Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013: Best Of awards

This article was written by Jane Hart, for November 2013 edition of  eLearning Age magazine.

As it’s Award season, I thought I would write my column this month about my own survey of learning tools that I have been running for the last 7 years and from which I compile an annual Top 100 Tools for Learning list.

These lists have now become very popular, and at the time of writing this article (mid-October 2013) the 2011 list of tools has been viewed nearly 1 million times, and the 2012 list nearly 600,000 times on Slideshare. Furthermore, the 2012 list was also included in the Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers Internet Trends 2013 slideset viewed over 2.5 millions on Slideshare.  KPCB is, by the way, a venture capitalist firm, so their presentation is used to identify worldwide trends in many different areas of Internet life and use.

Back to this year’s list, and I released the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 on 30th September, which I compiled from the votes of over 500 learning professionals – from education and workplace learning – working in 48 countries worldwide.

You can view the full list at where there are links to pages with further information about each of the tools appearing on the list – for example their cost, availability, past rankings and some of the comments from those who voted for them. But here are some of the highlights from the Top 10 of the list.

  • Twitter retains its #1 position for the 5th year running.
  • Google Docs (now known as Google Drive) moves up to 2nd place and takes YouTube’s place from last year.
  • PowerPoint regains its 2007 position on the list at No. 5.
  • Evernote moves up into the top 10 at No. 6.
  • Google+ and Google Hangouts  takes the No. 10 position on the list

This year’s list, like previous lists, is once again dominated by free online social tools – which are being used for a range of personal and professional learning activities. However, a number of e-learning authoring tools have made a good showing this year.

But this year, I thought I would add an extra dimension, and highlight some of the key tools by awarding some Best Of Awards.  These are shown in the table below – and I also include (in brackets) their position on the list.

If you’d like to find out more about how to use these tools, I have also produced a Practical Guide to the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013, which is available in both a web-based and PDF format.

Best presentation tool Best e-learning authoring tool
Gold:  PowerPoint  (5)
Silver: Prezi (15)
Bronze: Keynote (53)
Gold: Articulate (24)
Silver: Adobe Captivate (37)
Bronze: iSpring solutions (46)
Best screencapture or screencasting tool Best live e-learning/webinar tool
Gold: Jing (27)
Silver: Camtasia (28)
Bronze: Snagit (31)
Gold: Google Hangouts (10)
Silver: Adobe Connect  (30)
Bronze: Webex (44)
Best learning management system
or learning platform
Best file sharing tool
Gold: Moodle (11)
Silver: Coursera (38)
Bronze: eFront (67)
Gold: YouTube (3)
Silver: Slideshare (16)
Bronze:  Flickr (52)
Best social network Best private social networking platform
Gold: Twitter (1)
Silver: Facebook (9)
Bronze: Google+ (10)
Gold: Yammer (20)
Silver:  Edmodo (29)
Bronze: Ning (96)
Best collaboration tool      Best curation tool
Gold: Google Docs (2)
Silver: Skype (13)
Bronze: Diigo (21)
Gold: Pinterest (22)
Silver:  Scoopit  (23)
Bronze: Flipboard (36)
Best blogging tool Best productivity tool
Gold: WordPress (8)
Silver: Blogger (18)
Bronze: Tumblr (65)
Gold: Evernote (6)
Silver:  Pocket (49)
Bronze: OneNote (69)
Best file storage / synchronization service Best newcomer
(not appearing in another category)
Gold: Google Drive  (2)
Silver: Dropbox  (7)
Bronze: Skydrive (43)
Gold: Feedly – replacing Google Reader as the RSS reader of choice (19)
Silver:  Today’sMeet – private backchannel tool (85)
Bronze:  WhatsApp – private messaging tool (86)