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Time to participate in Jane Hart‘s annual Top 100 Tools for Learning survey for 2016! As I did last year, I will note 5 tools I use for my own development and 5 tools I use for developing resources for others. Top 5 tools used for my own development (one change from last year): [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
  • Twitter– Still my top choice. Following amazing people makes me learn amazing things. Also, insights from respected colleagues yields better results than searches.
  • Google– Despite my prior comment about references being trusted more than search, Googling is a daily activity.
  • Youtube– What you can learn from YouTube is astounding. Last week, my kid somehow jammed a door bolt on a bathroom door so it wouldn’t retract. A quick search got a 5 min video that provided a 10 min fix.
  • Delicious– Delicious is probably not the best social bookmarking or notetaking tool (OneNote and Evernote have stronger features), but after 10K indexed links, it is a large repository I have at my disposal.
  • Stretch Goals (new for 2016)– I actively set stretch goals for myself. Some are short-burst, others are very large, ambitious goals. I use a countdown widget on my phone to track progress and hold myself accountable.
[/list] Here are the top 5 tools I use to develop learning resources for others (a few new players this year): [list style=”arrow” color=”blue”]
  • Powerpoint– I do bi-weekly lunch and learns, and I have often used Duarte Slidedocs format for key deliverables from Onboarding Guides to full-fledged proposals.
  • Storyline– I remain a Storyline fanboy. It just works. Folks like it (learners, developers, and SMEs). I keep trying to push what I can do with the tool and have a very ambitious ecosystem project where Storyline plays a key role.
  • MadCap Flare– I maintain documentation for a software system. The documentation must play on many devices, and print, and update easily, and work nicely with other products. Flare has given me the most leverage to effectively manage a large document set with continually evolving content (I will more formally review it in a few months).
  • WordPress/LearnDash– A few months ago, I started hacking my site to see how effectively I could integrate WordPress with exports from MadCap Flare WHILE securing it AND enabling the potential for key documentation to be part of a larger learning program we could track via XAPI using LearnDash. We got all the answers needed, so 2016 promises to show a lot of development in WordPress and LearnDash with Flare and Storyline partnering and XAPI giving us some insight on what is working.
  • Excel– In my new role, I do a lot more analytical and reporting work so my use in Excel has increased sharply. Powerful pivot tables and charts can communicate complex and dense information providing key insights- especially if the user can manipulate the variables and see how it impacts results.
[/list] Many more arrows in my quiver (Photoshop, SnagIt, Audacity, Trello), but those are my top 5. Participate in the survey and let others know about the great tools you use.