Digital Content and the Future of Education

Professionals taking training courses can now store their digital content on any mobile device including phones, tablets and e-readers.

Published on 29 September, 2015 | Last modified on 1 November, 2022

Education is one field in which digital content has become incredibly popular. Professionals in this field are realizing how students of any age, including individuals who are being trained on corporate materials, can now store all of their content on e-readers and tablets.

Higher education and digital content
Online resources are especially valuable to students, who often purchase expensive textbooks at the beginning of a semester or training course, only to resell them for half their value a few months later. Additionally, many people find out that their textbooks are no longer of value, as their edition is out of date.

“Many schools are integrating supplementary digital content.”

In an effort to serve the needs of cost-savvy individuals, many publishing companies are introducing their textbooks online. This may have more than just a financial benefit, according to a recent survey by Book Industry Study Group. The study revealed that 52 percent of higher education students agreed with the statement, “I would rather pay $100 for a learning solution that improves my result by one letter grade and reduces my study time by 25 percent than $50 for my current textbook.” Nadine Vassallo, BISG’s project manager for research and information, told Digital Book World that this represents the “decline of the core textbook as the essential component of higher education content.”

This decrease in paper book sales is largely due to financial burden. Nearly 90 percent of BISG survey respondents said price is important and only 27 percent feel current prices are reasonable. As a result, “illicit acquisition behaviors,” are rapidly increasing, according to Vassallo. These behaviors include using pirated websites, photocopying and downloading copies of course materials from peers. File sharing is now the No. 1 illicit method of acquisition.

This behavior is not only fueled by financial burden, but also the sentiment that course materials aren’t valuable. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed responded that their textbooks are recommended but not required.

The decrease in paper book sales in largely due to financial burden; switch over to digital contentThe decrease in paper book sales is largely due to financial burden.

Digital content for K-12: A lesson for corporate training
Although digital content is becoming mainstream for students of all kinds, corporate or otherwise, K-12 programs are making the switch more gradually, which is something that professionals holding training courses might want to take note of. Some schools have already introduced one-to-one computing programs, but most are taking a hybrid approach of both print and digital resources.

Prohibitive costs are often the deterrent for most primary and secondary educational institutions. According to Ed Week, many districts can’t afford to purchase laptops, tablets and other electronic devices. Some schools don’t have the resources to train staff on how to use the technology and integrate it across different subjects. Others simply don’t have the Internet bandwidth. Another deterrent is the fear that less privileged students won’t have proper Internet access after school, and will fall behind on digital assignments.

Although some organizations – schools or companies – cannot make the complete switch to digital content, many are integrating supplementary digital content. Robert Carbon, an honors Algebra teacher from Florida, told Ed Week that he has adopted a learning management system that allows him to modify assignments and questions for students. This might be a worthy tactic for those trying to engage professionals learning in a corporate environment. He also uses the platform to post these materials, videos and other content.

Top 10 Things to Consider When Delivering Training Content Digitally

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