My 2014 Top 10 Tools for Learning

Learning Tools (1)

I’ve participated in Jane Hart’s Top 100 Learning Tools survey for several years now. I really enjoy seeing how the top ranked tools are evolving what others are finding most useful.

1. Articulate Storyline/Studio

2. Feedly - My feed reader to keep track of blogs and other things I want to follow online

3.  Twitter - Great way to find, follow and connect with an amazing network of people. I am @tmiket

4. WordPress - I run all of my blogs with WordPress including my weekly tech tips and Learncamp. So many ways to use it and super easy. It just works.

5. Google Search/Docs/Drive/Hangouts – Search is self-explanatory and  it is also the easiest way to collaborate on or share documents. You can host your elearning courses too!

6. YouTube - If your looking to learn something fast, YouTube will usually have the answer.  Also great for hosting the videos you create.

7. DropBox - Quick & easy file sharing.

8. Skype  - There’s nothing like having your colleagues and the rock stars in your PLN handy for a quick chat.

9. MailChimp - This is a tool L&D should steal from the marketing folks. This is a great way to supplement or enhance training campaigns. You can set up a series of emails that are automatically delivered in sequence when anyone joins the list. Great for new hire and other subscription learning approaches.

10. Diigo - Online/shared bookmarks are a quick, easy way save, organize and share web links. Mine are here.


Check out these other Top 10 lists from:


New Skills All L&D Pros Should Have

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I just read Shannon Tipton’s post on “10 Ways to Take Your Corporate University Out of Snoozeville ” and  she dropped this list 10 things every L&D person should know how to do in at the end. While these might not be the first ten things you should know I totally agree that these types of skills have become part of the fundamental skill set, and not just for L&D folks, but a lot of others too.

Shannon’s list is a pretty good start. What else would you add? What are your thoughts about the importance of these skills for people in L&D?

  1. Blog
  2. Use Dropbox or Evernote
  3. Develop and sustain a PLN
  4. Curate and share information
  5. Send large files
  6. Use a hashtag
  7. Manage your online brand
  8. Know the variety of different delivery mechanisms
  9. Trouble shoot technology
  10. Subscribe to and manage: Slideshare, YouTube, or other dynamic digital media

If you’re interested in a great way to learn about these types of skills and connect with other like-minded L&D people. I’m running a free, 12 week program called Learn Camp starting June 30. It is a self-guided learning program that introduces these types of  web 2.0 and ‘social’ topics in a learning & development context with a series of short and sweet weekly activities. The best part will be the webinars we have lined up to go along with it by some great leaders who are implementing these ideas in their organizations including Mark Britz, Allison Michels and JD Dillon

Interested? Learn more about it or click here to register for the Learn Camp program.

Anyone is welcome to participate and who knows maybe Shannon will even join us! 8-)

Digital Content: It’s Child’s Play!

Not surprisingly, my kids (7 and 5)  have taken an interest in creating digital content. It is really a natural extension of what they’ve seen at school and home on the computer, iPads, etc so I’m not surprised. It is cool to see them get excited about things they create. From using PowerPoint like a digital sticker book to making stop motion videos with Lego creations they’ve already got a huge headstart on most people – myself included. It’s amazing what they can do at such a young age.

I can’t wait to see what they get into next!

RSS to Email

While I am not one of them, some people prefer to get news and updates via email instead of checking blogs or using an RSS reader.

If you have any sources that you’d like to get in your email instead of your RSS/Feed reader, one easy way to make that happen is by setting up a “recipe” using

Note for blog/site owners:
If you have your own site and you’d like to make this easy for your readers, check our Mail Chimp’s RSS-to-Email feature. This is a great way to publish your content once and send it to your email subscribers automaticaly. Mail Chimp even handles the subscribe/unsubscribe work for you.


How to set it up:

1. Create a free IFTTT account

2. Click the Create option at the top of the page

3. Click the blue THIS link



4. Click the Feed icon.


5. Click New Feed Item



6. Enter the Feed URL and click the Create Trigger button. (You can find this on the site you want to subscribe to. )



7. Click the blue that link



8. Click the Email icon.



9. Click Send me an email.



10. Click the Create Action button.



11. Click the Create Recipe button and you’re all set. Now you’ll automatically get updates via email.




WordPress Presentation Short Code

I just came across this presentation short code for WordPress and wanted to test it out.

This slideshow could not be started. Try refreshing the page or viewing it in another browser.

Learn more about it here.

Do your most popular posts get stuck in “Draft”?

Recently Mark Britz raised the question of whether or not you can benefit even from the posts you do not publish. I have to cast my vote that yes, just going through the thought process and focusing on what you want to say can be beneficial at times regardless of whether or not you ultimately click that “Publish” button.

That led me to realize that one of the thoughts I often have when hovering over the publish button is a question that goes something like “Will anyone really want to read this?” It’s a self-censoring thought that I am trying to limit. Especially, when I look back at the stats and see that some of my most popular posts were ones that were more spontaneous and sort of unrelated to the typical content I post. If I’d given them more thought they might never have happened.


As the saying goes, “Perfect is the enemy of good” so go ahead,hit that publish button – and even if you don’t you are still better for having begun.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has experienced anything similar.

  • What is the most popular post on your blog?
  • Is it one you would have expected to be that popular?
  • Are there any surprises among your top posts?
  • Do you look at your blog stats? If so, what do you look for and how does it impact what you post?

Learn & Play With Us This Summer

I’ve been a big fan of the original Learning 2.0 program  (and it’s hundreds of derivatives that have followed), since I first stumbled onto it a number of years ago. The original program was designed by Helene Blowers, currently Community Manager for WorldShare Applications at OCLC right here in Columbus.

Helene explains this program as a

“..staff development initiative that, she says, focuses “on encouraging self-discovery and having staff take responsibility for their own progress.” Rather than an instructor-led training program, Learning 2.0 is a “learning” program “that uses the cornerstones of engagement and motivation,…to assist staff in using their lifelong learning skills,…”

I’m excited to have the opportunity to try this out as part of our local ASTD Chapter activities. This is a self-guided program (“Learn Camp“) to encourage everyone to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the way we work today.

It’s free and open to anyone so please feel free to join us!

The objectives of this program are to:

  • encourage exploration of new technologies; and
  • provide you with new tools (that are freely available on the Internet) to better support you and your organization

If you’re interested:

And by all means please feel free to join us!