Lookback at 2010: Tool of the Year

In the media, as the shortest day approaches and with it the end of the old year, it’s traditional to look back. Here is the first of my retrospectives on 2010.

My tool of the year is Pearltrees (http://www.pearltrees.com), which I discovered during PLENK2010. I’ve used this as both a curation tool (see my Plenk2010 collection) and as an exploratory learning object builder but it also has a social network discovery and connection building capability and recently added a group/team curation feature. It also provides a set of well designed browser extensions that make it a joy to use. Pearltrees is the best tool to come out of France that I’ve seen and deserves to be better known. Its one disadvantage … it uses Flash so won’t work on the iPhone or iPad! Maybe there’ll be an “app for that” one day.

Other tools discovered or rediscovered this year worth mentioning:

  • Twitter and Tweetdeck became part of my life!
  • Amplify has great potential.
  • Google forms came to the rescue when a bespoke application that I wrote failed under load.
  • Google presentations did what SlideShare couldn’t.
  • Elluminate became important several times this year, but I fear that it’s licensing costs will kill it now that it’s owned by Blackboard.
  • iPhone and podcasts — education for the 15 minute commute.

Author: cpjobling

Senior lecturer, College of Engineering, Swansea University