top 10 edtech products students teachers

The top 10 edtech products preferred by students and teachers

Here’s a pop quiz for you. What do you get when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gets involved in the world of education technology? Well, a handy list of resources for starters. They recently unveiled a site called ‘Teachers Know Best‘ which features the results of a survey of teachers and students. They tried to identify the top 10 edtech products preferred by students and teachers. As you can see from the image below, there are some of the usual suspects (Khan Academy, Google Search, Edmodo) but the order of preference might actually surprise you. Or maybe not, really.

As you can see, Google Search is sadly the most popular product that is being used by students. Does this mean students are getting lazier and not doing proper research? Probably not. Does it mean Google search is simply ubiquitous and one of the easiest and well-known ways to start the learning process? Probably.

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Something that really strikes me with the results of this 2013 survey is the sheer number of Google products. In fact, literally HALF of the student’s edtech products are Google products. YouTube, search, Docs, Drive, and Apps. Some of those have since been rolled into a more cohesive product (Google Drive) but they all still generally exist and are well used today.

I’m guessing Google Classroom would join the ranks of student preferences if this survey was done within the past year. That’s because Google Classroom recently celebrated its first birthday – did you remember to buy a present? Kidding.

Anyway, the list of product preferences for teachers is somehow even more surprising. It features a list of apps that are, to be honest, not that well-known or popular in the world of education technology I’ve seen. I’ve heard of them but they’re not the go-to products for many teachers. BrainPOP is quite popular but the Academy of MATH? Accelerated Reader? Not quite at the same level as Edmodo or Google products. That being said, it’s refreshing to see and hopefully this list will be even more diverse if a new survey is conducted every year by the Gates Foundation.

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The top 10 edtech products preferred by students

  1. Google Search
  2. Khan Academy
  3. Google Docs
  4. YouTube
  5. Edmodo
  6. Microsoft Word (link to Word Online)
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Google Drive
  9. Google Apps For Education
  10. PowerPoint (link to PowerPoint Online)

The top 10 edtech products preferred by teachers

  1. Khan Academy
  2. BrainPOP
  3. Accelerated Reader
  4. Edmodo
  5. YouTube
  6. DiscoveryED Website
  7. Google Docs
  8. Google Search
  9. Academy of MATH
  10. 3D Gamelab

A Few Personal Notes

It’s interesting to see the Microsoft products on this Gates Foundation-funded survey. Makes you think twice but who really knows. Do you think a survey respondent thought they should specifically mention PowerPoint or Word because the survey is run by Gates Foundation? Would you?

The list of teacher tools confounds me. On one hand, it’s great to see a variety of tools. On the other, I wonder about where some of these came from. While I have played around with all the tools listed, I am just surprised to see them in the top 10. Perhaps that’s just me. I’ve been known to be wrong quite often.

Written by Jeff Dunn

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it’s not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.


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  1. I’m surprised that you are surprised. Academy of Math, which I didn’t know about, was the only surprise to me. The lists are list of tools that make life easier for teachers and/or students. Students use Word and PowerPoint a lot. I’d be surprised if they were not on the list and I doubt the Gates funding had anything to do with it.

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  2. We would like to include our disruptive startup edtech product, SIS, SchoolTime.

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