Why Digital Publishing is the Future of Education
Open educational resources may just be the best part of the edtech revolution: the ability to solve so many different problems in the field of education with one novel idea is truly a phenomenon to be excited about. Here are several reasons why digital publishing is the future of education.
The Equity Puzzle
The movement to promote equity in education recognizes that not every American child is given the same chance to succeed in the classroom. Rather, various institutional barriers mean that some children are given far more opportunity to succeed than other students are. This is, to be sure, an extremely difficult problem to solve—and no one idea will fix it. But an important piece of the puzzle is to ensure that all students have access to superior instructional materials. And digital publishing can make that a reality. Printing and distribution costs are a thing of the past, and all children—even those from the most underfunded schools—can have access to excellent materials.
Another educational trend that intersects nicely with digital publishing is the move toward personalized learning. As educators have long suspected and as research now shows, one size does not fit all. Instead, students achieve superior educational outcomes when they are able to learn at a pace that is best for their unique learning needs. Digital publishing makes this possible since each student can access materials that are a perfect fit for their educational trajectory.
A Rapidly Changing World
Generations of school children have laughed at the dated hairstyles and clothes in their text books. But a more serious concern is how to keep the academic content of texts current. Their life cycle has typically been nearly a decade, given their cost and the complexity of their procurement. But, in a world where technology changes are as rapid as ours, a life cycle that long simply can’t keep pace in a way that prepares students for the challenges that they will face in the future. Any subject touched by technology simply can’t be taught well with materials that are nearly as old as the students. Fortunately, digital publishing provides a solution to this problem by making it easy to frequently update instructional materials.
Even college students from the middle class sometimes struggle to pay for their textbooks. Fortunately, digital books can be provided to students at a much lower price point, while still preserving the ability for the writers and publishers to be fairly compensated for their work.
As technology advances, digital publishing will be able to deliver even more, all while improving educational equity, keeping costs down, and keeping instructional materials current. There is no doubt then that digital publishing is the future of education.