Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age

Today the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) released Out of Print: Reimagining the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age. This report highlights the sea change underway in the multi-billion dollar U.S. K-12 instructional materials market enabled by recent technology and intellectual property rights innovations. With a focus on the ultimate impact on student learning, the report provides examples of lessons learned from recent digital and open content/open educational resources (OER) initiatives by leading states and school districts. It concludes by offering recommendations for government, industry, and educators to ensure that the inevitable shift to digital instructional materials improves student achievement.

Given existing trends and the experiences of leading states and districts, the core recommendation of the SETDA report is that states and districts commit to beginning the shift from print to digital instructional materials with the next major "textbook" adoption cycle, completing the transition within the next five years (by no later than the 2017-18 school year).

"In a time of tight budgets and increasing expectations, many schools today purchase both print and digital instructional materials in a duplicative and uncoordinated fashion, with far too little attention to quality and value for money," said Douglas Levin, SETDA executive director. "If the shift to digital instructional materials is not made immediately, major funding will continue to be directed to traditional materials that will tie the hands of students and educators to static, inflexible content for years to come."

Out of Print is a product of collaboration among state educational technology leaders, leading technology companies, publishers, and policy and practitioner experts committed to driving innovation in K-12 instructional materials. The examples in the report of successful digital and open content initiatives highlight the opportunity to modernize a decades- old approach to textbook adoption.

To access the full report, visit: http://setda.org/web/guest/outofprint