Chromebooks Capture Canada’s K-12 Educational Tech Market

October 25, 2017 - Written By Daniel Golightly

Google has added another North American region to the growing list of countries where its Chromebooks, and associated Chrome OS, are dominating the educational technology sector. That’s according to a Futuresource analysis, which shows that sales of Chrome-branded devices to educational institutions across Canada’s K-12 schools have hit a new growth peak of 43-percent. That growth, Futuresource says, is largely attributable to Google’s G-Suite for Education offerings. The suite combines classroom activities, productivity tools, and management – both for teachers and for a school district’s IT administration – under one affordable umbrella. Meanwhile, the company’s improvements to G-Suite over the past year have almost certainly helped make those tools more enticing for educators and administrators.

The more general increase to adoption rates for Chrome OS devices in the education sector has been on the rise since they were first introduced to that market back in 2014. Between then and the start of 2017, in Canada specifically, growth was measured at around a 5-percent increase per year. The new figure, on the other hand, shows a 5-percent increase in growth for the first half of 2017 alone. It’s important to remember that could either mark a greater acceleration in growth or it could simply be the result of the fact that most school districts purchase new equipment at the beginning of a given school year. However, it does follows a trend Google has seen in other regions. The search giant’s education-focused OS and software have also grown in the U.S. – where Google’s Chrome devices claimed 58-percent of the market as of the last report in 2016. Additionally, Google holds a majority portion of the overall market in both New Zealand and Sweden. The adoption rate in other world regions has been somewhat slower but is mostly still steady, thanks to how cost-effective and durable Chromebooks are.

One major appeal of Chromebooks in the education sector, as mentioned above, is the overall controlled environment Google offers through its software. Because the entire system is manageable in the cloud, updates are easy to maintain and classrooms, reports, and homework can be updated regularly and efficiently. Furthermore, the OS itself is also exceptionally fast to both start-up and sign into – making it easy for students and teachers to switch between classes. In the meantime, a steady stream of high-quality devices, across various pricing tiers and in combination with the cloud-based nature of Chromebooks, has opened up a huge number of buying options for school districts. That deal is sweetened by the fact that each is all but guaranteed to be compatible with rest of the system, regardless of which devices are ultimately chosen. So the trend is likely to continue into the future as well, pending a significant comeback from Microsoft, Apple, or both.