Will an iPhone or iPad be on the list of required school supplies soon? It’s quite possible.
Traditionally for resellers, VARs or service providers, entry into the education market was limited due to the fact that it was primarily a Mac environment. Instead, they focused on PC-compatible industries outside of education.
But that is no longer the case. The massive adoption of iPhones and the proliferation of iPads into corporate business have caused solution providers to be mobile experts across all platforms. This has now opened the doors for them to better penetrate the K-12 market. And the opportunities are certainly there, especially as technology continues to be embraced by educators, according to a recent CompTIA study.
The study, “The Changing Classroom: Perspectives from Students and Educators on the Role of Technology,” reveals that both students and educators alike are extremely positive with regards to applying technology to education. This report is based on two online surveys conducted last September: one involving 400 U.S. educators and administrators in the K-12 sector surveyed and the other involving 1,000 middle school and high school students.
According to the study, the implementation of technology into the education system goes way beyond better reaching and teaching children. It also provides students with the necessary technology skills, as the workforce becomes more digital.
For solution providers looking to continue serving the education market better or break into it, there are some technologies that are growing faster than others, such as classroom management software and e-learning solutions, the survey revealed.
In fact, about 75 percent of the schools surveyed said they either currently use or plan to use e-learning software with about 66 percent of teachers and staff saying they currently use or plan to use classroom management software.
“These tools facilitate online homework, accommodate students out for extended sick periods and make online collaboration between students and teachers easier,” said Carolyn April, senior director, Industry Analysis at CompTIA, in a prepared statement. “In many ways the education process is mirroring the way corporate America functions: remote access capabilities, teacher and student mobility and a 24/7 availability environment.”
In addition to the longstanding, traditional technologies used in school environments including printers, scanners, desktop PCs and A/V equipment, mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred tools for students and teachers, according to CompTIA. This is creating an enormous opportunity for solution providers with mobile and security expertise.
The study also revealed that technology is changing teaching methods as well, with nearly 50 percent of elementary school teachers and 20 percent of high school teachers reporting incorporating game-based learning in the classroom.
Not keeping up with technology innovation will have its consequences, the study stated. For instance, 43 percent of teachers and staff are concerned with falling behind in a digital economy; 25 percent believe it leads to lower staff and teacher productivity; and 22 percent feel it contributes to lower student achievement.
There are many opportunities for solution providers and mobile and cloud computing continue to evolve and dominate the technology landscape. The education market is in need of their expertise.
Knock 'em alive!