Tuesday, December 27, 2011

HE: Academy Awards for Learning Tools

It may not seem to have the glamour of Hollywood, but many of us wait eagerly for Jane Hart's yearly top 100 Learning Tools list. My peeps and I use free, subscription and installed tools all year and then more than 500 of us vote on tools that made a difference in designing teaching and learning. 

Many of the top tools have been the same for years, but perhaps this demonstrates how effectively some learning technologies are being adopted across curriculum, pedagogy, depth of technology infusion? Others are newcomers and may surprise you.  

Granted, some seem a far stretch to be called a "learning tool" but Jane's definition is generously broad: "This could be a tool you use to create or deliver learning content/solutions for others, or a tool you use for your own personal learning," and the definition permits all of us all to stretch out of the "teaching and learning management" box. Thus, the rise of Twitter the last few years. Open, connected, social, constructed learning. Jane's yearly list always fills me with hope.  

This year, you'll find much you'd expect and some new surprises. You'll be elated by the wealth of information derived from crowd-sourcing and feel dismay that there are so many tools/so little time to learn them all. Hurray to Jane for concisely sorting the votes and annotating the tools each year. 

Bookmark her site. Capture the Top 100 link and go back to it again and again for just-in-time advice on a specific tool when you need it. As we enter 2012, may your life be filled with new ideas and possibilities as we collectively explore the learning design community's top 100 tools for 2011.