It has been fascinating reading so many people’s top 10 tools for learning tweets and blogs lately. In such strange times when it is easy to feel isolated, these posts are a reminder that there’s a worldwide community with similar learning needs and ways of working to me.
Complete Learning is its own mini worldwide community: as well as our team in New Zealand we have colleagues in Vietnam and the UK. Things haven’t been easy in either of those locations and online learning tools have been critical to keeping work going when face to face meetings with colleagues have been off limits.
We asked our two overseas associates, Dave in Vietnam and Olivia in the UK, about the tools for learning that have helped them keep up to date as lockdowns and health worries continue. They’ve outlined their learning lifesavers along with some simple hacks to make the most of each tool.
Olivia’s top 5 learning tools for a global team
Olivia is our social media associate, who is currently based in the UK. Here are her favourite tools for learning:
Good for … keeping on top of research
I started working towards a Masters degree at the start of the first UK lockdown. Since then I’ve passed the first part and am on the final stretch – and I’ve not set foot in a library in all that time. It helps that I’m studying online and that I have access to a university library, but Google Scholar is simple to use and often yields the kinds of research I’m looking for.
Good for … accessing books online
You may well have access to Libby if you’re a public library member. It’s a library app into which you can download ebooks and e-audiobooks you’ve borrowed. I’ve listened to and read a huge range of books in lockdown. One of my favourite learning-related reads was ‘Urban myths about learning and education’ (available as an ebook from Auckland library).
Teams (minus notifications)
Good for … keeping in touch with colleagues
I’m obliged to use Microsoft Teams in my day job. I wasn’t a fan to begin with as there’s so much information in it – and that’s increasing by the minute judging by the constant notifications. Once I realised that you can turn these off it felt more manageable, Plus, since I can’t control the volume of information being generated, I can’t deny that it is helpful to have it all in one place.
Teams has been a great source of updates on tools, tactics and nuggets of news from colleagues. I’ve also joined in webinars and online events in Teams, including ones convened by other organisations.
Twitter (plus Hootsuite)
Good for … making new connections
I’ve been working alone at home since March 2020. I haven’t seen any of my colleagues face to face in that time, but I have built up a huge community of fellow learning designers thanks to Twitter. It has been a brilliant way to find out about new approaches and tools, as well as to boost my ego when my posts get liked or shared (I run a blog in my day job).
I use Hootsuite to filter content by hashtags and by the various lists I’ve set up, and I’ve learnt a huge amount from people I hope one day to meet.
YouTube (plus playlists)
Good for … words of wisdom
YouTube is a dangerous distraction when you’re working alone, but it’s also a friend when you need expert guidance. As well as learning how to re-grout my bathroom tiles, I’ve also caught some excellent videos from and about L&D experts.
My dependence on YouTube for entertainment means that its algorithms mainly serve me cat videos and DIY tips. Playlists help filter these out, however, and I am building a personally curated collection of favourites videos to return to. I also enjoyed Dave’s deep dive into Mirjam Neelen’s ‘Evidence informed learning design’.
Dave’s top 5 learning tools for remote teams
Dave is our Docebo Associate, based in Vietnam. Here are his favourite tools for learning:
LinkedIn (plus bookmarks)
Good for … logging personal learning
I’ve come up with a great way to track all my LinkedIn learning. I recommend it to many of the people I work with here in Vietnam too, as it’s been so important to find ways to keep learning – and to keep all the information to hand – while working from home.
My method is simple. I create bookmarks in my browser that link to the courses and that I have found useful. Each bookmark takes me straight to the content I’ve saved, so I’m not distracted by my LinkedIn feed.
Good for … keeping up with learning trends
I’ve got a similar setup for YouTube. I have a separate account I use just for learning, and I’ve set up playlists on the homepage so I can easily find videos I’ve found useful without getting sidetracked by new content. I’ve recently been exploring coding, AI and deep learning so I’ve created playlists for these topics that I can dip into.
Good for … creating content collections.
Trello is another way that I keep track of learning. I like to link to YouTube and create collections of notes, videos and other documents on different topics of interest. The interface is really simple so it’s super-easy to find content straight from my Trello homepage.
Good for … connecting learning
Miro is an online collaborative whiteboard so it’s great for mapping connections between ideas or tasks. I’ve created my own visual personal learning journey map in Miro, for example, and I also use it for mind mapping. The templates are helpful as they make it easy and quick to get ideas out of my head and into a visual format.
Good for … just in time learning
I use a separate browser for my online learning. This way, all the bookmarks, links and learning content I’ve collected stays separate from my day to day work, which can involve having multiple tabs and accounts open. Keeping my learning in a different browser means I know I’ll be able to access my learning quickly and easily.
Are you getting the most from your L&D tools?
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