Top 10 UK Education Blogs Or Not? by @TeacherToolkit

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Top 10 Educational Blogs badge 2015 Cision


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
Read more about @TeacherToolkit

This is a blog about blogging, awards and blog rankings. Earlier on this week, I discovered (my) @TeacherToolkit blog is ranked amongst the Top-10 Education Blogs in the UK, and is listed as the number 1 educational blog in the UK for the second year in a row! Do read on … Awards Image Blogging Trophy

 Image: Aiche

However, despite the accolade from Cision UK, this nomination does come at a price and if you are a keen blogger like me, then please read this. Regarding this ranking, I have been dubious about rankings for a number of years. So, why is this? Well, as prolific blogger @McLeod says here;

  • It’s probably going to make some people angry,
  • It’s probably going to discourage some people, and the chances are
  • It’s missed some people.

How it works?

The email I received from Cision is shared below:

“For our rankings we carefully monitor a selected topic within the UK blogosphere and apply our in-house methodology to identify and rank these blogs accordingly.  We also publish weekly blog spotlights on our blog, highlighting new or existing blogs of varying subjects … All of these blogs are listed on CisionPoint an online database provided by us for PR, marketing and communication professionals. Your details are now listed free of charge in CisionPoint and are visible to our clients. This listing can help you establish and build relationships with like-minded and qualified individuals from within our global network.”

Notably, this email came 3 months later than the award process announced by Cision last year!


So, why am I sceptical? man Sceptic Frown Suit beard tie

“Me? No …”

Image: Infoopshq

Well, the shift in date for starters. The change in personnel producing the list. The lack of rigour in the database. The lack of available data. And most importantly, the page that lists all the top blogs is merely a blog post that has been updated. Cision ranking has nothing; no validity in comparison to the almighty Teach 100 database, ranking 900 educational blogs across the world, sharing its data publicly. (See here.) Not many of you will be concerned as I am, and I do not wish to appear ungrateful; I’m not. I am very humbled by all the opportunities and doors that have come my way since I first started blogging about education. Awards are a distraction, so I am hoping to raise awareness, or at least call on Cision to share their data. Humble bloggers like you and I are susceptible to marketing campaigns …

Further Probing:

Just take a look at the Cision ‘pricing‘ webpage;

“Whether you’re a marketing or PR professional, Cision’s award-winning software brings together all the elements you need to engage the right influencers, get coverage, achieve measurable results and manage your campaigns. See what Cision software can do for you!”

It says it all really! They are clearly doing it for themselves too … The full list, updated on 15.04.2015 and last updated before that on 16.01.2014, is here. If Cision’s data-points were so robust, why is there a 3 month anomaly in publication? As stated again on their website, Cision Influence Rating offers a detailed view of each blogger and publication, and reflects the level of influence they have across traditional and social media. Rated on a scale from 0 to 99, the Cision Influence Rating reflects the level of influence a blogger has across traditional and social media. The rating is determined by over 40 data points, including the performance of one’s content and presence on social sites. Influencers are rated on both their content’s performance and their presence on social sites – accounting for both their online and off-line voices. So, where is this information?

Just take a moment to read Dan Myer’s (@DDMyer) blog about Stop Linking To “Top 100 Blogs” Lists which highlights predatory blogs and emails that lead to spam and in some cases, losing your hard-earned cash! It worth reading and explains the blogger’s food-chain …

Anyway, here’s the list … and just remember, this is ‘according to Cision UK’.

Top 10 UK Education Blogs 2015:

  1. @TeacherToolkit (ranked 1st in 2014)
  2. The Learning Spy (ranked 2nd in 2014)
  3. ICTEvangelist (new entry)
  4. Mr. P’s ICT Blog (new entry)
  5. The Whiteboard Blog (new entry)
  6. Scenes From The Battleground (up 1 place from 2014)
  7. Magical Maths (new entry)
  8. Learning with ‘e’s (new entry)
  9. ClassThink (new entry)
  10. Agility – Teaching Toolkit (new entry)

I will regurgitate this blogpost in 12 months time, just like our good friends Cision have. I may not even feature after this update! Anyway, back to blogging and for now, thank you. gwyneth-paltrow oscar crying

Image: Mirror (Getty)

Top 10 UK education Blogs 2014:

  1. @TeacherToolkit
  2. @Learning Spy
  3. @headguruteacher
  4. @HuntingEnglish
  5. Learning from my mistakes: an English teacher’s blog
  6. @johntomsett
  7. Scenes From The Battleground
  8. Geoff Barton’s Pick ‘n’ Mix
  9. ClassroomTM
  10. Tabula Rasa


Regarding blogger-influence, I am getting to grips with how Teach 100 rankings operate and have managed to stay between 50th-75th position – for the past 18 months or so – from over 900 educational blogs worldwide! Last year, when I wrote a similar blogpost to this, there were only 550 blogs listed. The competition is clearly much stiffer, and coupled with my new role as a deputy headteacher, I have far less opportunity to write as much I would like to. As a consequence, I am now fluctuating between 70th-100th position on Teach 100 rankings. Hey-ho!

8 thoughts on “Top 10 UK Education Blogs Or Not? by @TeacherToolkit

  1. A brilliant post and I believe very much of the moment. You did not go as far as to say ‘a vested interest’ but the number of hits I imagine that those top 10 generate must be incredible. Why would you not promote them via your business for free? Having struggled to get anything but colleague recognition it hit me recently that this is what I should be aiming for. Some of my blogs get bigger hits (a few hundred) and criticism (good and bad), some are rather dull (but have a point) and some are indulgent (therapy). But generating professional discourse is a great aim… Even if it is amongst 4 colleagues and not on a bigger stage. I very nearly gave up blogging recently but if anything I think I have found a new direction and reason for doing it. I think I am lucky in that my job is slightly high profile so this is not my main aim. But I don’t blog because I have nothing better to do. I blog because I want to shape thinking, discussion and practice. By bringing our blogs back to this core principle I think we have something special in education. Ranking, like league tables is a bit of a false economy. Though, I imagine, if I was recognised for it I would be the first to jump up and down shouting ‘Me me me me!’ Ultimately, we all want our moments in the sun and quality should shine through. Hence seeing @nancygedge getting recognition feels good. But I do look through the lists sometimes and think, “But they haven’t blogged for months?” I am glad you wrote this because felt it but would have come across all wrong if I had blogged it. Regards OPH

    1. Totally agree. Over the past 3 years, I have increasingly become more and more aware of how important my blog is for my own professional development, as well as others. This Eureka flashbulb often occurs when I least expect it. Social media is an odd world, but never quite matches a colleague walking past you and saying, ‘Oh Ross, I read your blog last night.’ and then it suddenly re-hits me: my blog is real. It’s much more than a digital platform. It is shaping professional dialogue (and not just my own). This is also re-affirmed when colleagues elsewhere want to meet or share ideas; inc. connecting at TeachMeets.
      I’m also delighted for @kevbartle and @nancygedge in the recent #TesAwards blogging announcement. Far more important accolades come from within the community.

      p.s. Keep blogging. I read all of yours!

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