I missed yesterday’s #lrnchat, a synchronous meet-up on Twitter that brings together Twitterers interested in education and training to discuss various topics. Since yesterday’s #lrnchat was about personal knowledge management, I thought I’d share the tools and strategies I’m using to organize and make sense of online information. In this first post, I’m going to discuss some of my favorite search tools.
Search tools and strategies
I confess that although Google is a personal favorite search engine for general focused searches, I rarely use one search engine to do deep research on any topic. For most general focused searches, since I’ve installed the Diigo bookmarklet, I can search Google and my Diigo library at the same time.
If I’m interested in viewing what social networks are saying, I’ll use Twootles!, a search engine which will display both Google search results and Twitter search results on the same page.
If I want to scan many social networks at a time, I’ll use Social Mention,which monitors ≥80 social media platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, Digg, etc. Filters are displayed graphically to let you see top hashtags, top sources of information, and even sentiment.
Since I do quite a bit of research on health topics, I’ve collected a list of search engines providing health information geared towards general audiences or physician audiences. If I’m looking for information about legal topics, FindLaw, is a favorite site.
I use both Twitter and Miio to scan for interesting links and information on a variety of topics. If I’m looking for discussion outside of synchronous chats, I tend to rely on Miio, which has more of a community feel and makes threaded discussions easy.
I also rely heavily on my Google Reader to collect RSS feeds from various blogs I subscribe to in a single place.
I’ve made most of my collections public, but here’s the link to my collection of elearning and instructional design blogs.
I also use my Diigo groups to view interesting links that others have come across.
My Diigo group favorites for elearning and instructional design include:
- Web 2.0 tools
- Teaching and learning with Web 2.0
- Ed Tech Crew
- Technology-Enabled Teaching and Learning at UNSW
- elearning 2.0
- Gaming and Virtual Worlds in Education
- Project-Based Learning
- ISTE 2010
- Mobile Learning
- Elearning Innovation
- Medical Education
I do scan Facebook for information, but it’s usually overkill since most people posting on Facebook have also posted on Twitter. Two elearning groups of interest include:
- The eLearning Guild (also on LinkedIn, where many useful discussions take place)
- e-learning professionals
The thing about personal knowledge management is that it always evolves as you come across new tools and develop your own personal best (or better) practices. There’s a lot to be said for sharing tools and strategies with others. For example, I obtained many useful ideas from the transcript of the #lrnchat discussion that I’m going to explore further.
In the next post, I’ll discuss my tools for making sense of the search results I find.