The 100 most influential education blogs

February 3, 2013  |  Featured  |  Share

Last weekend at Startup Weekend London Education, Richard Taylor announced a piece of work he has been doing with Onalytica; an index of the Top 100 education blogs. In the last couple of years it seems a lot of the online educational discourse has moved to ‘short form’ services like Twitter, but I think there is still an important place for longer form writing and the extended, complex discussions in comments that the blogosphere provides.

The web is teeming with ‘top x’ blog posts and I generally ignore such stories, based as they often are on personal taste, echo chambers and empire building. However, this one is in some ways a little different, as they have employed similar methods as are used to rate academic journals for impact in an attempt to define not just the most popular, but the most influential blogs worldwide. There are of course many issues that could be raised by such a process and the methods in the pdf on Richard’s blog lack the full detail for a detailed analysis of validity, but it is interesting to look at a list of blogs worldwide that have been ranked by a complex statistical analysis as to their influence.

As Richard states, there is a strong US theme to many of the top blogs, and it would be interesting to do more analysis of the locations and indeed the particular focus of the blogs listed. Of UK blogs I am familiar with, Ewan McIntosh comes in at number 15, David Didau at 26, and Doug Belshaw at 92. Interestingly, the only class blog to feature on the list is the ‘Year 2 Blog’ from Chorlton Park Primary School in Manchester.

Numbers are numbers, and I am sure many will dispute whether this list truly constitues ‘the best’. For me it means something else. I am keenly aware of echo chambers on the web, and what this list represents to me is a chance to use a different metric to explore the discourse happening online about education. It is for me a way to find new ideas, to attempt to get a handle on where the conversations are going internationally, and a bit of a gold mine of educational thinking to digest and challenge.

The pdf on Richard’s blog contains hyperlinks to explore, but I have also assembled a collection of the RSS feeds of as many of the blogs as I could locate them for. Open the bundles below and add them to your Google Reader. Other services are of course available, and for them you can import the OPML files. Whatever your perspective on stats and ranking, following these bundles will give you a big chunk of material to get you thinking. I’ll be following them all, as whilst there are others that perhaps chime more strongly with my thinking, I want to keep exposing myself to as full a range as possible of what the educational world is debating.

The Top 10:
For those who want to dip their toes in the water….
Subscribe to Google Reader bundle
Download the OPML for other readers

The Top 100:
For those who want to jump in feet first….
Subscribe to Google Reader bundle
Download the OPML for other readers

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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6 Comments


  1. Holy Mackerel!

    Gobsmacked doesn’t come close to describing my reactions to this. Thanks so much for publicising this – feel a bit confused, but very pleased.

  2. Perhaps worth knowing the backstory to why I supect the year two class blog at Chorlton Park was included. This blog was originally setup and run by Jack Sloan who was probably one of the first infant teachers to get children logging in independently and writing on class blogs. Jack has moved on to teaching in London, but it’s great to see the bloggers of Chorlton Park march on.

  3. Richard’s and your own list of educational blogs looks very interesting. We are language teachers are we appreciate this!

  4. Thanks Oliver for flagging this piece of work up. It’s fascinating. My own UK blog – I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! is also featured at No 47! It’s cleverly hidden under the guise “Creative Star” blog. Hopefully it shows that there is a genuine interest in getting children outside for learning and play activities.

    However I have to dispute this list. There is an absence of Early Years blogs which far outrank mine in terms of influence, popularity, impact, etc. Also I wonder how they do the analysis. Again, with Early Years blogs most of the big bloggers run big Facebook pages. A good example here is Teach Preschool with over 56K Facebook followers. But they tend not to use Twitter. Most of the blogs on this list seem to be linked to those of us who are reasonably active on Twitter and have been given a mention in a couple of blogging awards.

    Hmm….

    • Hi Juliet,

      Thanks for the comment and for pointing out this interesting area. The opening page of the blogs list has some details about the methods used, although not the full details. It seems they used similar methods to their used to judge the influence rating of academic journals, taking into account how many citations in other sources these blogs have had. The methods sound far more valid than some of the popularity based measures used for other awards and lists, although I think it is a very difficult area and I would not say this is definitive by any stretch.

      Your discussion of Facebook is really interesting- it is easy to forget that twitter is a bubble, and very interesting to find out there are other communities of educators who stay away from it but engage in other forums such as this.

      I will be exploring the early years teaching community on Facebook now, thanks.

  5. Possibly well worth knowing the backstory for you to the reason We supect all seasons two class blog in Chorlton Park your car ended up being bundled. This site ended up being originally setup and also run by means of Jack Sloan who was almost certainly one of several primary baby educators to get children recording inside individually and also composing upon class blogs. Jack offers managed to move on for you to training inside Liverpool, although it’s wonderful to discover the writers of Chorlton Park your car 03 upon.

Trackbacks

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  2. Houston, we have influence: The Top 100 education blogs « David Didau: The Learning Spy

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