Analysis 2022

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2022 was generated from the results of the 16th annual survey. (The graphic (in the right-hand column) provides a visual representation of the tools on the list and how they are being used in different contexts.  Click the image for a downloadable PDF.)

There were fewer votes this year (1,788 in 2022 compared to 2,077 in 2021),  but more significantly there were far fewer tools nominated, which has resulted in a shorter list this year.

2021 was clearly the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things as they were forced into a digital world due to lockdowns and remote working. However, 2022 has been the year of consolidation; people seem to have reverted to their trusty old favourite tools – some of which were knocked off their perches in 2021, but which have recovered lost ground this year.

But here are 10 other features of this year’s list:

  1. YouTube remains the Number 1 tool for the 7th year running – viewing videos has become the most significant way of learning new things. Interestingly, though, Vimeo has crept back up the list (to #20) this year, as corporates and education seem to prefer to host their videos there,  and as one contributor explained, “it is easier to integrate in most learning platforms for streaming.”
  2. The top 5 tools on this year’s list, were, in fact, runaway leaders: YouTube, PowerPoint, Google Search, Microsoft Teams and Zoom – which gives a good indication of how people and organisations view “learning” nowadays – ie. not just an educational/training activity.
  3. Microsoft Teams (at #4) edged ahead of Zoom (at #5) this year – and although a couple of other video meeting platforms did make the list (ie Google Meet, Whereby and Flipgrid) some of the big names, like Adobe Connect and WebEx have dropped off the list completely. It was interesting to read that one contributor didn’t actually name Zoom as one of her top tools because “it has become so integral to my life that it’s become like water that I can’t see because I’m swimming in it“.
  4. But more significantly, Microsoft Teams and other enterprise/collaboration platforms like Slack (at #11) and even SharePoint (at #34)  are now being used for multiple “learning” purposes in the organisation – that is, not just for collaborative team working, knowledge sharing and informal social learning but also as a platform for hosting (more formal) social learning initiatives.
  5. Google (at #3) is still the top web search engine – although DuckDuckGo (now at #35) has increased in popularity probably for the reason, as one contributor put it, “its claim to not track is comforting”.
  6. LinkedIn (at #7) is still the top social network in 2022. Twitter (at #13) is now out of the top 10 for this first time since 200, and Facebook has dropped a further few places (down to #19). Meanwhile, Instagram has moved ahead of Facebook (to #18) and TikTok has made a giant leap (of 167 places) up to #94. Instagram and TikTok (being focused around image and video sharing) are clearly not quite the same beasts as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. In fact, a good point was made that “the glory days of Twitter” have now passed, and whilst some still continue to benefit from the interactions there, others have become rather exasperated with it for a number of different reasons, and in one case, Helen Blunden, has actually permanently deleted her Twitter account.
  7. This year (with a reduced number of tools) we can also get a clearer view of the popularity of different categories of tools, e.g Kahoot (at #16) and Mentimeter (at #17) lead the live engagement tools, whilst Miro (at #24) and Mural (at #50) are the most popular online whiteboards, and  LinkedIn Learning  (at #31), Udemy (at #56) and Coursera (at #84) are now the most valued online course platforms. (Take a look at the By Category page for a breakdown of all the tools on the list this year.)
  8. This year Spotify (at #26) and Netflix (at #53) have moved up to hold prominent positions on the list – which demonstrably shows, as I have said from the very first Top 100 Tools list back in 2007, that tools for learning are not just educational or training tools!
  9. There were no new tools on the Top 100 list this year – which is very unusual. Even last year with such a huge number of tools on the list, OBS Studio jumped in at #55 – and in previous years there have always been one or two appearing in the top 100, but nothing has seemed to fire the imagination this year as in the past!
  10. We’ve also lost some big names from the list this year. I’ve already mentioned Adobe Connect and WebEx, but additionally, Skype, Yammer, Google Jamboard, Mindmeister and Blogger, have disappeared from the Top 100. Some of these can be explained by the fact that they are being discontinued but this is not the case with others – so it will be interesting to see if they re-emerge in 2023. In fact, as we move into very uncertain times, 2023 might provide an indication as to what the future might look like: which tools will survive and which tools will thrive.

Jane Hart
30 August 2022

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