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Breaking Away From Tradition: In the K-12 Education Market

by Stephanie Atkinson 7. May 2012 14:24

There are a number of key technology trends driving K-12 Education this year, and most of the activity is centered around mobility, accessibility, and personalized education.  As students of all ages embrace wireless devices and even gaming systems that have access to the Internet and connect wirelessly, the industry is forced to address the issue of mobility.  Wireless solutions including the use of iPADs in schools, eReader devices to read digital content, virtual whiteboards, or even laptops or netbooks brought in or supplied by the school, are becoming an accepted trend for instructional and learning purposes.  As you move up to junior high or even high schools, this is even more the case as older students expect to be able to access, learn, and communicate around the learning environment and want to use devices that they interact with on a daily basis.  In addition, these tools are enabling personalized education.  Mobile and traditional applications have built-in preferences and can even start to form “memory” around your preferred computer or learning behavior. Applications and software are becoming more personalized, and this is expected to continue for quite some time.

US K-12 Education Total IT Expenditures, 2011-2016

Some of the Current Trends Affecting the US K-12 Education Market 

  •  New technology which reduces printed classroom materials and supports green IT initiatives. Education institutions are moving to provide that same material electronically to students on classroom provided tablets and handheld devices such as iPods and smartphones.  
  • Implementation of more digital based content, such as digital textbooks, which are transferrable to classroom tablets. Students can annotate their documents and transfer files at the end of class. Digital textbooks will include not only text and pictures but also video, Web sites, simulations, visualizations and testing environments.
  • More use of social networking for learning in 2012.
  • Educational organization's learning platform selection process has become more stringent to ensure they invest in the right learning platforms for teachers and students alike.
  • In the United States, the K-12 Education market is about 10 years behind the Higher Education with regard to technology adoption, this is due to less academic liberty at the K-12 level, which hinders technology adoption.
  • Server consolidation, cooling technologies, and growing virtualization needs are helping to reduce infrastructure costs in K-12 IT operations.
  • Increased use and adoption of application-based computer managed learning, where educators use computers to assess a students’ education level, assign work based on each student’s level of knowledge, score the material, and track students’ overall progress. 
  • State and local government district funding will continue to be a restraint in 2012. Until the economy improves and state and local budgets follow suit, districts, schools and teachers will be expected to do more with less.

Related Reports:

  • Why Enterprise Wi-Fi is Becoming Ubiquitous in the Higher Education Sector
  • Learning Management in Education: Robust LMS Performance and Use in Higher Education
  • U.S. Education Snapshot: Use of Applications in the Education Sector
  • Virtualization in Education: A Look at the Latest Trends and Happenings

Related Research:

  • Education
  • Education Pulse

Please visit Compass Intelligence to learn more: and visit our Thought Leaders Research Page to learn more about The Pulse of the Thought Leaders Panel

Stephanie Atkinson - Managing Partner at Compass Intelligence, High-Tech Consultant/Analyst, Mother, TX Aggie, Dallas native, TX hillcountry resident, Interests: Tech, Telecom, Mobility, M2M,and the use of Tech in business.  You can reach her at or follow her on twitter.

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