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Education Trends: More Mobile, More Distance Learning, More LMS Usage

Netbooks are leading K-12 mobile device sales, growing at 200 percent per year. Learning management systems--rather than controlling the learning environment for children--are actually augmenting interactions between the teacher and student. And one in five schools and districts that don't already offer online courses expect to do so in the next two school years. Those are some of the many observations that surface in the latest set of reports on K-12 and postsecondary education technology markets produced by the Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association, a trade association for the software and digital content industry.

SIIA Trends Report for Education Technology highlights industry shifts and emerging trends as they relate to five topics: K-12 learning management systems, postsecondary learning management systems, online learning, mobile computing, and the state of education in the face of increasing budget cuts at the state level.

"The purpose of this report was to identify the opportunities, challenges, and potential areas for growth in K-12 and higher education institutions with regards to education technology," said Karen Billings, vice president SIIA's Education Division. "We aimed to find where technology has the greatest impact and where it can provide the most prolific benefits moving forward."

"K-12 Learning Management Systems" shows how this crop of LMS application is augmenting the teacher and student interactions as well as the social learning interactions between children.

"Postsecondary Learning Management Systems" explores how the LMS market has changed in postsecondary institutions and what institutions are likely to see in the future.

"Online Learning" lays out five trends in this segment of the education market and notes barriers and challenges for those attempting to navigate the opportunities.

"Mobile Computing" examines how the rapid shift in desktop computers to academic mobile computing devices represents both a concern and an opportunity for educational software publishers.

"State of the States" gives a detailed look at the current economic condition of education from a state point of view, examines how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus funds are affecting schools, and provides predictions on the anticipated economic health of schools over the next two years.

The report, which is 144 pages, is free to SIIA members and $149 for non-members.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.