In my teaching, research, writing and consulting I try to be a bridge-builder across admittedly different disciplines, cultures, and age groups. I enjoy reading the Harvard Business Review as well as Psychological Science. I wrote a book review of Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. I learned much from from reading Andrew Macarthy‘s 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advise, Hints, and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More! I am learning a lot from Greta Van Susteren’s Everything You Need to Know about Social Media (Without Having to Ask a Kid). I am making more use of LinkedIn Learning. And I follow with admiration the efforts of Jane Hart to expand the ways that learning can take place in the workplace.
In concert with Michelle Pacansky-Brock’s Best Practices for Teaching with Emergency Technologies, Susan Manning and Kevin E. Johnson’s The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching, Steve Johnson’s Digital Tools for Teaching, and Alec Couros’ Becoming a Networked Learner, these resources demonstrably changed how I teach, how I learn, and how I “reach out” to others via social media. Clearly, as Curtis J. Bonk has evangelized, my world has been opened and expanded.
Over the past decade I been enriched by discovering, testing, curating and using a number of “technology learning tools” identified by Jane Hart. My students and I hope soon to release a series of ebooks sharing how we use these tools. The challenge is to find balance between tool use and the tools controlling the user. For a horrific example of such a dystopia I recommend your reading Dave Eggers novel The Circle.
Though I have explored every year each of the 100 learning tools, I have no “favorite”. Which tool I use most is very much a function of the learning/teaching task I am engaged in, the discretionary time I allow myself for being online, the audience I am working with, and the particular computer/operating system I am using. All these factors change very quickly.
I am using Twitter much less often than in the past and Facebook and LinkedIn much more often. Across the course of a day I move between a desktop PC, a desk top Mac, a laptop PC, a laptop Mac, an Iphone and IPads. My international colleagues and international friends are more facile with the use of YouTube than I. Google Search (and Google Scholar) is my search engine of choice though I grossly under-use the sophisticated and nuanced search capabilities it provides.
I intentionally under use PowerPoint. Evernote, for me, has potential but is nonessential in my day-to-day activity. WordPress, Facebook, and LinkedIn play an integral role in my teaching, learning, promulgating, bridge-building and networking modus operandi as well as assorted screen casting tools.
Help me out. Help me learn. Which of these tools have you used? What am I missing in discovering their utility for teaching, learning and bridge-building? Which would be most useful in advancing my interests in cross-national cross-generational teaching and learning? Which tools develop skills that all global citizens should be familiar with?