedia, Mail App and Slideshare.

Of course, the Top 10 is only one way of looking at tools and technologies and it is always more in the 'how' rather than the 'what'. So, this activity also helps me reflect some more about the hows and whys of using one tool over the other and why some tools are more useful and valuable for me. 

Taking a step back and looking at this list, I realize now that it leans more towards the social aspect of learning - tools to connect, collaborate, share, learn and reflect. I think it is very indicative and telling of how I'd like to shape my personal and professional development in 2016.