E-Learning

K-12 Digital Curriculum Growing; Print Shrinking

illustration of books emerging from a tablet screen.

Curriculum publishers in K-12 have been shifting their product development to digital and away from print, according to Education Market Research, which surveyed around 100 publishers and manufacturers. The most common medium mentioned for delivering supplemental products was "online/digital" delivery; 82 percent of respondents cited that. Print followed with 65 percent.

Over the course of 2013, the entire population of digital products grew by 43 percent; non-digital offerings dropped by 8 percent.

Company founder Bob Resnick said that calendar year 2010 "may go into the history books" as the year when "the balance finally shifted from primarily print to primarily digital in the K-12 school market." He noted that the frequency of product delivery via online/digital showed major growth spurts in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

In terms of sales derived from print versus digital products, print still accounted for the biggest share (46.4 percent) in 2013. However, while the supplemental market in print is expected to shrink by 2.6 percent from 2013 to 2014 (to 43.8 percent), sales of digital resources are expected to grow by the same amount, from 34.6 percent in 2013 to 37.2 percent in 2014.

Resnick added that "self-described 'high digital' companies" are "more optimistic about their future growth prospects." Compared to "low-digital" companies, "their projected sales increase for 2014 is, on average, 30 percent higher."

The survey found that certain school subjects are getting more digital treatment in class than others. For example, social studies, mathematics and science "appear to be ahead of reading on this measure." In fact, Resnick said, "digital usage in social studies and mathematics classes averages around 1.5 full days or class periods per week."

The study, "The Shift to Digital in Reading, Mathematics, Science & Social Studies," is available through Simba Information's site.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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