Join Jane Hart’s 10 Tools Challenge

10 tools

A few days ago I read Jane Hart’s post sharing what she calls The 10 Tools Challenge. I love the idea and will definitely be participating. In short, the challenge consists of four parts:

  1. Choose 10 new tools to explore this year. The tools should be something that you can use personally or professionally.
  2. Commit to the challenge publicly. Blog about it, tweet about it, post a facebook post about it… you get the idea.  I’d also suggest adding a comment to Jane’s post to identify yourself as part of the challenge community.
  3. Share your thoughts and experiences on exploring each new tool.
  4. At the end of the year, share your reflections on the entire experience.

You can read the full description of the challenge via Jane’s post.

Most of the reflecting and sharing would likely be best suited for a blog, so as Jane suggests in her post, if you don’t already have one, perhaps a blog would be one of the tools to start with.

I love opportunities like this. They provide a great structure for expanding our knowledge and skills. They also provide a great opportunity to reduce a risk I find we often fall into in Learning and Development.

Too often we find ourselves trying to fit the proverbial square peg into the round hole. When presented with a problem, it’s human nature to use the knowledge, skills, and tools at readily at your disposal to try and solve it.  The problem is, many in our industry have a very limited selection of tools from which to choose from.  We have competency in some well-established methods (such as building a classroom-based workshop or and elearning course) so we usually apply those tools to almost every problem.

In addition, in today’s business climate most of us don’t have the luxury to look at a problem and research different tools that best address the performance issue. We live in a world of NOW. By the time the performance need comes up, it’s already too late to try and find a tool that can be leveraged as part of a solution.

That’s why I like a challenge like this. This challenge involves looking at tools that could benefit you in your personal or professional life. As we look at these tools, natural connections will form to the past, to projects and tasks that might have been easier or accomplished more effectively  had the tool you’re exploring been applied to it.

That, to me, is the real value of this challenge. At the end of this year you’ll be familiar and skilled with at least ten new tools. That’s ten new tools that your brain will automatically apply to future problems. It enhances your ability to apply the right tools to the right tasks.

Personally, I’m going to use this challenge to formalize some of what I’ve already been planning for 2013. I’ve got a passion for curation as a growing competency in learning and development, and while I’ve grown familiar with popular tools like Scoop.it and Storify, there are countless other curation tools to explore.

I’m sure at some point during the year I’ll explore other non-curation tools as part of this challenge; after all, we should always be looking to explore things outside of our comfort zone. But for now, I’m looking forward to accepting this challenge and diving into a few lesser-known curation tools.

I hope you too accept Jane’s challenge. I look forward to learning from the reflections of those that do.

4 Responses to Join Jane Hart’s 10 Tools Challenge

  1. Brandon Carson January 10, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Great idea. I’ll do it.

  2. Helen Blunden January 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Thanks for the post, I read it too and it got me thinking what other tool I can use a lot more this year.  I wrote a blog post some time ago just before Jane’s Top 100 was published. http://activatelearning.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/my-top-10-tools-for-learning/  

    In it, I thought the two tools I had accessed (but not fully delved into) was Pinterest and Instagram.  At the time, I thought that these two for me were going to be ‘Banished in the Great Cyberspace in the Sky” (although now that slogan really means opposite of what it’s really meant to say – but you get my drift).  I simply didn’t understand Pinterest and Instagram, well, this was before that debacle with the privacy issue.

    However, over the Christmas holiday, I looked into Pinterest again and darn it, I’m now sucked in.  Although I started pinning learning ‘stuff’ it quickly moved to other interests in my life. In the end, I deleted the boards related to learning and professional development because I have Scoop It (although this annoys me because of the limit in topics and huge fees) and my dearest trusted Evernote and focused on this tool being my ‘fun’ tool, my musing, my drooling over lovely photos.

    Instagram will be interesting – I’m more of a lurker on that just checking out what my friends are taking photos of but quickly losing interest.  There’s only so much filtering one can take,

    So what does it all mean? It means that for me, there’s going to be tools that I use and apply every day, that help me be productive and there will be tools that will come and go.  What I originally discounted, might actually come good in the future.  The trick is finding a tool that is right for you for what you need it.

    I think for 2013 I’ll be exploring Learnist and Quora a lot more… who knows, there may be others that will pop up.

  3. writemypapers May 29, 2013 at 7:33 am #

    Great idea, I’m in! I’ve been developing my use of technology in
    research – how to become a digital researcher. I’ve posted my first
    couple of posts on how to process and organise literature on a tablet. I’ll do my best
    to find 10 new apps or tools to help in my literature reviewing and
    research over the coming year.

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