We’re always future-gazing here at schoolzone, and the thing our clients ask us about most is what teachers will want to support their classroom teaching following whatever changes are currently underway. Of course, at the moment, there’s a lot underway, so we’ve asked the question many times in many different ways over the past 12 months – not to mention the last 14 years.

Same old, same old? Well no, actually. Often, when we conduct research, we have a pretty good idea of what teachers will say, because we understand how they think. However, every piece of research contributes something more to our understanding, so it’s never dull, working here. What we’ve noticed in particular this past year are:

  • Teachers really want iPads (as well as other tablets, but really they seem to want iPads) – for themselves and their students
  • If they have iPads, they’d like some more stuff to do with them: there aren’t many good curriculum apps yet – nothing to replace textbooks, for example
  • Textbooks are still in demand – and will be for a few years at least
  • E-textbooks haven’t really lit teachers’ fires: they’re a bit clunky and unattractive
  • Digital content demand (including – perhaps especially – printable) continues to rise
  • Internet and wifi is now pretty much ubiquitous in schools – a tipping point seems to have been reached following widespread growth in the last two years: schools want devices and resources to take advantage of it
  • Hardware and operating systems are now so well understood that most teachers feel confident in using IT in the classroom – a very marked difference to five years ago
  • Everything is moving cloudwards. Schools are much more happy to purchase by subscription and, while they haven’t moved Office software there yet (for example), they are confident enough in their internet connections that other software has – this cloudward move will certainly continue to grow.

We could go on with this list for a long, long time – but then who would need to commission any more research!

With BETT looming on the horizon, we’re having a bit of a splurge on IT for the rest of this term and will be posting our IT in Schools report via this blog before the end of the month. This is a market picture showing what technology and digital content schools are investing in – please register if you’d like to get a free copy by email.