Report: Google is beating Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft in the battle for the classroom  

It's time for Apple to renew its efforts in the education market: EdWeek Market Brief today released an exclusive report that takes stock of educator perceptions of four giants in the technology world, and how they stack up against each other and versus four major education-focused companies. The report—Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft: How 4 Tech Titans Are Reshaping the Ed-Tech Landscape—finds that Google consistently earns top marks from K-12 teachers and administrators asked to rate the companies’ devices, productivity tools, and ability to improve student achievement.

Across nearly every category, the nationally-representative survey of 1,000 K-12 teachers and district administrators identifies Google as the clear winner. Google beat out fellow tech titans Apple, Amazon and Microsoft and also eclipsed four large education industry players examined in the study, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Scholastic.

Even though Google is a large, multi-national corporation with interests that extend well beyond K-12 schools, survey results suggest that educators view it as a bona fide education company.

“Educators and industry analysts say Google has gained major ground in the market by meeting schools’ demand for simple, easy-to-integrate products,” says EdWeek Market Brief Senior Editor Sean Cavanagh. “Apple and Microsoft, meanwhile, are convinced that their products meet the needs of teachers and students in richer ways than Google does, and that their products will eventually win out.”

Key report findings include:

  • More than half of educators (52 percent) said they would hire Google, when asked which of the eight companies they would choose to improve student achievement in their school districts. Just 13% favored the next most popular option, Apple Education. Scholastic finished third with 9% and was the top choice among the four education-focused companies included in the survey.
  • Google’s low-cost Chromebooks are the school-provided devices used most often for instructional purposes in U.S. schools. Forty-two percent of educators identified Chromebooks as the most-used device in their districts and classrooms.
  • G-Suite/Google Classroom is the hands-down favorite when it comes to productivity tools.  More than two-thirds of educators (68%) said these Google products are their most-used productivity solutions for school-related purposes.  By comparison, 17% of educators said the same of Microsoft’s Office 365 and Classroom products, while Apple’s iWork and Classroom reached just 1%.
  • Google’s dominance shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. More than three-quarters of educators predict that that they will use Chromebooks and Google tools “more” or “a lot more” for instructional purposes over the next five years. Fewer than 5% predict usage will decrease during that period.

In April 2017, EdWeek Market Brief and the Education Week Research Center administered an online survey to a nationally-representative sample of about 1,000 K-12 teachers and district-level administrators, including superintendents, chief academic officers, and ed-tech leaders.