News Feature | May 21, 2015

Education Technology Spending Will Focus On Laptops, Tablets This Year

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Education Technology Spending Will Focus On Laptops, Tablets This Year

A report from IDC has found that network and laptop purchases will spur educational IT spending to about $6.6 billion in 2015. Of that amount, some $4.7 billion will be spent by K-12 institutions and as much as $1.3 billion on laptop computers. Tablets and readers will also contribute significantly to this year’s IT investments, growing by 8 percent across all education levels and types by the end of 2015, for a total of $522 million.

With more than 89 million students enrolled in some type of educational institution in the United States, educational technology is a vast market to be tapped.

 The first guide of its kind, Pivot Table: U.S. Education IT Spending Guide, Version 1, 2013–2018, provides estimates and forecasts for the educational IT opportunities in K–12, higher, and “other” education. The report also offers details on education level, individual states, education functional area, enrollment levels (school size), and technology segments.

California is anticipated to be a leader in spending at $2.3 billion, followed by Texas with $1.2 billion, and New York with $1.1 billion.

“IT growth among educational institutions has been spurred by a recovering economy, recovering tax bases, and an increase in the numbers of government education grants,” explained Shawn McCarthy, research director of IDC Government Insights, in a statement.

According to, the K-12 sector will spend $153 million, on tablets and e-readers, “an upswing driven, according to research director Shawn McCarthy, by ‘classroom use.’”

And while notebook computers and laptops represent a majority of tech spending in 2015, it actually will represent a 7 percent decrease from its all-time high last year. Laptop spending peaked last year, and predictions see spending on laptops online declining from here on out.

“While the drop in PC spending was a bit surprising last year, we expect tablet computers to have a bright future in education, particularly for use in science classes and for one-off training via apps,” McCarthy said.

The U.S. Education IT Spending Guide is scheduled to be published bi-annually, and provides a detailed forecast of educational IT opportunities based on tens of thousands of data points.