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PreK-12 Learning Management Systems: A Market Overview

As schools advance in the creation of digital learning environments, Simba Information brings its established analytics to this still-emerging technology area in the brand new report PreK-12 Learning Management Systems: A Market Overview.

The report examines the role of Learning Management Systems (LMSs), which already are beginning to reshape the delivery, management, and administration of educational content in the U.S. PreK-12 sector, enabling cost-savings, convenience, new more personalized pedagogical models, and new opportunities for system and content providers. To provide crucial market intelligence on this developing segment, Simba Information is partnering with leading education market research firm MCH Strategic Data to conduct a survey of public school- and district-level educators on their current use of and future plans for learning management systems.

Simba defines learning management systems as organizational software enabling the administration, tracking and reporting of student information across all types of educational activities; the delivery of courses; and the facilitation of collaboration and communication.

It serves the needs of three constituencies:

  • Teachers and administrators, who may use an LMS to monitor individual student progress, deliver online and distance-learning courses to students and provide professional development to teachers
  • Students, who may use an LMS to access courses and course materials, work collaboratively and communicate with teachers
  • Parents, who may use an LMS to receive school information, access student work and communicate with the school


Stamford, CT - December 15, 2011 - Growing interest in digital curriculums in schools, an increased focus on personalized learning, and state and federal policies promoting digital learning and accountability are driving growth in the implementation of learning management systems (LMS) in K-12 schools, according to a recent report from media research and forecast firm Simba Information. The LMS segment is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 7.3%, reaching $377 million by the 2014-2015 school year.

While the definition of an LMS continues to evolve as it moves toward forming a digital learning environment, a minimum of 68% of school districts and as many as 88% have implemented a learning management system, according to a Simba/MCH Strategic Data survey conducted in conjunction with the new report. Districts continue to implement LMSs, with 5.6% of districts doing so for fall 2011.

"While schools are tight on funds, their interest in digital materials and tools is at an all-time high, and educators see the LMS as the cornerstone to improving education," said Kathy Mickey, senior education analyst at Simba Information.

Schools and districts use learning management systems for a variety of necessary functions, including matching coursework to student needs and delivering full courses. Above all, more than 90% of educators said that in an era of accountability, the most important feature of an LMS is monitoring student progress, according to the Simba/MCH survey results.

"These systems can analyze student test data and provide a plan for which the teacher can assist the student," said Mickey. "They are the vehicle by which teachers, students and parents can get the services they need for improving education and results."

The report, PreK-12 Learning Management Systems: A Market Overview, examines how LMSs are reshaping the education sector through the administration and management of content, cost-savings and convenience for school districts, along with personalized models and opportunities for content providers. In addition to the Simba Information/MCH Strategic Data survey results, the report features in-depth district implementation case studies and a who's who among LMS software providers.

  • Methodology
  • Executive Summary
  • Implementation & Policy Trends
    • Introduction and Definition
    • Four Broad Classifications for Systems
      • Table Grade Level Implementation of Learning Management Systems
    • LMS Functions Widely Implemented in Schools
      • Implementation Continues in 2011-2012
        • Table Duration of LMS Availability in Years
    • Accountability, Digital Focus, Personalization Call for LMS Capabilities
      • Looking Ahead with ESEA Reauthorization, Common Core State Standards
      • States Step up with Digital Initiatives
  • Market Demand & Competitive Landscape
    • Introduction
      • Table Percentage of Districts with a Policy Promoting Use of an LMS
    • Monitoring Student Progress Tops Uses of LMS
      • Table Importance of Individual Features of a Learning Management System
      • Collaboration Tools Rank High for Fewer Educators
    • Roseville (Calif.) Joint Union High School District: Move to Blended Learning
      • Creating Courses, Finding Materials
    • Volusia (Fla.) County Schools: Professional Development Drives LMS Use
      • Seeking Expertise, Compatible Course Materials
    • Forsyth County (Ga.) Schools: Investing in Innovation with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
      • Moving Materials Online
    • Majority of Districts Choose Outside Source for LMS
      • Table How Districts Acquired Their LMS
    • Moodle Captures 18.5% Share of PreK-12 LMS Market
      • Table PreK-12 Market Share of LMS Vendors, Fall 2011
      • Table Districts' Implementation of Tools with Functions Similar to an LMS
    • Renaissance Place Is Top-Used Tool Similar to LMS
  • Conclusions and Outlook
    • Introduction
      • Table Impact of Use of Digital Materials on Decision to Implement an LMS
      • Table Impact of Implementation of Learning Management System on Use of Digital Materials, Tools and Courses
      • Table Educators' Views on Impact of LMS on Teaching and Learning
    • Educators Show Strong Impact of LMS
    • Policy in the Driver's Seat
    • New Models: Blended Learning and Virtual Schools
      • Table Integration of Online Tools or Instructional Materials into Classroom Instruction
      • Table Use of Online Classroom Assessments and Quizzes
      • Broader Integration of Online Resources
    • Increase in Social Networking and Collaboration
    • Use of Open-Source Materials Increases
      • Moodle: Open Source and Fast-Growing
    • Budget Concerns Lead Hurdles to Adoption
      • Table Primary Reasons for Not Implementing an LMS
      • Support Is Another Barrier
    • Keep It Simple: Single Sign-On, Interoperability Prized
      • Desire2Learn Works on Single Sign-On
      • Plato Learning Launches API to Expand Community
      • Single Sign-On Remains a Goal
    • Varied District Needs Open Doors for "LMS Lite"
    • Schools Look for User Friendliness and Interactivity
    • Schools Shop by Functional Needs, Not Product Type
      • Table Educators' Views of Future LMS Implementation Plans
    • Vendors See Faster Growth Than Schools Do
    • LMS Segment Expected to Grow 7% in 2013
      • Table LMS Sales in U.S. PreK-12 Market, 2011-2012 through 2014-2015 ($in millions)
  • Who's Who
    • Blackboard
    • CompassLearning
    • Desire2Learn
    • Edmodo
    • GlobalScholar
    • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • It's Learning
    • Learning.com
    • McGraw-Hill Education
    • Moodlerooms
    • Pearson
    • Plato Learning
    • Renaissance Learning
    • Schoology
    • Sophia Learning
    • STI
  • Survey Response Detail

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