I am a few weeks into the OU course now. Here are a few of the online tools which have made life a little easier:
Google doc’s– great for making notes and writing up the weekly assignments because I can access it from any computer without having to carry it around on a usb stick and have multiple copies. Not that great for my tutor marked assignments as it doesn’t have the formatting functionality of word, although I did upload a pdf of the competed assignment to Google docs, so I could access it where and when I needed.
WordPress-I chose to set up a second wordpress blog here to post my weekly assignments rather than use the moodle blog I was provided with , mainly because I can personalise it, which is important for a course where you never get to meet your tutor group face to face.
Google Notebook– the course has involved allot of online research. With the Google notebook browser extension, I can select some text or an image on a website and right click to add it to my notebook. My Google notebook on the notebook page I can arrange my clippings into folders, add tags and add my own notes. All the clippings can be collapsed and expanded, moved around, and they all have the link from where I originally got them. There are other programmes that do something similar, including read and write gold.
Mindomo – I have found it useful to use this online mind map to arrange my thoughts and plan my essay/reports.