Digital Instructional Materials Gaining Ground in Science/STEM Education, New Study Finds

Press Release
Jun 22, 2015
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Stamford, CT, June 22, 2015 — The national trend of shifting to the use of digital instructional materials in the classroom is affecting science/STEM education, according to findings in Science/STEM Market 2015, a new study from Education Market Research (EMR)/Simba Information.

EMR’s survey data indicates that the market share owned by the core Science textbook is slipping. There has been a 10-point decline in textbook usage compared to EMR’s 2012 survey results, most of which is coming from grades 9-12. On the other hand, the shift to digital continues to gain momentum. The survey data shows that 45.4% of the Science classrooms are now “high digital”, with another 25.7% “medium digital”. That leaves just 28.8% at the “low digital” level.

The report also addresses how widespread school districts are adopting Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and instituting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curricula. The answer, it appears, is that use of both programs is spotty.

“It appears that NGSS and STEM are making very slow progress,” said Dr. Robert M. Resnick, president and principal researcher for EMR. “Looking at the numbers, 16.1% of all survey respondents have fully implemented NGSS, at least at some grade levels, but the majority (73.2%) are still in the early planning or early implementation stage, or have not addressed NGSS at all.”

On the STEM side, the majority (50.9%) have achieved some degree of implementation, the report found, while 44.3% are still far from implementation. However, that represents a significant improvement compared to EMR’s 2012 survey findings.

Science/STEM Market 2015 June 2015, covers the estimated $1.1 billion market for textbook and non-textbook Science instructional materials and digital resources in 2014-15.

EMR’s survey was designed to answer critical questions about Science instruction in terms of preferred strategies and materials most frequently used. Areas investigated include which textbooks, supplemental materials and publishers are used most often at different grade levels and how they are perceived by teachers, the level of discretionary funds spent on supplemental texts, workbooks, teacher resource materials, online/digital content, assessments, and other non-textbook materials and programs, and the progress of NGSS and STEM at different grade levels and within each of the five regions of the country.

The information in Science/STEM Market 2015 is unique and not available from any government or commercial source other than EMR/Simba Information. For more information on the report please visit or call 888-29-SIMBA.

About Education Market Research

EMR analyzes the U.S. K-12 school market in all of it facets - textbooks, supplemental materials, computer hardware, software, video, online - and in each of its grade levels, major curriculum areas, and “markets within the market”. The data contained in EMR’s publications comes from original studies conducted by EMR using an information gathering network comprised of tens of thousands of educators. EMR provides original market intelligence not available from any other source.

About Simba Information

Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba publishes newsletters and research reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies. For more information, please visit

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