Analysts and experts agree: the future of education is about online resources,
collaboration, and data integration. Just ask the New Media Consortium (NMC), a
community of experts in education technology. Their recent 2012 Horizon Report
highlights what schools can expect in the near future. And what they predict seems
awfully familiar to us here at RecoVend.
According to the report, one of the greatest challenges to schools today is competition
and economic pressure. New models of education are challenging the old, and everyone
in the education industry is struggling to carve out—or defend—their niche. This aggressive competition creates even more pressure on schools to control costs, at a time when every penny counts already. Since its inception, RecoVend has been providing schools with the resources they need to reevaluate their budget. With our collective purchasing database of over 5 million transactions, schools can see precisely in which fields they’re spending too much and where other schools are buying their materials for cheaper. RecoVend’s tools enable schools to cut costs without sacrificing anything! That big, bloated budget for administrative and operating costs? We help trim it down, so you can direct the savings into more student focused initiatives like expanding capacity and improving the student experience. Buh-bye inefficiency….sorry we’re not sorry.
Systems of analyzing purchasing data like ours were also referenced in the report.
Following the concept of heightened competition, schools are looking for every
advantage they can get. But at a time when increasing the budget isn’t an option,
schools must cut costs to make ends meet. This presents them with a choice: take some
valued programs to the cutting board, or restructure the current budget. Through data
analysis, schools can essentially make more money by finding smarter purchases from
better vendors. It’s the idea of working smarter, not harder: cutting needless costs will
always trump cutting something that will be missed. RecoVend’s business is analyzing a
school’s data to identify the areas where they can save money. Again, we’re not trying to
In a recent article for Forbes, Jeremy Friedman, the CEO of Schoology, mirrors the
sentiments of the NMC’s 2012 Horizon Report. In his opinion, the future of education
involves both transitioning to online resources and an increase in collaboration. His
ideas make a lot of sense: cloud-based services allow a new level of collaboration among
schools that removes geographic location from the equation. Not only will students be
able to work with other students through the internet, but school facilitators will be able
to compare notes with other facilitators. Through the collective wisdom of a community
of educators, each individual participant will be able to utilize the best strategies, find
the best vendors, and ultimately get the most out of their budget. Friedman predicts that
these types of collaborative environments will be mainstream in as early as next year. Like anything in education, it can take new ideas and approaches a while to diffuse throughout the industry, with innovative schools like Southern New Hampshire University setting the bar for those who follow.
RecoVend wants to help innovative schools pave the way to a new, more sustainable cost model for their institutions, making them that much more competitive than their peers (we already are, with our pilot program schools). And we can’t wait to roll out the red carpet to HigherEd at large in the next year.