Top 300 Tools for Learning 2021

The Top Tools for Learning 2021 lists were compiled by Jane Hart from the results of the 15th annual survey To find out more, visit About.


2021 was the YEAR OF DISRUPTION! There were a substantial number of new tools nominated this year so the main list has now been extended to 300 tools to accommodate them, and each of the 3 sub-lists has been increased to 150 tools. Although the top of this year’s list is relatively stable, there is quite bit of movement of tools on the rest of the list, and the effect of the new tools has been to push other established tools down – if not off the list altogether. Further analysis of the list appears in the right-hand column of the table below.

This table shows the overall rankings as well as the rankings on the 3 sub-lists: Top 150 Tools for Personal Learning (PL150), the Top 150 Tools for Workplace Learning (WL150) and the Top 150 Tools for Education (ED150). NEW tools are shaded YELLOW, tools coming BACK on the list are shaded GREEN. The most popular context in which each tool is used is also highlighted in BLUE.  Click on a tool name to find out more about it.

+/- TOP 300 Tool brief DEscription PL150 WL150 ED150 ANALYSIS
0 1 YouTube video hosting and sharing platform 1 5 1 2020 was the year of video meeting platforms as organisations scrambled to support remote working and learning in lockdowns. However in 2021 it seems many organisations and education have been exploring and experimenting with a much wider range of tools and platforms. Here are 15 observations of this year’s list:

1 – Video meeting tools like Zoom (at #2) and Teams (at #4) have maintained their places in the top 5. They are now seen as indispensable for both meetings and live training. They have been joined on the list this year by a number of other platforms that support virtual meetings as well as other virtual and hybrid events, like Wonder (at #197), VooV Meeting (at #241), and airmeet (at #230), etc.


2 – Live engagement tools like Kahoot (at #18) and Mentimeter (at #29) have moved up a few places These tools are being used to provide interactive functionality to meeting tools.


3 – Online whiteboard tools have also become very popular for the same reason – ie to provide collaborative functionality during live meetings. Miro (up 45 places to #30) is now leading the way in the corporate space together with Mural (up 31 places to #35) whilst Google Jamboard (up 33 places to #69) is now more popular in education.


4 – Whilst team and enterprise collaboration platforms also remain popular for remote working a number of other workflow/ project/ team management platforms have joined the list this year (like Breeze (at #124), Jira (at #129) and Monday.com (at #152). These platforms are aimed at increasing team collaboration and productivity in the workplace


5 – Additionally, a number of new, dedicated virtual training and workshop platforms appear on the list this year, ie Bramble (at #143) and Butter (at #163)


6 – Social networks like LinkedIn (at #7) and Twitter (#8) have clawed back a little ground this year, although there is evidence that some people no longer find them as useful as they once were.


7 – The biggest climber this year is Telegram (up 149 places to #31, and a high new entry is Viber (in at #78). This is an indication of how messaging apps have become increasingly popular for groups to work and learn together.


8 – E-Learning authoring tools still hold their own with Articulate in a strong position (at #19) but there is now a much wide range of content development tools to create assets and resources in a variety of formats.


9 – As video becomes an even more popular format, there are now a number of new video makers, editors and managers on the list ranging from a large-scale platform like Panopto (in at #83) down to Apple Clips for video editing on an iPhone (in at #149).


10 – A number of new live video streaming tools appear on this year’s list too. OBS Studio is the highest new entry (in at #55) and Streamyard (in at #170) brings live broadcasting to professionals as well as organisations..


11 – A number of new podcasting tools have joined the list this year (ie Blubrry (in at #174), Anchor (in at #179) and podcast.co (in at #196). These are also aimed at individuals (rather than organisations) as professional podcasting takes off.


12 – Language learning remains a popular activity, and two new tools join the list this year. Drops (in at #138) helps you learn a language in just 5 minutes a day, whilst italki (in at #234) is a place to learn from native speakers.


13 – Other online course platforms joining the list this year are those that focus on skills development rather than just knowledge transfer, e.g, Skillshare (in at #145) and Skils Base (in at #221)


14 – For individuals, there are many new tools that support personal productivity -for both working and learning. These include organisers and bookmark managers (like Raindrop (in at #114) and Bublup (in at #127). I particularly like the look of Mindstone (in at #132) which “helps you learn faster, remember more and get things done by letting you organise and annotate articles, videos and podcasts from all over the web in one single place”.


15 – This year there has also  been a huge number of new educational platforms joining the list. These support a variety of educational ages and levels, but include platforms to create materials, activities and interactive worksheets as well as those that support grading and assessment, and manage the classroom. Educational platforms that impressed me this year include Peerceptiv (for peer assessment, in at #181), Perusall (to prepare students for class, in at #216), Whiteboard.chat (an all-inclusive digital notebook, in at #176) and Pear Deck (a Google Slide extension to create engaging slideshows, in at #187). Although these tools fall in the bottom half of the list, this is undoubtedly due to the fact that only 40% of survey respondents came from education. Nevertheless it is clear many educators are searching for new and interesting tools to keep their students engaged whether they are in the classroom or studying remotely.


For other tools in each of these areas, take a look at the By category listing.


0 2 Zoom video meeting platform 6 1 4
0 3 Google Search search engine 2 3 5
+1 4 Microsoft Teams enterprise collaboration platform 12 2 13
-1 5 PowerPoint presentation software 13 4 3
+1 6 Google Docs & Drive office suite/file sharing platform 9 10 2
+1 7 LinkedIn professional social network 3 9
+1 8 Twitter social network 4 21
+2 9 Wikipedia online encyclopaedia 5 8 16
0 10 WhatsApp messaging app 7 12 15
+6 11 Slack team collaboration platform 50 6
-6 12 Word document tool 8 7 8
+5 13 Canva graphics tool 26 22 6
-2 14 Facebook social network 10 19
-2 15 Excel spreadsheet tool 17 11 17
0 16 Google Meet video meeting platform 22 48 7
-2 17 Google Classroom learning platform 9
+6 18 Kahoot live engagement tool 15 10
+11 19 Articulate e-learning tools 13 73
+6 20 Mentimeter live engagement tool 14 18
-7 21 WordPress blogging/website platform 11 23 58
+5 22 Gmail email client 14 29 11
+6 23 Google Forms online forms/survey tool 46 12
-4 24 Trello project/team tool 24 16 82
+3 25 Instagram photo sharing social network 15
-3 26 Padlet organize content on bulletin boards 83 85 14
-6 27 Feedly RSS reader 16
-3 28 Dropbox file sharing platform 18 17 67
+14 29 Camtasia screencasting tool 18 28
+45 30 Miro online whiteboard 19 33
+149 31 Telegram messaging app 19 56 26
-1 32 OneNote digital notebook from Microsoft 20 20 36
+50 33 Spotify audio/podcast platform 21
-1 34 Outlook email client 48 24 37
+31 35 Mural online whiteboard 25 30
-1 36 Google Chrome web browser 27 39 20
+25 37 Quizizz games/testing tool 21
-2 38 Moodle learning platform 35 22
-5 39 Vimeo video hosting and sharing platform 99 26 99
+47 40 Genially graphics tool 39 54 23
+20 41 Kindle Reader  e-book reader 23
0 42 Easygenerator e-learning authoring tool 27 49
-5 43 Flipgrid video meeting platform 24
+68 44 Audacity audio recording/editing tool 82 28 68
+24 45 Apple Podcasts podcast player/app 25
+79 46 EdPuzzle lesson authoring tool 25
-15 47 Google Translate online translation tool 37 58 27
29 48 Skype messaging and calling app 57 30 76
+5 49 Udemy online course platform 28 97
+1 50 hihaho interactive video tool 31 41
-29 51 LinkedIn Learning  online course platform 29 45
+24 52 Adobe Spark graphics tool 65 29
-8 53 Whereby video meeting platform 95 32 45
5 54 Quizlet games/testing tool 31
NEW 55 OBS Studio live streaming platform 33
-4 56 Wakelet curation tool 60 32
-10 57 Canvas edu learning platform 34
-8 58 Pocket curation tool 30
-22 59 Google Maps maps tool/app 31 91 35
+37 60 Inoreader RSS reader 32
+30 61 Duolingo language learning app 33
-9 62 Vyond animation authoring tool 34 77
-5 63 SharePoint social intranet platform 36
+15 64 Grammarly grammar checker 34 73 55
-8 65 Coursera online course platform 35 40
-22 66 Snagit screen capture tool 37 80
-3 67 aNewSpring learning platform 38
+4 68 Diigo curation/bookmarking tool 36
+33 69 Google Jamboard online whiteboard 70 38
-14 70 Cisco Webex video meeting platform 41 69
+29 71 Adobe Photoshop photo editing tool 42 46
+27 72 Google Keep digital notebook 38 52
+8 73 Apple Keynote presentation software. from Apple 40 59 85
-33 74 OneDrive file sharing platform from Microsoft 41 47 61
-2 75 Yammer enterprise social network 51 43 89
+30 76 Adobe Illustrator graphics tool 44
+54 77 Google Calendar online calendar 42 51
NEW 78 Viber messaging app 73 39
-40 79 Prezi online presentation tool 76 40
+2 80 Nearpod lesson authoring tool 42
NEW 81 Readwise article/book highlighter 43
+55 82 DuckDuckGo non-tracking search engine 44
NEW 83 Panopto video platform 43
+9 84 Loom screen recording tool 44
+87 85 Zapier workflow automation tool 45
NEW 86 Wordwall create teaching resources 47
+92 87 Gimkit live engagement tool 48
-23 88 Google Scholar academic search engine 91 50
+66 89 Safari web browser from Apple 46
-44 90 Evernote digital notebook 47 72
+5 91 Adobe Acrobat Pro PDF creation tool 49 101
-43 92 Screencast-O-matic screencasting tool 61 53
-1 93 Totara learning platform 50
+88 94 Pixabay online image library 51 87
-35 95 DeepL online translation tool 105 52
+60 96 WeTransfer file sharing platform 49 53 111
-57 97 TED Talks inspirational videos 80 60 54
-35 98 H5P HTML5 authoring tool 55 60
NEW 99 bookwidgets create interactive exercises 56
-52 100 Pinterest curation platform 62 57
-30 101 Netflix documentaries/films 52
+44 102 Powtoon animation tool 59
+35 103 Asana enterprise collaboration platform 57
+1 104 edX online course platform 53 105
-11 105 Tweetdeck Twitter client 54
BACK 106 Pocket Casts podcast player 55
NEW 107 Calendly online scheduler 68 120 62
-20 108 Socrative classroom engagement tool 63
-32 109 Blogger blogging platform 56 64
-21 110 Google Alerts alerts to new web resources 58
-37 111 Degreed learning platform 114 62
-45 112 Audible audio books 59
+54 113 Piktochart infographics tool 84 112 65
NEW 114 Raindrop bookmark manager 61
-30 115 Google Workspace suite of Google tools 63
-9 116 Screencastify screencast tool 66
NEW 117 Discord messaging app 63
+33 118 Biteable video creation tool 64 113
-5 119 Coggle mindmapping tool 111 70
+4 120 ClickUp enterprise collaboration platfrom 66
BACK 121 Google Glide turn spreadsheets into apps 67
BACK 122 Acrobat Reader PDF reader 64 78
NEW 123 Airtable team collaboration platform 68
NEW 124 Breeze project management tool 69
-30 125 Blackboard Learn learning platform 71
+10 126 Omnigraffle diagramming tool 65
NEW 127 Bublup visual organiser 66
-30 128 Firefox web browser 67
NEW 129 Jira software development tool 71
NEW 130 Adobe XD UI/UX development tool 72
+28 131 Overcast podcast player 69
NEW 132 Mindstone platform to organise & share notes 70 76
NEW 133 Twine interactive storytelling tool 74
NEW 134 Audiate audio editing software 75
NEW 135 LessonUp interactive lesson platform 74
-7 136 Wooclap live engagement tool 75
-57 137 getAbstract book summaries 71 92
NEW 138 Drops learn a language in 5 mins/day 72
NEW 139 Google Assistant virtual assistant 74
BACK 140 Mindmanager mindmapping tool 75
-86 141 Google Sites website platform 117 78
NEW 142 Power Automate streamline tasks and processes 77
NEW 143 Bramble online tutoring platform 79
NEW 144 Mendeley research organiser 97 79
NEW 145 Skillshare online courses platform 80
+45 146 Thinkific learning platform 81
-46 147 Thinglink create interactive media 81
NEW 148 Google Drawings drawing tool at Google Docs 77
NEW 149 Apple Clips video editing for iPhone 78
-60 150 Adobe Captivate e-learning authoring tool 82 132
+13 151 Highbrow 5 min daily lessons 79
NEW 152 Monday.com workflow management platform 83
NEW 153 MS Planner teamwork management app 84
-32 154 MS Forms online forms/survey tool 86 128
-77 155 iSpring e-learning authoring tool 87 93
-86 156 Adobe Connect video meeting platform 88
+35 157 AskDelphi learning & performance platform 89
+35 158 Drillster learning & testing platform 90
+6 159 Google Lens image recognition app 81
-51 160 Jitsi Meet video meeting platform 85 83
-40 161 Mindmeister mindmapping tool 125 84
-21 162 Anders Pink curation platform 86 99
NEW 163 Butter virtual workshop platform 93
-56 164 Adobe After Effects video development tool 94
-37 165 MS Whiteboard online whiteboard 95
NEW 166 Collaboard online whiteboard 96
NEW 167 Soapbox create virtual training materials 98
-21 168 ilovepdf.com PDF tool 87
-51 169 Apple iMovie video editing tool from Apple 126 86
NEW 170 Streamyard live video streaming platform 88 129
-56 171 Medium blogging tool 89 100
BACK 172 D2L learning platform 88
BACK 173 Zeetings live engagement tool 90
NEW 174 Blubrry podcasting platform 90
-42 175 Udacity online course platform 92
NEW 176 Whiteboard.chat all-inclusive digital notebook 91
NEW 177 Boclips curated educational videos 92
NEW 178 Percipio (Skillsoft) immersive learning platform 102
NEW 179 Anchor podcasting platform 93
BACK 180 Playposit create interactive videos 94
NEW 181 Peerceptiv peer assessment platform 95
BACK 182 Codecademy online courses platform 94
NEW 183 Todoist information organiser 96
-34 184 Unsplash online image library 96
-41 185 Apple Mail email client from Apple 98 104
NEW 186 Descript audio and video editing platform 103
NEW 187 Pear Deck Google Slides add-on 97
-78 188 MS Stream video streaming platform 104
NEW 189 Filmora video editing software 98
NEW 190 Start.me start page/web organiser 100 123
BACK 191 Franz all-in-one messaging app 101
-44 192 Apple Pages document tool from Apple 102
-89 193 Adobe Premiere Pro video creation/editing tool 106
-81 194 Adobe Audition audio creation/editing tool 107
NEW 195 elink build anything with Web pages 112 108 124
NEW 196 podcast.co podcasting platform 103
NEW 197 Wonder virtual meeting space 109
NEW 198 Milanote ideas/projects organise 104 115
-88 199 Survey Monkey survey platform 110 127
-132 200 Poll Everywhere live engagement tool 111
-48 201 Blinkist book summaries 106 113
-70 202 Slideshare presentation sharing platform 110 100
-117 203 Snip & Sketch screenshot tool 127 114
BACK 204 Paint.net image and photo editing software 107 102
-30 205 Khan Academy online course platform 108 103
-80 206 Adobe InDesign interactive PDF development tool 115
-104 207 Workplace by Facebook enterprise collaboration platform 130 116
NEW 208 Apple Notes note taking app for iPhone 109
-70 209 Lectora e-learning authoring tool 117
NEW 210 iorad tutorial creation platform 118
-40 211 MS Edge Microsoft’s web browser 140 119
-46 212 Scoopit curation tool 115 105
NEW 213 Chalk online lesson planner 106
NEW 214 Edulastic educational assessment platform 107
BACK 215 Lino sticky online pinboard 133 108
NEW 216 Perusall prepare students for class 109
NEW 217 OpenShot video editor 110
-83 218 FutureLearn online course platform 113
BACK 219 Etherpad online editor 116 112
NEW 220 Doodly create whiteboard animations 121
NEW 221 Skils Base overcome organisational skills gaps 122
BACK 222 Mahara e-portfolio platform 114
NEW 223 Lumen5 video maker 123
NEW 224 Shutterstock online image library 124
BACK 225 PBWorks team collaboration platform 125 116
-92 226 Mailchimp newsletter tool 126
BACK 227 Scrivener writing tool for long documents 118
NEW 228 OmniOutliner outlining tool 119
BACK 229 Wix website development platform 120
NEW 230 Airmeet virtual events platform 127
NEW 231 Harvest time tracking software 128
-62 232 IFTTT workflow automation tool 121
-73 233 Xing German social network 122
NEW 234 italki language learning community 123
BACK 235 bitly shorten, share and track web links 124
BACK 236 Lucidchart online diagramming application 136 130
-53 237 Google Analytics track and analyse web traffic 131 141
NEW 238 Google Data Studio convert data into reports 132
NEW 239 Circle community platform 133
BACK 240 Meetup organise in-person events 128
NEW 241 VooV Meeting video meeting software 134
-47 242 Adapt HTML5 e-learning authoring tool 135
-101 243 Sway create web content 141 117
BACK 244 Typeform online form and survey platform 136
-82 245 Podcast Addict manage podcast and RSS feeds 129
NEW 246 Dabble online writing tool 131
BACK 247 Buffer social media dashboard 132
NEW 248 Ecosia search the Web and help plant trees 134
BACK 249 Kaltura online video management platform 118
NEW 250 Affinity Designer vector graphics editor 137
NEW 251 ProjectLibre OS replacement for MS Project 119
NEW 252 Classtime classroom assessment platform 120
NEW 253 Classroom screen classroom management platform 121
NEW 254 Eduhint Dutch learning platform 138
NEW 255 Sejda PDF editor 139
NEW 256 Book Creator digital book creator 122
NEW 257 ModelThinkers actionable mental models 135
NEW 258 Think with Google marketing research &, trends 140
NEW 259 E-Learning Heroes Articulate community 137
-102 260 Zotero organise and share research 138
NEW 261 TikTok video sharing social network 139
NEW 262 Testmoz create tests for your class 125
NEW 263 WeChat messaging and calling app 141
NEW 264 HyperDocs digital lesson plans for students 126
NEW 265 Obsidian powerful personal knowledge base 142
-66 266 GoBrunch live webinars and virtual meetings 143
NEW 267 Slidesmania presentation templates and themes 129
NEW 268 Deck.Toys online classroom platform 130
BACK 269 MediaWiki wiki platform that powers Wikipedia 131
 NEW 270 Nulia Works AI-powered digital skills deve 142
NEW 271 Box file sharing platform 145 143
NEW 272 Vitero vitero stands for virtual team room 144
NEW 273 SelfControl block access to websites 144
-88 274 LearnDash wordPress LMS plugin 133
NEW 275 tweetbot twitter client for the Mac 146
NEW 276 Schoox a branded learning environment 145
NEW 277 Sutori classroom collaborative platform 134
NEW 278 iglooo build your own e-learning games 135
NEW 279 Baamboozle game-based learning platform 137
NEW 280 Greenshot screenshot software tool 146
NEW 281 Prodigy maths adaptive learning platform 138
NEW 282 Wipster video review and approval platform 147
NEW 283 yEd diagram application 148
BACK 284 GeoGebra tools for geometry and graphing 139
NEW 285 Pinboard bookmarking site 147
NEW 286 Scratch coding community for kids 140
NEW 287 Hopin virtual event platform 149
NEW 288 Artsteps VR exhibition maker 150
NEW 289 Double Commander open source file manager 148
NEW 290 Kinteract evidence-based learning platform 142
NEW 291 1Password password manager 149
NEW 292 Freepik online image library 143
NEW 293 Slidesgo templates for Google Slides & PPT 144
NEW 294 Storyboard That storyboard creator 145
NEW 295 Slides Timer Google Slides extension 146
NEW 296 Learning Ladders primary school platform 147
NEW 297 Laracasts screencasts for developers 150
NEW 298 Flippity turn Google sheets into flashcards, 148
NEW 299 Live Worksheets create interactive worksheets 149
NEW 300 Flubaroo edu grading platform 150
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