About 2/3 of the research Schoolzone conducts on behalf of clients comes from publishers, charities and the museums and heritage sector. One thing they have in common (as far as we’re concerned) is that they all tend to want to know how to reach teachers. They often ask us to find out how teachers hear about their various products and services, how they would like to hear about them and what influences their decisions. This is a continuously changing market – technology, and our behaviours in using it, change continuously – so we need to revisit these key questions from time to time: that's the subject of our October research - Read the full report here
Teachers mostly hear about new resources online and from colleagues and say that for printed resources, previous experience of the publisher is the biggest influence on purchasing.
For digital resources, primary teachers are more strongly influenced by colleagues than previous experience of the publisher. There are some interesting differences between primary and secondary teachers throughout the report.
Social media and email are not seen as sources for discovering resources, though it may be that they are too transparent to register in teachers’ memories as they click through to the referenced websites. Recent curriculum changes perhaps also mean that teachers have been looking for very specific resources more than they usually might, so have looked online and consulted with colleagues more than usual.
School groups, such as MATs seem to have very little influence in resource purchasing.
Secondary teachers don’t seem to be influenced much by online reviews of printed resources – though primary teachers take more notice.
In the main, teachers buy their printed resources from the publisher’s website – 35% of the resources mentioned were textbooks – but 20% of secondary teachers simply leave it to the school office to do the ordering.
Teachers (more so primary) generally feel quite well informed about policies, strategies and initiatives, with professional associations and colleagues being the main source of information.
There is some interest from teachers in being kept up to date by social media, but the main preferences are by a dedicated website or email.
Social media is a good way for teachers who use a particular charity to be kept informed its activities – 70% of teachers who regularly use charities as a source of resources follow them on social media. However, the same can’t be said of museums: only 10% say this is the way they would prefer to be kept up to date with museums and heritage sites.
Despite the dilution of the national curriculum in most subject areas, teachers value the subject relevance of the offerings of charities and museums most. However, there is a very wide range of reasons for teachers using both charities’ and museums’ websites.