Tuesday, November 27

10 Top ETL Blogs You Simply Don’t Want to Miss!

As we are approaching closer to 2008, we will increasingly see all sorts of Top 8, Top 10, Top 20, Top 100, etc. lists, ranking everything from underwear to blogs. Should we take these kind of rankings seriously? No idea! It really depends (on the criteria and who's involved!), but surely if the ranking is done by someone or a group (Wisdom of the crowds!) that is influential, recognized, an expert, popular, respected, and/or widely read, it will have some impact on what we are doing (increased online traffic, global awareness, ego boosting, increased effort, etc.). Whatever it is, we somehow often get an extra kick out of reading this TOP something stuff. Better yet, if we are ourselves mentioned (or top of the pops!), life suddenly shines a bit brighter for a while (Jeff Cobb, thanks for mentioning my blog!). It feels great, Hip-Hip-Hurray! Yippy Kay Yaw Yeah!

Though, whatever recognition, awards or top rankings we get, hopefully it does not change our attitude to learn. In other words, recognition, awards, and rankings, should only increase our efforts/hunger to learn :)

Although, I am not really known (yet!), or an influentional person in education, I am going to share with you my top 10 (favourite) ETL (Education + Technology = Learning) blogs that takes up my time, as I struggle to learn more about education, learning technologies, and importantly the art of 'Learning How to Learn' more effectively. My ranking uses no particular formula, so please do not get offended if you are not on the list (or lower than expected!). This top 10 list is simply ETL blogs that occupy my interest and time. So, I suppose the time and interest factors play important roles in my ranking. Not sure really! Probably, my humble common sense and gut-feeling plays a prominent role, too. Stop! Here is my top 10 favourite ETL blogs:

  1. Stephen’s Web - OLDaily
    If you are looking for ETL-related news, trends, reflections, etc., Stephen Downes's OLDaily is a homerun (Actually a season full of homeruns!). I have yet to find a better ETL blog out there in the blogsphere! Stephen's short reflections to all the juice he daily (5 times a week!) extracts from his intelligent surveillance of hundreds of ETL blogs (400+, if I am not mistaken!) are enjoyable, useful, relevant, and contains a lot of wisdom (to my humble knowledge!). Though, since he posts so often, you might sometimes miss the really juicy stuff (unless you have a lot of time!). Also, he posts links (URLs) to all his talks, presentations, and reflections (even from his office or bedroom. Not sure where! Better ask him!) on his blog, which often includes audio and/or video recordings, too. These learning resources enable us to get a deeper understanding of his thinking and ideas about learning and education. In short, we can in a way experience his learning journey (process) on 'Learning How to Learn' more effectively, as he learns. Click here to learn more about Stephen.
  2. EduResources Weblog
    Joseph Hart's regular posts on mostly Higher education online resource discoveries accompanied by short but valuable reflections, is something you simply don't want to miss, especially if you are an educator. His blog might not be as flashy as some of the other ETL Blogs, but his valuable words and wise reflections are engaging, relevant, and useful to our learning mind. Also, check out his other great blog The Open Learner, which explores the usage of open knowledge resources across a diversity of subjects, levels, and interests for a wide range of learners and learning communities.
  3. elearnspace
    George Siemens's elearnspace (Check out the Homepage, too!) is a great ETL blog to keep yourself updated about the latest juice in elearning, knowledge management, networks, technology, community development, and corporate learning. Also, check out his Knowing Knowledge book (Free!), which reflects the future of knowledge and learning. What I really like about this guy, is that he is always up to something innovative and is not scared to fail (e.g. 'Corporate Learning: Trends and Innovations' Free Online Conference).
  4. Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day
    If you are looking for the latest e-learning (or 'learning') tools, Jane Knight's blog is simply 'Toolicious'! Also, check out Jane Knight's amazing directory of 1800+ learning tools. In addition, I love the fact that she provides us with a weekly round-up of the new learning tools added to the tools directory. Her blog posts are concise, attractive, and juicy. Hmm, got a lot to learn here!!!!
  5. Learning Trends
    Elliott Masie's Learning Trends blog is my favourite corporate learning blog. He himself is a dynamic, creative and innovative guy always looking for new ways to connect, contextualize, and innovate the learning process, so I would not want to miss his reflections. If you aren't already subscribing to his Learning Trends, perhaps it is time!
  6. The Rapid eLearning Blog
    When you think about improving your rapid e-Learning, instructional design, PowerPoint or graphic creation skills, Tom Kuhlmann's Rapid eLearning blog provides you with a lot of great advice, tips, examples and short-cuts (One word = Amazing!). Also, don't forget to get his free elearning ebook while you’re there. In short, this blog is my favourite 'Rapid e-Learning' learning blog!
  7. Clive on Learning
    If you are looking for reflections from an experienced expert on instructional design and insights on educational trends, I believe Clive Shepherd's excellent blog will nourish you well. He is also the man behind the 30-minute and 60-minute Masters in Instructional Design (or rapid e-learning design). Also, check out Clive's 33 Columns! Although, he does not post as often as some of the other super ETL bloggers, his reflections and insights into education, instructional desigin, online learning, etc. is worth the wait.
  8. Open Culture
    Open Culture led by Dan Colman, is a super blog exploring cultural and educational media (podcasts, videos, online courses, etc.) that’s freely available on the web, and that makes learning dynamic, productive, and fun. In addition, you should explore Open Culture's excellent podcast library, too.
  9. Helge Scherlund's eLearning News Blog
    If you are looking for an excellent ETL news blog, Helge Scherlund's blog is a really active one discovering a lot of wonderful learning juice. Coming to think of it, this blog is nearly as active as Stephen Downes's OLDaily in updating readers about ETL stuff going on around the world (especially in Europe and Denmark!). The only reason, I have not ranked this blog higher, is because it does not seem to do much more than sharing great discoveries in an attractive and engaging way. I suppose, when I can learn more from Helge Scherlund's own learning reflections and thoughts, I will spend even more time engaging in this excellent and useful ETL news blog.
  10. Online Learning Update
    Ray Schroeder's Online learning blog is a great learning place to discover e-learning articles and news around the world (Europe, Middle-East, Asia, Australia, US, Canada, Africa, etc.). Also, check out his Educational Technology blog, too. Actually, I would have ranked Ray Schroeder's blogs higher if he had included more of his own reflections embedded with all these wonderful ETL discoveries. But, if you are simply looking for up-to-date news about e-learning and learning technologies, this is an amazing treasure with hundreds of posts.

In addition to these 10 great ETL blogs, the rest of the ETL bloggers that I have identified (or links) on my 'Gurus' list (right-side of my blog) do occupy my learning time, including Jay Cross, Patricia Donaghy, Jeff Cobb, Gabe Anderson, Wesley Fryer, Tony Karrer, and Robin Good. However, it would also be nice to add at least one Malaysian or Singaporean ETL blogger (that writes in English!) to my learning time, but at the moment I am still searching for one that really excites my learning mind. Got any suggestions? I apologize for my learning ignorance.

Wherever we go now or in the future, one thing will probably remain the same - Sharing Knowledge and Ideas is Power (Collective Wisdom!). If we don't practice this within our own community, group, or even to ourself, we will certainly have problems adapting to today's fast evolving global economy driven increasingly by Creativity and Innovation through collective wisdom :)


PDonaghy said...

Thanks for the special mention Zaid. As always loads of information in your posts this week. Like the graphics especially Yoda and his quote!

Ray said...


Thanks for the mention of the two blogs. It's kind of you to mention the Online Learning Update and Educational Technology. I wish I would be able to put more comments in, but I'm pedaling as fast as I can to do 3 posts a night - every night of the year - on each one... then I fall asleep! :-)

Best Wishes!


Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Ray,

Thanks for your feedback and reflections. Now it makes sense! I admire your consistency and posting principles!

Whether comments or not, you still got a wonderful e-learning news blog :)

And that is why I have been exploring it for years :)

Warm Regards,


Angela said...

Thank you for this great list. I am thrilled to know about, learn from, and connect to new voices. Thanks for helping make that happen.

Index Annuity said...

I can feel that you have put in hard efforts. Good job!!