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How to Purchase Digital Learning Tools for K12
October 23, 2020

Digital learning tools provide amazing technological experiences for children in K-12, letting students and teachers create high-quality, shareable content and tutorials.[1] Yet research shows that teachers lack training in using such tools and that no easy-to-access sources exist for rigorous evidence about most ed-tech products.[2]

That leaves K-12 school district leaders scrambling to figure out the best technology choices and how to integrate ed-tech tools with classroom learning. Research shows that school districts depend on recommendations from peers and from their own teachers and principals who are familiar with the products.[3] With so many new needs and products, it can be difficult to pinpoint a system that works for an organization that has already been vetted by its peers. Both providers and school districts can become frustrated by what might be described as largely a hit-or-miss approach to the vetting of many ed-tech products.[4]

One of the most challenging problems K12 schools face is integrating content and delivery. Content and software are typically separate purchases, creating a huge barrier to offering new, fresh and top drawer content on the platform that the school or district has licensed.

PURCHASING SOFTWARE AND CONTENT AT THE SAME TIME

The need for digital learning content keeps growing — and quickly.

A 2019 survey show about 63% of U.S. high-school students[5] and 45 percent of students in grades three through nine[6]  use digital learning tools daily. Using digital learning tools effectively, requires that content be easily loaded onto, and available, on platforms.

Trends in hardware purchases tell an important part of the story. Market research firm FutureSource Consulting projects shipments of laptops, tablets and Chromebooks to the U.S. education market could jump by 27 percent in 2020, since school districts and private schools are buying mobile devices in bulk for remote learning in a COVID-19 era.[7] Mobile device shipments nationwide are forecast at 16.7 million in 2021.[8]

Given the expense of traditional materials, digitization will offer more seamless experiences and greater access, and can be expected to dramatically reduce costs for schools and school districts. The College Board reports that between course materials and textbooks, students spent at least $1,200 in 2017-2018 and from $1,240 to $1,440 in the 2018-2019 academic year.[9] The textbook industry’s value, estimated at up to $10 billion, previously depended on textbook prices that soared four times faster than inflation from 1978 to 2013.[10]

So how can a school or district secure the right technology platform, that can seamlessly integrate content, and also be used to easily deliver new and vital content that schools are required to deliver?

The answer is in setting up a best practice sourcing process. Such practices ideally comprise:

  • Aligning on priorities for tech, which typically include ease-of-use, interoperability with other technology, and ability to quickly onboard, modify and launch new courses seamlessly
  • Creating a committee to evaluate technology content and delivery mechanisms and priorities
  • Ensure sandboxing solutions that use virtual environments to build, test and deploy software, with the aim of accessing the software’s accessibility, flexibility and cost savings

HOW AMESITE MEETS K12 NEEDS, AND MAKES PURCHASING A K12 PLATFORM SIMPLE

Especially now – administrators, teachers, learners and families need platforms that offer ease of use. Amesite’s solution for K12 offers all of the engagement features and content and assessment types you need – on one platform. Further, Amesite’s solution is interoperable with other essential platforms, integrating with 1000s of APIs to enable routing of data and information that makes administration simple.

Because of Amesite’s creation services and platform scalability, Amesite also offers unparalleled ease in creating and launching new content to any number of users. In summary, you receive:

  • Integrated content and digital backbone buying in one
  • Service setup in 24 hours, and delivery of 10 programs in 30 days
  • Complete customer support on an easy-to-use platform
  • Best-in-class technology that offers all tools in one place

Amesite meets these critically important requirements with customized environments, up-to-the-minute, curated content, and easy-to-manage interfaces for instructors, students and learners. We reduce the cost of delivering outstanding online learning products and improve learner experience and performance.

Our code stack offers the ability to curate information in real-time and our business model enables us to generate content rapidly. We consider it a core part of our business to be continually seeking opportunities to adapt our platform into new areas. Our architecture enables us to achieve full integration of best-in-class tools and custom-built features, delivering on-demand and as-needed, such as leading calendar platform integrations, and high quality, encrypted video calling. We believe that online learning products are essential for accessibility, engagement and scalability for educational institutions and businesses alike. All stakeholders have a right to demand excellence in learning software – and Amesite delivers.


[1] NEO LMS. Focus on 21st-century skills: 3 Digital trends in K-12 education.
https://blog.neolms.com/focus-on-21st-century-skills-3-digital-trends-in-k-12-education/  Accessed 19 October, 2020.

[2] EdTech, K–12 Education’s Top Tech Hurdles to Innovation.
https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2019/11/k-12-educations-top-tech-hurdles-innovation  Accessed 19 October, 2020.

[3] Fostering Market Efficiency in K-12 Ed-tech Procurement. A Report from Johns Hopkins University to Digital Promise in partnership with the Education Industry Association.
https://digitalpromise.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/DP_ImprovingEdTechPurchasing_FullReport.pdf  Accessed 19 October 2020.

[4] Fostering Market Efficiency in K-12 Ed-tech Procurement. A Report from Johns Hopkins University to Digital Promise in partnership with the Education Industry Association
https://digitalpromise.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/DP_ImprovingEdTechPurchasing_FullReport.pdf  Accessed 19 October 2020.

[5] Statista. Share of U.S. K-12 students who use digital learning tools daily by level 2019
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1076292/share-k-12-students-us-who-use-digital-learning-tools-daily-level/  Accessed 19 October, 2020.

[6] Statista. Share of U.S. K-12 students who use digital learning tools daily by level 2019
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1076292/share-k-12-students-us-who-use-digital-learning-tools-daily-level/  Accessed 19 October, 2020.

[7] EdWeek. MarketBrief. June 30, 2020. “K-12 Demand for Mobile Devices ‘Skyrocketing’ Due to COVID-19 Remote Learning.”
https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/k-12-demand-mobile-devices-skyrocketing-due-covid-19-remote-learning/ Accessed 19 October, 2020.

[8] EdWeek. MarketBrief. June 30, 2020. “K-12 Demand for Mobile Devices ‘Skyrocketing’ Due to COVID-19 Remote Learning.”
https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/k-12-demand-mobile-devices-skyrocketing-due-covid-19-remote-learning/ Accessed 19 October, 2020.

[9] EdSurge. July 15, 2019. Pearson Signals Major Shift from Print by Making all Textbook Updates ‘Digital First.’
https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-07-15-pearson-signals-major-shift-from-print-by-making-all-textbook-updates-digital-first  ACCESSED 20 OCTOBER, 2020.

[10] Applied Educational Systems. Sept. 27, 2017. “Textbook Costs Skyrocket 812% in 35 years.”
https://www.aeseducation.com/blog/infographic-the-skyrocketing-cost-of-textbooks-for-schools-students  ACCESSED 20 OCTOBER 2020.