With the start of a new year and given that 2020 has seen so many changes in education technologies, I wanted to update a graph we produced last year: the timeline of product implementations. With this update, we can look at a 20-year spread giving a more precise trend overview. I also did the same graph for K-12.
The graph shows the percentage of product implementations in the USA and Canada each year, from the year 2000 all the way up to and including 2020. As our data is trailing a few months, one can expect more implementations for the end of 2020. The orange tab represents the year with the highest percentage for each row. By looking at the data this way, we clearly and easily see when a particular system has peaked in terms of implementations within the spheres of higher education and K-12. Also, by having placed the systems’ implementation peaks in reverse chronological order, the graph shows us which systems are currently the target of large implementations. For the HigherEd graph, these are Conferencing Systems, Online Program Management, and Faculty Information Systems. For K-12, we see that Conferencing Systems was likewise the trend for 2020 while Career Readiness Systems were the big thing in 2019.
Some products have a few peaks of similar magnitude where implementations seem to follow a cyclical trend. The peaks within these cycles can often be explained by a particular system ceasing to exist (like WebCT in 2011), explaining the LMS implementation peak in 2012. Others have one clear peak which can be interpreted by the enthusiasm of the industry then quickly replaced by another system (i.e. MOOCs which have transitioned into OPMs) or again with the email system where, in 2012, institutions have migrated to the cloud. The third type of implementation peaks can be explained when the need for a new system comes from outside the walls of education establishments. With the pandemic hitting us hard in March 2020, governments urged institutions to shut down in-person training and teaching, giving universities and colleges no choice but to transition to online learning and therefore use conferencing systems.
When we look at the HigherEd graph, here are some points to consider:
Conferencing systems really exploded in 2020. This will probably continue in 2021.
Also linked to the pandemic, OPM systems are being implemented in huge numbers in 2020. The creation of new programs is driven by the need for new revenue.
Work placement systems are still in their prime.
Proctor systems are getting another big year in 2020 which might actually be their best, even possibly surpassing the 2017 peak. This is not surprising as part of the COVID effect.
Financial aid systems, Financial systems, and Human resources systems are in an upward trend.
LMS systems are seeing a renaissance again as part of the COVID effect.
For the K-12 graph:
Like HigherEd, Conferencing really exploded in 2020. Implementations in this category were almost nonexistent prior to the pandemic.
LMS also increased considerably in the last year, reversing its downward trend.
When you look at the two graphs, I also invite you to notice the Y-axis for each product category. Contrary to Conferencing Systems (which saw enormous peaks in 2020 for HigherEd and K-12), LMS systems don’t have huge peak differences (the Y-axis showing a maximum of 10%).
Let me know what you think…