As you work online you become dependent on certain e-learning tools. Here's my top 10 list of tools I've come to depend on. (Each is a single search keyword, so no urls for this post.)

Firefox (with & FireFTP plugins)

WordPress (I like Blogger, but WordPress is where the action is.) (Social Bookmarking has may conventional bookmarking a dim memory)

Gmail (all of my email is forwarded to Gmail so I can search one large archive of correspondence. I've kicked my Eudora habit.)

Moodle (The more I teach with Moodle the better I like it.)

Fireworks (I do all of my graphics with Fireworks. Great for optimizing a clear small graphic.

Dreamweaver (Sometimes frustrating but powerful, DW is the one I know best.)

Google Reader (Makes RSS feeds easy to organize.)

Cclearner (I can't keep Win XP pro running right witout it.)

Spybot Search and Destroy (Best for zapping spyware that I know.)

So these are my top 10, what about yours?

Dennis In San Marcos

Tags: e-learning, learing, online, tools, webtools

Views: 426

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Den,
I like much of what you have chosen & use iy as well.
In Addition:
Google Docs - use it for collaborative documents - particularly when planning and running collaborative online projects.

You Tube - Google Video & Revver - for uploading and storing student videos, Photostory 3 productions, etc.Occasionally I find videos to be used for instruction like this one that can spark a discussion on values:

FastStone Capture - I need this for doing captures of windows - objects, etc. for creating instruction materials.

MS Share-Point - Classerver - This is the environment we use to deliver our online content and assignments. Just came out with a new interface making it much more user friendly and verstile.

Wikispaces - Here we run many of our online collaborative projects - Free - Friendly - Supports Hebrew - Great user support.
Reuven, YouTube! Of course, you're the maestro when it comes to making video connect with concept. (I've seen that safari video before. It is compelling isn't it? Cape Buffalo vs pride of lions...)

I use Snaggit on one of my machines and Faststone capture on the other. I think Faststone is a terrific shareware product, great for screen capture and just as efficient as Snaggit.

I've got a pile of content in google docs, but haven't used it for collaboration. I'm knee deep in a big ISTE project using Wikispaces to develop a Reviewers Training. I do like wiki-spaces, but like everything it takes awhile to get used to it.

I've thought for some time that e-learning tools, all software really, should be approached with the line from that old Crosby, Stills & Nash tune in mind: "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.."


H i Den,
I have a version of Faststone capture from when it was given away for free. It's cool and a very tiny footprint.

I spent all day wrestling with setting up our Sharepoint Campus together online with our support team about 200 kms. from here. made some progress,

WE are now looking at a snazzy Flash environment for international collaborations -

I blogged about it here (Classroom 2.0) I few weeks ago. Probably still accessible from my page here (Classroom 2.0).

I wish I had all the time I needed to check out what's available to support our education efforts.

Bye for now!
Hi Den & Reuven,
Great discussion and I definitely agree with Snaggit and Moodle. I'd also like to suggest Zamzar ( for online file conversion. There are a few of these around, but this is the best IMHO.

As for educational resources, it's hard to go past Teacher Tube ( or Teachers TV (
Zamzar looks smart!
The drawing tools - especially the solids and lighting effects in openofficeDraw are simply superb.
I think I like SharePoint - but it will cost me time!!
That leaves 7 in reserve.
I'd love to nominate a GIS, but they're too hard for most students.
And from sysadmin days, a spreadsheet (any - but I know Excel best) and its text functions - may not be great e-learning, but certainly is a fantastic productivity tool.

I'll keep my powder dry for the rest!
Thanks Ian, great follow-up.

I forgot to mention the wonderful online brainstorming / concept-mapping tool - the kids love this one and maps can be easily saved and printed online.
Thanks James,

Just played with Very nice. I've stayed well clear of Inspiration, because I couldn't get any simple productivity out of it. I'm also raving about (commercial) argument mapping software called Rationale. It seems to be a great tool for framing/visualising arguments and their structure, and then building a plan for an essay, web, wiki, presentation... from it. I think so many students are so poor at such planning this tool is nearly a must have. (I've looked at most of the open source materials,and they are just too hard to use.)
Ian, concept mapping is a power skill for critical thinking. I think it needs to be actively taught as a study skill. I got into it after reading Tony Buzan's work. I used it extensively while taking my ID masters at Western Governors University. I found I needed a good deal of outside pressure to focus me on using these tools.

Once you overcome the learning curve and can work any brainstorming software close to the speed of your ideas it becomes a great tool. Still I need a large project (a new program or class design) to justify the ramp up time needed to become fluent with the tool. Right now I have a program called Concept Draw Mindmapping. It's a well designed powerhouse, but I don't think it has the easy collaboration built into

Agreed - but Rationale is an argument mapper, so allows the hierarchical description of a chain of reasoning. To paint a pretty picture the concept mappers are more geared to producing a web, net or cluster of related materials, the argument mappers are building pyramids (and from the top down, no less!)
For my students, if I can avoid much of the learning curve by a choice of well-designed software (when they are being consumers) I'm more than happy!
James, I've played a bit with and it makes perfect sense that a brainstorming tool should add a collaborative web 2.0 interface.

I suppose it says a lot about my process that I think of brainstorming as a solo affair. Most of my writing these days comes down to reviews, course design, and email. Still I can see a place for the wild style collaborating in writing classrooms linked by collab. Thanks for getting my mind bubbling!

Hey James, I accidentally deleted one of your replies in this thread. You were talking about pdf conversion in open office. I'm not a big fan of Adobe's products. They seem so heavy handed, seizing control, taking forever to install, and constantly pushing you toward the more expensive Acrobat platform.

I was unhappy when Adobe swallowed Dreamweaver too. Ah well, just one man's opinion.

Ian, I just bookmarked Zamzar & openofficeDraw in my account (network name: wiredinstructor )

Zamzar looks handy since I don't intend to convert to Vista until I have to. (Hope to learn enough about linux to just skip it.)

Haven't used many open office products. Somewhere along the line I heard they hogged a lot of memory and produced large file sizes. Am I wrong?

Thanks for the input!




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