Jane’s Personal Top 10 Tools for Learning in 2020

The Top Tools for Learning 2020 (14th Annual) survey will close on Friday 21 August. Have you voted for your favourites yet? If not, you can do so by completing an online form here or else send a tweet to me, @C4LPT with your top 10 tools.

I will reveal the Top 200 Tools for Learning list on Tuesday 1 September. The list is already shaping up to be very different this year, and I’ll be providing my analysis and some infographics as usual.

But meanwhile here is my own, personal, selection of the 10 tools that I find invaluable in 2020.

1 & 2 – Twitter is the place where I quickly and easily keep up with what’s happening in the world – and in particular what others are up to with their ideas and activities around workplace learning. It’s the first place I go to when I wake up in the morning. But I do prefer to use TweetDeck rather than the web interface – where I’ve set up different columns for my news feed, mentions, hashtags I follow, etc. This makes it much easier for me to see the overall picture of what’s happening in the moment.

3 & 4 – I really couldn’t do without Feedly though. This is my news reader, where I aggregate well over 300 blog and website feeds. I use this as another means to keep up to date with new technology, the future of work, and other related topics. I also rely heavily on Google Alerts to send me other resources that I might have missed – particularly on “continuous learning” and “lifelong learning”. And when I across any gems I share them on Twitter too.

5 – WordPress is the platform I use to power all my websites. I make use of a large number of plugins that enhance its default functionality and appearance.

6 – This year I’ve gone back to using Yammer to host the online workshops I run – since it as it is all about the social experience; people interacting and learning from one another. I do prefer the conversation threading there than on Slack. And by using Yammer, participants can see how valuable a platform it is to underpin both informal and formal social learning and collaboration in the workplace, and that they really don’t need a separate social learning platform. Using an enterprise social network or collaboration platform means that learning and work are fully integrated.

7 – I do use a number of communication tools but WhatsApp has become the essential one for me for interacting with individuals – clients, colleagues, friends and family.

8 & 9 – When it comes to producing stuff (i.e. resources), I now believe in keeping things as simple as possible; I don’t over-engineer content. I find that I can quickly create effective content using basic tools like Word and PowerPoint. At the end of the day, the people I create the content for are adults and don’t need trivial or gratuitous “bells and whistles” to be encouraged to read the stuff – they just want the content.

10 – And the final tool on my list is Excel. This is where I keep track of and analyse the data I collect for many different purposes (including the Top Tools data). It also supports the administration for the workshops I run – so it’s my mini-TMS (training management system) if you like! Once again it’s all about keeping everything as simple and cost-effective as possible.

So, what are your favourite tools? Please do share them in the 2020 survey.

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Jane Hart

Jane Hart helps organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning - through public workshops and bespoke consultancy. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and is the author of a number of books including Modern Workplace Learning 2020 as well as the resource for individuals How to become a modern Learner. Jane was the 2018 recipient of the ATD Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development award. You can contact Jane at Jane.Hart@C4LPT.co.uk.