The back to school period has changed: Schools want much more than just hardware

PCR editor Dominic Sacco looks at the evolving back to school opportunities and a few other big announcements from the last month or so.

It’s that time of the year again: every other member of staff is on holiday, the roads are clearer in the morning – oh and the back to school season is almost upon us.

While the new computer engineering-focused curriculum came into force in 2014, this year the IT channel seems to be making a greater effort on the key selling period. 

Lenovo has launched its first PC on a stick in time for the back to school rush, Windows 10 is finally here and even the BBC is back in the education market with its micro:bit mini PC, free for 11 and 12-year-old children across the UK. 

The industry has moved on since 12 months ago, with companies and consumers wanting more than just hardware; there’s a growing demand for cloud storage, networking and alternative form factors – and schools are no different.

Read our IT selling guide on our Education Sector Spotlight page for a breakdown of categories and advice to help you supply the latest technology to your local school, teachers, parents and students.

As we all know, there’s no slowing down in our market. Things look set to change even more dramatically in the next three to five years. Cisco has invested $1 billion into the UK economy with a focus on the Internet of Things and education initiatives, aiming to close the IT skills gap and help grow businesses.

Ebuyer and Microsoft are also backing STEM workshops in schools, hoping to increase the use of tech by teachers and students. By increasing the number of skilled workers ready for employment, and providing funding to enable growth, this could seriously strengthen the IT channel in the coming years.

Samsung Electronics UK also made a bit of a bold statement last month, saying those companies who fail to adopt smart technology may not be around in ten years’ time.

Smart tech includes systems that filter out superfluous information, interactive smart surfaces on walls and tables, tech controlled by hand gestures and teams ‘built on science’ (i.e. employee partnerships based on historical success rather than gut instinct).

There are some big changes happening – it’s well worth making sure your business is a part of them.

PCR’s Sector Spotlight on Education is running throughout August – click here for more articles

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