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K-12 Digital Curriculum Market on the Rise; Print Falling Behind

Print publications for K-12 are shrinking more than ever as more schools go digital. Publishers are modifying their product development process, which could prove to be less costly and more efficient.

“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,” reports Dian Schaffhauser of THEJournal.

“The most common medium mentioned for delivering supplemental products was ‘online/digital’ delivery; 82 percent of respondents cited that. Print followed with 65 percent.”

Though the print delivery of curriculum-based products is still over 50 percent, it is continuously overshadowed by the 82 percent digital delivery that continues to grow while print continues to shrink. Digital delivery grew by an astounding 43 percent while the traditional method dropped 8 percent in 2013 alone, according to Schaffhauser’s report of "The Shift to Digital in Reading, Mathematics, Science & Social Studies" survey.

“In terms of sales derived from print versus digital products, print still accounted for the biggest share (46.4 percent) in 2013,” according to Schaffhauser.

“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.”

What digital products allow is for students to have all of their materials in one place rather than multiple books. On the other hand, the feeling that a child gets from reading a physical book is becoming loss. In the days of Common Core Standards and Standardized testing, efficiency is leading the technological charge in the classroom. 

“The survey found that certain school subjects are getting more digital treatment in class than others,” according to Schaffhauser.

“For example, social studies, mathematics and science ‘appear to be ahead of reading on this measure." In fact, Bob Resnick, company founder for EMR said, "digital usage in social studies and mathematics classes averages around 1.5 full days or class periods per week,’” according to the report.

At this rate digital products look to be on a steady rise pushing out print publications from their reign over supplemental curriculum-based products.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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