The deadline is approaching for participating in Jane Hart’s 2017 survey of Top 10 Learning Tools. My nominations this year reflect the tools I am using (or will be teaching) in a Research Seminar dealing with “Brain Fitness Training ” software.

  1. SurveyMonkey. Using SurveyMonkey I have already sent my 10 students a survey assessing their baseline familiarity with technology learning tools, their past research experience, and their career plans. I also use this tool in my consulting work with Schneider Consulting. Here are some of my earlier thoughts about SurveyMonkey.
  2. WordPress. I enjoy blogging, and I have found that my students can develop a love or respect for writing by being taught how to use this tool. Here is an example of some WordPress writing by two of my last year’s research assistants.
  3. Diigo. The research that I do with students very much requires teamwork and sharing of information. I find Diigo a handy resource for sharing bookmarks and I am impressed at how it has improved across the years. I have already created a Diigo group Brain Fitness Training: Exploring the validity of claims about brain fitness software and brain training apps and added 20 resources. Let me know if you’d like to be invited to contribute to its development.
  4. SPSS. This is still the major data analysis software I use and teach. Mastery of it has helped my students get jobs and scholarships.
  5. ScreenFlow. We may have reason to make screencasts. My students and I often use it to create lessons for other students.
  6. Quizlet. I’m going to experiment with students’ developing their own tests to assess material that they need to memorize.
  7. Google Drive. My students find this very useful for collaboration.
  8. Createspace. This is my current favorite tool for self-publication of books.
  9. Linkedin. Not all my students will (immediately) go on to graduate school. I am very impressed at recent improvements in LinkedIn.
  10. Skype. No doubt we shall need to communicate with other researchers throughout the country or the world (e.g. at the University College Groningen).


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. I have had some luck using Google Forms rather than survey monkey. It is free .. and if we are working on longer survey projects this can be useful. I have also been working with JASP and jamovi with students who do not have access to SPSS. I have been using Systat (perpetual license) but SPSS is still my favorite. and the pricing structure has changed.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, MJ.I understand the attraction of using tools that are free. I should revisit Google Forms—in fact I’d like to teach an entire course focusing on Google apps. I’ll have to investigate JASP and jamovi—I toyed with State and thought about R.. I’ve not used Systat in years. I found a company that has a relatively inexpensive academic license for SPSS on my Mac.

      I so enjoy you and I being able to touch base if only via Facebook. So many precious memories of you (and other Kaukauna-Club kids here). I’m really excited about this year’s 10 Research Seminar students and their potential. D.

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