While approvals of state accountability plans under the Every Child Succeeds Act provide some stability in the U.S. school market in terms of policy and the direction of learning in the states, the federal push for open educational resources via the GoOpen initiative and the sheer variety of available instructional resources creates less predictability in terms what schools will demand in terms of textbooks, courseware and other instructional materials.
"Purchasing guidelines in states and schools no longer are based on one textbook per student in a given subject," said Kathy Mickey, senior analyst and managing editor of the Education Group at Simba Information, the business intelligence and research organization focused on the education and academic publishing industries.
"The increased use of apps, games, maker spaces for hands-on projects and activities increasingly are being viewed as viable means to meet the needs of individual students and to create an atmosphere of personalized learning," Mickey said.
The increased variety in educational resources is at the core of the research in Publishing for PreK-12 Market 2018-2019, the newly released market forecast on the Prek-12 school market and publishing industry from Simba Information.
As increased personalization of learning influences the demand for different types of instructional resources, Simba expects to see extended growth in what traditionally have been called supplemental resources.
As Simba looks ahead over the next several years, its growth projections show a gain in the tried and true trade books—important for literacy—growing at a projected compound annual rate of 4.6% through 2021. The projection is based on expectation that demand for literature and non-fiction will continue, particularly in the K-8 segment, as demands for improved literacy instruction continue.
Courseware is projected to increase at the second-highest rate—by a 3.9% annual compound rate—benefitting from demands for resources in STEM, computer science and career and technical education, according to the Simba report.