Top Ten Tools

Top Ten ToolsThanks to a comment by Larry Ferlazzo I have been checking out the various lists of top ten favorite tools that are listed on Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day.

You can submit your top ten list of favorite tools (only 10???) and then Jane is compiling all the tools mentioned into one master list – the Top 100.

I especially enjoyed looking at the list by guest submitter Jay Cross. Hearing how and why different folks liked their chosen tools intrigued me enough to spend way too much time checking them all out.

Here are my favorite tools (in no particular order).

  1. Google Products:
    • Gmail. I love this web based email system and the fact that I can access it from any computer. Not only do you get tons of storage but I like the way it keeps the threaded conversations together. Gmail chat is also nifty.
    • Google Docs. Google docs are great for collaborating and sharing information with others. You must invite friends to participate in your documents but it’s so easy to edit ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!.
    • iGoogle and Google reader. Ok, ok, so I love of all the of the Google products – but I do use them and find them easy to use. iGoogle is a personalized page (which I make as my own homepage) that you can customize with all kinds of widgets like: weather, calendar, CNN news, Google Reader (RSS), Gmail notifier, jokes, etc…
    • Googlemaps, Google Earth, SketchUp …. I love ’em all!
  2. I can’t believe how much I depend on this social bookmarking tool to remember sites I have visited but also for sharing cool sites with my friends. Now I don’t need to be that annoying friend who always sends emails recommending websites (I can’t help myself) – if I find a site and know my friend’s name I can tag the site as: for:ccassinelli and then when that user goes to their account they can add my favorite to theirs. This is very helpful for group projects!
  3. Flickr. This web-based photo sharing site is awesome for uploading photos to share with friends. I like how you can create different albums and tag photos for easy sorting. I also love snooping through my friend’s albums too!
  4. My first RSS aggregator was Bloglines and I still use it today. I like how I can create folders for all of the ed tech blogs I read. Here are my folders: personal, ed tech bloggers, under consideration and last chance. When I stumble across a blog I might be interested in I add the feed in the under consideration folder. When I find that I enjoy the blog and read it often it moved up in rank to the ed tech bloggers folder while some of those are demoted to last chance before I decide to do away with the feed.
  5. Audacity. This easy to use FREE audio editing software is easy to use for podcasting and editing audio files. You will need the LAME Mp3 encoder if you want to export your audio files at MP3 instead of WAV – but it’s easy to download and install.
  6. Wikispaces. I’ve already mentioned my love of wikis earlier in my blog but for collaboration and easy editing – wikis are the way to go. I also love the fact that wikispaces gives FREE wikis to teachers. Thanks for the support!
  7. Skype. I use skype more for IM and group chatting than Internet phone calling but it’s easy to use and really catching on.
  8. Flock and Firefox. Both of these browsers are excellent and have cool extensions. Most browsers have built in RSS but you can also access your Flickr pics right from the Flock toolbar – kewl!
  9. Moodle. I started using Moodle this last year with a few of my computer classes but will use this open-source course management system with all my classes this year. It’s easy to use, has built in blogging and modules (quizzes, journals, docs) that make it easy to keep all class documents in one area.
  10. YouTube. YouTube is great when you need a few laughs or want to share short family video with loved ones across the country. I also love the idea of TeacherTube. Educators need a safe and secure place where our students can particpate in the social aspect of video sharing and engaging students with video responses.

So, there’s my list. I didn’t include software tools like MS Office, Dreamweaver, Inspiration, InDesign and all of those productivity tools that I use everyday.

What is your top 10?

One Reply to “Top Ten Tools”

  1. Hi Collette
    This is a great page – I need to learn how to do this. I am in Brisbane Australia and am amazed as to what is occurring in the web2.0 world. I have been to some professional development days and explore quite a bit on my own and try to engage my 16 year old son to look at ways of applying what is out there for his school tasks. I am going to explore the few of your favourite 10 that I don’t know. I am a fan of pageflakes as well. Your page is safely tagged in my collection!!
    Cheers Cathy

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