My Top 10 Learning Tools and Techniques

It’s been more than 6 months since I last posted my top 10 tools for learning. I thank Jane Hart for making me think to update the list for Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies’ compilation of top 10 tools for learning of as many as 184 learning professionals. There are some changes since I last wrote, though many of the tools and techniques still remain in my top 10 list.

Here are my top 10 tools for learning in Aug 2008.

  1. Search engines – though Google is still my most used generic search engine, I have discovered and used few other more specific search engines. I frequently use Flickr and LinkedIn search add ons installed on my Firefox. I also use Summize (which has since been acquired by Twitter) to search Twitter tweets.
  2. Blogging – blogging continues to help me reflect on my thoughts and crystallize my learning. I still use Blogger for my personal blog and have moved to hosted WordPress for my team blog.
  3. Blog Feeds – I read blogs via RSS feeds. Have been on Google Reader so far and recently discovered Feedly. Feedly integrates very well with Google Reader and presents a very nice magazine-like interface. I just love reading my RSS feeds on Feedly now.
  4. Social Networks – I use Facebook as my main social networking environment and it’s been great. It has been a great source for getting help from my social network. I am also beginning to utilize LinkedIn Answer, though the usage is still low.
  5. Social Bookmarking – I had on my list the last time, however I hardly use visit it to view other people’s bookmarks. What have really helped is the bookmarks I receive in various feeds (RSS or Facebook feeds) of my network. So social bookmarking is still on my list but the usage is different now.
  6. Right click-Open in New Window/Tab – Still on my list. So you may argue this is not exactly a learning tool. But I find hyperlinks very distracting and if I click on a hyperlink I lose the flow of what I am reading. So I always right click and open the hyperlink in a new tab or window. This enables me to continue reading and if I do view a hyperlink, this allows me to return to my original document easily.
  7. Web-enabled mobile phone (iPhone) – Continues to be on my list.
  8. In-sighting and de-layering – A technique I learned in one of the leadership workshops. Now in every interaction I listen more carefully and ask more questions, with an attempt to get an insight into the subject of our discussion.
  9. Online conferencing – continues to be on my list. We now use Office Communication Server (OCS) at work and that is used a lot more frequently now than other paid services.
  10. Wikipedia – Continues on my list. Great place to find almost anything here.