The educational software and digital content market is performing well, showing growth of 3.5 percent higher than predicted between 2010 and 2011, reaching a total market value of $7.76 billion, according to a report by the Washington-based Software & Information Industry Association.
Though revenue from content-based software declined by about 2 percent during 2011, big gains in sales for professional development and testing software (12 percent increase) and administrative software tools (17 percent increase) contributed significantly to the total market value.
"The 2011 U.S. Education Technology Industry Market: PreK-12 Report" also identifies reasons why the ed-tech market is likely to continue expanding, pointing specifically to the rise of bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, models and a desire for more data tools to prepare for the Common Core State Standards. But the report cautions that a weak economy and reduced government funding could prevent future growth in the market.
"We're excited to see the overall market grow in these trying economic times. We're happy to see more of the effects of the print-to-digital transition," John Richards, president of Consulting Services for Education Inc., which conducted the survey, said in a press release.
According to the report, per-grade spending was spread relatively evenly among elementary, middle, and high schools.
We've written quite a bit this year about the changing dynamics in the education marketplace and how the increasing flow of venture capital into K-12 and a renewed focus on technology are creating opportunities for education software companies. But increasingly unpredictable economic trends and shaky government funding levels have made the educational technology market difficult to predict in recent years.