Market Insights

Results in from MDR’s Annual Technology Survey

Good News: District technology directors generally have a positive outlook on their 2016-2017 budgets! Instructional technology spending will stay the same or increase across: hardware, software, technology training, and technology support. In fact, over 40% of districts report increases in hardware and teacher technology training in 2016-2017, while one-third indicate software budgets are on the rise.

The results of MDR’s seventh annual technology survey to district technology directors are now available in EdNET Insight’s new State of the K-12 Market 2016-2017 Educational Technology Trends report.

Over the years that MDR has been conducting this research, certain trends are clear—the hardware and teacher training categories fare best in terms of budget allocations. However, districts make trade-offs year to year by increasing one category while holding steady or slightly cutting spending in others. 

Here are a few more highlights from the survey: 

Feedback about student instructional device purchases for 2016-2017 indicates a definite pattern by grade level. Over half (54%) of technology directors plan to buy tablets for their K-2 students this year, while 46% will purchase Chromebooks for students in grades 3-5. Middle schoolers will most likely have new Chromebooks too since over 55% of districts plan to purchase them. At the high school level, laptops and Chromebooks tied as the popular purchases for half of the districts. Also, it appears that the pendulum is swinging away from tablets and more towards Chromebooks and laptops this year. Key reasons for this trend may be online testing with its need for keyboards and lower costs for these devices. However, rest assured, publishers are facing a diverse hardware environment for product development. 

The MDR survey also asked districts to rank their top technology initiatives for the next three years. Wireless networks, the critical infrastructure supporting schools today, topped the list again this year according to 71% of technology directors. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of them ranked student data security/privacy as their second priority, which is not surprising given the many occurrences of corporate data breaches in the news lately. Readiness for online assessment (63%) came in third with data driven decision-making (58%), Chromebooks (55%), and one-to-one computing (53%) rounding out the majority of responses. 

Other topics covered in the report include the K-12 education technology landscape, funding, implementation levels of classroom technologies, and enterprise management systems including SIS, LMS, and analytics. The report also provides key takeaways and recommendations for decision makers in the educational technology industry.

To order Educational Technology Trends, visit or contact your MDR sales representative. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MDR leads the industry in helping clients achieve their business goals by connecting with targeted audiences through market intelligence, an excellent school database, and multi-channel digital communities including WeAreTeachers, SchoolLeadersNow and EdNET. EdNET Insight publications are based on large-scale educator surveys, written by education industry experts who examine important education trends and translate them into proven facts, actionable takeaways, and predictions you can count on. Contact Maureen Hance, EdNET Insight Product Manager.