Thursday, April 24

500+ Power Links That Could Make You Go GAGA!

"It's not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results."
- Warren Buffet

I am happy to announce that ZaidLearn's Discovery Collection is growing fast and has now gone beyond the 500 mark. Alright, I have to admit that there are amazing dudes in that have managed to assemble collections that have nearly 20 times more links (URLs) than mine (e.g. ggrosseck). Kudos to them! However, since this post is about my collection, I shall say no more (about that!) :)

However, if you are looking for specific suggestions on free stuff to solve your learning issues (or problems), I strongly encourage instead that you to explore my post entitled "A Free Learning Tool for Every Learning Problem?", which include more than 100 excellent free tools/resources. Interestingly, that 100+ juicy learning tool/resource list has been promoted by bloggers and sites in several countries around the world, including Canada, United States, England, Ireland and India. In short, it has less links, but perhaps more power :)

Although, I am still in the early stages of building my arsenal of power links, there are a few tags worth getting ourselves dirty with already. Here we go:

1) Content - OpenCourseWare (OCW) & Open Educational Resources (OER)

2) Learning Tools

Please, keep in mind that my strategy is not to bookmark every single free learning tool or resource out there, but instead target those juicy links that I believe are useful, relevant, interesting, and have a long lasting value to our learning adventures. I am still exploring new tagging formulas and naming conventions, so you might find the current tag strategy messy and frustrating. However, I am still learning, and hopefully the power links will be increasingly easy to find as I master (or disaster!) the art of bookmarking and tagging.

During the last couple of weeks, I have begun a fascinating journey to find great courses available among OCW repositories around the world. I am certainly not interested in bookmarking every single one of them. MIT alone has now around 1800 free courses! But then again, how many of them give you learning goose bumps? Currently, there are already more than one hundred courses in my collection, and you can surely expect more in the coming weeks. When my learning adventure for full-blown courses begins to slow down, I will begin the struggle to bookmark particular free lectures and talks (videos) that give me learning goose bumps.

In other words, it wouldn't surprise me, if my collection reaches 1000 before July 2008. Having said that, it is not about big numbers, but instead it is about capturing great learning juice out there in the fast growing information galaxy, and making it easily available to hungry learners around the world.

I have to admit that I really enjoy using to bookmark and tag my learning discoveries. It is a brutally simple, focused and easy-to-use tool with no frills to distract you from it's core purpose, which is to help you collect, manage, and share your links (URLs) online. And that is probably why this tool is ranked the number one learning tool on the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008 (Jane Knight).

Another beauty of managing your link discoveries with, is that when you bookmark a link, you can actually see how many other users that have bookmarked it. It is like searching for stars in the galaxy. When you discover one, you can check whether you are the first one to do so or not. Interestingly, I have noticed that users are great in bookmarking learning tools (e.g. Moodle = 6500+ have bookmarked it), but seem to lack interest (or awareness!) in bookmarking great free or OCW courses (Physics I: Classical Mechanics by Professor Lewin = 130+ have bookmarked it). Actually, most OCW courses that I have bookmarked fail even to reach the 20 mark. Perhaps, users focus more on bookmarking individual lectures or resources within the courses.

There has been a lot of hype regarding 'Diigo', the new social bookmarking tool in town (it is not that new, brother!). So, to feel the hype I have also explored this tool. As Diigo allows you to import collections from other social bookmarking tools like, it was extremely easy to transfer my power links. Click here to experience ZaidLearn's power links in Diigo.

Although, Diigo is a cool tool and has a lot more features than to socialize, communicate, and have fun, it does not appeal to me (at least until now!). The reason is that I want my social bookmarking tool to be brutally simple, easy-to-use and focused. I have enough of other free learning tools to socialize, communicate and have fun!

Though, it would be nice if allowed users to provide comments to our learning discoveries, and be able to report broken links. Besides that, is still my first choice! But then again, I will continue to export my collections, and import them into Diigo (whenever I remember!). You never know in the future :)


António said...

Why not doing the opposite: bookmarking on Diigo and automatically exporting to delicious? The best of two worlds... ;-)

Zaid Ali Alsagoff said...

Dear Antonio,

What a great suggestion :)

I have actually been thinking about it, but when you have a habit of using something like Delicious, you kind of find it difficult to change (or unlearn!).

Anyway, for now it is not much additional work exporting (from Delicious) and importing links to Diigo once a week :)

I am still learning, so I might become wiser soon and listen to your great suggestion :)


Warm Regards,