So here’s the thing.
After Zuckerberg’s announcement today at F8 Developer Conference, I reckon that in say, ooh, maybe 2020 the way he’s going, he’s going to be everything to everyone and there may not be the Top 10 Learning Tools anymore….
It may just be the Top 1 (and Only) Learning Tool which will be:
This is my reaction to that….
— WIRED (@WIRED) April 18, 2017
But all joking aside, it’s not 2020 and by then, you may find me living like a hermit off the grid, knitting QR codes and growing my own vegetables (okay, I’m being melodramatic). Before I go completely mad, it’s that time of the year again to share my Top 10 Learning Tools from Jane Hart’s long-running annual survey.
Every year I submit my Top 10 tools and even though the majority of the tools stay the same, there’s always one that is new on the list or one on the way out – made redundant in the ever changing world wide web…
One big thing that I noticed with all the learning tools is that I don’t discern between a learning and work tool anymore – they’re one and the same thing and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Probably not what corporate Learning and Development teams want to hear but hey, I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this way….
Here are my top 10 tools in order:
It’s come to this now. Video over text for me now. And it’s got to be video that’s straight to the point. The instant I hear a crazy soundtrack or a long intro, I’m looking for another video. Fickle eh?
I prefer to find a short and sharp video that will show me what I need to do to solve problems and I think this is because it’s a lot easier to find what you need on YouTube than it is with Google nowadays because of that *sigh* additional few minutes extra to put advanced search parameters. One quick glance down the YouTube list then a scan of the year it was uploaded (most recent videos preferred) and Bob’s Your Uncle as they say.
Technically, we should all be allowed an additional choice for a Learning Tool because this is a given. I can’t even imagine if anyone does NOT mention Google at all. That concept simply does not compute in my mind anymore.
People think that I’ve abandoned Twitter. I don’t know where they get that idea. One look at my Twitter timeline and they can see I’m prolifically tweeting. If anything, I’ve expanded its use in an effort to broaden my networks even further because I’m finding the level of conversation has drastically declined on it. However not to worry. I think it may still have a place for a few years yet.
Despite some pushing for me to get a Business Page for Activate Learning Solutions on Facebook, I capitulated and created one. Why did I even bother? I mean really.
I always stood firm on this concept that I wanted to have ONE DIGITAL IDENTITY across the social networks I was using and that you got the SAME person whether you were in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and never wanted two separate accounts.
I don’t discern between the ‘business me’ or the ‘personal me’ because what you get and work with is… me.
So I post both a blend of work and personal stuff on Facebook. I know that it may peeve some people with my posts because it’s irrelevant to them however, these are relevant to me. Hearing some feedback from people, I know that my friends and family finally know what it is I do and there have been times when I have educated and connected people across my different networks. I see this as a positive.
As a result, my Facebook community now extends to not only family and friends but acquaintances around the globe and my Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn community. If anything, it’s made me lock down Facebook lists and curate what posts get up and seen by certain people and groups instead. My business page lays like a desolate wasteland because I think people to prefer to connect with the crazy lady who likes to knit and shares posts about her learning how to use Snapchat.
Which brings us to the new learning tool for this year…
Oh my, how I am loving Snapchat.
It’s the one medium that brings a smile on my face every morning and every night because of the community that is on it.
Snapchat is not an easy medium to use and it takes AGES to build a community and find out the people who are sharing educational and inspirational content. It’s taken me months of consistent snapping and engaging with one-to-one conversations with people and organisations who are using this medium. I like to say now that I have my own Snapchat TV channel where I broadcast daily tips on personal learning and by default it’s become my vlogging platform when I don’t have time to write in this blog.
However, it’s the only network that has made me instantly connect with people outside my field who are actively socially learning and working out loud. Snapchat has afforded me with some great opportunities and connections with people who I would NEVER have come across. From microbiologists, teachers, volcanologists, astronauts, scientists, presidents and developers and a myriad of entrepreneurs in their start ups, it’s a great way to learn and see behind the scenes what is happening in organisations. I’ve written a lot about Snapchat but never expected that over time, I’ve actually come to love it because of the great community in it.
I have built my own site and the amount of hours I have spent in the back end of WordPress, downloading, activating and testing plugins and constantly tweaking it defies belief. I could have handed it all over to a developer to do but I wanted the control to learn exactly how I can drive WordPress. I’m glad I did because this knowledge has come in very valuable and I’m a lot more comfortable in being able to problem solve when I need to. However, it has had its downs namely some technical glitches here and there.
(7) Google Drive
Technically any Google application (Gmail, Google Calendar) are included but as they technically aren’t Learning tools, I would say Google Drive is a massive one for me because it allows me to store various files and folders and have them with me when I need them the most.
(8) Evernote Premium
I’m an avid user of Evernote but rest assured I’m not enamoured with it. I use it simply as a repository of many notebooks and hundreds of tags. I save all my links into notebooks themed in different categories and then even have Client Notebooks where all my work is done within these and then shared to clients. This way, I don’t have to email large documents back and forth. I have paid for the premium version and it’s worth it because I use it on a daily basis. (OneNote does the same thing but I’m on a Mac and pricewise – having a licence for MS applications vs Evernote – the difference is quite small). I’ll stick with Evernote.
This is a new site that LearningNowTV have told me about and it’s how I transfer large bulky video files to and from people. Using the free version, I can upload my MP4 files and email the link so that the recipient can download from the other side. I have suggested WeTransfer to many people and by all accounts, they love it too. Is it a Learning tool? Well, I use it to share videos that talk about learning – guess that counts?
Feedly is my RSS Reader, I have categorised my account so that I read blogs from my Personal Learning Network but also with other topics and themes. I can’t see this leaving me anytime soon.
(11) Good Reads
Technically it’s over 10 but if we discount Google, this year another learning tool has come along and believe it or not, it’s addictive. It’s Good Reads. It’s a community of book lovers and a site where you can catalogue, rate, review and choose books to read. I have set myself a challenge to read 50 books this year and this app helps me through. I highly recommend this and it’s well worth the effort to get involved with some of the Book Clubs online as they have different monthly reading challenges.
So what about you? What are your learning tools? Make sure you vote for yours here.