The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has released results of it new study called "IT Opportunities in the Education Market." The survey was intended to help providers of IT and AV services to the education market better understand how their products and services are used, what the benefits are, and what opportunities are currently available.
The key points summarized in the report include:
- • A net 78% of U.S. K-12 and higher educators believe the proliferation of technology has had a net positive impact on overall education results, processes and performance.
- • More than half of educators from K-12 and higher education said improving student performance was their chief priority in the use of technology. But that’s not the only priority. Nearly half (44%) of respondents want technology to help them become more efficient and boost productivity, while more than a third see IT as an avenue to online learning.
- • 65% of educators agree or strongly agree that students are more productive today than they were three years ago due to the use of technology.
About 500 U.S.-based educators and administrators responded to the May survey. Carolyn April, director of Industry Analysis for CompTIA, said that the education market’s reliance on technology is only going to grow as innovations such as whiteboards and wireless solutions gain ground.
Some other key findings from the research:
- • The education market is clearly composed of early, middle and late adopters. About 21% of K-12 and 23% of Higher Ed schools are identified as early adopters. Most are middle adopters, so new tech introductions should focus on early adopter schools.
- • A quarter of higher education institutions have invested in cloud computing solutions, or plan to over the next 12 months. This could represent a large opportunity for IT providers to provide software as a service and offer IT infrastructure for a monthly fee - a nice alternative to capital expenses, which may be harder to obtain in this economic environment.
- • Unified communications solutions, which are the integration of voice and data services for better communication and collaboration, is getting a harder look. 40% plan to add this capability in the next year with smaller schools able to react more quickly.
- • 75% of teachers are using video or digital cameras in the classroom, but it is unclear how many are personal devices and which are owned by the school. As a result, bundling cameras could be a good opportunity for resellers, said the report.
- • Use of interactive whiteboards and student management/analytics software tops the list of technologies in use in the K-12 classroom, but other technologies are exciting to them too. The two figures show the list of what is exciting vs. what is used in K-12. E-readers and tablets are entering this space, but slowly. The same patterns are visible in higher education, except the adoption of e-readers and tablets is higher.
- • In K-12 and Higher Ed, improving the education experience is the number one driver. But differences in priorities are apparent after that
- • Wireless service is ubiquitous as eight in ten schools are already using it.
- • While educators agree technology has a positive impact on the educational environment and teaching students, there are still barriers to growth, including: budget cuts, initial investment costs and freezes on capital expenditures.
- • The opportunity for IT/AV providers remains strong. By focusing on untapped opportunities and understanding the specifics of solutions, providers can serve niche needs that can grow substantially.