Top 100 Education Brands and Influencers

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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...
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Who are the most influential individuals in ed-technology and eLearning across the world? And what brands influence education across the profession?

This is an unusual write up for me and one regarding another aspect of education. I had banished this blog to the trash-can and have now had second thoughts. Although I and many of you may be sceptical about PR companies ‘listing’ bloggers, companies and brands into league tables and top-10s and top-100s, they do serve a purpose. For those interested in the algorithmic side of the web, the following publication does serve as very interesting reading indeed.

In our world of education, it is dominated by the likes of you and I. We all have a voice. The world of education (in particular online) is not just reserved for policy makers and government. You, me and everyone else can ‘influence’ educational dialogue.

This post regards social media and those that influence the field of education and in particular, edtech and elearning. This is why I have decided to share this information with my readers.

This tweet marks the moment Onalytica recognised me for Edtech and Elearning: Top 100 Influencers and Brands across the world.

I am sceptical about these kind of things and often view the company promoting the information as a quick-win for exposure.

However, when recognition comes after countless hours of work, I’ll gratefully receive any acknowledgement. And I have a notable point to make here. Although @TeacherToolkit is me – an individual – many people view TT, or at least the identity of TeacherToolkit as a brand. I’m not sure what my readers’ opinions are, but being a ‘top-100 influential brand’ has been confirmed by Onalytica; founded in 2009 to focus on delivering social network analysis and insights, reporting into digital communities and key influencers.

Edtech and Elearning: Top 100 Influencers and Brands

In 2013 Onalytica launched an Influencer Relationship Management software platform, allowing people to analyse their relationships with key influencers and influential stakeholders such as journalists, analysts, thought leaders and bloggers. This week they announced Edtech and Elearning: Top 100 Influencers and Brands; an exhaustive list of thought leaders, including Firms, Media Outlets, Industry Blogs and Professionals.


The PageRank based methodology is used to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning edtech OR #edtech OR elearning OR “e-learning” in this case) 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 Onalytica does alter their lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation.

In layman terms, it simply means how often I (or others) have shared the term ‘edtech’ or ‘e-learning’ online.

The data presented has been analysed over a 90-day period from 1,329,000 tweets by the 134,810 users who have shared information about edtech and elearning; the data also uses 557,186 engaged tweets (e.g. clicks, mentions etc.)

Top-100 Brands:

With all the discussion and resources available online, the analysis produces a great set of independent information resources and communities. Influential brands such as Microsoft, Skype Classroom, Edmodo, Class Dojo, Edsurge, Edtech K12, and publications such as Mindshift are leading the debate and publishing great articles, concepts and discussions about the latest in edtech software.

It is fantastic to feature in 83rd position, alongside respected education companies such as Pearson, Moodle and Skype Classroom!


Onalytica Ranking Brands - Top 100



Congratulations to the other UK-based individuals who have been listed. Notably, @ICTEvangelist and @Urban_Teacher. It is also interesting to note many female bloggers listed, mainly based overseas.

Brand or Individual?

I have asked myself this question many, many times. I am an individual. I am @TeacherToolkit.

Given my background in design, I have managed to brand myself. Whether this is as an individual or as a collective group, I’m not sure what is more clearer for those who do not know me and my blog. I may appear to many as a brand/company with more than one person(s), but this was never my intention from the start when starting out as @TeacherToolkit. I have received countless emails, tweets and comments suggesting that people perceive TT as a company and not as ‘a sole individual.’ Longer term, I’m not sure how I envisage TT to develop or be perceived, but I am certainly an ‘individual who blogs’ and one who has ‘potential to branch out.’ However, this aside. I welcome the recognition. But please do not forget, that first and foremost I love teaching and love working in schools. As a business model, the two just do not mix. For now, I have no answer. I am an employee and an employer. I’m not sure how they will both get along – and I welcome any advice – yet, I am glad to be able to blog about this dilemma I’ve had for the past 3 years or so …

I am happy for TT to be acknowledged as a brand, despite being a one-man-band; although I could argue that there are technically 2 other people who I have relationships with who could come ‘under the TT umbrella.’ For clarification, those are a) my partner who is a Director of TT limited company and b) my new advertising manager who has encouraged me to reach out further with my re-branded website.

For now, I blog for reflection, not reward. I always have and will continue to do so. I enjoy writing about what I am doing in school and thrive on sharing practice.


If you want to learn more, read Onalytica’s article that outlines influencer identification, you can download their report here.

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 in the edtech and elearning debate.


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