Welcome to Digital Education Watch, a blog dedicated to researching, discussing and contemplating the current state and future of digital educational publishing. This blog focuses on K-12 education and how publishers are using technology to create more interactive and engaging learning materials for students.
The educational publishing segment is a rich one, both in the value it can provide to its audience as well as in monetary terms. At the end of 2012, SIIA valued the digital education market at $7.76 billion. SIIA Education Division Market and Policy Analyst Lindsay Harman notes how Consulting Services for Education Inc. (CS4Ed) analyzed the digital education market from the survey’s data:
The revenues and products were divided into four major market segments: content; instructional support; platforms and administrative tools; and a special segment that includes advanced placement, special education, and English language learner materials.
Educational publishing has a large market that includes teachers and students in all 50 states; as a result, there are many different needs and preferences to consider when publishing materials for this audience, as well as limitations. Realistically, many schools still can’t afford the technology that will be discussed on this site. The industry is also affected by the federal government and its laws and standards on state educational systems. This blog will explore some of the cultural and economic factors that come with this market and discuss how they are impacting the transition to e-publishing.
The “Big Three” leading publishers in the market are Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, but others such as Scholastic and Macmillan Education have a big presence. With an expanding digital market, startups like Boundless and Lore have joined these larger publishers in the race to advance the classroom with technology. This blog will not only watch companies like these that are using technology to enhance their materials in novel ways, it will also track the conversations publishers and educators are having about what more can be done. Over at Digital Book World, Beth Bacon has noticed this growing conversation as well and started a column earlier this year on DBW’s site dedicated to education.
In order to stay on top of the most recent developments in this industry, this blog will gather its research primarily from credible online sources, including general news sites as well as publishing news sites, such as Digital Book World, Publishers Weekly and Publishing Perspectives; it will also explore the websites of publishers within this segment in order to discuss their products. This blog will use scholarly research to analyze the advancements seen online, including Hugh McGuire and Brian O’Leary’s Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto, and John B. Thompson’s Books in the Digital Age: The transformation of academic and higher education publishing in Britain and the United States. When possible, I will also use my own personal and professional experiences to provide commentary on important issues and trends.
The emerging digital educational publishing industry has the potential to greatly change the way students learn and use information, which will shape the way we use information as a society in the future. Exciting advancements are already being made in the industry and the future only holds more ground to break. This blog will be watching.