LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio’s latest report on the K-12 laboratory kits market in the US provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
By understanding the needs of end-users, vendors are offering affordable products to attract price-sensitive customers. They are offering various price schemes such as bulk discounts to increase their customer base. Vendors are also making use of the online presence of aggregators and their partnerships with them to increase revenue-generating opportunities.
Jhansi Mary, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on education technology sector, says, “It is estimated that during the forecast period there will be vacancies for STEM-based jobs in the US. To capitalize on these opportunities, the US government authorities and schools are trying to develop STEM skills in students during the formative years of education. The development of STEM skills has narrowed down to improving scientific skills and knowledge of students through practical approaches of laboratory activities.”
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The top four emerging trends driving the K-12 laboratory kits market in the US according to Technavio education research analysts are:
- Growth of experiential and inquiry-based learning
- Opportunities for formative assessment
- Presence of online retailers and aggregators
- Emphasis on pre-school students
Growth of experiential and inquiry-based learning
Traditional methods of learning in schools involved the use of books, articles, and lectures to deliver knowledge to students. However, there has been a paradigm shift in the delivery of education. Over a period of time, there has been a rise in experiential learning to operationalize theoretical concepts using laboratories as the medium of granting education to students. Laboratories are increasingly being used as the potential medium to address the impediments associated with traditional pedagogy. This has led to a strategic alignment of schools to include more student-centric learning.
“Experiential learning involves real-life problem solving, replication of authentic situations and contexts, and offers learner-controlled activities, which ultimately enable the learner to develop their cognitive skills. It enables each learner to construct their own perception of the information encountered based on their interpretation of past experiences, thereby building on cognitive skills,” according to Jhansi.
Opportunities for formative assessment
The educational institutions are emphasizing the inclusion of continuous assessment culture. Traditionally, summative assignments and project work were allotted to students at the end of a study period to understand their learning. This makes learning and assessment separate activities. In formative assessment, valuation is an integral part of the learning process. Teachers can make use of various online assessment software to create online tests while teaching to implement formative assessment in classrooms.
Instead of providing judgement on students achieving benchmark examination results set by schools, formative assessments act as practice sessions for students that can be taken frequently. They provide instant feedback that can be used to improve the understanding of students regarding specific concepts, thus proving to be an integral part of learning. Laboratory-based activities are increasingly considered as part of formative assessments and through this teachers' are gauging the student knowledge. The weightage of these activities in a student evaluation plan has increased over the years.
Presence of online retailers and aggregators
The schools are procuring laboratory kits either directly from the vendors or through online aggregators and retailers. The availability of the products over the Internet has facilitated the purchasing process for schools. Vendors such as Quality Science Labs allow customers to purchase directly from its website. The online option is capturing the attention of customers as the vendors have strong distribution and delivery networks. The presence of vendors on social media such as Facebook is further helping customers to locate them and is enhancing the former's visibility. The customers can purchase laboratory kits and can place orders for refills and replacements.
Emphasis on pre-school students
Laboratory kit providers are focusing on the pre-school segment to exploit the market's potential. The education industry in the US is increasingly using these products and services to improve cognitive skills and other higher order thinking skills of their students. As early childhood years are considered to be the formative period for students, schools are encouraging pre-school students to participate in cognitive assessment sessions. In addition, to sharpen the observation skills, students are being exposed to laboratory experiments. These laboratory kits are designed and developed to suit the fundamental learning requirements of pre-school students.
The key vendors are as follows:
- Carolina Biological Supply Company
- eScience Labs
- Quality Science Labs
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