Promising Practices for Student Learning

It’s been three years since our first report on mobile technology. And, wow, have we seen this market surge. In the 2012 National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education, 54% had adopted mobile technology in 25% or more schools. Today, the 2014 survey shows that the large majority of respondents (71%) have adopted.

Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 12.59.56 PMToday, educators are more savvy about the teaching practices that improve student learning, and in the Business Edition: 2014 National Survey on Mobile Technology, over 120 respondents, with titles ranging from Technology Director to CIO, detail the teaching practices that have been most promising. These responses provide educational technology companies with insights into what’s working, and most importantly, what’s on the horizon for mobile tech. Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 12.19.20 PMHere’s a sneak peek at two of the 129 verbatim responses from the business edition of the 2014 survey.

“For science, our students are creating and presenting projects using their iPads and Apple TVs. In math we have teachers who are “flipping the classroom” by videotaping and demonstrating material and lessons so students can work on homework remotely. In our elementary, we have carts of iPads that are utilized for instructional enhancement for Math and Reading. Students use the iPads as learning centers.”

“Looking at the three elements of great teaching and creating a transformed Teaching Pedagogy . . . Chromebooks have done this better than any other device or tool added to our classrooms . . . . You ask for examples: Social Studies for 7-8 grades have been transformed. Students actively participate in discussions about current events as well as historical events . . . . Students with the usage of Google Drive are working on their assignments on the buses to and from school using their mobile phones . . . There are no worries about an individual not having the proper tools to be fully engaged with the lesson. Again collaborations are keys to the whole lesson . . . . ”

The responses in this year’s survey provide companies with deep insight into how mobile technology is being used in the classroom. Purchase the full report here.

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Who buys apps for education?

About a year ago, I asked a teacher friend how she decides which apps to use in her classroom. She responded, “Well, a bunch of us get together on our own time and we gush over our favorite apps for student instruction while sharing a bottle of wine.” Teachers who love good technology will always tell their friends; it’s a timeless tale.

But many of you may wonder: Who actually is responsible for buying apps?  In the National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education–published by the independent research firm IESD, Inc.–we asked, “Where in your district is the PRIMARY responsibility for selection and purchase of apps for mobile technology?” Respondents could choose from:

  • District curriculum department
  • District level instructional technology department
  • District Information Technology Director/CIO/CTO
  • School level
  • Varies depending on the app
  • To be determined
  • Other

Only 19.6% indicated that the purchasing decision for apps is made at the school level. A detailed breakdown of responses is available in the full report along with analysis for larger and small districts.

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Are schools adopting tablets on a 1:1 basis?

“An iPad is like a toothbrush. You could share it, but why would you want to?” Anonymous

There seems to be a Utopian vision that one day all students will go to school fully equipped with a low-cost tablet device, paid for by the school, and fully loaded with software apps that personalize student instruction. I hear about high schools in Massachusetts providing 1:1 iPads for their students, and I practically want to pack up my family and move east.

But are schools across the country really adopting iPads on a 1:1 basis? My ten-year old’s school in Oregon had a fundraiser just last year to raise enough money for one laptop for the art literacy program. It took two months. And a high school around the corner from me bought a set of iPads for students to share, but they had implementation issues and the technology just sat around unused.

Business plans often make an assumption that iPad adoptions will be 1:1 and that schools will buy an app for each student. Is that what is really happening in schools across America?

In the Business Edition of the 2012 National Survey on Mobile Technology, IESD Inc.–an independent research firm in New York–asked district-level educators: “In your district which is most true?”

Educators could choose from:

  • Classrooms have 1 to 1 ratio of mobile devices to students.
  • Classrooms have a small set of mobile devices that students share.
  • A cart with a class set of mobile devices is shared by multiple classrooms.
  • Some classrooms have a full class set of mobile devices and some don’t.
  • Some classrooms have a small class set of mobile devices and some don’t.­­­

For districts that reported either current iPad adoptions or adoptions in the next 1-2 years, only 11% of respondents (whose titles included CIO, CTO, and district instructional technology director) reported a 1 to 1 ratio of mobile devices to students. A detailed breakdown of responses to each choice is available in the Business Edition of the report from IESD.)

Our next blog post will address marketing apps: Who buys? Who influences purchase and how do you reach them?

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Do Educators Use Education Volume Purchasing Through iTunes?

In our last blog post we looked at the question: Do educators expect all apps to be free? Luckily, we discovered that educators value software that helps them individualize instruction and that engages their students. Whew!

But we also know that education pricing has to be affordable for schools, especially as our schools face continued budget cuts. So how does iTunes discount for education play into the equation? Are educators aware of the 50% discount, and do they use it when purchasing apps?

First, let’s look at why this important to education companies. To build an education app that is engaging and pedagogically sound, that individualizes instruction, and that is an overall rock star in the software space is expensive. Sometimes, it is really expensive.

Just to make the math easy, let’s say an education company invests 100K creating a software app. If it prices that app at $2.99 and a school uses Education Volume Purchasing through iTunes, the educator gets a well deserved 50% discount and pays $1.50. Apple, of course, gets a 30% cut, which means the developer makes about a buck from each app sold. Just to break even, a company has to then sell a hundred thousand copies of the app.

Whether or not educators use Education Volume Purchasing through iTunes has a big impact on pricing strategy.

In the Business Edition of the 2012 National Survey on Mobile Technology, IESD Inc.–an independent research firm in New York–asked district-level educators, “Does your district use Education Volume Purchasing through iTunes?” Educators could choose from:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Never heard of it
  • Don’t purchase Apple apps

Surprisingly, 31.8% of respondents (whose titles included CIO, CTO, and district instructional technology director) are aware of the discount but still responded “No”.(A detailed breakdown of responses to each choice is available in the Business Edition of the report from IESD.)

Stay tuned for our December blog post, which will look at what percentage of schools are adopting 1:1 models of tablet devices.

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Should All Apps Be Free for Education?

“Apps should be free”, my friend, a chief technology officer at a local school, recently told me. “If we were to get great apps for little or no money, tablet devices would transform education. They would replace computers, calculators, and even textbooks.”

I get it–I really do. I have worked for businesses that serve education since 1997, and I am a parent whose son is in the public school system. I have seen budgets slashed to the bone, extraordinary teachers fired because of lack of funding, and bakes sales conducted to raise money for playground equipment. I applaud my friend’s passion to lower the total cost of ownership for technology in schools. But in this case, he’s wrong.

All apps should not be free, and when it comes to apps for tablet devices that educators view as essential to teaching, many educators agree with me. In the Business Edition of the 2012 National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education, IESD Inc.–an independent research firm in New York–asked educators, “What is the highest price you would expect to pay per student for an app considered ESSENTIAL for student instruction?” The choices were:

  • $15 to $39.99
  • $10 to $14.99
  • $6 to $9.99
  • $4.00 to $5.99
  • $2.00 to $3.99
  • $.99 to $1.99
  • I expect all apps to be free

Surprisingly, only 15.8% of educators–whose titles included CIO, CTO, and district instructional technology director–believed that all apps should be free if the app is considered essential to teaching. (A detailed breakdown of responses to each price category is available in the Business Edition of the report from IESD. The survey also asks a similar question about apps categorized as supplemental to teaching.)

Why shouldn’t apps be free for education? Because creating and developing good content with exceptional interactivity for students is tough and it costs money. Those companies that do it well, that build content from the standards, and that agonize over the pedagogy and the interactivity, invest a lot of time and money. They key is providing the best content possible at the lowest price. That’s what great companies, those committed to improving education at affordable pricing, base their business upon.

My educator friend that wants all apps to be free, well, he is also right. He’s right because he wants technology to provide an overall, low cost of total ownership for education. He is an educator who wants value, and he aspires for technology that can be personalized, engaging, and interactive for students. And everything about that is right.

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New! 2012 National Survey on Mobile Technology for K-12 Education, Corporate and Non-Profit Edition

Wondering which tablets are being adopted for student instruction in K-12 education or which apps educators find most useful? This new report, published by IESD in collaboration with STEM Market Impact, surveys Technology Directors, CIOs, CTOs, and Media Directors to help answer those questions.

Market Research that is Actionable

If you are a CEO, marketer or product developer for K-12 education, you will find this market-research report explores many of the questions you have been asking:

– Are mobile devices and tablets being adopted rapidly in K-12 education?
– Are schools adopting iPads, Kindles, Google Chromebooks or other devices?
– Do you need to develop apps for a BYOD environment?
– Who are the key purchasers and influencers for apps for student instruction?

 

– Do educators expect all apps to be free?
– How do you market apps for student instruction in K-12 education?
– Which benefits are driving mobile-device adoption for student instruction?

Click here to download the Table of Contents for the for the Mobile Technology Report.

The 2012 National Survey on Mobile Technology, Business Edition, is only available as a digital download. A Small Organization Site License for 1-20 readers costs $399. A large company site license is available for $975.

Click here to purchase.

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New! 2012 National Survey on STEM Education–Corporate and Non-Profit Edition

“The high level view of the STEM landscape in the National Survey on STEM echoes a lot of what we’re seeing as developers, but also brings into focus surprising new insights. It has really set us buzzing here, and a number of issues raised are directly actionable for us. We also really appreciate seeing such high quality analysis combined with the actual source data; this report goes above and beyond in terms of transparency and methodology and this really boosts our confidence in the data presented.”

Seth Meyers
Founder and COO
Simulation Curriculum Corp

Market Analysis That is Actionable
The third in a series of National Surveys on STEM Education, the 2012 report contains 147 pages of detailed data and analysis and it delves into current trends including:

  • Tablet devices and apps for STEM
  • Technology most desired by STEM leaders
  • Implementation of the BYOD model for STEM
  • PD, including the Next Generation of Science Standards

 

Core topics of research:

  • Funding projections, priorities, and sources for STEM education
  • STEM courses currently offered and likely to be offered
  • Most important challenges facing STEM education
  • Over 700 open-ended responses from STEM educators about products they would most like to see developed for STEM.

Download the Table of Contents.

High-Quality Analysis and Methodology
The third in a series of industry reports on STEM Education co-developed by IESD, Inc. and STEM Market Impact, LLC, the new 2012 National Survey on STEM Education  is the only report developed by leading experts in both STEM education and market research. The report includes an executive summary, analysis by role in STEM, and analysis by grade level.

Go to 2012 National Survey on STEM Education–Corporate and Non-Profit Edition

Are you a STEM leader and educator? Our friends at Learning.com have sponsored the Educator Edition of the 2012 National Survey on STEM Report. This version of the report excludes information on funding projections and sources, as well as the 700+ open-ended responses about product development. Click here for the Educator Edition.

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Who’s Funding STEM?

Over the last few years there has been a lot of talk about STEM education. But have you ever wondered, “Who’s funding it?”

According to a report by the National Science and Technology Council, the feds spent 3.4 billion just in 2011 through 252 distinct investments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table below summarizes STEM investments detailed in the report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But according to the 2012 National Survey on STEM Report, if you ask STEM educators, “What funding sources will provide NEW initiatives for STEM education in your school?”, 40.9% will respond “grants from private foundations.” Over 230 respondents in the report go on to detail Apple grants, PTC funding, and contributions from individuals. STEM educators cite STEM grants from small companies like Vernier and from large companies like Google or Microsoft. They even tell stories of grants from the Red Sox Foundation and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

So who’s funding STEM?

It looks like we all are. It’s great that the federal government is spending 3.4 billion in STEM, but it is even more inspiring to hear stories of companies, individuals, and foundations investing to help educate our next generation of scientists and engineers.

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2011 Survey on STEM Education–FREE on Einstein’s Birthday!

The offer below expired on March 21st.

The 2012 Survey on STEM will be available for purchase by the end of March! If you want to be notified as soon as the report is available, sign up for STEM updates in the box on the right.

Happy Birthday, Einstein! For all you CEOs, Marketers, and Product Developers that create products and services for the next generation of Einsteins, we are giving away a copy of the 2011 Survey on STEM Education (a $339 value). This offer is valid for one week, starting on March 14th through March 21st! We hope you find nuggets of information that help you drive business growth, develop marketing plans, and continue to educate the young geniuses we support.

The 2012 National Survey on STEM will be available by the end of March and is packed with even more essential data on the STEM market. ($339 small organization site license, $975 large company site license). This year’s survey covers more topics and includes updates on funding priorities, areas projected for growth, the tablet and app market in STEM, and the types of professional development most valued by educators. The 2012 Survey also reports over 700 responses by STEM leaders detailing the types of technology and apps they would like to see developed for STEM education.

Key Topics for Business Strategy

  • Spending analysis
  • Funding sources
  • Growth and opportunities
  • STEM businesses and non-profits most valued by educators
  • STEM courses currently and likely to be offered
  • E-book reader technology
  • iPads as a funding priority
  • Top challenges facing STEM
  • Over 250 detailed responses with
    PD opportunities

From the 2011 National Survey on STEM Education

Schools/Districts Integration of STEM: Currently and in the Next 1-3 Years.

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2012 Educator Edition of the National Survey on STEM Report

Last month, the Corporate Edition of the 2012 National Survey on STEM Education was published covering topics such as: STEM funding priorities, projections for STEM funding, and over 700 open-ended responses detailing the types of technology STEM educators would like to see developed. That survey has now been used by dozens of STEM companies to help define the products and services available for STEM students in the United States.

In the meantime, many STEM educators have followed this blog and asked the question, “Can I get a free copy?”. Now you can.

Thanks to a sponsorship by Learning.com, the Educator Edition of the 2012 National Survey on STEM Education may be downloaded here.

Topics include:

  • Top challenges facing STEM education
  • STEM integration: currently and in the next 1-3 years
  • STEM courses currently offered and those likely to be offered in the next 1-3 years
  • BYOD implementation
  • Tablet devices
  • Non-profits most valuable to STEM
  • Professional development judged most helpful to STEM educators

A big thanks goes out to our friends at Learning.com for making this research available for all those educators teaching the next generation of scientists and engineers. Go to Learning.com to get the full report.

If you are a business or non-profit and need information on funding priorities, funding projections, or over 700 open-ended responses detailing products educators would like to see developed for STEM, check out the Corporate Edition.

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