Education technology hardware sales are booming globally, according to a recent report.
Spending around the world on edtech hardware increased 7 percent in 2015 to about $15 billion, compared to the previous year, according to the Futuresource Consulting analysis. That figure is projected to grow by about $500 million by 2020.
Chromebooks had the highest growth rate in the personal computers category, with revenue increasing more than 42 percent, generating $1.5 billion last year. The U.S. is the largest market for the laptops, and accounted for more than 90 percent of all shipments and revenue.
Across the world, technology is gaining steam in classrooms. Interactive flat panels — LCD, LED or plasma screens — were preferred in China, while Spain, Italy and Russia overwhelmingly chose interactive whiteboards. Germany favors visualizers, also called document cameras, which take photos and then display them on computer screens.
Despite still getting use in the U.S. and Europe, interactive whiteboards saw a dip in shipments and revenue, falling 24 percent and 33 percent, respectively, in 2015. As the focus turns to personalized learning and one-to-one initiatives, and less on interactive tools, personal computing devices accounted for nearly 70 percent of total educational spending and 84 percent of total volume of shipments.
As classroom devices compete with existing personal products that students already use daily, schools have opted to allow students to use their own devices rather than buying new ones. Classroom devices decreased in total revenue by about 6 percent last year and in shipments by 17 percent.
“Education slates,” which are described in the report as simple tablets, will likely be wiped out after the rise of iPads and other sophisticated, sleeker tablets take their place.