Why Instructional Materials Need to Personalize Learning

Why Instructional Materials Need to Personalize Learning

New education plans are unfolding under the auspices of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and affecting the $8.75 billion PreK-12 instructional materials industry. The 2015 act transfers policy and innovation in design of standards and systems to the state level.  After more than a decade of big changes dictated by Washington, D.C., states are now re-asserting their individual goals. 

The instructional materials industry will be adjusting textbooks, courseware, assessments, and other education solutions and products. Education resource marketers' adjustments coincide with PreK-12 education trends such as decreased testing, a renewed push for literacy, the inclusion of STEM in curriculums, and the classroom's ongoing digital transition, covered in Simba's report, Publishing for the PreK-12 Market, 2017-2018.

“Going digital does not just mean more robotics and virtual reality in schools,” said Kathy Mickey, senior analyst and managing editor of Simba's Education Group, which produced the report. ,”Ubiquitous search engines and social media networking sites available to teachers make it inevitable that open source and free materials will be a bigger part of the instructional mix.”

PreK-12's instructional materials industry struggled in 2016. The market was never jumpstarted, especially for the largest segment basal curriculum. Core basal program publishers experienced declining sales in states that adopt programs. 

Digital Resources Enhance Student Experience

In education technology, more providers are entering the courseware market at a time when courseware options are expanding and available to more students. Education devices that prioritize learning personalization and enhance the student experience are contributing to the demand for digital content in K-12 education. Simba estates digital media accounting for approximately 57% of media used in schools in 2016.

Some digital education providers, such as LEGO Education, include free lesson plans that help educators enhance learning effectiveness, as well as online courses for teachers that demonstrate how to implement LEGO Education solutions into existing STEM curriculums and lesson planning. 

“The spread of computing devices in schools and the embrace by educators of personalizing learning will continue to be the drivers of new and more effective learning materials whether in an app, a textbook, virtual reality or a classroom magazine,” Mickey said.

Simba predicts that K-12 instructional materials will experience growth to 2020. Trends influencing market growth are covered in Publishing for the PreK-12 Market, 2017-2018, which examines instructional materials through nine categories: basal core curriculum, courseware, statewide tests, digital supplements, print supplements, manipulatives, trade books, video, and classroom magazines.

As the market evolves, Simba Information projects that the PreK-12 instructional materials industry will grow at a 2.5% compound annual rate to $9.46 billion in 2020.

More information on STEM education in schools can be found in Simba's K-12 Mathematics Market Report 2016