Jane Hart has been compiling her list of the top 100 learning tools for years. In fact, 2016 is the 10th anniversary and with this year comes a change. Instead of including the top 100 tools, she has extended the list to the top 200! She has also created three sub-lists to further context the tools:
- Top 100 Tools for Education
- Top 100 Tools for Workplace Learning
- Top 100 Tools for Personal & Professional Learning
If you haven’t voted, visit her site and let her know your what your preferred tools are this year. I’m sure you will find something that will make you more successful moving into 2017!
Here is my list for 2016 (in no specific order):
- Storyline 2 (Workplace Learning) – This is my workhorse! I love this tool and will continue to use it every chance I get to create training, interactive tutorials and more. The company’s support network and its community are second to none!
- Camtasia Studio 08 (Workplace Learning)- I have used this tool since it first came out in October 2002. It provides a fast and easy way to capture your screen and perform basic video editing. Oh yes, it also works and plays well with my other tools!
- Snagit (Workplace Learning) – I continue to use this tool year end and year out. If I need to capture, crop, or manipulate an image quickly, Snagit is the way to go.
- Lightroom/Photoshop – Although these two products are not free, the Adobe cloud-based versions are priced very reasonably. They give me the power and flexibility to manage images used in both my social media streams as well as my course designs and tutorials. I take advantage of Lightroom’s catalog to manage and manipulate images and use Photoshop for more detailed work.
- Twitter (Personal & Professional Learning) – This is my primary tool for engaging with others in my field. The key is to use something like TweetDeck (see below) to organize and filter information. Through Twitter, I have created a large support network without leaving the comfort of my “virtual” office.
- Feedly (Personal & Professional Learning) – I just discovered this tool recently via a tweet by Mike Taylor (@tmiket). It provides an excellent way to organize and keep up with e-learning and business topics.
- Coolors (Workplace Learning) – I love this online tool for generating color palettes. I usually start with Pixie (see below) when I see a specific color I like. From there, I go to Coolors to create a color scheme to complement my selection. Coolors was recommended to me by Jackie Van Nice (@jackietrains).
- WordPress (Personal & Professional Learning/Workplace Learning) – I’ve used WordPress to host this site and others for many years! It allows me to showcase my products/services and provides a place to store my portfolio and connect with others.
- Dropbox (Personal & Professional Learning) – Easy to use between my clients and subcontractors when it comes to storing and exchanging files.
- PowerPoint (Workplace Learning) – The “workhorse” of the training community. Many people despise this tool but it’s behind many of the amazing things you see out there. It provides a delivery mechanism for creating online learning courses and presentations. It slices and dices to make simple image editing quick and designing custom graphics a breeze. You cannot deny the power of PowerPoint. Of course, like any other tool, in the wrong hands it has been known to produce some really horrible things. Don’t blame the tool, blame the user behind the tool.
Here are a few other tools I use periodically that you might be interested in:
- ImageSplitter (Workplace Learning) – As the author explains, this is the Swiss army knife solution for simple image processing when it comes to cropping, resizing, converting or splitting images. If you need to do basic image processing fast, this is a great tool.
- TweetDeck: This is a fabulous tool for tracking, organizing and viewing what’s going on in your Twitter stream! I keep it opening when I start my day to track trends, mentions, and what my fellow designers are up to.
- Pixie: This simple, yet amazingly useful piece of software has been around for years. Run it, simply point it to a color and it will tell you the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of that color. Combine Pixie with Coolors (mentioned earlier) to establish a color palette that will amaze your friends!