It was reported yesterday, that Inkling has given up on selling digital textbooks to students. Such a statement could be misleading, unless you read into it further:
“There was a core business model shift where we went from being about consumer retail to being about licensing software to businesses (the publishers themselves),” says McInnis.
This mirrors the YUDU model, and something we have been advocating since our education launch at Frankfurt 2012. It has been demonstrated in Ireland and Northern Ireland, where 5 out of 7 Education publishers sell digital textbooks to students all over the country, using YUDU technology. We don’t believe the answer is to give up on selling digital textbooks; but that the publishers and those with direct relationships with end-users, should be driving the route-to-market.
Digital textbooks on an international scale
In 2011, South Korea‘s Minister of Education, Ju-Ho Lee, reported that by 2015 they want to be able to deliver all curriculum materials in a digital form and that they were preparing for “Smart Education”, focusing on customised learning and teaching. Today, Korea has proven to be the world leader of internet speed in schools, which President Chang hopes will “bring home the title of education powerhouse”.
Similarly in Turkey, it is perceived that digital education makes it possible for every child to get the same high-quality education that they deserve. Zeynep Kazmaz from the Brown Human Rights Report states “a recently developed project in Turkey aims to create and share digital textbooks and lessons between schools across the country… Therefore, there will be a digital platform that gives youth the opportunity of receiving the same level of education.”
So, should publishers give up on digital textbooks? Definitely not. As long as adoption of tablets in the classroom is on the rise, the demand for digital textbooks will remain. Savvy teachers are backing this, they know that their enthusiasm will help us to embrace this change – the future of learning is bound to be digital. We now need to strive to improve the quality of the content that students access online, riding the wave of new features, new technology and new ways of captivating students – to make learning fun and accessible for all.