By all accounts, the future of digital publication for education hasn't changed—it's just been accelerated. While we are all tired of the pandemic, it's clear that the industry, which is poised to deliver incremental growth of $65.31B leading into 2025 is both accelerating, and at an important crossroad. The digital divide is a persistent problem in the classroom, with many teachers failing to adopt to the rapidly changing landscape, others without access to the tools necessary to create asynchronous learning environments, and students from some underserved areas still lacking basic access.
It begs the question, how can we in the educational publishing and EdTech communities help bridge the digital divide? Is technology the panacea or are their other untapped solutions that need to be vetted?
For me, as an EdTech entrepreneur, digital native, and husband of a classroom teacher, there has been plenty to observe over the course of the past 26 months. The acceleration of the classroom of tomorrow was evident, as higher income districts quickly adopted new digitally enabled solutions, transitioned classrooms, and made the best of a difficult time. On the flip side, teachers were worked raw, to the point we are seeing a mass exodus from the profession. Students performance on standardized tests are showing a clear decline in learning during the pandemic, indicating that the rapidly adopted remote learning programs has some serious flaws, and continual effort will need to be made to close the gaps that exist in technology, and for the students we aim to serve.
Great challenges lead to greater opportunities. EdTech and digital publishers have the opportunity to be standard bearers for sustained growth and improved outcomes. I can envision a post-Covid era where learn-from-home is as ubiquitous as work-from-home, where skill based training is thoughtfully integrated into curriculum, and teacher professional development is thorough and easy to access. Together, we will continue to improve educational systems so the leaders of tomorrow can say their educational experiences were of the highest quality possible.
By: Rich Portelance
Vice President, Marketing