Tech Trends | Research

Spending on Instructional Tech To Reach $19 Billion Within 5 Years

Spending on K-12 classroom hardware reached $13 billion worldwide in 2013. According to a new forecast from market research firm Futuresource Consulting, that's expected to hit $19 billion within five years.

The report, "Technology in Education: Global Trends, Universe Spend and Market Outlook," found that even with budget pressures, instructional/classroom technology saw 11 percent growth from 2012 to 2013 and should continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 8 percent through 2018. That's being driven in large part by the rise of mobile devices, which accounted for a full 62 percent of all instructional technology spending in K-12.

More than half of the worldwide institutional spending on mobile devices in 2013 — upwards of $4 billion — was seen in the United States. That's driven primarily by iPads and iPad minis. However, according to Colin Messenger, senior market analyst at Futuresource, Android and Windows devices are on the rise, and Chromebooks are beginning to pose significant competition.

"In the U.S., the big challenger at the moment to the iPad is the Chromebook, as opposed to Windows or Android-based devices," he told THE Journal. "That isn't to say that Android and Windows devices aren't seeing uptake, because they are. (Clear Creek [Independent] School District and [Central Unified School District in] Fresno are two good and recent examples of iPad alternatives.) In terms of Android and Windows devices uptake has been limited in the U.S. because Apple has a dedicated education team focusing solely on that sector, where as Windows and Android have a range of different manufacturers who all have varying degrees of focus on the U.S. education market. Outside of the U.S., Android is more accepted as a solution; however in the EMEA, iOS is still the dominate tablet OS. In APAC, there are a lot more cheaper Android tablets available from both familiar name manufacturers and white label companies."

Interactive displays also made up a significant portion of the 2013 ed tech hardware spend, with 1.4 million interactive displays, including interactive whiteboards, purchased by schools worldwide last year. Of those, a full 80 percent were purchased by American schools, according to Messenger.

Hardware covered in the report included notebooks and tablets; displays, projectors and interactive whiteboards; interactive polling tools; voice amplification systems; and other technologies commonly used in instruction. Software was not included in the forecast.

Futuresource Consulting will hold a webinar July 9 to discuss the findings. Additional details and registration can be found on the company's site.


About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .