A Peek Inside my Toolkit – Online Tool Set

SwArmyKnife I have two tool sets in my traveling, teaching and learning toolkit. An online set of tools, and an offline set of tools. I find these indispensable in my learning life and the trade of teaching.  

In this post, I'd like to open up my online toolset (my offline toolset next up):

  • Typepad. My Blog Software (Blogware) of choice, although I'm considering a switch to WordPress, Typepad has been very easy to use. I can draft and schedule posts. It's easy to track how traffic moves into and throughout the site. And it has a built-in spell checker!
  • Google Reader: This is my RSS Feed aggregator — where I find most of my stuff. I subscribe to almost 200 sites, though I don't read every item every day — I know they will be in my Reader until I decide what to do with it.
  • Twitter: Here's my favorite online tool. It's where I learn the most, connecting with friends, colleagues, and what I've embraced as my Twitter-family. When I get so busy I can't spend too much time online, this is the place and the people I truly miss most.
  • HootSuite: A tool that allows me to skim through my feeds and reads, and schedule the resources I find worth sharing. I only use it for sharing resources and because it allows me to spread them throughout the day – I'm not rattling off a bunch of sites all at once. Love the bookmarklet pop-up too!
  • Delicious: My social bookmarking site. Not only does it keep my browser bookmarking clean, it's a great place to research what other people are finding valuable.
  • Zemanta: A great addition to my blogging and my learning, Zemanta allows me to include links to other contextually relevant articles. This is valuable to both of us, as these links can allow us to dive deeper into the conversation by bringing other voices in to the conversation.
  • Video: I've used several different sites to host some of our mini-lesson videos. I've pretty much stuck with the first two as primary tools. YouTube for shorter videos, Viddler for the longer ones.
  • SlideShare: A great repository and reference library for the presentations I make around the country. Because teachers can download the decks, they can also modify them for their own classrooms
  • Facebook and FriendFeed: These two became one last year, both really offer a lifestream of my thoughts on the web. I don't often interact either these tools, but I've set it up so everything I read or produce is published here. If you want to see a stream of ChalkTalk possibilities, subscribe to my FriendFeed or Facebook.
  • DropBox: A space-saving, file-sharing resource that adds greatly to my capacity for distance collaboration. 
  • yolink: When I'm doing research and need to get deep and accurate fast, I use this fantastic browser add-on. It's great for keeping found things found, giving attribution, and sharing resources (Disclosure: I am on the Board of Advisors of yolink)

There are others I use on occasion, especially Flickr for favoriting images and giving attribution later, and on occasion, I may use Animoto for putting together a cool slideshow. 

I know I'm forgetting something, but I'll put those into a comment or maybe a future post. What online tools do you find you use most?

Photo on Flickr by Luca Passoni

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