States Redefine Textbooks to Include Digital Format, Simba Report Finds

I have the press release here, and if you want the full report it will cost you $1300.From the press release:In an effort to increase student engagement with content while decreasing spending on textbooks, adoption state review boards are incorporating digital programs into their strategy. According to "2010 National Textbook Adoption Scorecard and 2011 Outlook," a new report published by Simba Information, the lingering recession is pushing adoption boards to reconsider how they define the textbook in the 21st century. 

Expanding the adoption process to include digital programs is a growing trend in the adoption states, first pioneered in West Virginia. Motivated by anticipated cost savings, various adoption boards have purchased more digital materials than in previous years; however, they have not yet begun to replace textbooks.

"Quite often, there is confusion in the relationship between print textbooks and their digital counterparts," said Kathy Mickey, Managing Editor and Senior Analyst at Simba Information. "Some people incorrectly assume that they compete with each other, when in fact, they are the same product offered through a different medium."

Top publishers, such as Pearson's enVisionMATH and Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt's Journeys, offer a multimedia-formatted digital program that mixes a full digital path with print textbooks. Simba expects publishers to expand digital offerings, especially for reading, in their bids for Texas adoptions next year.

"Next year may well be the strongest outlet for digital programs in textbook adoption states we will see," adds Mickey.

The lingering recession, which has led to cuts in state education budgets, is pushing adoption boards to redefine the textbook. Notably, Louisiana has defined any medium or material that constitutes a principal source of teaching and learning to be a textbook. Louisiana is also at the forefront of a move to fully adopt digital programs by only approving textbooks that also have an electronic version.

A noteworthy pilot program was launched in Virginia, specifically for a social studies curriculum, where students are using iPads with access to digital resources to create multimedia projects, the report details.

"I would go so far as to say that what happens in textbook adoption states will impact the entire K-12 market; an encouraging sign for a digital future in schools," Mickey notes.

The report, "2010 National Textbook Adoption Scorecard and 2011 Outlook," examines results from individual states, disciplines and grade segments, and provides an analysis of trends in electronic products along with key adoption opportunities for 2011. It is available at:

About Nate Hoffelder (11789 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on States Redefine Textbooks to Include Digital Format, Simba Report Finds

  1. I am having trouble imagining how to use a textbook in ebook format. Ebooks are more like papyrus scrolls than books. Hard to do research or study from a scroll as many an ancient Egyptian found out. Needed to wait for codex until that sort of work was possible and easy. ???? I’ve tried it and always end up buying the hard copy. Could just be that I am in the wrong generation……

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