Analysis of the Top 200 Tools for Learning 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

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.


  1. Hilde

    Congrats with the new list! What I find the most facinating is the 52 new tools, and the fact That last year list also had a lot of newcommers. Difficult to find the right tools for me

    1. Jane Hart

      Hi Hilde, last year was the first year with 200 tools on it. I didn’t want it to be all about the usual suspects that were firmly placed on the Top 100 list. There is inevitably a lot of fluidity in the bottom 1/4 of the list since these tools attract a much smaller number of votes than those at the top. However, it is interesting to see how some tools like Grammarly, Franz, Unsplash and others have moved significantly up the list the list this year from low rankings last year, so it’s great to give them some exposure.

  2. Helen Coates

    I never even thought of Grammerly when I was doing the survey but yes I use this and an online Maori dictionary as there are quite a few words which have become inculcated into NZ English and is is an official language in NZ.

  3. Jane Hart

    Here is a list of all the tools that fell off the list from last year, together with their 2016 rankings: MovieMaker (77), EdPuzzle(81), Thinglink (90), Clarify (92), Mahara (100), Xmind (106), Nearpod (110), Exe (114), LibreOffice (117), Blackboard collaborate (123), Tumblr (124), Turnitin (126), Adobe Animate (127), Sakai (131), Buffer (132), Elucidat (135), Pealtrees (136), Haiku Deck (137), Elearning brothers (140), CourseLab (142), Cornerstone (148), Adobe Dreamweaver (149), Delicious (152), Kaltura (155), Explaindio (157), Zeetings (158), ILIAS (159), Showbie (162), PlayPosit (163), Periscope (165), Claro (167), Hipchat (173), RoboForm (174), PocketCasts (175), OwnCloud (178), Construct2 (179), Doceri (181), Flickr (182), Overcast (183), Elevate (184), Emaze (185), Reflector (186), Thunderbird (187), iBooks Author (188), Lucidchart (190), GIMP (191), Flipbuilder (192), PresenterMedia (194), Inkscape (195), Pathbrite (196), Paintshop Pro (197), Classcall (200)

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