K-12 ed tech spending is projected to grow tremendously between 2022 and 2032 — jumping in market worth from $14.8 billion to $132.4 billion globally, according to a recent report by Market.Us, a consulting and market research company.
The expected rise is driven by the increased demand for personalized and online learning that emerged from the pandemic. “As education increasingly relies on digital platforms, schools and districts allocate budgets to stay competitive and provide students with 21st-century skills,” the report said.
The K-12 ed tech spending analyzed by Market.Us includes purchases of hardware, software and other technology and services like interactive whiteboards, learning management systems and internet connectivity. Between 2022 and 2032, the market for ed tech spending will increase at a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 25.2%, the report said.
When splitting up ed tech spending by region, North America dominates the market with a major revenue share of 34.3%, according to Market.Us.
Federal pandemic relief dollars made many of the latest district investments possible in the U.S., but that well will be running dry soon as the spending deadline for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund is less than a year away. Questions remain as to whether the momentum on ed tech funding can continue once that happens, even as the need for recovery from pandemic learning loss shows no signs of letting up.
The market for e-learning products — ed tech that relies on videos, audio, e-books and augmented reality or virtual reality — is expected to hit nearly $170 billion by 2030 for the U.S. alone, according to a separate report by Research and Markets, a market research store. With a CAGR of 12.5%, that projected rise comes amid increased efforts to boost internet accessibility and a growing preference for digital learning platforms across corporate, academic and government sectors, the report found.
Meanwhile, the spotlight is on artificial intelligence, which ed tech companies increasingly embraced ever since the popular generative AI tool, ChatGPT, entered the public arena in November 2022. At the same time, AI technology also draws concerns about potential student plagiarism using ChatGPT in addition to shortchanging critical thinking skills.
Federal efforts have also ramped up to connect students to the internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program, a $14.2 billion initiative to connect millions of low-income households to broadband. Most recently, through the Federal Communications Commission’s approval last week to expand federal E-rate funds to cover school bus Wi-Fi for districts nationwide.