Tools for AcademicsThese pages present Jim Mitchell's suggestions about tools useful for "Academics." You'll find them categorized three ways via the menu on the left.
- Easy tools - no-brainers - for the reluctant computer user. They're chosen because they involve minimal effort to learn and use, yet produce a noticeable benefit. There's one page of these. Many of you won't read further.
- Mac tools - for those readers living in the Steve Jobs / Apple universe.
- Categorized tools (see alll the menu items on the left) - many pages of tools (some appearing in multiple locations), categorized by function and then (usually) alphabetically.
I've started a blog named "Academic Tools" that I'll slowly fill with more detailed reviews of these programs as well as other issues using involving tools in education. You are welcome to comment on the tools there. I'll incorporate such feedback here. You can subscribe to an "RSS feed" there using Google Reader or other feed reader. Note that where an expanded review exists it is linked from the tool description in these pages.
I assume that you are an individual (I've minimally addressed corporate tools) whose primary responsbility is educating students, performing research and dealing with the inevitable administrative tasks at the college level or beyond. Because most of the tools are general purpose they will be useful to students and others, but my focus is on the needs of the academics. All of the tools presented here were developed by others. I've at least tested each of them and have indicated how often I actually use it myself. Most of them use the Microsoft Windows operating system, but wherever possible I note that Mac and/or Liunx versions exist. In virtually all cases there is a link to the website for the tool.
I assume, unlike me, that you are someone who primarily wants to "get a job done". You don't particularly enjoy software for its own sake and have no interest in trolling for "the latest" or "best" to perform a given task - that's my self-appointed pleasure. Your hope is that with minimal effort you''ll find a tool that will has one of two characteristics. It will either:
- Allow you to do something heretofor effectively "impossible" OR
- Will reduce the drudgery of the necessary tasks of academic life
I have no idea how popular this site will be (10/2006). If you have suggestions for improving it in any way I welcome your feedback - either in layout, tool categories or tools included. I'm sure that there are errors - I'd love to receive corrections and additions. A good place to comment is in my "Academic Tools" blog because you can see other people's comments there.