Investments in technology over facilities represent the wave of the immediate future, predicts Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly.
AMHERST, NEW YORK, March 25, 2014 — It may require a suspension of disbelief, but a new Golden Era in K12 and higher education technology investment is now underway, and it’s about to snowball into one of the major industry stories of the year, today predicted Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly.
According to Kelly, two forces that seem to be unstoppable are driving this trend. “First, according to the Wall Street Journal more than 40 states had higher property tax revenue in 2013 than they did in 2012. Obviously, this increase is a direct manifestation of an ever improving national economy and, as everyone in our industry knows, property tax revenue is what determines a school district’s budget.”
What’s interesting about this economic recovery, Kelly explained, is that most of the money being invested in education is being spent on technology, and not on facilities or even personnel. Across the board, school districts now understand that an educational investment in technology is the best long-term way to improve the overall teaching and learning environment. The same understanding is taking hold at higher education state colleges and universities.
“And this leads directly to the second important trend to understand. The desire to connect and collaborate is rapidly becoming the imperative to connect and collaborate — and this is creating an enormous new business opportunity for commercial integrators. Tablets are the leading beneficiaries of this imperative. Millions of tablets are being purchased by K12 districts and colleges and, once purchased, they are being actively used to promote collaboration within the classroom.”
Kelly emphasized that the concept of “one to many” is also driving the imperative to connect
and collaborate. Teachers need to be able to show their presentations and images on students’ laptops and solutions like KenAVision’s EduCam Software are enabling them to do just that. At the same time, students need to be able to show their work to one another and to the teacher! This “many to one” concept is resulting in significant new sales of innovation solutions like WePresent WIPG1500 wireless interactive presentation gateway and, of course, Apple TV.
“These trends are, in turn, generating the next generation of innovation in traditional product categories. For example, in the very near future one manufacturer will announce that it has created a special spot within the mold of the projector body to fit an Apple TV. How cool is that? Think of the sales this innovation will generate!”
Indeed, there isn’t a single area of the learning environment not being revolutionized by new technology. The industry is experiencing a surge in sales of short throw projectors because school districts have learned the hard way that an 80” touch-based display can’t really be seen all that clearly by students who are sitting five rows away from it.
As a result, schools are returning to ultra short throw projectors because they’re the only solution able to project a larger display image. In specific, the industry is seeing a surge in WXGA models to K12 schools and WUXGA models to higher education institutions. And projector manufacturers are weighing in on the whole Total Cost of Ownership issue by lowering the lamp cost of short throw projectors by up to 50%!
“The question is no longer is there a new Golden Era is education investment. The question is are you ready, equipped, and trained to profit from it?” Kelly asked.