At the beginning of the year, Social Learning and Collaboration maven Jane Hart issued a professional development challenge: learn 10 new tools this year. Tell people you’re going to do this in your blog. Once a month, blog your findings. At the end of the year, summarize the experience.
What tools, you ask? Excellent question. Ms. Hart curates a Top 100 Tools for Learning list, which she updates annually to track a tool’s ascent or declination in popularity (based upon a survey she conducts). And while there are certainly other tools to check out, her list is a pretty good place to start.
I had intended to take this challenge outside the social sphere: to make more of a personal commitment to my development than shout (to no-one in particular) about these things I’m examining. My plan: to actually use the tools I had already expressed an interest in, and better myself that way (I frequently say: “Oooh! That sounds interesting!” and collect free registrations to online tools like I collect books. This WordPress blog is an example of one of those things. And I’d started a Tumblr once, or was it a Posterous account? And whatever MSN had — Spaces, was it?). Blogging is one of the tools I’d already expressed an interest in. And it’s one of those “round ‘tuits” on my list — that is: I’ll start blogging, on a consistent basis, when I get around to it. By issuing her challenge, Jane just handed me that round tuit.
So: here’s my plan. I’m exploring OneNote now; I’ll post about my experiences with that tool in March. Yes, I have an Evernote account, and will likely be doing a bit of compare and contrast between the two.
My summative post will be about getting this blog running on a regular basis. I expect there’s a bit more to that than keeping a personal diary where anyone can find it.
So we’ll see. So far, I’m committing to two posts. One in March, and one in December. Let’s see what we can fill the rest of the year with!