Google products continue to dominate and classroom engagement tools grow in popularity in the first Mid-Year “EdTech Top 40”
LearnPlatform, renowned for its innovative edtech effectiveness system, today published its mid-year “EdTech Top 40” report on the usage of digital educational products, tools and resources in K-12 districts,schools and classrooms within the United States. In addition to ranking the most accessed resources, the report contains new data from the analysis of more than 8,000 edtech tools used by over 2 million K-12 students and over 225,000 teachers between August 1 and December 31, 2021.
For the first time, LearnPlatform has released data on the average individual use of edtech tools by teachers and students during the fall semester, in addition to aggregate monthly district usage. In the first half of the 2021-22 school year, the average K-12 student accessed 74 different education technology products, platforms or services while the average K-12 teacher interacted with 86 different tools in the course of their work. The average district accessed 1,403 tools per month, which is essentially unchanged compared to 2020-21, showing that districts are still accessing high numbers of edtech tools. During the same period, 97% of U.S. schools reported providing primarily in-person instruction, as opposed to hybrid and remote during the pandemic era.
“It's clear that tech-enabled learning is here to stay, not just a function of school closures and remote learning,” said Karl Rectanus, CEO and Co-founder of LearnPlatform. “Are we supporting individual students and teachers to benefit from this variety and number of tools? While there may be no ‘right number of tools,’ everyone should want to know whether the tools they are investing in are actually leading to the desired outcomes.”
Google products hold the top five positions in the most frequently used education technology tools, with no change in rankings from the last full school year. Google Docs, Google Slides and YouTube (owned by Google) are the top three most-used, while Google Drive and Google Forms ranked four and five. In total, eight Google products appear in the top 10, though Google Classroom (#8) and Google Sites (#9) have both fallen in positions. Google Docs has been the top learning technology since LearnPlatform began tracking in 2017.
Joining Google products in the Top 10 are Kahoot! (#6 and up one position) and Clever (#7, and up five positions) which was acquired by Kahoot! last year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as schools have returned to physical classrooms, Zoom and Google Meet, heavily relied on during remote learning, fell significantly in the rankings, down 11 and eight spots respectively to #20 and #21.
Classroom Engagement & Instruction tools accounted for the largest proportion of the top 40 tools, with Gimkit (#35) joining the list for the first time. Two of the top gainers in the Top 40 rankings are also Classroom Engagement & Instruction tools – Blooket (up 21 places to #15) and Edpuzzle (up 8 positions to #25). The third, Prodigy, rose 12 positions to land at #19.
Schoology (#22), a learning management system (LMS), also appears on the list for the first time, bringing the total number of LMS on the top 40 up from 2 to 3. Other new additions to to the Top 40 in this mid-year report are i-Ready (#32), Grammarly (#39) and McGraw-Hill Education (#40).
To further help educators and stakeholders understand the role that the thousands of digital tools play in the K-12 ecosystem, the report also considers products across four categories – "Learner Focused," "Educator Focused," "Organization" and "General & Pervasive" – as well as considering their primary purpose and type.
"Knowing what's being used is just the first step to understanding if, when, and how instructional practices are working best for students and teachers,” Rectanus said. "As districts face budget constraints and uncertainty around continued funding, it’s essential they have the evidence they need about the effectiveness and safety of edtech at the time of decision making to be responsible stewards of available funding. LearnPlatform is working across the whole market to make that happen.”
The report and an accompanying infographic are at: learnplatform.com/top40
LearnPlatform is a comprehensive edtech effectiveness system used by educators, leaders, and their partners to modernize their learning environments and ensure academic and financial return on their investments. The research-driven technology, data-rich insights and evidence-building services equip K-12 organizations and solution providers to advance the safety, equity and effectiveness of their education technology investments. For more information, visit learnplatform.com.