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Digitisation of educational materials on the rise

09 Feb 16

The move to digital isn’t escaping the education industry, with a new survey from MDR stating the conversion from print to digital instructional materials is accelerating.

The report, from research firm MDR, found that 50% of curriculum directors expect substantial print-to-digital conversion over the next three years, and more than half of school districts are administering online assessments in their state-wide testing programmes.

The Shift Toward Digital: Forcing Factors, Benefits, and Barriers report discusses nine specific forcing factors that are influencing this digital evolution, including increasing bandwidth and Wi-Fi availability, education policy changes, changing use of instructional time, and teachers’ belief in digital tools, among others.

“For publishers, keeping up with and tracking a market with all these moving parts can be a challenge,” says Geoffrey H. Fletcher, Ed.D., of GH Fletcher Consulting and author of the report explains.

“There are risks with being ahead of the market, but the risks in being behind are greater, given how each of these factors is moving in a strong direction.”

The report identifies the challenges to districts in adoption of digital content, including ensuring teachers are prepared, comfortable, and effective with digital learning, and the perception that student data is not as secure as it needs to be.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), in its publication Out of Print, found seven success factors for making the shift to digital content, which include sustainable funding for devices, robust internet connectivity, intellectual property and reuse rights, and state and local leadership buy-in.

“The evidence is mounting that states, districts, schools, individual teachers—and, of course, students themselves—are using more digital resources than ever before,” says Kathleen Brantley, senior director of EdNET Insight.

“We commissioned this report to identify the forces pushing this shift to digital along and to examine a number of consequential barriers to its progress, so all interested parties can move forward with open eyes,” she says. 

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