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Edtech and Elearning: Top 100 Influencers and Brands

by | Aug 26, 2015 | Influencer Lists,

September is approaching, the #BackToSchool promotions are in full swing, students are getting their exam results and thinking about higher education. This is also the time teachers and lecturers are thinking about their lesson plans and learning strategies for the next academic year. Blended with traditional teaching is the use of advancing technology to support learning. Institutions are behaving more like brands, looking to spur innovation in the same way that businesses can, utilising entrepreneurial and startup practices to improve learning. Being ahead of the game in the field of edtech and elearning is one of the best ways to make yourself more attractive to prospective students and increase your reputation. This is why the industry has grown so rapidly from Q2 2014 to Q2 2015, investment was up 96% compared with the previous four quarters.

Edtech Global Yearly Financing History

A new report by New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative gives a five-year prediction for emerging edtech. Key findings include advancing cultures of change and innovation, with institutions adapting to a culture that embraces innovation and allows for more flexibility, creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking. The report also suggests there will be a growing focus on data-driven learning, measurement and assessment, with better tools for teaching, more targeting of at-risk students and more detailed student profiles. Another future trend identified in the report is development within Open Educational Resources (OER), with more instructional materials available for free, and being open in terms of ownership and usage rights.

Blended learning is another topic identified as a growth area, with students being given opportunities to learn in more flexible and alternative ways. Blended learning will provide easier delivery and access to learning materials, and provide alternatives to students who won’t be in the classroom every day. Classrooms will also evolve into spaces that encourage more collaborative interactions. Tools such as 3D printers, robotics, computers, laser cutting, and textiles will help contribute to these “makerspaces“.

Many students are already bringing their laptops and tablets to school, the model of Bring your own device (BYOD) is set to continue. Another trend identified in the report is the idea of a flipped classroom, which refers to “a model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of class, to shift the ownership of learning from the educators to the students.” Podcasts, videos and online textbooks help facilitate this model.

The incorporation of wearable technology in education is another area identified as a future trend; virtual reality devices are already being used to provide first-person perspectives in medical procedures, or to give virtual tours of campuses. Machine learning technologies can also be used as a tool that adapts to a student’s learning in real-time, providing personalized instruction and feedback. All of these tools will be synced to the web providing an “Internet of Things” (IoT) approach to learning, with teachers and students informed by crowdsourced, and location based information.


We reached out to some of the top 10 influencers to ask them for their views on edtech and elearning.  We spoke to Alice Keeler (#3), Jeffrey Bradbury (#4), Monica Burns (#6), Thomas Murray (#7), Vicki Davis (#8) and Kasey Bell (#10).  Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on edtech and elearning! (click on the names to see their Twitter profiles)

Alice Keeler: Edtech and Elearning Influencer    Alice Keeler –  Author of “50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom

“Technology does not make for better learning. The teacher must design the environment, utilizing technology, to allow for shifts in what the learning environment looks like. Create a student centered environment where students are independent, have choice, and their interests influence their activities. Using technology to do the same tasks, will result in the same outcomes. Using technology to facilitate a student centered environment can engage students more in their learning and make for something better.”

Jeffrey Bradbury: Edtech and Elearning InfluencerJeffrey Bradbury – Owner at TeacherCast

“The great promise of EdTech is that it unlocks a very exciting and unlimited potential in every student.  It is a conduit for exploration, innovation, and ultimately, student achievement. It is essential that educators use technology with their students in a way that is open ended and allows for multiple correct answers based on student creativity.”

Monica Burns: Edtech and Elearning Influencer    Monica Burns – Owner at ClassTechTips

The EdTech space has seen significant growth over the past few years and it’s been exciting to watch! I love how companies are thinking outside of the box to meet the needs of individual learners.  Whether it’s an app that turns students into creators or a game that helps them problem solve, there are so many powerful EdTech products that teachers can bring into their classrooms.”

Thomas Murray: Edtech and Elearning Influencer     Thomas Murray – Digital Learning Director for the Alliance for Excellent Education

“Regardless of what educational technology is used, educators must always lead with learning.  Digital learning is all about high quality teaching and learning in the classroom.  Digital learning is most effective when the instructional pedagogy is shifted. Buying the technology is the easy part. Systemically shifting instruction is the hard part. Always focus on the ‘why’ and the learning goals, and then allow technology to serve as the accelerator in getting you there.”

Vicki Davis: Edtech and Elearning Influencer   Vicki Davis –  Owner at CoolCatTeacher

“If you look at education on Twitter, you’ll find thriving hashtags led by visionary educators. You’ll find classrooms connecting and teachers sharing what worked today. You’ll find questions and lots of answers. You’ll find super-smart curators who collect lists of what works. Most of all, inspiration is everywhere. And you can connect with anyone! Education technology and Twitter go well together, but interestingly, a major shift has happened in the last few years. It is no longer about the buzz and glitz of technology. Educators are focusing on what works. Sometimes it is technology. Sometimes it is not. Education cannot be “fixed” with technology.”

Kasey Bell: Edtech and Elearning Influencer  Kasey Bell – Owner at Shake Up Learning

“Just like any good teacher knows, you have to be flexible to be an effective teacher. This means applying flexibility to the use of edtech and digital tools in the classroom. Be ready to adjust to things that work better than expected, and some things that do not. The evolution of digital learning cannot be ignored. Change is the new black, and educators must be willing to embrace it with open arms or find a new profession. Lifelong learning is an essential skill for educators and students to adapt and adjust to whatever the future holds. One of the best tips for teachers is to not be afraid to LET YOUR STUDENTS TEACH YOU! It’s okay to not be an expert is all things edtech…no one is! Embrace the partnership and learn WITH your students. Here are my Top Ten Tech Tips for Teachers.”


We were very interested in seeing which edtech and elearning professionals and brands were leading the online discussion, so we analysed over 1.3M  tweets matching the following query: “edtech OR #edtech OR elearning OR e-learning” and identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.

We discovered a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands, joining together in conversations looking to improve their quality of service. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation created with our Influencer Relationship Management software IRM. This map shows the number 1 brand Edsurge at the centre and the conversations to and from all the influencers. Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.

Edtech and elearning top influencers network map


Below you can see another network map created in IRM showing the number 1 individual Silvia Duckworth at the centre, and the conversations to and from the different influencers. The thicker the lines the more engagements, as in the case of Jeffrey Bradbury and Sam Peterson.


Edtech and Elearning Network Map Sylvia Duckworth

If you are interested in learning more about our IRM software click here!


We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top 100 most influential individuals in Edtech and Elearning. Be sure to hit the download now button below to download the full report.

Rank Twitter Handle Name PageRank (Normalised)
1 @sylviaduckworth Sylvia Duckworth 100
2 @elearning David Anderson 90.98
3 @alicekeeler Alice Keeler 90.14
4 @TeacherCast Jeffrey Bradbury 89.9
5 @mcleod Scott McLeod 84.09
6 @ClassTechTips Monica Burns 83.9
7 @thomascmurray Tom Murray 83.64
8 @coolcatteacher Vicki Davis 83.16
9 @ICTEvangelist Mark Anderson 78.07
10 @ShakeUpLearning Kasey Bell 72.37
11 @Alex_Corbitt Alex Corbitt 70.02
12 @ShellTerrell Shelly Sanchez 69.36
13 @iPadWells Richard iPadWells 68.72
14 @rmbyrne Richard Byrne 68.4
15 @NoApp4Pedagogy Eric Patnoudes 68.31
16 @E_Sheninger Eric Sheninger 67.92
17 @jeffherb Jeff Herb 67.77
18 @builtbyteachers Ryan Lynch 67.59
19 @SamPatue Sam Patterson 67.35
20 @gcouros George Couros 67.15
21 @jmattmiller Matt Miller 66.99
22 @FrankCatalano Frank Catalano 66.84
23 @EWmdavis Michelle Davis 66.47
24 @RafranzDavis Rafranz Davis 65.44
25 @audreywatters Audrey Watters 65.03
26 @jonathanwylie Jonathan Wylie 64.9
27 @EdTech_Stories William Jenkins 64.85
28 @poida poida 63.76
29 @TDOttawa Tom D’Amico 63.73
30 @cpappas Christopher Pappas 63.7
31 @jpalfrey John Palfrey 63.59
32 @s_bearden Susan M. Bearden 63.37
33 @mraspinall Brian Aspinall 62.96
34 @grahamandre Graham Andre’ 61.74
35 @MattHarrisEdD Matt Harris, Ed.D. 61.52
36 @web20classroom Steven W. Anderson 61.37
37 @dougpete Doug Peterson 61.28
38 @mtholfsen Mike Tholfsen 61.27
39 @eLearning_Laura Laura Dickinson 60.25
40 @EmergingEdTech Kelly Walsh 60.13
41 @DavidGeurin David Geurin 60.09
42 @MJMadda Mary Jo Madda 60.08
43 @tonyvincent Tony Vincent 59.05
44 @mythsysizer Nick Brierley 58.03
45 @jcasap Jaime Casap 57
46 @Eduflack Patrick Riccards 56.94
47 @patrickmlarkin Patrick Larkin 56.75
48 @bjfr Justin Reich 56.71
49 @KerryHawk02 Kerry Gallagher 56.55
50 @courosa Alec Couros 56.31
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Top 100 Brands

With all the discussion and resources available online, our analysis produced a great set of independent information resources and communities. Influential brands such as Edsurge, Edtech K12, and publications such as elearning industry and Mindshift are leading the debate and publishing great articles, concepts and discussions about the latest in edtech software, and how learning is being impacted by technology. Be sure to download the full analysis for free to get an idea of who are most influential brands in Edtech and Elearning.

Rank Twitter Handle Name PageRank (Normalised)
1 @EdSurge EdSurge 100
2 @EdTech_K12 EdTech K–12 Magazine 99.5
3 @elearnindustry eLearning Industry 99.19
4 @MindShiftKQED MindShift 98.51
5 @educationweek Education Week 98.13
6 @isteconnects ISTE 98.11
7 @EdTech_HigherEd EdTech Higher Ed 97.22
8 @edutopia edutopia 96.63
9 @Jisc Jisc 96.61
10 @Edudemic Edudemic 95.33
11 @BookCreatorApp Book Creator Team 95.27
12 @TeachThought TeachThought 95.19
13 @Primary_Ed Teacher 94.78
14 @elearningfeeds elearningfeeds 94.03
15 @Makerspaces_com 93.88
16 @GoogleForEdu Google For Education 92.54
17 @_escuela20 91.07
18 @Getting_Smart Getting Smart 90.4
19 @Articulate Articulate 90.01
20 @eduteka Eduteka 89.73
21 @EdTechEurope EdTech Europe 89.7
22 @Graphite Graphite 89.45
23 @EdWeekEdTech Digital Directions 88.25
24 @OfficeofEdTech Office of Ed Tech 88.17
25 @insidehighered Inside Higher Ed 87.92
26 @eschoolnews eSchool News 87.57
27 @DigitalPromise Digital Promise 86.96
28 @WeAreTeachers WeAreTeachers 86.75
29 @NMCorg New Media Consortium 86.57
30 @edXOnline edX 85.53
31 @EducationDive EducationDive 85.48
32 @edtech_rr EdTech 84.34
33 @PBSLrnMedia PBS LearningMedia 83.82
34 @RemindHQ Remind 82.69
35 @hechingerreport The Hechinger Report 81.67
36 @OneNoteEDU @OneNoteEDU 80.59
37 @SBEducation SmartBrief Education 79.31
38 @Microsoft_EDU Microsoft Education 78.29
39 @medkh9 Educatorstechnology 77.79
40 @edmodo Edmodo 76.62
41 @ScoreReporting Score Online 75.62
42 @GetKahoot Kahoot! 75.58
43 @nsvf NewSchools 75.48
44 @SXSWedu SXSWedu 75.29
45 @iPadTeachers iPad Teacher Guide 74.28
46 @etr_in EdTechReview 73.26
47 @techlearning techlearning 70.21
48 @lynda 68.17
49 @BAMRadioNetwork Education Radio 67.07
50 @DMLResearchHub DML Research Hub 66.91


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Influencer Marketing campaigns generate impressive results, the average earned media value (EMV) from US influencer marketing programs was 1.4 times higher in H1 2015 than the overall average in full-year 2014. At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Machine to Machine, Wearable TechInternet of Things) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!

Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion around edtech and elearning. The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations are independent of a user’s number of followers, but we do filter our lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation and the influence they drive through their networks.



EdTech and Elearning

Top 200 Influencers and Brands

Download this free report which reveals the top 200 EdTech and Elearning influencers and brands