I've been writing this week about Jane Hart's analysis of the technology tools being used by workplace learning professionals vs. those being used by educators, trying to identify why educators seem to be making greater use of social media. One issue may be that workplace learning professionals are not as familiar with social media tools in learning. Fortunately, Jane has created an excellent resource to address this--her 25 Tools Professional Development Resource, which is free and open access:
It is intended for those working in education, workplace learning or professional development who want to broaden their horizons in terms of the wide range of technologies and tools available for learning and performance support - in a very practical way by getting to grips with 25 key tools taken from the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008.
The tools are a mix of personal productivity tools for managing your own personal learning as well as authoring tools for creating all kinds of learning and performance solutions. Many of them are Web 2.0 tools that promote a social, collaborative, sharing approach to learning. But what is more important is that all these tools are free, which makes them very suitable for those on a low (or non-existent) budget to explore the widening e-learning space.
Jane has set things up to make it easy for learning professionals to more closely examine the most essential technology tools for learning, organizing them according to key learning activities.
Behind each of the 25 TOOLS lies an Activity that comprises a number of short tasks to help you find out more about the technology behind each tool, the tool itself and why it is so popular, how to use the tool and reflect on its application for teaching, learning and for productivity and performance support. Many of the tool activities are inter-related, so you will also be using other tools for some tasks.
You can either dip into the Tools in an informal way or work through them in a more structured or formal way. The approach is up to you.
There is also a COMMUNITY, where you can share your thoughts, experiences and resources as well as get help and advice from other members.
What's great about Jane's resource is that she shares specific personal learning and instructional uses for each of the tools, making it easier for learning professionals to see how these tools can be used in the context of their own work. She also includes a variety of multimedia resources for exploring each tool.
If you're looking to build and support a culture of personal learning in your organization, Jane's resource is a great place to start.