Top Tools for Sharing Ideas, Presentations and Concepts

The Center for Learning & Performance Technologies has released their 2009 top tools for learning professionals and I thought I’d highlight some of their listings and expand a bit with some of my personal favorites…

Hey! Break free from the chains of slide addiction! We’ve all probably experienced the syndrome known as “Death by Powerpoint”, haven’t we? You know, those long, droning voices accompanying slide after slide after slide until you think, “Please, someone end my suffering, kill me (or this presenter) now!”

I can actually recall inviting a subject matter expert to present on a topic and being asked, “How many slides do you need?” After a moment of stunned silence on my part I answered, “As many, or rather as few, as it takes to explain your topic to a level suitable to the audience; in fact, I think you should really blow their mind and not use slides at all.” Suffice to say it was then his turn to sit in stunned silence.

There are alternatives to PowerPoint, here’s one that’s really cool: Prezi. Prezi is a zooming editor, in which you create a map of your ideas, images, videos, then show an overview and zoom to details. It’s based on mind mapping software, another cool tool for brainstorming if you’ve never used it, a couple favs are: Freemind and Bubble.us.

If you prefer a traditional approach to creating and sharing slides but can’t (or don’t want to) afford the MS Office Suite or iWork, then use the OpenOffice.org tools; completely free suite to develop and edit: presentations, documents and spreadsheets that are compatible with the Microsoft (and Apple) versions.

Once you’ve created your presentations (or documents, videos, etc.) and are ready to share them, you can do so using Slideshare or VoiceThread, both great tools! I especially like VoiceThread as it is very interactive, check out the demo for yourself. Of course, if you’re a Mac user, you already have access to some great tools like iChat (assuming your participants are all Mac users as well) or , if you have iWork, you can convert a recorded presentation to a Quicktime movie, an ipod/iphone compatible file or publish directly to Youtube.

Feel free to view the entire report on all 25 of the top tools, many of them are a given (i.e. Twitter for micro-blogging) but some categories may have some alternative tools that are new to you.

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