PLE, Professional Development, web 2.0

In My Toolbox

Inspired by @timbuckteeth‘s blog post Tools of my trade, I decided to share my tech tools I can’t seem to live without.  I have to give kudos to these web 2.0 resources which have enhanced my learning networks & contribute to my professional career.

Photo from Flicker donna_makes_cakes

Here is a quick list of online tools that I frequent to inspire, engage & learn with on a regular basis, in no particular order:

  • Google Docs – Calendar, Gmail, G-Talk and MORE! All of these wonderful cloud computing applications from Google have made my life professionally, academically and personally very simple. These apps have helped me stay connected, engage in current communication and allow for an organization on a daily basis.
  • Flickr – By nature, I am a historian and I love documenting life as it happens. Flickr has allowed me to share my experiences with others, and participate in a phenomenal photography community. I have been inspired by my Groups and challenged by new image projects, like the Daily Shoot.
  • Networks that are Social – Facebook & LinkedIn are two of the main social networking sites I connect to my “peeps” with over the course of my travels. For someone who has relocated a few times in the past 10 years, it’s been a great way to connect with friends, family & colleagues old and new. Although I tend to use the cluttered Facebook more than LinkedIn, I have found great purpose in both as it has lead to conference connections, professional development, and career opportunities.
  • Delicious – has been the best way to store & save useful articles, publications, and websites for my research. It’s a helpful way to collect, tag & store my online bookmarks. I love that delicious is very accessible, and the social features make it easy to share resources in my network. I have started to play with Diigo application a bit, but I suppose you always stick with the one you use first.
  • Twitter – After a late introduction to the Twittersphere in Fall 2008, I learned how great Twitter can be for news, information and developing my personal learning network. Twitter has proven to be a helpful resource for conferences or discussion groups by the use of hashtags (e.g. #nacadatech or #sachat), and I have connected to other Ed Tech colleagues to enhance my resources and research.
  • Slideshare has been a fantastic place to archive & share presentations online. There is a unique community of learners and educators who share some phenomenal screencasts & slides from their work.
  • Wikis – Anyone who has been in a research group or worked with me, can attest to my love of the wikis for any group collaboration. Whether it is project management, a communication platform, online classroom, or a forum for research, I have found wikis to be a very useful online workspace. My preferred wiki platform is either PBworks or Wikispaces.
  • Skype – has kept me in touch with loved ones and allowed me to collaborate with colleagues across the nation & globe. Skype is a brilliant tool to connect when you cannot meet in person. Often it is used to instant message a colleague with a quick question, or it has the ability to let me attend a class when I’ve been traveling.  I have virtually presented at conferences with the screen share application (along with Ustream) and I think it is fantastic.
  • Blog(s) – I initially began blogging back in 2006 when I was working in France & the UK. I used Blogger to describe my adventures, post pictures and share experiences with friends and family. When I returned home to Canada, many of my blog readers asked if I would keep it going as they thought it was entertaining & a great way to stay in touch. I found blogging to be very reflective and a great tool to express ideas, share content and document personal experiences. As my professional work and academic learning required more reflection, I initiated TechKNOW Tools [WordPress] as a space to share resources and ideas that impacted my school/work life.

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