Analysis 2017

The Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 was compiled by Jane Hart (in the 11th Annual Survey)  from the votes of 2,174 learning professionals from 52 countries worldwide who contributed their Top 10 Tools for Learning (for personal learning, for workplace learning and/or for education) during the voting period (April-September 2017).


Contributors identified themselves as:

  • 19% Designers & Developers = 4% Instructional/Learning designers, 15% E-Learning Developers
  • 16% Deliverers =  8% Trainers/Instructors, 6% Facilitators, 2% Community Managers
  • 18% Educators = 4% Primary/Secondary Teachers, 9% University Teachers, 3% Adult Educators, 2% Librarians
  • 13% Managers & Administrators = 11% L&D Managers, 2% L&D Admin
  • 15% Consultants
  • 19% Other = 8% Vendors, 11% Other

Here is a brief analysis of what’s on the list and what it tells us about the current state of personal learning, workplace learning and education.

Some facts

  • The top 2 tools are the same as in 2016: YouTube and Google Search
  • PowerPoint moves up to #3, Word moves up to #6, Excel up 29 to #17
  • Twitter moves down to #5
  • 66 tools moved up the list.  Top 3 risers are Unsplash (up 71 places), Grammarly (up 70 places) and Snapchat (up 64 places
  • Messaging apps and team tools are particularly on the rise: Slack is now up 8 places to #12, Trello is up 21 places to #22, Microsoft Teams is another new tool in at #79
  • 4 tools are BACK on the list: Google Alerts, IFTTT, Basecamp and Hootsuite
  • 52 NEW tools appear on the list this year – the highest entry is Typeform in at #55.
  • 2 interesting new tools for augmented and virtual reality join the list – Aurasma, ENTiTi – as well as a chatbot system – Ultra Hal Assistant.

Some observations on what the Top Tools list tells us personal and professional learning 

As in previous years, individuals continue to using a wide variety of

  • networks, services and platforms  for professional networking, communication and collaboration,
  • web resources and courses for self-improvement and self-development
  • tools for personal productivity

All of which shows that many individuals have become highly independent, continuous modern professional learners – making their own decisions about what they need to learn and how to do it.

Some observations on what the Top Tools list tells us about the design, development and management of education and (e-)training

  • Office tools dominate the list – word processing, presentation, spreadsheet – whether it be MS Office suite or Google  Docs/Slides/Sheets. From contributor comments this suggests there might be a move back to basics for some organisations, creating training and performance support materials using a simpler range of tools
  • There is now an extensive range of content authoring tools on the list – both to create linear e-learning as well as timeline-based animation and videos.  Whilst corporates are making heavy use of commercial tools, in Education they are opting much more for free tools.
  • There is also now a variety of learning platforms on the list – many replacing the traditional LMS with novel approaches. For instance, in education One Note for Classroom has become a very popular alternative.
  • Enterprise social collaboration platforms have also increased in popularity this year and are being used to underpin both informal and formal social learning experiences.

What does the Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017 list tell you about how people are learning? Please leave a comment below.