A new report from the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) points to the importance of shifting K-12 schools in the United States from printed textbooks to digital educational resources. The report released today, Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age, delves into the benefits of digital and open educational resources, profiles several states that have already started making the shift, outlines the factors required for successful deployment of digital resources, and provides recommendations for meeting students’ needs.
According to the report, digital content is more flexible and cost-effective than print materials such as textbooks. Digital resources can be updated easily without the cost of reprinting. They are available anytime, anywhere for students and teachers to access in the classroom or at home. They can be personalized to meet the individual needs of students. And they allow for richer content, including high-definition graphics, videos, simulations, interactive lessons, virtual labs, and online assessments.
The report indicates that 22 states have already opened the doors to digital educational resources, either by changing their definition of textbooks to include digital resources and consequently make funding available to purchase those types of materials, or by launching digital textbook or open educational resources initiatives. However, the report points out that these policy changes alone are insufficient to ensure that the shift to digital resources takes place in a manner that is conducive to student achievement and engagement.
Read more about issues that states and school districts must address when implementing a digital or open educational resources policy: Report Recommends Shift to Digital Educational Resources Within 5 Years — THE Journal.