I’ve successfully loaded the Sierra OS upgrade to my Macs and determined which of my apps still:) work. It’s time to cast my ballot in Jane Hart’s 10th international survey about favorite learning tools. You can find her solicitation for votes here.

This year she invites us to categorize our use of each tool as to whether we primarily use it in education (E),for workplace learning (W), and or for  personal and professional learning (P). She also shared to the members of the “Supporting Everyday Workplace Learning” workshop that I am taking with her for the next eight weeks her Top 10 Learning Tools  and those of three of her ITA colleagues, Clark Quinn, Harold Jarche, and Charles Jennings. I found it interesting to benchmark my choices against theirs.

I annually personally try out each tool and assess the degree to which it might aid me in my various roles as educator, consultant, or learner. Equally important to me is their value to my students. My “top” tool list is dictated by particular needs (e.g. am I especially interested in global communication, podcasting, publishing?) I have at a particular time for a particular task depending upon which “hat” I am wearing.

  1. 1password:  (P)  Maybe I am getting older 🙂 Maybe I am merely overwhelmed by the number of different places that I log into across the course of the day and across the Macs, iPads, PCs, and mobile devices I use.  This software reduced my inefficiency in recalling the password I last used in 2011 to access Podbean.com or Yammer.com. The interface is clean and it is regularly (but not too often updated). I was pleased to see that Harold Jarche also listed it.
  2. WordPress: (E) My blogging software of choice–and a piece of software I introduce to my students. I followed the lead of Jane Hart many years ago when she migrated to it.
  3. Createspace: (E) I use this for self-publishing of my books and for self-publishing books of my students. We are now seriously considering using Designrr.
  4. Linkedin: (W) I’m still deciding whether the $60 per month for the premium account is worth the investment but it does allow me to reach out to a large number of members of the Carroll family (I just saw that two former students had advanced in their careers and sent them a quick congratulations) and it informs me about what the “business world” is thinking. I also use it as a platform for sharing some of my own writing.
  5. Facebook: (E) I use this venue not only for social purposes but also for monitoring certain professional groups I follow, maintaining relationships with alumni and former faculty, and sharing some of my blog posts.
  6. Yammer: (W) I am just learning the strengths and weaknesses of this tool being used by Jane Hart for the workshop I am taking.
  7. DayOne🙁P)  I use this journaling software both to keep track of and reflect upon my daily accomplishments and to coordinate work efforts and accomplishments of my student research team.
  8. Camtasia.(E)  Ten years ago I carefully read manuals. Now I rely extensively on viewing well-done, short screen casts and making them. I use screen casts extensively in some of my courses.
  9. Dragon Natural: (P) Confession. I never learned how to type. But right now I am dictating this blog piece. The software is quite good at accurately recognizing and transcribing what I’m saying. My consulting partner Greg Schneider uses it all the time for his work.  Though I am not as facile as he, I nonetheless find the software is improving my productivity.
  10. Screencastsonline:(E) I use this subscription service of screen casts to keep current with the latest versions of Mac software.


Posted by Professor David Simpson

Professor of Psychology, Carroll University (USA), Lover of Dogs, Reading, Teaching and Learning. Looking for ways to enhance cross-global communication and to apply technology learning tools. Interested in brain health maintenance, brain fitness training, and truth in advertising.


  1. As a member of Dr. Simpson’s student research team, I can agree with him on his choice of top 10 learning tools and how they help our success as a research team. One of my favorite tools Dr. Simpson talks about is the DayOne application. After each shift my coworkers and I write a detailed outline of the work we did with Dr. Simpson that day. By documenting all of our works, it makes sure we are efficient and do not keep repeating the same task. Overall creating a positive work environment.

    1. Thanks for sharing your first hand observations, Tia. You amaze me how hard and successfully you balance your “work life” with me, your academic life, and your soccer. Thanks for all you continue to teach me and fellow team members.

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