Top Ten Tools for E-learning in 2008

Jane Hart, founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4PT) site is compiling this year’s list of Top 10 Tools for Learning. I think that it’s a worthwhile exercise to contribute your list if you feel strongly, as I do, that the more exposure learning professionals have to the range of tools at our disposal, the more effectively we can develop effective learning solutions for our customers.

C4PT is a fantastic resource for those new to e-learning, as well as seasoned professionals looking to expand their content development toolkit. I recommend you drop over and have a look at what you can find there.

Michael’s Top 10 Tools (in no particular order. Well, alphabetical.)

  1. Audacity – I recommend this open source tools to subject matter experts who wish to create podcasts and / or software demos when using a Rapid E-Learning approach. It’s easy to install and use and enables SMEs and training professionals to create high quality audio quickly and efficiently.

  2. Adobe Acrobat Connect Enterprise – I could have picked any from the range of Adobe Flash-based content development tools, but I chose this application because of it’s multifunctionality, and because it manifests what Flash, Presenter, Dreamweaver etc can do. Enables collaboration, content storage, management, distribution, and (a certain degree of) tracking. A powerful platform to enable learning professionals and organisations to distribute informational and training content effectively.

  3. Adobe Captivate – A SERIOUS authoring tool for demos, simulations, evaluation, and scenarios-based learning

  4. Blogs – The platform doesn’t matter, but the concept of providing a means to create, share, and deliver content is the basis for a new way of learning.

  5. Del.icio.us – Personal bookmarking at its best. If, like me you work on a number of machines in a number of locations, it is useful to access stored links and documents from a browser regardless of where you happen to be, once you have an internet connection.

  6. MindJet Mind Manager Pro – I built the framework for my Master’s thesis in Mind Manager. A powerful intermediary in developing ideas, concepts, and course design.

  7. Moodle – Already an institution in institutions! Martin Dougimas’s erstwhile thesis project continues to meet the learning management requirements of a range of organisations. I just love the idea of framing Social Constructivism in such an useful environment.

  8. PageRank – A technology that has its critics, but provides us with the ability to carry out a search in Google, MSN, Yahoo! etc safe in the knowledge that the returned results are not just an undifferentiated list of keyword hits, thus enhancing the relevance of the search.

  9. Sony Vegas Video – Easier to use than Premiere, more powerful than MovieMaker; Vegas is my post-production “weapon of choice” for 90% of the video elements that appears in courseware developed in my organisation. Whether you’re just “topping and tailing” a piece of video or creating the elements for a sophisticated soft skills course, Vegas is a must.

  10. TextPad – I would have chosen pen and paper, but decided to keep this list digital; TextPad is an advanced text editor that enables users to create and edit text documents, XML, JavaScript and other interpreted content without the extraneous “bloat” of word-processing applications. I find it useful to develop content in this stripped-down environment before transferring to Word, PowerPoint, Blogger or some other application for final enhancement and publishing (this list was created in TextPad, for example).