As part of our recent annual readership survey, we asked eSchool News readers what technologies they planned to purchase in the next 12 months. The answers to this question are quite revealing.

Video technologies ranked near the top of schools’ purchasing plans, confirming a trend we report about on Page 31 with Part Two of our “Video Goes to School” series. Three out of five readers (60.5%) said they plan to purchase digital cameras or recorders, making it the third-most popular response behind computers and instructional software. More than half (51.4%) of readers said they intend to buy presentation technologies, such as digital video monitors or projectors, and more than a third (35.3%) said they plan to buy digital media creation tools, such as video editing software.

Another interesting trend: More people said they plan to purchase wireless network equipment (41%) than wired equipment (35.2%). And even though the survey was administered before the tragic shootings at Minnesota’s Red Lake High School in March, a solid 17.1% of readers said they plan to buy security cameras, an indication that school leaders continue to consider ways technology can help keep their students safe.

Not generating as much interest in the survey were network administration systems (14.5%) and school business software (13.8%), perhaps an indication that most schools already have these systems in place by now and are satisfied with the results.

Also, fewer than 10 percent of respondents said they plan to purchase voice over IP systems (9.9%), perhaps indicating that readers are still wary of the technology or they want to wait and see how certain regulatory issues play out first, such as whether VoIP systems will be eligible for eRate support (see “New FCC chief seems friendly to ed”).

Here are the full results:

Which of the following do you plan to purchase in the next 12 months?
Computers
(desktop, laptop, notebook, handheld, tablet, etc.)
86.8%
Curriculum software
(math, science, language arts, civics, etc.)
62.4%
Digital cameras/recorders 60.5%
Audio-visual systems or equipment
(monitors, whiteboards, projectors, etc.)
51.4%
Copiers/scanners/fax machines/all-in-one machines 48.8%
Wireless network infrastructure
(wireless access points, antennae, etc.)
41%
Computer operating systems
(Windows, oS X, Linux, Unix, etc.)
36.9
Digital media creation tools
(web authoring tools, video editing tools, etc.)
35.5%
Wired network infrastructure
(routers, switches, cabling, etc.)
35.2%
File servers 33.8%
Data storage/backup systems 31.3%
Network and internet security systems 26.6%
Student information systems 17.3%
Security cameras 17.1%
Supplemental Educational Services 15.1%
Network administration systems 14.5%
School business software
(HR, payroll, transportation, food service, etc.)
13.8%
Voice over IP systems 9.9%
Other 7%

(Source: eSchool News 2005 Reader Survey)

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