Top 5 E-learning Tools of 2009
Colleagues often ask me to recommend e-learning tools. They know I design e-learning and know I have a technology background, so I seem like an ideal candidate to ask. Invariably, their requests funnel down to a need for a complete e-learning system:
What software or programs do I need to create e-learning from start to finish?
I love having these conversations because I find out what kinds of projects people are working on and what software they already have. Because I am acutely aware of costs and budgets, it helps to have context before recommending tools. I also like to give my colleagues some homework, which starts with reading Jane Hart.
Jane Hart leads thinking for learning and e-learning. Her blog features new tools every day, and her web site, Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies, tracks top 10 lists of learning professionals all over the world. As 2009 closes, here are the current top 10 based on a compilation of all the lists submitted:
4. Google Reader
5. Google Docs
8. Google Search
- Firefox (tied for 9th place)
I am one of the learning professionals who submitted my top 10 list. For me, this list includes the tools that I used the most in 2009 or that were new and exciting this year. That is why my list includes Screenr, a free recording tool that integrates with Twitter and YouTube. Because Screenr rolled out this year and I was instantly able to use it, it seemed perfect for Hart’s list.
But I have another, more focused list of e-learning tools in mind.
Returning my colleagues' needs, I want to offer a list of key tools needed to create e-learning from beginning to end. To get e-learning done—from initial design to development and through implementation—specific types of tools are required. A one-and-done e-learning toolbox needs the best tool for each of these five categories: authoring, interactivity, social activity, quizzing and delivery. With these five tools, a learning professional can create high quality e-learning from start to finish.
1. Authoring: Although not a program specially designed for e-learning, the easiest tool to use is the new, more robust PowerPoint 2007. I love Captivate and Articulate, but let’s be honest: both of those programs rely on PowerPoint. Articulate embeds itself into PowerPoint, and although Captivate doesn’t have to rely on PowerPoint, it does simply because PowerPoint is such a familiar tool for computer users.
PowerPoint is the default tool for creating presentations. Many presentations can run alone as e-learning or can be imported by other authoring tools. And PowerPoint can create excellent flash-quality animation—it’s a versatile authoring tool.Continued on the next page