Photo credit: Dawid Krupa and t_rust mashed up by Robin Good
In this collection you will find the best resources and hundreds of tools relevant to your personal growth, learning and educational resources, as well as to social media, video and business that Dr. Siemens has picked, collected and reviewed for you.
by George Siemens
Great resource, providing a sampling of how much learning material is available for informal and formal learning: More than 100 Free Places to Learn Online - and Counting
Great place for educators, marketers, people who are randomly bored, to get some new ideas and approaches to teaching and communicating. Jane has split the tools out in "free" and "non-free" categories.
In her recent post, she turns her attention from looking at the most popular tools today and focuses on what she feels will be the top tools of 2009. Most of the tools listed assume traditional desktop / laptop access to the internet.
I think 2009 will be a year where mobile applications continue their enormous growth. In the last several months, I have shifted significantly from my laptop to my mobile (for maps, gmail, twitter, Facebook, news, tracking financial markets).
Social Media Start Kit is a useful resources intended to
"build a toolkit and instructional guides about how social media strategies and tools can enable nonprofit organizations to create, compile, and distribute their stories and change the world."
Weekly modules are still in development (looks like they're up to week two), but it looks like a valuable resource.
I haven't read all of the ebooks listed... but this is a useful listing of 20 free ebooks on social media.
The list includes resources on podcasting, blogging, usability and related subjects. I'm not entirely convinced I like the term social media anymore. In the sense that all media (whether creation/production, transmission, reception... and even when media is treated as storage, it still aspires to be viewed) require a producer and consumer, doesn't the notion of media have an inherent social trait?
Basically, a person enters sites they want to search, and when some enters a query into the text box, it search only those sources.
Google now offers a similar service (where Google once was an innovator, they are increasingly becoming an imitator - bookmarks, reader, iGoogle, Orkut, etc.): Google Custom Search.
Online video is where blogs were about 7 or 8 years ago - on the threshold of large scale adoption for content creators due to ease of creation and sharing. Tools for your video career is a useful, though basic, resource on how to get started with creating, sharing, and streaming video.
With up to 30% of Google / Yahoo searches returning links to Wikipedia, Google sees an enormous non-adsensed space. The traffic of Wikipedia makes ad providers salivate. To combat this untapped market, Google opted to create a service called Knol, where articles can be written by experts (sometimes).
Anyone can create a knol and invite others to contribute. If several people decide to write a knol on elearning, both are allowed to exist. The community can vote and rate article quality. Authors of knols can also add Google's AdSense service to the site and make money in the process. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
Google is essentially stating that individual ownership of articles is important. How will knols be listed in Google searches? Will they receive better search returns than Wikipedia articles?
A part of me would like to dislike this service (how much more of our soul must we give up to Google?). But the idea is well conceived. The service seems to function well, without the hideous editing text of mediawiki. Feedback loops are in place through comments and ratings.
The opportunity for economic gain will likely also draw some participants. All those factors combine to suggest Knol has a real chance for success. Currently, the resources on the site are quite scarce, however.
The focus is not purely on education, but Microblogging Tools for your Newsroom is worth a review.
Organizations, distributed teams and networks will likely find some of the tools interesting. Usually microblogging refers to twitter, but in this case, the author looks at tools that are used for a particular purpose - such as informal project management, backchannel, etc.
I should reference where I found this site - 270 tools for your online business - but I'm clueless as to where I found it. The list includes a combination of free and for-fee applications. Includes tools for roughly every conceivable task: accounting, communicating, planning, brainstorming, project management, and on and on. Educators will likely find a few new tools in the mix...
About the author
To learn more about George Siemens and to access extensive information and resources on elearning check out www.elearnspace.org. Explore also George Siemens connectivism site for resources on the changing nature of learning and check out his new book "Knowing Knowledge".
George Siemens -
More than 100 Free Places to Learn Online - and Counting - Mission to Learn
Over 2300 Learning Tools - Centre For Learning & Performance Technologies
Top 10 Future Tools - Kirsty Pargeter
Social Media Starter Kit - We Are Media
20 Free Ebooks On Social Media - One Laptop per Child
Tools for Your Video Career - YouTube
Knol - Knol
Microblogging Tools For Your Newsroom - Richard Barley
Lots Of Tools... - Ricardo Alves