by Laura Heap, on Dec 18, 2013

Tools for finding information

Snapshot: What tools can help you find information on the internet?

Using social media to develop your own personal learning network from Sue Beckingham
The first place most people will go on the internet to find information is a search engine. See our post on using a search engine for more details. In this post, we're looking at other tools that can help you locate information.

Where you search can give you a wealth of different resources and being connected to different communities can bring information right to your door...or email...without you having to search for it.

When we talk about staying up-to-date by using a variety of internet sources, we often come across the term PLN which stands for Personal Learning Network.

The slideshare opposite is a useful introduction to using social media in your PLN. If you are completely new to the term, start by looking at Jim's excellent article on Personal Learning Networks in the Tutorial channel. His post gives you a good definition for PLN's and some ideas on how to create one. Then come back to here to explore other options for finding info on the web.

Click on the arrows to access more content


JSTOR is a database through which you can search for academic journal articles or books. You can use it without logging in but you won't have access to all of the articles available.

You can log in through London Met which will give much wider access. See the pdf below for clear details on how to do this.

For an overview of JSTOR, watch the video opposite.

  • [pdf : 63 KB] downloads 'How to use JSTOR at London Metropolitan University', How to use JSTOR at London Metropolitan University

Social Bookmarking and curation sites

There are already some great resources by Jim in the tutorial channel on bookmarking...

Follow this link to his post on what social bookmarking is.

Curation sites

Curation allows you to gather posts into one place. These can be things you find on the internet or can be 'taken' from a feed of posts of people you follow. Two of the main curation sites are and Pinterest.

Try some of these popular education boards:

EdTech Footenotes

e-Learning and online teaching

Pinterest is a similar site to and can be a great place for visual learners:

Try our e-matrix beginner board here for some inspiration:

Pinterest e-matrix board

Flipboard is a tool which allows you to pull all your different feeds into one place. For example you can connect your Twitter, Facebook, blogs and news into an online magazine which makes it quick and easy to scroll through all the latest information. Apps like Flipboard can be downloaded to your smartphone, tablet or computer so you can access the information whenever is best for you.

Social media

If you have a Facebook account, you could join some Facebook groups. For example, you could join the group:

Instructional design and e-learning professionals

Don't forget to follow the CELT e-learning page on facebook here:

Twitter can be a good place to find links and information. Powerful Learning Practice have a good introduction to using Twitter to keep-up-to-date with education information:

Growing your PLN with Twitter

This Edutopia article has some tips on how to use Twitter for educators:

How to use Twitter to grow your PLN

Similarly, Edudemic have a light hearted look at how to get the most from Twitter:

How to get more out of your PLN by using Twitter

You can also use blogs for finding information. You can sign up on most blogs to receive updates on new posts or you can follow a one from your own blog if you have one. Try the link below for some ideas:

Top 10 must read e-learning blogs

Smart List: 50 great blogs

other tools

Other tools you might consider using to find information are:




Wikis, for example wikipedia or wikispaces


Share any other tools for finding information in the comments box below.

Social Bookmarking and curation sites
Social media
other tools