My top ten tools for learning: version 2008

So once again, Jane Hart is running her Top Ten Tools for Learning list. Last year I posted my list, but I was too late to have it listed on her overall list. I've looked over my list, and it has changed quite a bit. Here's a short recap of last year's list (without annotations):

See how this year's list differs after the jump.As you will be able to see, some have changed, and for some, only the annotation has changed. Overall, like I said last year, "I just tried to come up with which tools have the biggest effect on my students’ learning. It’s not close to Jane’s final list, but at least it’s my list."

Here's this year's list:

  • Facebook

    • Still, by far, the undisputed number one. Last year I wrote: "I’ve posted about my love of Facebook before. But look, we teach these technology integration classes and we tell our students to find out what their students have and work from there. Well, where are my college undergrads? Facebook. Since I’ve started requiring my undergrads to add me as a friend, I’ve had more communication with my undergrads. It’s been crazy, actually. Students who NEVER would have gotten a hold of me before, are now writing on my wall just to say, 'Hey Dr. Curry! What’s up?' I love it."

  • Wikispaces

    • New to the list. I've started using wikispaces with both grads and undergrads to promote community knowledge building. They're eating it up. Plus, it helps that it's FREE!

  • Voicethread

    • Again, new, and FREE. I've had students creating and commenting on each others' projects. Nice work, easy tool, good fun.

  • Google

    • Same as last year: "I’m talking just the search engine itself here. They must have the greatest bots in their servers, because is there anything you can’t find on Google? Seriously. When was the last time you heard someone say, 'Yeah, well, I yahoo’ed it last night . . .' or 'I’ed it last night . . ..' But what about, 'I Googled it last night . . ..' Enough said."


    • Again, same as last year (but with updated stats!): "I’ve posted about my use of bookmarks as well, and I keep going. Now, I don’t use them as much as my friends Trey Martindale (who, as of this post has 1400+ bookmarks) and Chris Duke (currently 1400+ bookmarks), but I do use them. I currently manage two accounts. One is for my personal use, and the other is a set of links for our EDTC 3123 (pre-service teacher technology) course."

  • Desire2Learn

    • This one ought to be interesting with the new BlackBoard is a legal monopoly ruling. Last year I wrote: "So, yeah. Oklahoma State just migrated to D2L last Spring semester, and let’s just say the transition hasn’t been an easy one. However, the tool does have an impact on my students’ learning so I’ll list it. If anyone wants my take on D2L, you can ask me and maybe I’ll post about it."

  • MyLabSchool

    • This one is new, and I'm LOVING it. MyLabSchool is something we have our students buy with the textbook (Teaching and Learning with Technology) we use in the undergrad course. It has an EXCELLENT lesson plan builder, and even better Skillsbuilders (job aids to teach the tools). Totally worth every penny.

  • Meebo

    • Another new one. It's an all in one, web-based IM client. I have my AIM, GTalk, Yahoo! IM, and MSN IM, all open at once. It's proved to be very convenient. (But I need to remember to log in more often!)

  • Garage Band

    • Back again. Last year I said: "Quite simply, I use Garage Band to record the podcasts I use for my classes. For my undergrads, I record podcasts to cover the basic chapter concepts and to give the online students the passwords to the quizzes. They have to listen to the podcasts to be able to take the reading quizzes. For the grads, I use them in somewhat the same way, but mainly to drive discussion on theory articles. I have found them extremely useful, and Garage Band is what gets me there. You can find them on our department website."

  • iTunes

    • This one goes with GarageBand. Last year I explained: "We set up an iTunes account for the students to be able to download the podcasts. Search for EdTech@OSU."

So of the ten things on my 2008 list, four are new. I wonder, does a practitioner (someone who does ID in a corporate environment) get to play with these toys as much as I do?  If not, that's sad.  I like trying to figure out relevant implementation strategies for new tools.

With that said, I can't wait to see what the future brings.


  1. For Twitter to not be included, I'm assuming either (a) you haven't tried it or (b) you haven't used it enough to find the substantial edtech community that learns with that tool.

    The top of my list, in order:
    * Twitter
    * Delicious Network
    * Blogs/RSS Feeds - the EdTech Blogosphere I read.
    * iTunes - all about the podcasts.

    I see more new things - edtech and personal enrichment - and learn more about my colleagues via Twitter than any other tool. Nothing comes close.

    So, how long will it be before I see


  2. Chris,

    First of all, how's the dissertation coming? You know, I've got to ask . . . ;-)

    I haven't jumped on the Twitter bandwagon because a) I don't have an account (yes, I know I can set one up) and b) From what I understand (and I'm probably wrong) don't you have to text from your phone or something? Man, I don't have texting on my phone because I'm too CHEAP.

    You know me . . .

  3. hi - thought you might add twitter - i have been following a couple of people including Andy Powell, Roy Tennant, etc -- and their posts in twitter have been quite informative -- so i mainly use twitter as a continuing education tool

  4. I'm curious that you have ignored Twitter - even when prompted. It's a mircoblog with lots of multiple access plugins - not restricted to phone use.

  5. Okay, Dave and Lisa.

    I've created a twitter account:

    Now, how do I follow you or those you think I would find interesting?

  6. I like how most of your favorite tools are in fact social in nature. Most instructional applications leave out the social element.

  7. Man, I've heard people suggest twitter as an instructional tool before. I even have some friends developing as a kind of educational twitter. But, seriously now, what's the learning/instructional part of it?

  8. [...] Curry, a professor of Instructional Technology at Oklahoma State University, listed his top ten tools for learning.  What I find very hearting about the list is that so few are actually an [...]

  9. John

    Can I use your list this year to add to the Spring collection of Top 10s. The activity closes March 31st after which the Top 100 Tools Spring 2008 will be finalised.


  10. I aspire to be a teacher one day, so it's interesting to see how you've used technology. Perhaps one day I'll be making a list of my own with whatever technology exists when I end up as a teacher!

    Thanks for the interesting post!

  11. Hi,

    Please have a look at It's a realtime multiuser collaboration flowchart software which students will appreciate. We have many college students using this as part of their curriculum.


  12. Diigo ( is a huge improvement on del.ici.ous, offering the opportunity to highlight sections of a saved document and append a sticky note as well. It has caught fire in the education community.