The goal of the education publishing industry has always been to help students attain ever-higher learning outcomes, and through the years the tools available to help attain that goal have continually changed.
Publishers must now offer learning materials that can meet the needs of the tech- and digital media-savvy populace. The shift to e-learning has changed the rules of the game and has obligated educators and publishers to use the power of technology to improve student achievement and deliver a more customized learning experience throughout the education system.
It’s the 21st century and each successive generation will grow up with more and more familiarity with technology. Few children have not used a smart device, and while too much screen time can be harmful, technology opens up myriad possibilities for teaching and growth. Studying now means more than memorizing lines of text from static, outdated textbooks. Learning is more interactive and engaging than ever before, and it can take place anywhere.
Another powerful tool just recently added to the educator’s toolkit is the ability to access and use the data provided by analytics. This data is becoming as important as actual content because it enables the development of adaptive learning platforms and helps teachers monitor student progress and adjust as required. This in effect gives educators the ability to offer teaching plans that are curated and customized to specific individuals.
Every learner works at a different pace, and while teachers do their best to provide the optimal learning opportunities for every student, without digital technology it’s truly impossible to cater to varying skill levels and learning styles. Digital learning can help teachers increase classroom productivity and reach as many of their students as possible
As education shifts from the offline domain to online, players in the educational publishing field are moving from the physical to the digital realm. Print textbooks are no longer the only option, and mobile-friendly publishing is now a thing. Educators need to enable students to consume learning material easily on their various screens.
Content must be offered as a seamless user experience (UX) for today’s mobile-friendly students. Publishers have to ensure that the content is easily scrollable, easy to load, and compatible with various screen sizes and devices. Since millennials consume content on multiple devices simultaneously, publishers must also learn to cut through the clutter and create content for an audience with a short attention span.
Digital publishing is much more than just converting a physical book into an e-book. Unless publishers incorporate lots of interactive, visual elements into their learning materials they will not be successful in boosting student engagement and successful outcomes. There is so much potential for the available technology in an educational setting, and more features are becoming available all the time, including using dynamic visual content like images, gifs, videos, infographics, etc. and making learning a truly interactive experience. Publishers must focus on creating truly digital courses that go beyond simply converting print publications into e-textbooks.