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Building a personal learning toolkit

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Saved by David Porter
on April 30, 2011 at 7:22:02 pm
 

This lesson allows you explore and experiment with personal technologies for learning. You can build your own personal learning toolkit based on your explorations.

 

Before we explore the OER world further, it would be a good idea for you to begin to select tools with which to build your own personal learning tool kit. With these tools you'll be able to explore the Internet, keep notes and capture ideas from web sites you visit.

 

Becoming a networked teacher and learner

 

Networked Teacher Diagram - Update 

Dr. Alec Couros of the University of Regina proposes that teachers need to become "network learners" themselves.

 

 

The Couros diagram of the networked teacher illustrates the many ways that teachers interact with students, colleagues, peers and other resources, both human and digital across the Internet.  In each case, these interactions are software and network-enabled.

 

What is important is for networked teachers to assemble a personal learning toolkit of software applications that will allow them to communicate with peers, assemble and manage digital resources, publish and share digital resources with others.

 

 

Your personal learning toolkit

One of the ways to begin to assemble your own personal toolkit is to seek advice from others who may have more knowledge. Another way to assemble your toolkit is to explore free or open source tools that might be useful to you by searching for them using the Internet.

 

A shortcut would be to explore collections of tools that other educators have found useful in the context of becoming a networked teacher and/or learner.

 

One useful resource is the OER Handbook that can be found on the WikiEducator web site.

 

It has a section on composing OERs that list many useful open source software packages that could be valuable resources in a personal toolkit for networked teachers.

 

Included are lists of software tools for:

 

  • Audio
  • Images
  • Learning support systems
  • Office tools
  • Web authoring
  • Video
  • Mobile access

 

A very good starting point would be to download and install a set of open source Office tools such as those available free from OpenOffice.org.

 

The web site The Networked Learner provides another set of recommended tools that may be useful to you or to your students.

 

 

Activity: Exploring personal learning tools

For each of the categories below, explore the suggested free web-based tool to find out if it would fit your personal style.

 

If so, consider making the tool part of your personal toolkit.  If not, use the Internet to search for tools like the ones below to determine if there are others that might better suit your style or context.

 

Functional category Open source tools Free to use tools
Document creation and sharing    
Google Docs 
Browse the web and clip web pages for future reference     Evernote 
Research tool for organizing references    Zotero 
Social network tool for real-time connection to peers   Twitter 
Social bookmarking service to share useful web bookmarks with peers   Diigo
Free blogging service for posting notes and images    Blogger 
Internet telephone and web presence tool for one-to-one or small group discussions   Skype 
Free online web conferencing and white-boarding with peers or students   WizIQ  

 

 

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