Florida and Texas led a major push for digital materials in the classroom in 2011, strengthening the foundation for the use of technology intextbook adoption states. According to a recent report from publishing forecast firm Simba Information, sales generated from state textbook adoption programs totaled $660 million in 2011.
Texas provided a snapshot of the digital trend in K-12 schools when it called for all submissions in supplemental science in grades 5-12 to be digital. In addition, Texas included digital materials for the language arts; however the uptake was slight, with teachers preferring their own materials in digital formats, rather than those of their students.
“Texas jettisoned the term textbook and replaced it with instructional materials, expanding the adoption process,” said Kathy Mickey, author of the report. “Recent changes have also allowed districts to acquire hardware using the adoption funds.”
Florida’s state Board of Education overhauled its instructional materials adoption process and placed a greater emphasis on the approval and spending for digital materials. The immediate impact was that publishers had to submit only digital materials for the new statewide social studies adoption, according to the report.
“In response to a decade-long effort by school administrators and educators to implement more digital programs, Florida is requiring all instructional materials in the adoption process to be digital by the 2015-2016 school year,” said Mickey. “By the same year, districts are required to spend at least 50% of their funding on digital materials.”
Almost all adoption states now are either promoting or permitting the inclusion of digital textbooks and other digital resources — and in many cases hardware, as well — in what was once a process almost exclusively tailored to print textbooks.
The report, “Simba Information’s 2011 National Textbook Adoption Scorecard and 2012 Outlook,” provides a breakdown of each adoption opportunity in 2011, highlighting the market share for each publisher by subject. It also provides an outlook for future adoptions through the 2014-2015 school year and covers trends including the impact of Common Core Standards on the adoption process and the move towards digital materials.