Classroom tools continue to attract K-12 budget allocation in the USA, with districts predicting average spends of $396,000 by the end of 2022. That’s according to a new research study from Futuresource Consulting, and represents a slight increase on 2021’s figures.
Learning management systems (LMS) are leading the charge, deployed in around half of all districts, with a further 37% expecting to invest in a system over the next 12 to 24 months. The study also found that the majority of districts are using two or more vendors for the provision of their LMS systems, adding to the competitive and highly lucrative nature of the sector.
“Despite the upsurge, it’s not all sunshine and opportunity in the LMS sector,” says Melanie Tagg, Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “In this wave of research, we’ve seen satisfaction levels fall off, with just over half of respondents saying they are happy with their solution. In last year’s study, that figure was 70%.
“Saving teachers’ time, tailored learning, and improving interactions with parents were flagged as key areas for improvement. These could be the crucial battlegrounds for vendors as we move forward into 2023.”
Use of communication tools beyond the installed LMS system also featured highly across all districts, with video conferencing and classroom engagement messaging tools most likely to be used by teachers and students.
Digital Assessment Tools Climbing Through the Ranks
Digital assessment tools are also on the rise. One third of respondents confirmed they are currently using them, though more than half of the remainder expected to introduce digital tools in the near future. The Futuresource study also uncovered growing demand for AI and machine learning as part of the automated assessment offering.
“STEM technologies remain a significant feature on the K-12 landscape,” says Tagg, “though they tend to be used mainly for extra-curricular classes and clubs, rather than core teaching activities. Despite this, spend on STEM technologies has grown considerably since last year’s wave of research, with more than three in four respondents allocating in excess of 5% of their budget to STEM investment.
“While mixed and virtual reality, as well as coding tools, have made some inroads into the core curriculum, over the next two years augmented reality and robotics will become the main STEM growth areas in terms of both usage and investment levels.”
Futuresource expects classroom tools to continue their ascendance in 2023, rising to an average spend of $400,000 per district, representing nearly 20% growth since 2020. Expansion will be focused on digital learning materials, while spend on traditional learning tools such as textbooks will continue to decline at a steady rate.
This latest Futuresource K-12 education study is based on interviews with IT decision-makers within 403 school districts across all 50 US states. Results are captured in Futuresource Consulting’s EdTech Voice: Classroom Tools report, one in a regular series of four education technology reports issued by the specialist research firm. For more information on these reports or to make a purchase, please contact email@example.com
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