My Learning Tools for 2012 – 1

Image from Flickr Courtesy of doc(q)manI listed my top 10 learning tools the other day.  In this post and the next I’d like to share why I think they’re top tools for learning.

Evernote
Of all the tools I’ve adopted over the last few years, this one has changed the way I work (and think about the way I work) more than any other.  If you aren’t aware of it, Wikipedia describes it quite neatly:

Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for notetaking and archiving. A “note” can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note.

What I like is the ease with which I can clip content.  Whenever I find a piece of content I want to spend more time on, it’s a simple click of the Evernote extension in Chrome and the content is sent to my Evernote inbox or specified folder.   For learning, it makes research much easier.

Google Chrome
I’ve tried almost every browser available over the years; I was a Firefox fan for ages but Chrome is just a delight. The killer benefit for me is the ability to use it as a co-ordinated browser across all my devices.  My bookmarks are consistent and I love the ability to add extensions.

Android* Tablet
*I’ve never used any Apple products.  I don’t have an iPod or iPhone, I’ve never used an iPad and can’t afford one.  A friend of mine showed me their Samsung tablet a while ago and I was struck by it’s usability.  What I wasn’t a fan of was the size; their’s was a 10″ tablet and I felt the size was a little large.   I looked around for the smaller form factor and have used a Lenovo A1 Ideapad since January.  It’s not the fastest, cheapest, or without fault but it supports Kindle, BBC iPlayer and a host of other apps and makes getting online just so damn easy.  For learning, I love the note taking apps, Evernote, voice recorder, and camera.

WordPress
I started blogging just over a year ago and one reason I excused myself from the process was, I thought, complex blogging systems.  I’d tried Blogger before but it never felt quite ‘right’.  One I’d spent a bit of time playing with WordPress I realised that it could be as simple of as complex as you liked.  I like the themes and widgets and from a learning perspective the act of reflective practice and being able to share that with others is key.

Tweetdeck
Almost all of my tweets are on mobile or tablet and, for me, Tweetdeck works best.  It supports multiple accounts, has a very easily customizable interface and manages spam very effectively.  I’ve been a fan of Twitter for a while now and the way it can work to develop networks is elegant.  On PC, however, I find it too ‘busy’ and rely on the standard Twitter API.

So, a brief tour round the first 5 learning tools; my text post will feature the remaining 5 on my list.  Which of these do you use and what do you think of them?

Remember to let me know if you want to join my tech review group and make sure you get your vote in for your top learning tools at the C4LPT survey.

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3 responses to “My Learning Tools for 2012 – 1

  1. Andrew, I have to agree aith you that chrome is by far the best browser and you can add tweetdeck to it as well which is an added advantage. Like you I use multiple twitter accounts and even though i have been known to tweet from the wrong one on occasion!! tweetdeck is also my choice on pc and my android tablet. I have a galaxy tab, 10 inch version which I love, i use it with the kindle app, iplayer, and blog on the wordpress app, much quicker than booting up the laptop. I have never used Evernote, so I will go away and take a look and let you know what I think.
    Looking forward to the next blog installment! C 🙂

  2. Pingback: Digital by Default | Lost and Desperate·

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