2017 Readers' Choice Awards

2017 THE Jouranl Readers' Choice Awards 

A record number of educators weighed in on their favorite technologies in our third-annual Readers' Choice Awards. And they were clear about who their favorites were.

Top Overall Technologies

Google (Platinum award) was the absolute winner overall. In an open-ended question asking for educators' favorite technologies currently in use at their schools, respondents overwhelmingly chose Google's G Suite for Education as the top overall pick. But Google also gets honorable mention for Chromebooks (powered by Google's Chrome OS), which came in fourth place. Between its G Suite and Chrome OS-powered devices, Google more than doubled the next-highest competitor — quite an improvement from last year, when Google software tied with Apple for first place, and Chromebooks were down in sixth.

Meanwhile last year's first place winner, Apple, hung on to second place with its iPad (Gold award).

Lexia Learning maintained its third-place spot from last year in this category (Silver award).

Breaking it down by technology type, the top overall categories were:

Platinum: Mobile devices, led by Chromebooks and iPads.

Gold: Interactive whiteboards/displays/projectors. While no individual brand came close to making the top 3, this category was cited by quite a few educators as a favorite technology.

Silver: (TIE): E-learning/learning management systems and reading software. Reading software was led by Lexia Learning's Core5; a number of e-learning systems and LMSes were cited by educators, including Google Classroom, Moodle, Canvas and Blackboard Learn.

Overall Winners: Top Technologies

Technologies Currently in Use

Platinum: Google G Suite for Education

Gold: Apple iPad

Silver: Lexia Learning Core5

Technologies Adopted in the Last 12 Months

Platinum: Lexia Learning Core5

Gold: Google Chromebooks

Silver: Google G Suite for Education

Top Technologies Adopted in the Last Year

We also asked educators to name their favorite technologies adopted by their schools in the last year.

Last year's Platinum winner, Lexia Learning, took first place again this year. Readers cited its power for individualized learning, its ability to assess individual students' ability, improvements it's brought to students' reading skills (including ELL students) and its ability to engage students.

Google took second and third place in this category. Chromebooks (Gold award) specifically came in second, with educators citing the equity the devices bring to their students in accessing the internet and important software tools. Google's G Suite for Education took the Silver award, with Classroom (one component of G Suite) cited frequently by educators as a powerful addition to their toolchest.

The top product categories picked by readers were:

Platinum: Mobile devices (led by Google Chromebooks and Apple iPads)

Gold: Reading software (Led by Lexia)

Silver: Learning management systems (led by Instructure Canvas and Schoology)

2017 Readers' Choice Award Category Winners

More than 1,450 readers participated in this year's Readers' Choice Awards, choosing not only their overall picks, but also their favorites by technology category and content area. Note that in categories where no Gold and/or Silver winners are listed, there were too few votes to determine a second or third place.

Best Reading Program

Platinum: Lexia Learning Core5

Best Math Program

Platinum: IXL Math

Gold: DreamBox

Best Science Program

Platinum: Discovery Education Techbook

Gold: Mystery Science

Silver: FOSS

Best Robotics System/Curriculum

Platinum: LEGO

Gold (TIE): Wonder Workshop • Vex

Best Coding Tool/Curriculum


Gold: Scratch

Best Assessment

Platinum: NWEA MAP

Favorite Learning Management Systems, Course Management Systems & E-Learning Platforms

Platinum: Google Classroom

Gold: Schoology

Silver: Instructure Canvas

Favorite 3D Printer (by Brand)

Platinum: Makerbot

Gold (TIE): Dremel • FlashForge

Silver: ROBO 3D

Favorite Education Networks/Professional Communities/Professional Development Systems

Platinum: Twitter

Gold: Discovery Educator Network

Silver: LinkedIn

Favorite Adaptive/Personalized Learning Tool

Platinum: Lexia Learning

Gold: Renaissance

Silver: MobyMax

Favorite E-Portfolio

Platinum: Moodle

Gold: Blackboard Learn

Silver (TIE): Instructure Canvas • Google G Suite for Education

Favorite Interventions & Remediation Software

Platinum: MobyMax

Gold: STAR Reading & Early Literacy

Silver: i-Ready Diagnostic and Instruction, Math

Favorite "Other" Education Tool

Platinum: Khan Academy

Gold: Discovery Education Streaming Plus

Silver: Discovery Education Science Techbook

Favorite Student Response Systems & Classroom Clickers

Platinum: Kahoot!

Gold: Promethean

Silver (TIE): Poll Everywhere • Socratic

Favorite Collaboration Tool

Platinum: Google G Suite for Education

Gold: Microsoft 365 for Education

Silver: Nearpod

Favorite Classroom Management, Culture, or Student Success System

Platinum: ClassDojo

Gold: PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports)

Silver: Google Cast for Education

Favorite Student Information Systems & Data Management Tool

Platinum: PowerSchool

Gold (TIE): Infinite Campus • Skyward

Silver: Edmodo Sync

Favorite Lecture Capture/Screen Recording

Platinum: Screencast-o-matic

Gold (TIE): Adobe Presenter • TechSmith Camtasia

Silver: TechSmith Snagit

Favorite Document Camera (by Brand)

Platinum: Elmo USA

Gold: Epson DC series

Silver: SMART Technologies

Favorite Projector (by Brand)

Platinum: Epson

Gold: Sony

Silver: Hitachi

Favorite Interactive Whiteboard, Display, Flat Panel, or Kiosk (by Brand)

Platinum: SMART Technologies

Gold: Promethean

Silver: Mimio

Favorite Videoconferencing & Web Conferencing Tool

Platinum: Google Hangouts

Gold: Microsoft Skype in the Classroom

Silver: Zoom

Favorite Virtual Classroom/Meeting Software

Platinum: Google Hangouts

Gold: GoToMeeting

Silver: Microsoft Skype in the Classroom

Favorite Classroom Audio Distribution/Sound Enhancement System (by Brand)

Platinum: Lightspeed Technologies

Gold: Smart Audio

Silver: Califone

Top Educational Game or Gamified Learning Tool

Platinum: Kahoot

Gold: Microsoft Minecraft

Silver: Prodigy Math

Top Game not Necessarily Designed for Education but Used as a Part of Instruction at Your Institution

Platinum: Microsoft Minecraft

Favorite Virtual/Augmented Reality Headset or Hardware System

Platinum: Google Cardboard

Gold: Samsung Gear VR

Silver: Sony PlayStation VR

Favorite Virtual/Augmented Reality Software/System

Platinum: Aurasma

Gold: PBS Lunch Rush!

Silver: Chromville

Favorite Gaming Platform

Platinum: Apple iOS (iPhone/iPad)

Gold: Sony PlayStation

Silver: Microsoft Xbox

Favorite Classroom Presentation Software

Platinum: Google Slides

Gold: Microsoft PowerPoint

Silver: Prezi

Office/Productivity Suite

Platinum: Google G Suite

Gold: Microsoft Office 365

Silver: Apple iWork

Favorite Multimedia Authoring Suites & Creative Software

Platinum: Adobe Creative Cloud

Gold: Apple Creativity Apps

Silver: Ubuntu Studio

Favorite E-Learning Authoring Tool

Platinum: Google G Suite

Gold: Camtasia Studio

Silver: Adobe Creative Cloud

Favorite Media Tablet (by Brand)

Platinum: Apple

Gold: Google

Silver: Samsung

Favorite Chromebook (by Brand)

Platinum: Google

Gold (TIE): HP • Dell

Silver: Lenovo

Favorite Windows Tablet (by Brand)

Platinum: Microsoft

Gold: Dell

Silver: HP

Favorite Convertible Notebook/2-in-1 Notebook (by Brand)

Platinum: Dell

Gold: HP

Silver: Lenovo

Favorite Education Notebook (by Brand)

Platinum: Apple

Gold: Dell

Silver: HP

Favorite Virtual Desktops and Thin Clients

Platinum: Lenovo ThinkCentre line

Gold (TIE): HP Thin Client Solutions • VMware

Silver: Dell Wyse

Favorite Wireless Access Point or Hotspot (by Brand)

Platinum: Cisco

Gold: Netgear

Silver: Extreme Networks

Favorite Network or WiFi Management, Analysis, and Monitoring Tool (by Brand)

Platinum: Microsoft

Gold: Cisco

Silver: Extreme Networks

Favorite Mobile Device Management Solution (by Brand)

Platinum: Google

Gold: AT&T

Silver: JAMF

Favorite Anonymous Reporting Tool

Platinum: MySafeSchool

Gold: CyberBully Hotline

Silver: Anonymous Alerts

Favorite Emergency Notification System

Platinum: SchoolMessenger

Gold: School Alert

Silver: K12 Alerts

Favorite Firewall Software

Platinum: Norton 360

Gold: Kaspersky

Silver: Windows Firewall

Favorite Firewall Hardware/Appliance (by Brand)

Platinum: McAfee

Gold: Cisco

Top Anti-Virus Tool (by Brand)

Platinum: Norton

Gold: McAfee

Silver: AVG

Favorite Classroom Furnishings and Charging Carts (by Brand)

Platinum: Steelcase

Gold: Bretford

Silver: Childcraft