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Education’s Shift Toward Digital Instructional Materials Is Accelerating

Exclusive MDR report identifies the nine “forcing factors” speeding adoption

November 19, 2015 – MDR’s recently released research report, The Shift Toward Digital: Forcing Factors, Benefits, and Barriers, substantiates the acceleration of the conversion from print to digital instructional materials. MDR commissioned this exclusive report to offer education marketers an in-depth look at a range of interrelated “forcing factors” pushing this shift forward. The report also examines a number of consequential barriers to digital materials adoption, as well as seven success factors observed in districts making the shift toward digital content.

In its EdNET Insight survey of educators for the State of the K-12 Market 2015 report, 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 statewide testing programs. These two intertwined aspects of education, linked by more rigorous Common Core Standards throughout the country, are reinforcing each other in this shift.

The Shift Toward Digital 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. As report author, Geoffrey H. Fletcher, Ed.D., of GH Fletcher Consulting explains, “For publishers, keeping up with and tracking a market with all these moving parts can be a challenge. 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 also identifies the challenges to districts in adoption of digital content, including the two largest: (1) ensuring teachers are prepared, comfortable, and effective with digital learning (2) 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.”

MDR’s The Shift Toward Digital: Forcing Factors, Benefits, and Barriers report is one in a series of in-depth research reports generated by the leading provider of education market insight and marketing solutions. Publishers of instructional materials and assessments, and providers of technology solutions, rely upon MDR for exclusive research on the impact of legislation, policy, technology, and curriculum trends on the education marketplace.

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To learn more about this report and how it can help inform your business plans and go-to-market strategy, visit EdNET Insight. To learn more about becoming an EdNET Insight subscriber, call 800-333-8802.