[Cross posted from my CACM blog]
If you're an educator and like messing around with new software tools for your classes, have a look at this list of top 100 tools for learning compiled by Jane Hart at the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies.
I was relieved to have heard of the most of the entries. Perhaps I am not as old as I thought. Usually I am far behind on the latest fads.
The winner was twitter. I personally don't tweet. I gave it up when I realised thatGhengis my Geranium had a larger following than me. What, one wonders, are the educational benefits of it? Teaching the art of brevity? Shorter to mark essays of 140 characters I suppose. Or do teachers find it useful as a tool to contact other teachers?
There were multiple examples of a number of classes of software such as a range of slide-sharing, screen capturing, blogging, social networking and mind-mapping tools. The majority are free-ware. And let's also note that if Google didn't exist, there would be far fewer entries in the list!
If you're an educational technology PhD student looking for a research topic, there's a whole vista of research questions in this list waiting to be studied. To what extent do such tools benefit students? In what ways? What sort of learning approaches are most effective with each? Or is it all just new-fangled nonsense? Bring back chalk, I say. :-)