Jane Hart does the educational technology community a big favour by compiling top 10 lists of learning tools which are send to her by educational professionals from around the world. She creates a top 100 list that is an interesting reflection of current (and past) popular technology in education and learning.
Each year you get a chance to update your own list. I haven’t done that this year, so here goes:
- Moodle – This open source course management system is still very much my bread and butter and has led me into the free software world. Its community of teachers and its enlightened leadership is second to none.
- Google Reader – The only way that I am able to keep up with the things that I want to read. Outsourcing my subscriptions and read/unread statusses to Google makes it possible for me to use my laptop, my cellphone or any random computer and see the same information.
- Ubuntu – My operating system of choice. Not only does it give me the freedom to use it how I want, it is also the source of much learning about how computers work. I see it as a critical enabler.
- Google Search – Still the best search technology around. I have a couple of stock queries that I do all the time like “better than x” if I want to find an alternative to x and I can usually find what I need in one or two queries.
- Wikipedia – More and more the easiest way to find a piece of factual information. I use a lot of materials from the Wikimedia Commons in most things that I create. Wikipedia has been decisive in many kitchen table arguments.
- WordPress – I have been blogging for over a year now and the process of writing for an audience has forced me to think deeper about my profession. Writing blogs could a central part of many courses. It really is a heavily underutilised pedagogical tool. I have to admit I don’t run my own installation, but trust the excellent WordPress.com service.
- Chromium – Most of the work that on do on my computer is done in a browser window. Google’s open source effort is now my default browser. This is mainly because of it’s amazing speed and the Omnibox. Read this blog post for more of my reasons.
- LAMP = Apache, MySQL, PHP – This technology makes it trivial for a non-programmer like me to create my own tools that do what I need them do. Using the APIs of the different web services I can create my own mashups.
- Youtube – This has become an indispensable resource. Stuck in a level on a Nintendo DS game? Type the games name and a level to see a walk through. There are endless tutorials on anything that you might want to learn.
- Delicious – The social bookmarking site not only remembers all I have seen that is interesting on the net, but it is also an excellent way of finding many good sites on a topic. My slowly expanding network of del.icio.us friend tag interesting pages for me to look at.
It wasn’t intentional, but I now notice that the only things that are not web applications are an operating and a browser (the bare essentials). That must be of some significance!