Pearson Announces Transition to Make All Textbook Updates ‘Digital First’

The publishing company's plan will cut costs for users and allow for faster updates, according to Pearson executives.

Textbook publishing company Pearson announced it will be taking all future updates to its existing textbooks online before releasing them in print, the company announced.

Additionally, by making updates online first, Pearson will be able to offer its textbooks at lower prices and update its content faster than before, Pearson CEO John Fallon told EdSurge

“Print will no longer drive our product development cycle,” Fallon said. “We can update the content more frequently, and students and faculty will be able to get the updates in real-time.”

This decision is in lockstep with a growing digital approach to education, a shift that is speeding up exponentially to cater to the next generation of learners. 

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“Publishers are innovating to meet an evolving student’s needs and their changing economic realities. For educational publishers, its both a challenge and an opportunity as newer generations of students spend more time on screens and less money on physical items,” said Matt Glotzbach, CEO of Quizlet and former vice president at Google in a statement to EdTech. “The need for digital distribution channels and enhanced digital experiences that meet students where they are has become paramount.”

Glotzbach agreed the move to online-first is a positive step for future higher education students and is a trend that will only continue over time. 

“If we take a step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s not just about digital textbooks. It’s about an ecosystem that can bring all of a student’s resources together,” Glotzbach added. “We are going to see publishers continue to expand their digital courseware options and look to subscriptions and other new business models. We’ll also see movement towards building out interactive, user-friendly digital platforms that include more partnerships with value-added resources and interactive study tools.”

Glotzbach expects the education industry will begin to see more customized resources tailored to specific student demands, including course-specific programs or micro-subscriptions.

Jul 26 2019

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