My Learning Tools for 2012 – 2

Image from Flickr Courtesy of sgraceFollowing my last post, I’ve summarised the remaining 5 tools for learning and why I use them.

Google Reader
I heard something a bit scary a while ago; that people who work in L&D keep up to speed with current thinking by going to meetings and waiting for CIPD survey results.  I actucally found an L&D professional the other week who didn’t know what RSS was and how it could help them do their job.  I like Google’s reader as it’s the most simple RSS feed capture.  Like Chrome it works across all my devices and is just so damn simple to use.  For learning it’s an essential tool to see what is being talked about in your area of work (learning) or the industry sector you operate in.  As for what I read, here are 3 of the feeds I follow:
The Browser
This offers a diverse selection of articles curated daily.

Harold Jarche – Life in Perpetual Beta
Inspiring ideas about learning, work and personal knowledge management

Donald Clark Plan B
His posts disrupt my thinking about learning


It took me a looooong time to get my head around how much easier a Kindle can be for reading.  I like books; the feel, the smell, the ‘ownership’ of something that I can share.  Donald Clark makes a great case for their use in his blog post yesterday.  I wasn’t comfortable with the premise until I got the tablet I mentioned last time.  When I was ill earlier in the year, the Kindle app on the tablet was the only thing that kept me from climbing the walls with boredom in hospital.  There is one feature that most users don’t take advantage of; users have a Kindle account online where all their notes are stored.  It’s a simple way to bookmark material to review later.  Combine it with Evernote and it’s really easy to assimilate material from your range of reading resources.

This is a free mind mapping app on Android and can be purchased for other systems. I use it on Android on the tablet and have found it the easiest way to record notes and thoughts in group sessions.  The notes can be exported in file or text form, but I find that sharing as an image is the easiest way to capture the sense of what happened in the discussion.  From a learning perspective, it suits my way of note taking but can also be used in facilitated sessions to get a copy of notes to people very quickly.  I was using it today in a session as a participant and was challenged by the facilitator as to what I was doing; how long before note taking in this form is accepted?

MS Powerpoint
If you work in learning and don’t know what Powerpoint is I would be a little surprised.  For some, it has become the ubiquitous tool to lead any group session.  For others, it is a design tool to create elearning.  For me, I prefer to use it as little as possible but it is an essential tool to help me do my job.  I’ve never enjoyed clip art or bullet points and  it suits the edutainment style of learning facilitation I highlighted previously.  I use it more in creating elearning solutions as it works as a great image manipulation tool and is available on almost every platform.  If you want to see how well it can be used, have a quick look at Tom Kuhlmann’s blog.

Moodle platform
I’m not gifted in coding and don’t tend to have the systematic thinking required to create complex systems.  I am, however, a keen user of technology that does what it promises and Moodle fits that bill.  I’m not a fan of Learning Management Systems; the misnomer suggests that they can manage learning which they can’t.  They can, however, manage learning interventions.  On this level, I’ve found the Moodle  platform to be the most user friendly and customisable.  It has 45 million users worldwide and would appear to be here to stay.  I just wish people would be a bit more creative with it than just for broadcasting and assignment repository.

So, which of these do you use and what do you think of them?  Let me know via the comments box below.

Remember to let me know if you want to join my tech review group and to vote in the C4LPT survey.

3 responses to “My Learning Tools for 2012 – 2

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

Please comment...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.