2020 Year in Review at PhilOnEdTech

Well this has been an interesting year. With one more client meeting left, it’s time to clean up inboxes, take stock of the past year, and share the top blog post of 2020 for PhilOnEdTech. Before I do that, I want to take time and thank our readers and my wonderful guest authors (Kevin Kelly, Stephanie Moore, Laura Czerniewicz, Clay Shirky, and Jeanette Wiseman).

I’m not sure how other bloggers have been affected, but I have seen newsletter reading grow to be larger than website reading, albeit with different patterns. Below I am sharing the Top 20 posts published in 2020, ranked by total opens in our email service, total page views based on Google Analytics, and an overall rank combining those two metrics.


  • This blog tends to have a long tail, with posts having significant readership many months after posting. Therefore there is a bias in the rankings with posts written earlier in the year. But an even bigger bias is Covid and the huge uptick in readers in March through May 2020, as people were trying to figure out what was going to happen in future academic terms.

  • We have different readers who subscribe to the newsletter and those who read on the website (we put out a full-post feed in the newsletter and allow forwarding). As the newsletter becomes more important over time, it seems a greater percentage of website visitors are people discovering a post through social media or search rankings, often people who have never heard of the blog. Much of this web traffic come during the crazy spring months mentioned above – nearly 30% of total blog post page views came from posts ranked 1-3 and 5-6. Newsletter readers are naturally more consistent.

  • To take two examples of this different behavior: The “Two out of five college presidents” post was huge on the website (ranked #2), but moderately read on the newsletter (ranked #19). On the other side “Fall 2020 Enrollment in US” post was widely read and shared by email (ranked #3) but very lightly read on the website (ranked #70). I have little desire to understand SEO beyond a cursory level, so someone else can figure out those rankings.

  • It’s great to see the great additions from guest authors, with Kevin Kelly even taking the top spot with the HyFlex topic, and other Top 20 additions from Stephanie Moore and Laura Czerniewicz.

  • In terms of broad topics, Covid / Online education, LMS Market, EdTech disasters, and the OPM Market are the most read this year.