To help you decide whether a particular learning tool will suit you or not, some information is collected about each tool…

  • Description: a name, description and information about the type of learning tool
  • Subject: the broad subject area, specific subject area, subject keywords
  • Location: the location or URL of the learning tool, how to access it
  • Appropriate for: what level and style of learning this learning tool is appropriate for
  • Usability: how usable is the learning tool, what will you need to use it
  • Craftmanship: information about the quality of the tool
  • Effectiveness: What is known about how effective the tool is

Some comments on each of these follow…

Description

This includes information about the form that the learning tool takes. Is it a book? Is it a web site? Is it a set of practice exercises?

Subject

Classifying knowledge is interesting. How do we get away from the classifications we learn in school? Will an existing system, like the Dewey system that libraries use, cover all the kinds of learning I want to include? I am exploring different kinds of classification, but for now I am going to try a few terms and see how useful they appear.

Location

A lot of learning tools are online and available wherever you are. Some have a physical location. This section will let you choose tools that you can access.

Appropriate for

Some learning tools are for beginners and some require an existing level of skill. Some learning tools suit aural learners and some are better for people who learn by doing. Find out here what kind of learning this tool supports and choose the ones that are best for you.

Usability

Good tools are a pleasure to use and so should fine learning tools be. What equipment or resources are needed to use this tool? What does it cost? How can you get it? What skills or experience will you need to be able to use it? If its hard to use, a tool won’t aid learning, so you need to choose tools that you will find easy to use.

Craftmanship

Only well-crafted learning tools are featured on this site. That is learning tools that are well made, with care and attention to detail. Learning tools also need to be conveying credible knowledge. I’ll have to think about how to assess their credibility.

Effectiveness

The effectiveness of learning depends on more than just the tool. It also depends on your aptitude and application. But some tools are more effective than others. Effectiveness can be judged on how many people use the tool, studies of the results or on testimonies of people who you trust. Remember though that what works for one person may not work for you. This section tries to bring together information about the effectiveness of the learning tool.