Free Online Content Forces Textbook Publishers to Adjust
It’s inevitable that states will pay Textbook publishers for quality of content and updating services in the future rather than for hard cover textbooks, the industry needs to get ahead of that curve.
Commercial publishers are accustomed to battling with one another for control of state and local markets for textbooks and other academic materials. Now they face a more complicated task: how to cope with what’s being offered to schools for free.
The menu of products available to educators today includes not only textbooks and digital products offered at a cost, but also a growing number of “open educational resources” developed or supported by nonprofit groups, universities, philanthropies, individual teachers, and entire states.
While those materials come in many different forms, they are generally defined as free resources that can be revised and redistributed by teachers and other users to meet their specific needs.
The rise of open educational materials is creating major shifts in a landscape that is already being transformed by the movement away from traditional hardbound materials to instruction delivered through technology. The best-known open resources live online, adding to their value among states and districts looking for low-cost, flexible materials in different markets.