Education is the doorway to the future, and we have a shared goal to create a better future for our children by providing them with the best education now, so they will have the best opportunities to succeed when they are older. In order to do this we must provide our teachers with the most up to date resources they need to succeed and make our schools more competitive.
Funding for edtech companies is booming. From 2010 to 2014 we saw more than a 503% growth in investment, and the first half of 2015 saw $2.5 billion of private investment in edtech companies. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve seen edtech start-ups raise close to $20m. Edtech is one of the fastest growing sectors and with new companies flooding to the market all the time, edtech innovation is likely to accelerate in the coming years.
We have conducted some analysis on edtech and elearning on our blog before, and it’s interesting to see how new influencers and brands have joined the community. This time we scaled our list up to include the top 200 influencers and brands driving the edtech and elearning discussion.
WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING?
We reached out to some of the top 20 influencers to ask them for their views on edtech and elearning. We spoke to Alex Corbitt (#1), Monica Burns (#2), Vicki A. Davis (#3), Jeffrey bradbury (#9), Tom Murray (#11), Jaime Casap (#14), Mike Tholfsen (#15), Mark Anderson (#16), Kerry Gallagher (#17) and Shelly Sanchez Terrell (#20). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on edtech and elearning!
“Edtech has the potential to reshape the landscape of modern education. Flipped learning enables students to learn new information at home, virtual field trips invite students to explore historical landmarks with ease, and innovative file sharing technologies empower students to collaborate with peers around the world. Edtech can accommodate students with an array of academic needs and provide educators with orienting assessment data. As a classroom teacher I’m always reflecting on how to best integrate new technologies into my instruction. I look to the Twitter community as a reflective professional learning network that leads the way integrating these revolutionary tools to affect meaningful change in the classroom.”
Monica Burns – Founder of Class Tech Tips, author of Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality
“I’m excited about the way #ScannableTech is being used for deeper learning! Teachers are integrating scannable technology like QR codes and augmented reality into their instruction to provide meaningful, engaging learning experiences. I predict teachers will begin taking their formative assessment to the next level with technology tools. #FormativeTech lets teachers easily embed learning experiences to better understand student needs.”
“Education, edtech, and elearning have far more in common that starting with the letter e. In fact, a great education while it starts with a good teacher, can be amplified and enhanced by an effective use of education technology. The modern educator is fluent in content but also in modern teaching tools. Great teachers have a wide variety of tools that engage learners both in the classroom and in their online / elearning classroom as well. Blending the classroom effectively for maximum effectiveness is the pursuit of effective teachers everywhere and Twitter is our tool that helps us educator ourselves on how to do that.”
“Using technology in education is opening more and more doors every day. New tools appear all the time, and established ones continue to gain ground with educators. They empower educators and learners to change their tasks and revolutionize learning. We’re better able today to do teaching and learning that was previously inconceivable, and tomorrow we’ll be able to do more. As more and more educators get on board with meaningful technology use, we’re gaining an invaluable resource to provide relevant education and prepare students for a future we can’t begin to predict.”
“In todays digital classrooms, it is essential that students learn how to create a dynamic digital hub and brand out their digital footprint. Platforms such as WordPress, Edublogs, and Google Sites are excellent places for students to build their brands while leveraging the power of personalized learning spaces such as Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, and Pinterest.”
“Educational technology can either be leveraged to unleash personal learning experiences for kids or it can be a tremendous waste of money. The key to the effective use of edtech is in the instructional pedagogy. Such tools can enhance great teaching practices or amplify poor ones. We must work to close the “Digital Use Divide” as too often, we see incredible 21st century tools sitting in 20th century learning environments, having little to no impact. When used to explore, design, and create, technology can be a tool that extends the human potential and connects our students with the world. Regardless of the type of technology in hand, we must always focus on creating high quality learning experiences for all kids.”
“Technology is not the silver bullet. Education is the silver bullet. Technology is an enabling and supporting capability for teachers and students. Our job in technology is to make edtech easy to use and supportive of building great education.”
“It’s exciting to see how edtech can empower educators to discover and explore new pedagogical possibilities with technology. In addition, any tool or solution that can help teachers save time during their busy day should be a top priority for our industry. From the student perspective, technology will allow for a more inclusive classroom, as well as deeper personalization to facilitate improved outcomes.”
“Never before in the history of education technology have such opportunities for supporting learning been so available. The key to the success however lies not in the technology but in the training and support of the teachers; this is what is paramount.”
“As a teacher who knows first-hand how technology tools have helped my students feel empowered to find the resources they need, collaborate with one another and with me, and create professional quality work I know we are in the midst of a transformational time for education. As a digital learning specialist and director of education, I know that teachers want to both inspire and protect their students. Digital citizenship and data privacy education are quickly becoming hot topics in edtech for that reason.”
“The most innovative uses of technology integration and elearning are grounded in learner creation and collaboration with a choice of design tools, multimedia, research and content.”
We were interested in seeing which topics were most popular among the top edtech and elearning influencers, so we analysed their tweets and blogs from 1st January – 24th May 2016 and counted mentions of various topics associated with edtech and elearning which we then used to create a topic share of voice chart:
It’s interesting to note that the most popular topic among the virtual reality influencers was Video with a 17% share of voice, proving that the use of videos in teaching is leading the discussion and driving the most conversations among the top influencers. Online was the 2nd most popular debate driver, proving the importance of the internet in edtech and elearning. This was followed by mentions of Innovation and Apps which both received a significant 12% and 11% share of voice respectively. Other frequently mentioned topics among the top influencers included iPad, BYOD and Coding which all received a similar share of voice (ranging from 11-10%), followed by mentions of Mobile, Virtual Reality and Blended Learning.
MAPPING THE COMMUNITY
We were very interested in seeing which virtual reality professionals and brands were leading the online discussion, so we analysed 554K+ tweets from 24th February – 23rd May 2016 mentioning the keywords: “edtech OR elearning OR e-learning”. We then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter. What we discovered was a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation with the number 1 brand Edsurge at the centre. This map was created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.
Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the #4 brand Mindshift the centre, and the conversations to and from the different influencers in their field. If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!
TOP 200 INDIVIDUALS
We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top influencers in edtech and elearning. We found a rich mix of teachers, bloggers, enthusiasts, authors, keynote speakers and edtech professionals. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-200 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Company||Influencer Score|
|1||@Alex_Corbitt||Alex Corbitt||Bronx School of Young Leaders||29.42|
|2||@ClassTechTips||Monica Burns||Class Tech Tips, LLC||19.47|
|3||@ShakeUpLearning||Kasey Bell||Shake Up Learning LLC||17.15|
|4||@coolcatteacher||Vicki Davis||Westwood Schools, Cool Cat Teacher||14.93|
|5||@sylviaduckworth||Sylvia Duckworth||Crescent School||12.81|
|6||@jmattmiller||Matt Miller||Ditch That Textbook||12.21|
|8||@JasonSeaver1975||Jason Seaver||MSD Decatur Township Schools||10.55|
|9||@TeacherCast||Jeffrey Bradbury||Westwood Regional School District||10.23|
|10||@E_Sheninger||Eric Sheninger||International Center for Leadership in Education||10.2|
|11||@thomascmurray||Tom Murray||Alliance for Excellent Education||9.72|
|12||@NoApp4Pedagogy||Eric Patnoudes||CDW Corporation||9.63|
|13||@s_bearden||Susan M. Bearden||Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy||9.39|
|17||@KerryHawk02||Kerry Gallagher||St John’s Prep||8.97|
|18||@KleinErin||Erin Klein||Cranbrook Educational Community||8.58|
|19||@EdWeekSCavanagh||Sean Cavanagh||EdWeek Market Brief, Education Week||7.5|
|20||@ShellTerrell||Shelly Sanchez||American TESOL Institute||7.14|
|21||@cultofpedagogy||Jennifer Gonzalez||Cult of Pedagogy||7.02|
|23||@MJMadda||Mary Jo Madda||EdSurge||6.91|
|24||@jonathanwylie||Jonathan Wylie||Grant Wood Area Education Agency||6.91|
|25||@eLearning_Laura||Laura Dickinson||North Tyneside Learning Trust||6.8|
|27||@SNewco||Scott Newcomb||St Marys Intermediate School||6.59|
|28||@courosa||Alec Couros||University of Regina, Open Thinking||6.29|
|29||@rmbyrne||Richard Byrne||MindRocket Media Group||6.13|
|30||@DavidGeurin||David Geurin||Bolivar R-1 Schools||5.96|
|31||@EduWells||Richard Wells||Orewa College||5.87|
|33||@JenWilliamsEdu||Jennifer Williams||Saint Leo University||5.67|
|35||@Edtechnerd||Bryan L. Miller||Edventure Quests||5.56|
|36||@tvanderark||Tom Vander Ark||Getting Smart||5.5|
|38||@BryanAlexander||Bryan Alexander||The New Media Consortium||5.4|
|39||@Lynch39083||Matthew Lynch||Huffington Post||5.05|
|40||@chatzopoulosn||Nikolas Chatzopoulos||Plato Academy Schools||5.01|
|42||@jeffherb||Jeff Herb||District 300 Schools||4.91|
|43||@RafranzDavis||Rafranz Davis||Lufkin 1SD||4.88|
|44||@AndoniSanz||Andoni Sanz||Sagrado Corazón Ikastetxea (aldaketa bilatzen)||4.65|
|45||@gcouros||George Couros||Parkland School Division||4.65|
|46||@EWmdavis||Michelle Davis||Education Week||4.64|
|48||@willrich45||Will Richardson||Modern Learner Media||4.36|
|50||@TheTechRabbi||Rabbi Michael Cohen||Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy||4.16|
TOP 200 BRANDS
In the top 200 brands we can find a great selection of edtech companies such as EdSurge and MindShift, as well as some tech publications and industry resources and industry heavyweights such as Microsoft and Amazon. Below is the top 50, be sure to download the report to get the full top 200 list, and see who are most influential edtech and elearning brands.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Influencer Score|
|2||@EdTech_K12||EdTech K–12 Magazine||57.27|
|6||@geiendorsed||Global Educator Inst||21.84|
|7||@EdTech_HigherEd||EdTech Higher Ed||20.89|
|15||@BookCreatorApp||Book Creator Team||9.91|
|17||@HigherEdSurge||EdSurge Higher Ed||8.2|
|27||@asugsvsummit||ASU GSV Summit||6.19|
|31||@GoogleForEdu||Google For Education||6.01|
|33||@OfficeofEdTech||Office of Ed Tech||5.77|
|44||@CommonSenseEdu||Common Sense Edu||4.14|
|47||@usedgov||US Dept of Education||4.04|
At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Virtual Reality, Digital Health, Digital Marketing) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!
Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion in the edtech and elearning debate.
The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations are independent of a user’s number of followers, but we do filter our lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation and the influence they drive through their networks.