The Value of Educause

Overall, the research reports put forth by Educause are very useful and can be of great value to a wide range of educators, learning technology specialists and venturers. More specifically, one of the main reasons it is so insightful, especially in comparison to other reports or market projections, is because instead of giving a general explanation of what a particular technology is with a few product names, it breaks down the main significant technologies into short individual reports that are comprehensive in nature. In doing so, it then covers many, if not all, of the key questions an educator, specialist or investor would ask to ensure all of the relevant information is provided. For instance, in the beginning of each report, the technology at hand is described and explained so as to demonstrate its prevalence in the market. Then, the report explains how it works, who is using or doing it, and why it’s significant. Before concluding though, so as to give an objective overview, its downfalls are also discussed along with its future direction and the implications for teaching and learning.

In addition to the inclusiveness of the reports, each one also goes into enough detail that most of the facets in the cube analytical framework are addressed, at least to some extent. For example, in the report on ‘The Evolution of the Textbook’ which highlights the new multifunctional tablet, the reader is informed in the ‘who’s doing it’ section that there is a strong post-secondary market and references to who the buyer is are made; in the ‘how does it work’ section that some versions of the product offer more of a service while others offer infrastructure like 3D issue. Similarly, the ‘why is it significant’, ‘what are the downsides’, ‘where is it going’ and ‘implications for teaching and learning’ sections also give evidence and insight into the market status and competition by outlining the current leading companies and providers like android, other competitive technologies like smartphones and areas that need improvement.

One significant weakness of the Educause that needs mentioning is that it only focuses on higher education and thereby limits its applicability to only those educators, specialists and venturers. As such, it would be more beneficial if the same approach and framework were to be used on reports that apply to other markets too. Or, as an even easier alternative, the existing (or future reports) should be written for a more broad audience so as to reach the readers interested in the higher education, K-12 and commercial markets. With that said I do plan on reading future reports and would most definitely recommend it to others as I feel that the benefits significantly outweigh the drawbacks, and that even where a lack of markets is directly addressed, the information provided can still be quite useful.


Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace