My Top 10 Tools for Learning Professionals

ToolsHello Jane,

I wrote a blogpost (in Dutch) today about the 25 Tools: A Toolbox for Learning Professionals 2009.  I wrote about using the list in my own work as a teachertrainer at the School of Education in Amsterdam.

Of course the post got me thinking about my own top 10 Tools for Learning, and I like to share my contribution with you  (and others) for the Top 100 Tools for Learning Professionals 2009.

Come to think of it, I will make this an assignment for my  students on the eLearning TeamSite of my School: create your own Top 10 and share/discuss this with your fellow students.

So here goes:

1. Twitter
I use Twitter to share my thoughts, ideas, information with others and to learn or get inspired by others. I love the way professionals use Twitter as a backchannel during conferences, using tags, adding depth to presentations and discussions. Microblogging is the informal learning tool for me.

I’m constantly adding webpages or blogposts to my Delicious. Information I can use for presentations, lectures, blogposts and papers. My student’s are used of finding a link to a specific Delicious tag in their ‘required reading’ list. I teach my students to search in Delicious as an alternative to Google. I like the collecting aspect of saving websites to Delicious (more, more!)

3. NetNewsWire
My RSS-feedreader for Mac OS X and iPhone. A daily ritual. I use the feeds for learning about education and e-learning, to get inspired by other learning professionals.  NetNewsWire synchronizes my feeds between desktop, iPhone app and web. It doesn’t matter which platform I use, I’m always up to date.

4. Apple iPhone
If we’re going for this ubiquitous learning thing, let’s do it in style! Internet access 24/7. Checking my e-mail, Twitter, reading RSS feeds, creating notes in Evernote, using location based apps for public transport, etc. I use the camera for taking pictures of events or to ‘scan’ notes which I post on Twitter or Evernote. Oh, and of course the phone conversations. Don’t forget the phone conversations.

5. Evernote
Almost everything I write starts in Evernote. Blogposts, papers, lessonplans, etc. Even when I’m making notes on a piece of paper during a meeting, or scribble some ideas on a beernapkin, I take a photo with my iPhone camera and ‘scan’  it into Evernote for further processing. I’m using Twitter to tweet ideas, thoughts and information straight to Evernote. All my notes are synchronized between Evernote for desktop, iPhone app and web.

6. Safari
My favorite browser for desktop and iPhone. Fast and clean. I use it for my Google searches and my favorite button is “Add to Delicious”.

7. WordPress (self-hosted)
I use WordPress for my blog. I started a blog after I started using Twitter, the microblogging inspired me to work out thoughts and concepts in more than 140 characters. I’m keeping a blog to work out concepts and ideas about education and e-learning and to share information with colleagues and other learning professionals. It’s becoming my tool for reflection and creating a sort of digital portfolio.

8. Microsoft SharePoint
The intranet environment in my School is build with SharePoint.  I use it to share information with my colleagues and students. I create different sites to support projects and classes, to facilitatie co-construction of knowledge and reflection.

9. Keynote
I use Keynote for presentations. I think it works very intuitive, and the results look more professional than PowerPoint. When necessary I’ll convert the presentations to PowerPoint or straight to SlideShare. I used to convert them ready for iPod of iPhone, but I stopped doing that. Students didn’t use them.

10. Microsoft Word
I’ve worked with OpenOffice for Mac for a couple of months, but returned to Microsoft Office. And the main reason was that I missed the “review” options in Word, which I use with my colleagues when we are collaborating on reports or when I’m reviewing student’s papers.

My top 10 list for now, I will update it next year. It will be interesting to see what changes (and why).

Kind regards,

Jeroen Bottema

(picture: docman at

Update 22/5 22:50
Check out my contribution at the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies site. Thank you, Jane.

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