I have contributed to Jane Hart’s Lists of Top Tools for Learning for several years now. Her 2010 list was finalized on October 17 with contributions from me and 544 other people. Listed below is my newest Top 10 list of tools, with short descriptions of why they made the list.
- Twitter. Simply the most valuable online tool I’ve ever used. But it’s not about the tool, it’s about the network of educators that I was able to build with the tool. Connect that same network into a different tool, then that tool will be #1 on my list.
- Flickr. I get so much value out of storing and sharing my photos here. 4,131, items as of Oct. 2010. This is one of the few tools that I pay for the pro version ($25 a year) because it is so valuable to me.
- WordPress. I use WordPress.com for my main blog at http://barrydahl.com and we also run the open source WPMU at my campus for all students and employees to use.
- YouTube. Not only do I post more and more of my own videos here, but I continue to find an amazingly rich resource for all kinds of content, including educational videos. I also use a few other video tools, but YouTube stays on the list.
- Zoho Notebook. There still is no rival for this tool when it comes to easily mashing together all kinds of multimedia content into a website of pages, all custom designed by you.
- DimDim. After using the free version for a couple of years, we licensed the Enterprise version for use at the college. It works very well and allows for starting webcasts on the fly without downloads or installs.
- Toondoo. I make comic strips fairly often and encourage educators to include more of them in their teaching and learning. Jaws usually drop when people see the creation interface for the first time, and Toonbooks are very cool.
- Facebook. My main value here is reconnecting with old friends and college buddies. Find the events tools and similar apps to be very useful. Right now it’s less of a tool for learning than the others, but it still has potential to become more of a learning tool if I was to decide to use it in that manner.
- Picnik. I keep coming back to this super easy-to-use photo editor that integrates so nicely with my Flickr account. Another one of the few tools that I pay to get the premium service.
- Android OS & Apps. This could have been higher on my list. I love my Droid, but mainly for all the things that Android and the plethora of useful (& mostly free) apps can do for me. First time I’ve felt like I have a computer in my pocket.
Without giving the descriptions, here’s the rest of the top 25:
- Google Reader
- Zoho Creator
- Poll Everywhere
- Meebo instant messenger
- Google Voice
- Zoho Writer
Check out my PLE page for more of the tools that I have used often enough to at least have formed an opinion about them. To finish this off for another year, below is Jane’s SlideShare embed of the Top 100 tools.
In analyzing how the Top 100 has changed over the past four years, Jane came up with this summary of four key trends:
- The increasing consumerization of IT
- Learning, working and personal tools are merging
- Social tools predominate
- Personal (informal) learning is under the control of the learner
She describes these trends in a recent post. Read that post here.