Now for something different – 3 top ten lists of software tools:
1. Top Ten Software Tools I Depend On
Sorry about the following; I’m just a Windows man, and once came near the bottom of one computer class at high school. You’ve been warned:
- MS Outlook, without which I’d never see an email. I also use its Task List religiously.
- MS Word, one of those programs that you never manage to fully exploit. There’s always more hidden power you don’t know about.
- MS PowerPoint, the backbone of my teaching materials. I prepare no teaching notes other than to outline my thinking well in my PowerPoints, many of which have been through 6 or 8 incarnations. PowerPoint is actually very capable in things like managing multiple layers, complex animation sequences, attaching links and actions to objects, etc. I also like its range of colour combinations, although I ought to get hold of some new templates.
- EndNote is probably next, where I keep absolutely all my ongoing life bibliography, especially for teaching and research. Though I still type entries a little too often. And I’ve been tempted by the opposition (see below).
- BibleWorks is my biblical studies staple. If I’d been born in a Mac universe, I suspect I’d be using Accordance, which seems better-looking and more user-friendly, and some other birth circumstances might have put me in Logos world, but since I try to come by a lot of books and commentaries second hand or cheaply if possible, collecting virtual Logos libraries is not presently my way of operating.
- Prezi is often my preferred way to do class presentations, notwithstanding my continuing dependence on PowerPoint. The canvas layout and zooming ability opens up nonlinear teaching possibilities that just aren’t there with PP, though in other respects it actually feels more limited and difficult to use. Zooming is your only way to compress info, really, though it is possible to have frames of content that are invisible until they’re called upon. See my link to my current Prezi collection in the right side bar.
- MS OneNote, the last MS program I’ll include here. I was put onto it by a work colleague 1-2 years ago and now depend on it as a kind of sketchpad and notebook, the way many people would use EverNote. It also syncs to the cloud, my OneDrive account (yes, it’s MS again).
- Google Chrome, for web browsing, after Explorer had trouble interacting with Moodle (below). My wife uses Firefox.
- Moodle, the open source LMS (learning management system) software used by our college. I’ve even dabbled briefly with the html on the odd occasion – a step forward for me.
- Sorry this is so boring, but #10 is actually Paint in Windows accessories. I use it to crop and convert Windows screen clippings to create images for Pinterest and other applications. It has became my key graphics translator tool. What a hacker, eh?
Next time: Top Ten Tools I’ve Begun to Dabble With