Last week I was asked by a teacher to brainstorm 10 applications every student should have some experience with. This is a difficult task, as applications, like most things, come and go. But given the present state of technology, this week’s tip is my personal list of applications every student should understand.
Technically, I came up with a list of categories rather than tools. I’ve arranged the list according to category of tool, followed by a short list tools within that category, and ending with my rationale for including these applications in the list.
Notable omissions include the Microsoft Office Suite and the Adobe Creative Suite. I have omitted these intentionally due to their ubiquity, established reputation as industry standards, and cost. The tools I list below are free, and largely web-based. If you are familiar with Office and Adobe, you will be able to place them within their correct categories.
What am I missing?
After working through this exercise, there are noticeable gaps. I’d love to include tools on how to control feeds (Google Reader, ifttt) and all that goes in to managing files in the cloud (Box.com, Dropbox, Google Drive), but I was uncertain about what to drop in favor of the ones I’ve chosen. Programming (Scratch, Alice) and 3D modeling (Google Sketchup) are certainly categories that prepare students for 21st century careers, but I wonder whether all students would be faced with situations where these tools would be helpful.
After creating this list, I happened upon a wonderful post of similar content but for the adult learning and higher education field. For further reading, I highly encourage that you check out Inge Deward’s blog post on social media tools for e-learning or professional learning networks.
And let me know what I missed!