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BETT 2016 - Futuresource Show Round Up
Market Analysis and Commentary
28 Jan 2016 - As the doors to the colossal #Bett2016 #EdTech show are now closed, the Futuresource team are keen to share their key takeaways in this downloadable show report. The Futuresource BETT 2016 Show Report provides a snapshot of the leading product launches and main 'talking-points' captured across the 800 stands and countless presentations at the major global education show in London's Excel.
For the third year running, Futuresource Consulting hosted its exclusive BETT industry briefing, focusing on education technology and presenting its assessment of current education market dynamics together with the future opportunities. It included how the EdTech landscape has changed throughout 2015, the rise of China, developing trends for 2016 and finally discussed some of the large computing projects we have seen rolled out over 2015 and the expectations for 2016.
Key Themes from the Show
Strong Momentum for the Digital 'Maker Market'
Robotics and 3D printing are gaining significant traction in the UK, with robotics being used to teach coding (now a compulsory part of the computer science national curriculum from the age of 6). The show saw a 'STEAM village' introduced for the first time (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). There was also an assertive campaign to interest and engage more girls in the computer science area. Exhibitors were focused on explaining how solutions could be utilised effectively in the classroom, by providing case studies and lesson plans. Many cite the fact that promised Government teacher training programs around the updated computer science curriculum have yet to have an impact, thus suppliers need to educate teachers around practical classroom applications.
Classroom Management and Orchestration Markets are Crowded with Suppliers
Walking around the show it felt like almost every provider was offering some form of classroom management solution. Whilst this is not a new trend, more suppliers announced solutions at BETT targeting this market (for example the connectivity provider AeroHive). Whilst the levels of sophistication of solutions vary hugely, most allow for content sharing between teacher and student, some form of centralised monitoring and frequently basic Q&A functions (for example Google Classroom). With many of these solutions being offered for free (as added value offerings to a wider package), it is becoming increasingly difficult for specialist providers to develop a scalable 'paid for' model, especially those focusing on more advanced classroom collaboration.
Specialist platforms gaining traction, specifically Data Analytics, but also Cashless Payments and Behavioural Management
As the usage of data within schools to track student performance becomes more common, dedicated data analytics providers are developing. A noticeable trend of BETT 2016 was the larger number of dedicated data analytics providers. In addition, digital platforms that simplified administrative tasks were common.
Publishers were mostly focused on updating curriculum solutions to ensure alignment with new standards
In general BETT 2016 felt like an evolution as opposed to revolution in the digital publishing space. With major changes to the structure of the UK curriculum and Progress 8 reporting due in September 2016, most providers were demonstrating how their offerings matched up to the new standards. From a technical point of view, the evolution of digital delivery trends could be seen with most providers showing solutions that were platform agnostic, mobile friendly and that included some form of basic data analytics.
The 'Internet of Things' within Education is currently in the concept phase
Whilst many in the supply chain are discussing the opportunities and potential applications for the 'Internet of Things' in education, there was very little practical demonstration at the show. JP Sa Couto and Shenzen Scope both showed graphical mock ups of potential applications and concepts. Wearable displays were noticeable in their absence (apart from Google Expeditions via Cardboard).
The price of PCs is falling fast, Windows devices now expected to fight directly against Chromebooks in entry level markets.
In terms of hardware a wide range of education designed entry level PCs/Chromebooks were available for under £200. As anticipated, Microsoft and its partners announced new cloud based Windows devices (HP Stream 2, Lenovo N22, Acer TravelMate B117) to compete directly with Chromebooks. Chromebooks have traditionally had significant price advantages over Windows based devices, but the announcements represent a significant strategic shift from Microsoft and its partners. In addition, Microsoft's partner Lightspeed, offering Mobile Device Management solutions demonstrated at the show, seeking to counter Chromebook's strong management platform. Summer 2016 is expected to see a fierce OS battle for education customers. 2-in-1 devices were widely demonstrated, highlighting their likely increased uptake in 2016.
The majority of display vendors are betting on Interactive Flat Panel based solutions as opposed to Projection in the UK education sector
The UK market was the first global market to widely adopt the interactive whiteboard, but now the market is rapidly moving towards interactive flat panels. With the exception of Projector market leader Epson, all other display vendors either demonstrated flat panel solutions entirely or a small number of projectors. 18 different vendors highlighted 84" 4K interactive panels, emphasising the wider number of providers targeting the sector.
Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. www.futuresource-consulting.com
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