Results of the Learning Counsel’s 2022 Digital Transition Survey were released during a widely watched market briefing by Learning Counsel CEO LeiLani Cauthen at the organization’s annual National Gathering event February 2nd, 2023.
Of the 2,468,678 surveys sent, 261,156 teachers and administrators in U.S. schools and districts of all kinds viewed the survey with 7,263 responses to many questions on the survey.
Top takeaways included:
In 2022, most schools got past the pandemic disorientation and spent more stimulus funds on tech.
- Total spend on edtech by K12s (public and private) was up by $6.7 B over 2021, or + 18.5% to $43.5 B. This Includes all computing and other hardware, networking, major software systems, and all digital curriculum resources. It does not include staffing or paper print resources.
- Digital curriculum and content saw the biggest jump in spend – up by $8.9 B to $23.9 B total in 2022. This includes Populated Learning Object Repositories (LORs), courseware, discrete digital learning objects for lesson plans, digital projects, learning Apps and Applets, video subscription sites, elearning curriculum, digital testing/assessment products and services. It is still well behind consumer spending on digital subscriptions and content.
- 2022 saw new pilots for Apps as a try-before-buy and compare-contrast wave swept the nation for the of schools and districts who were largely new to having computing devices out for every student the last two years. Districts who already were 1:1 with student devices were working towards a goal to refine and selectively retire duplicative subject Apps in favor of “the best one” long-term. In 2021’s Surveys, 63% of schools/districts expected an increase in digital curriculum spend. Going into 2023 this is only 35%.
- Hardware and Major Systems were significantly down – minus $2.2 B in total category spend, but still significantly higher than 2019. 2020-2021 were the biggest increases in spend on record for computing hardware, which the market is now maintaining. As school and districts shift to the cloud, on-premise hardware purchase appears to be going down, contributing to this overall decline.
- Office Suites have been implemented in greater than 62% of the market as quasi-learning management systems, sidelining a lot of the higher-value workflow framework systems. “Learning” management systems are also questioned as misnamed because they are more “Teaching” management than build for the workflow of independent learners, with student-centered workflow now a new pressure since the pandemic.
- Schools and districts also splurged on more traditional paper materials (many courseware companies also must provide accompanying print materials still), and general school construction.
- Approximately 10% of the increase in edtech spend is new charters and community schools, both virtual and physical, and both public and private.
- Parents and students are still outspending schools by $8.9 Billion. School spending rate on professional grade digital curriculum and courseware at an incredible rate in 2022, far more than expected. It will slide only slightly in growth in 2023 while other categories go negative in growth.
- The big winners for future spend are solutions that address:
- Attracting and retaining students (flexible scheduling, thrilling drones/VR/robotics), STEM curriculum of all kinds (especially coding),
- Fixing lower achievement, differentiation,
- Hybrid/blended service,
- Better digital instructional design,
- Workflow simplicity.
The top 3 pressures cited by administrators are social-emotional wellness of students, expectations of better digital communications and greater online course options to support all students.
The top 3 pressures cited by teachers are higher absences, social-emotional wellness of students, and learning loss.
Other researched information included which categories of edtech have what percentage of respondents indicating intent to purchase more or considering purchase, teacher interest in remote work, the numbers of smartphones deployed for teachers and student use of smartphones in class for learning, what teachers spend their time on, comparisons between administrators and teachers as to their definitions of “a teacher,” and more.
According to Learning Counsel CEO LeiLani Cauthen, “Some edtech companies have told us they were up by 100% in sales, even 300%. K12 EdTech spend is enjoying the enormous wave of stimulus monies, but that will not last much past 2024. Deadlines will keep getting pressed forward until it is spent out, but schools and districts have never seen this much money before. They also cannot reasonably spend on expansion construction when they are already losing students and have fewer staff. History shows that we are transitioning to a new Age not unlike the transition from an agricultural society to an industrial one. This transition is speeding past tech and into the Experience Age, requiring change in structure for how time and space is used, becoming student rather than teacher-centric, and demanding levels of engagement in sync with the present generation’s expectations and communications patterns.”
For the full 2022 Digital Transition Research Report, contact Learning Counsel. Please also find other press announcements of the certificates awarded to selected Schools, Districts and Teachers for achievements in 2022 at Learning Counsel.
The Learning Counsel acknowledges and thanks these sponsors for underwriting the National Gathering event and presentation of the National Digital Transition Survey results briefing:
About the Learning Counsel
Learning Counsel is a research institute and news media hub with 310,000+ readers that provides context for schools in digital transition from a deep understanding of tech user experience, systems, and organization. Our mission-based organization was the first to develop a thesis of education’s future based on technology’s evolution — and start helping schools advance systematically. Our Learning Leadership Society is a membership organization created for community amongst educators. The Hybrid Logistics Project is being developed inside our social ecosystem site, Knowstory.