A vast amount of information exists on the internet. As a result it becomes increasingly important for educators to be able to identify emerging trends and understand approaches to implementing them whether in the classroom or workplace.
In response, I am thrilled to be able to share with you an amazing website where learning tools are reviewed, demonstrated and stories shared on their impact in the workplace/classroom by those who have trialled them. And what is it? “The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies”.
Jane Hart, who is an International speaker, writer and learning consultant from the UK founded this site as she noted there was an increasing demand for understanding and locating online learning sites. Interestingly Jane herself was recently named the “most influential blogger e-learning blogger”; fascinating as many of us are just dabbling in blogs ourselves!
But what I love about the site is that the directory contains a listing of over 2000 learning and performance tools that are relative to both education and the workplace. The directory is then further broken down into different subtypes including: social and collaborative spaces, instructional tools, web platforms, blogging and wiki tools and many other types. Navigating into these links she provides general information including whether the tool is free and whether or not that tool made the top 100 of that year.
The website itself is collaborative and can be shared socially through facebook, pinterest, and twitter and RSS feeds; certainly building on the premise of learning community and collaboration.
I was intrigued to understanding more about how she determines the top 100 rated tools for each year since 2007. Her analysis includes voting from over 500 learning professionals (from education and workplace learning) from 48 countries. The top three votes came from USA, UK and Germany and top voters included university teachers, elearning developers and workplace learning consultants.
And what is the implication of this website? I believe understanding where the trends lie can provide a valuable blueprint in strategic technology planning within the teaching and learning domains. As educators it presents opportunities and equips us with tools that deepen the learning experience and expand the collaborative learning community. I also believe staying current of the same trends can provide a path for what the future may hold; as technology and web browsers continue to evolve, the learning must also evolve. Consider the social and collaborative spaces and the impact they have had on the ways in which we communicate, collaborate and share. As the internet continues to expand so will opportunities to foster creativity and expand the way we think and learn; I for one will continue to visit this website frequently and trial many of the tools, looking for ways to integrate and share them within my own teaching and learning practice.
I’ve also included a youtube video of Jane Hart describing 12 steps she believes are critical to creating and sustaining social learning in the workplace. It is a long video however even the first five minutes offer a glimpse into understanding the value that social learning can bring to work and how her reference websites, blogs and own use of social media can help change learning in the workplace.