As part of a yearlong project examining the State of Edtech, EdSurge has published a list of what they consider the most important edtech trends for 2016. The usual suspects appear on the list – data privacy, infrastructure, assessments, etc. – but two that stand out for the learning resource industry are edtech business models and free products. Acknowledging that each group of stakeholders in the community has a different perspective on how the trend will impact education, the report looks at these trends through the eyes of teachers, administrators, companies, and investors.
Edtech Business Models
With investment in K-12 edtech companies rising to $1.1 billion in 2015, the call for ROI is heard clearly throughout the sector. The large number of current and new edtech companies means, though, that everyone is fighting for the same customers. From the educator and administrator points of view, there are concerns not just about quality of new products but also whether or not the product and company will survive. From the company perspective trying to figure out the best procurement method for a product, as well as standing out in the marketplace, is key. That means understanding the issues important to educators and how they are making their purchasing decisions.
Free can have various meanings in the edtech market, like free for now versus free to adapt, and can be of varying quality and effectiveness. For administrators, the allure of free is the ability to reallocate funds to other critical needs; for teachers, it’s the ability to supplement existing resources according to individual classroom needs, although finding and vetting the resources can be time-consuming. The investors in this study, though, are drawn more to the freemium model or one where content is free, but there are opportunities to sell additional services.
Read more at The State of Edtech from EdSurge.
At the 2016 CIC, we will be examining the growth of OER, why it’s become such a pressing issue in our industry, and models of success for OER and commercial publishers working together.