Learning Tools Top 10 for 2017

Top 200 learning tools 2017Every year the estimable Jane Hart (owner of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies) asks learning professionals to submit their Top 10 Learning Tools for the previous twelve months.

This time, more than 2,100 learning professionals across the world contributed to the poll. Their nominations were compiled into the Top Tools for Learning.

Domains of Learning Covered

Over the course of the years, the breadth and depth of the survey has expanded at an extraordinary rate. The range of tools and technologies we now consider to be part of Technology in Learning has grown too. In the current list, 200 learning tools are covered distributed across 3 subdomains. They are:

  1. Personal & Professional Learning
  2. Workplace Learning
  3. Education

The categories or types of learning tools covered by the survey has broadened. As well as the ‘traditional’ learning categories of Instruction, Content Development, and Web, the list now incorporates Social and Personal Learning tools. Bear in mind that when Jane began compiling the list, we were looking forward to the brave new world of Web 2.0, where finally we could cast off the shackles of static web pages connected by hyperlinks: e-learning, we hoped, would move beyond the confines what was essentially ‘webified’ classroom-style narratives, and truly become interstive and learner-centric

C4LPT List

You can read the top 10 learning tools from the 2017 C4LPT poll below.

Top 10 ToolsToolBrief description
1 YouTubeVideo sharing platform
2 Google Search Web search engine
3 PowerPoint Presentation tool
4 Google Docs/Drive Cloud-based office suite/document storage
5 Twitter Public social network
6 Word Word processing software
7 LinkedIn Professional social network
8 Facebook Public social network
9 WordPress Blogging and website tool
10 Wikipedia Collaborative encyclopedia

My List

For a decade (!), I’ve contributed to the annual list. My, how time flies.

And so without further ado, here is my 10th Annual Top 10 Learning Tools, in alphabetical order (because every one of them is a winner!):

 ToolBrief description
Adobe Captivate logoAdobe CaptivateI could have picked any from the range of Adobe content development tools, but I chose this application because of its multi-functionality, and because it manifests what the Adobe eLearning Suite can do. The ‘Swiss Army knife’ of e-learning authoring tools, and better than Articulate because of it’s powerful programming features, and because it’s available for Windows and MacOS.
iPhone logoApple iPhoneI don’t know what insight to offer about this device to say about this device that hasn’t already still been said. For me, it’s not so much the device itself, but more it’s power as an application platform.
Audacity logoAudacityI recommend this open source tool to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who wish to create podcasts and/or software demos when using a Rapid E-Learning approach. It's an easy-to-use non-destructive audio recording and editing tool, comes with a range of impressive plug-ins including Normalize and Noise Reduction (NR), as well as pretty good graphical equalizer (EQ). Audacity enables SMEs and training professionals create high quality audio quickly and efficiently.
Wordpress logoBlogsThe platform doesn't matter – I use WordPress - but the concept of providing a means to create, share, and deliver content is the basis for a new way of learning. My e-learning blog, the E-Learning Curve Blog (unashamed plug) provides commentary and news on the domain of professional learning and development.
Apple iMovie logoiMovieEasier to use than Adobe Premiere, more powerful than Story Remix; iMovie is my post-production tool for 90% of the video elements that appear in courseware developed for my customers and clients. Whether you're just "topping and tailing" a piece of video or creating the elements for a sophisticated soft skills course, iMovie is a must-have application, as far as I’m concerned.
Mindjet Mindmanager logoMindJet Mind Manager ProMind-mapping - using diagrams used to represent words, ideas, tasks, and concepts linked to and arranged around a central topic (and used to generate, visualize, structure ideas), is central to the way I work, research, organize, solve problems, and make decisions. I build the framework for all of the learning & education programmes I develop in Mind Manager. It is powerful intermediary in developing ideas, concepts, and course design.
MoodleAn institution in institutions! Martin Dougiamas' erstwhile thesis project continues to meet the learning management requirements of any number and type of organization. Social Constructivist? Virtual Learning Environment? Easy-to-use? Great Platform.
Statcounter logoStatCounterEvery learning professional knows that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This mantra has an extra resonance in the online learning world. StatCounter is a Web analysis tool that enables me to understand the requirements of learners who use my courseware, as well as how visitors interact with my blog.
Camtasia logoTechsmith CamtasiaA very powerful rapid e-learning authoring tool for demonstrations, simulations, evaluation, and scenario-based learning. This application – which was recently upgraded – is my “weapon of choice” for much of my e-learning content production work. It would probably be the Number 1 Tool on my list if I went for a merit-based rather than alphabetical format.
Textpad logoTextWrangler (MacOS) or TextPad (Windows)These two programs are advanced text editors that enable users to create and edit text documents, XML, JavaScript and other interpreted content without the extraneous "bloat" of word-processing applications. I find it easier to create content in the stripped-down environment they support before transferring to Word, PowerPoint, or some other application for final enhancement and publishing (this list was created in TextWrangler, for example).

The poll for 2017 has now closed. We can expect even more development, innovation, and change in time for the 2018 list. So, what are your current Top 10 Learning Tools, and what do expect to change in time for next year’s nominations? Let me know in the comments below.