What’s Trending in Ed Tech So Far This Year?
Despite slow growth in other consumer markets, Futuresource Consulting reports that sales of laptops, tablets and mobile devices in the education sector grew 18 percent year over year from 2015 to 2016, and 2017 is on par for continued growth.
These numbers fortify the investment that technology giants like Google and Microsoft have made, reports the press release from Futuresource.
“PC provider’s laser focus on the education sector is good news for schools and students,” says Mike Fisher, Futuresource’s associate director of education. “2017 will see wide ranges of computing devices, designed specifically for education and at competitive price points, entering the market and vying to be the device of choice for learning.”
Futuresource reports that in 2016, devices with Chrome OS made up 58 percent of the K–12 purchases — up 8 percent since 2015. Windows OS made up 22 percent of purchases, not growing or declining since the year prior.
Futuresource estimates that Microsoft will make more strides with new technologies to take a bigger part of the education market. It predicts that 2-in-1 devices will be where most education competition will be in 2017.
Microsoft Makes Significant Tech Investments
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced what the company considers to be its biggest education sector investments.
These announcements included: Windows 10 S, a new cloud-manageable operating system created with direct feedback from educators; Microsoft Teams for the classroom, an expansion of the collaborative chat tool with capabilities to bring in Word and PowerPoint for annotation; and a new Surface laptop.
“We’ve always been focused on education,” says Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s vice president of worldwide education, in a Periscope interview with EdTech. “I think what’s going on is that the range of technologies are getting far more innovative, so we’ve got to make a bold cross-company statement like never before.”
Google and Microsoft Plan to Release 2-in-1 Devices
Much in line with Futuresource’s prediction, Google announced in the late spring that it’d be releasing the first ever 2-in-1 Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung.
“Educators are looking for a device that can do everything for a student,” says Rajen Sheth, director of product for Chrome for Education, in a digital roundtable covered by EdTech. “A device needs to be a laptop, a tablet, a textbook and a notebook. It’s not about replacing what is in the classroom, but really augmenting what is in the classroom.”
A Windows OS-powered Lenovo N24, a convertible notebook with 360-degree screen rotation and active pen with support for Windows ink, will also be out later this year.