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2017 Readers' Choice Awards

Campus Technology readers weigh in on their favorite tools and tech for higher education.

For the third year in a row, we've asked our readers to weigh in on their favorite tools and tech for higher education — everything from learning management systems, projectors and lecture capture to ERP platforms, retention tools and presentation software. The resulting list of favorites includes both long-time incumbents and new category leaders. Read on to see what products you might want to consider for your own institution!

Most Valuable in the Institution This Year

Platinum: Guidebook

What readers said: "Guidebook, hands down. The best technology in the education sector needs to be personalized, robust, and intuitive. Students are able to isolate on specific engagements and integrate calendars … it makes an impact on our students and equips them with tools needed for success."

Gold (tie): Instructure Canvas and Chalk & Wire

What readers said: "Canvas. We are a large school and it was a huge transition, but it was worth it to get a more modern LMS."

"CWPro from Chalk & Wire. A great means of accepting multimodal assessment forms, with excellent reporting and data analytic tools for tracking student progress across their degree."

Silver: Zoom

What readers said: "Zoom: flawless web conferencing that is Java-free. Continuous improvement of features, great tech support."

Learning Management Systems & E-Learning Platforms

Platinum: Blackboard Learn
Gold: Instructure Canvas
Silver: Moodle


Platinum: Chalk & Wire
Gold: Instructure Canvas
Silver: Blackboard Learn

Other Instructional Tools

Platinum: Grammarly
Silver: Discovery Education Streaming Plus

Top 10 Favorite Technologies Currently Used

Our survey asked, "What are your three favorite technologies that you currently use in your capacity as an education professional?" Readers answered with everything from day-to-day productivity tools to video recording gadgets. Here's how their responses ranked:

1) Microsoft Office/Office 365
2) Guidebook
3) Chalk & Wire
4) Instructure Canvas
5) Blackboard Learn
6) Apple hardware (desktops, laptops, iPad, iPhone)
7) Google G Suite and Zoom
8) Sonic Foundry Mediasite
9) Ellucian Banner, Kaltura and Moodle (tie)
10) D2L and Swivl (tie)

Student Information Systems

Platinum: Ellucian
Gold: Blackbaud
Silver: Oracle PeopleSoft

Enterprise Resource Planning

Platinum: Ellucian
Gold: Oracle PeopleSoft
Silver: SAP

Constituent Relationship Management

Platinum: Ellucian
Gold: Salesforce
Silver: Oracle

Student Success/Retention

Platinum: Ellucian
Gold: Starfish by Hobsons
Silver (tie): Blackboard Predict and Campus Labs

Content & Website Management

Platinum: WordPress
Gold: Drupal
Silver: Oracle WebCenter Content

Student Response Systems & Classroom Engagement

Platinum: i>Clicker
Gold: Kahoot
Silver: Poll Everywhere

Lecture Capture

Platinum: Panopto
Gold (tie): Blackboard and Sonic Foundry Mediasite
Silver (tie): Google Hangouts and Kaltura

Document Cameras

Platinum: Elmo USA
Gold: Samsung
Silver: Smart Technologies


Platinum: Epson
Gold: Sony
Silver: Panasonic

Interactive Whiteboards, Displays, Flat Panels & Kiosks

Platinum: Smart Technologies
Gold: Epson
Silver: LG

Videoconferencing & Web Conferencing

Platinum: Zoom
Gold: GoToMeeting
Silver: Cisco WebEx

Virtual Classroom/Meeting Software

Platinum: Zoom
Gold (tie): Cisco WebEx and GoToMeeting
Silver: Blackboard Collaborate

Classroom Audio Distribution/Sound Enhancement

Platinum: Smart Technologies
Gold: AtlasIED
Silver (tie): FrontRow, Listen Technologies and TeachLogic

Captioning Tools

Platinum: TechSmith Camtasia
Gold: YouTube
Silver (tie): 3Play Media and Adobe Premiere Pro

Classroom Presentation Software

Platinum: Microsoft PowerPoint
Gold: Prezi
Silver: Apple Keynote

Office/Productivity Suite

Platinum: Microsoft Office/Office 365
Gold: Google G Suite
Silver: Adobe Creative Cloud

Multimedia Authoring Suites & Creative Software

Platinum: Adobe Creative Cloud
Gold: Apple Creativity Apps
Silver: Ubuntu Studio

E-Learning Authoring

Platinum: Adobe Creative Cloud
Gold: TechSmith Camtasia
Silver: Articulate Storyline 360

Media Tablets

Platinum: Apple iPad
Gold: Samsung Galaxy Tablets
Silver: HP Pro Slate


Platinum: Dell
Gold: HP
Silver: Acer

Windows Tablets

Platinum: Microsoft Surface
Gold (tie): HP and Lenovo
Silver: Dell

Convertible Notebooks/2-in-1 Notebooks

Platinum: Dell
Gold: Lenovo
Silver: HP


Platinum: Dell
Gold: Apple
Silver: HP

Virtual Desktops and Thin Clients

Platinum: VMware
Gold: Dell Wyse
Silver: HP Thin Client

3D Printers

Platinum: HP
Gold: Stratasys MakerBot
Silver: Robo

Wireless Access Points & Hotspots

Platinum: Cisco
Gold: Netgear
Sliver: Aruba Networks/HP

Network Management, Monitoring and Analysis

Platinum: Cisco
Gold: Microsoft
Silver: HP

Mobile Device Management

Platinum (tie): Google and AT&T
Gold: Jamf
Silver: VMware AirWatch

Looking Back

Check out the 2016 Readers' Choice Awards to see how the rankings compare to this year's winner list.

Firewall Software

Platinum: Microsoft Windows Firewall
Gold: Norton 360
Silver: Kaspersky Lab

Firewall Hardware/Appliance

Platinum: Cisco
Gold (tie): Sophos and Fortinet
Silver: Barracuda Networks

Antivirus Tools

Platinum: Symantec/Norton
Gold: Sophos
Silver: McAfee

Emergency Notification Services

Platinum: Campus Alerts
Gold: Rave Mobile Safety
Silver: Blackboard Mass Notifications

Who Voted

Our 2017 Readers' Choice Awards polled 624 respondents across a variety of higher education roles and institutions. The breakdown of job categories:

  • 40.9% Administrators
  • 23.1% Faculty
  • 16.2% IT staff
  • 4.5% AV specialists
  • 3.9% Consultants (not employed by vendors)
  • 2.7% Library/media specialists
  • 8.8% Other

And the breakdown of institution types:

  • 64.7% Public
  • 21.3% Private nonprofit
  • 8.7% Private for-profit
  • 5.3 % Other post-secondary

Respondents didn't necessarily vote in every category.

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