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New Report: Education in the IT Market

A new report from CompTIA, or the Computing Technology Industry Association, outlines the IT needs, obstacles, and attitudes of the education market.

The report, which is broken down into four parts, surveyed 500 U.S. educators and administrators, roughly 350 of whom are from the K-12 sector. About 78 percent of those surveyed agreed technology had a net positive impact on education, but varied their level of satisfaction with the educational technology implementation, as well as obstacles impeding IT goals.

The overall K-12 IT market is worth roughly $9.1 billion, the report said, making it a sizeable part of the IT market. But by far the obstacles most cited as barriers to IT were financial, including school budgets, the initial cost of products, and a freeze on capital expenditures. And K-12 educators didn't appear optimistic about that changing. About half expected those obstacles to remain at the same level during the next year, while 27 percent predicted those obstacles would worsen during that time frame.

Not surprisingly, the level of technology availability and educator satisfaction with technology correlated with the size of the school's operating budget. For example, the report found 74 percent of schools with operating budgets of $100 million or more reported using e-learning in classrooms, while only 34 percent of schools with operating budgets of less than $5 million reported e-learning use. Also, the schools with the smallest budgets reported the least amount of satisfaction with the current technology in their classrooms.

The technology that sparked the most educator interest, according to this survey, was interactive whiteboards, followed by netbooks and tablets. While only 12 and 11 percent of schools reported using smartphones or tablet computers, respectively, 80 percent of K-12 schools have wireless in place, suggesting a push toward mobile learning in the future, the survey said.

The survey, "Education Opportunities in the IT Market," will be officially released on June 26 at the upcoming ISTE conference in Philadelphia, which, by the way, the staff of Digital Directions will be attending. Hopefully we'll see you there!

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