Your Voice: Q&A - The Future of Educational Publishing

Your Voice: Q&A - The Future of Educational Publishing

EM recently chatted with Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing, which owns and operates Digital Book World, about the future of educational publishing.

What do you see as the continuing role of textbooks in higher education? In K-12?

BM: The trend across education has been for educators to involve more open educational resources in the classroom, mixing in different types of media with traditional textbooks. One main difference we see is that higher education generally offers more latitude to educators who create their own textbooks to teach from. Still, OER plays an increasing role and has had the net effect of somewhat reducing the price of textbooks by reducing demand.

What about any trends with trade books/leveled books supplanting the traditional textbook in K-12?

BM: Trade books have been able to supplant textbooks in some K-12 situations where standards and testing requirements are lessened or non-existent. But textbooks still reign in the majority of K-12 primarily for the reason that school administrators and school boards are incentivized to maximize performance on state testing.

Any thoughts on clickable paper to mesh the print and digital worlds?

BM: The future of educational publishing, as well as publishing of other types of content used in professional learning contexts or corporate training, will benefit greatly from the continued experimentation of hybrid print and digital models. Clickable paper is a great example and I think it's just scratching the surface of new types of experiences companies will layer on top of the traditionally printed book.

How might voice-first impact publishers and benefit K-12 and higher education?

BM: Voice-first technology—voice assistants, smart speakers, and all sorts of technology for which voice is the first and preferred interface, with other interfaces being used only as necessary—is changing a lot of different industries, including publishing. Content creators—including educational publishers—now are considering ways to bring their content into voice-first ecosystems. Students will be able to learn from textbooks and other resources in new and interesting ways. Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and other voice ecosystems will open a lot of new doors.

What are some other hot education topics at Digital Book World this fall?

BM: A panel on university presses will discuss the issues confronting higher education publishing; another panel will focus on the growing role of OER in both K-12 and higher ed. "Education Book World," our breakout track for education-oriented publishing, also will include discussion of scholarly publishing and academic journals, providing a well-rounded look into how the shifting publishing landscape is affecting our educators, the good and the bad.

DBW 2018, an annual gathering of the wide world of publishing, takes place October 2-4 in Nashville, TN. More information is available at Editor’s note:From time to time, Educational Marketer provides a platform for outside commentary on issues relevant to the PreK-12 and higher education markets in this space called Your Voice If interested, please contact Kathy Mickey, managing editor at