Innovations in digital publishing have created a veritable science-fiction for consumers and students. Textbooks and magazines have given way to learning mediums that can be accessed through mobile devices at one’s fingertips. Digital content now allows for a more immersive and accessible learning environment for students.
When a student was doing research in the past, they had to manage a variety of outside factors. They had to be cognizant of library hours, the availability of subject matter experts, and have a good working knowledge of the library system as a whole. Now, students have the world at their disposal with built-in search engines and mixed media e-delivery tools. These tools, coupled with inexpensive, high-speed, and widely accessible internet, provides instant accessibility to subject matter experts worldwide and their knowledge.
Many manufacturers have been developing inexpensive computers to facilitate the delivery and consumption of e-content. Companies like Intel, HP, Dell, and Toshiba have manufactured devices specifically for consumers in the field of education to better utilize digital content. An example of this is seen through the Chromebook’s presence in K-12 schools. Further, Amazon’s Kindle has made educational materials accessible to a general consumer market.
Beginning with the release of Kindle in 2007, consumers saw a new way to access written content. They could now purchase most novels and online magazines at home. The benefits of e-publishing became quickly apparent to the education community. This resulted in a large number of publishers beginning to focus on e-textbooks.
Publishing companies that specialize in digital content delivery and customizing dashboards specific to educational fields are entering the market and shaping the ways that students learn. (Top eLearning Content Development Companies.)
One such company is Cengage. Cengage, Inc. is an online textbook supplier. Something useful about this company is that they allow students to pay a single fee which grants them access to a large number of educational resources.
One of Cengage’s most popular tools is Cengage Unlimited, which provides students with access to over twenty-two thousand (22,000) e-delivery titles covering seventy (70) disciplines for educational material. This cost and time efficient tool saves students hundreds of dollars and hours of research. To put this in perspective, a student at a typical four year school like Troy University, which has 200,000 volumes in its physical book collection, can utilize Cengage Unlimited and potentially carry up to 11% of Troy University’s physical library on their laptop.
Alleviating the need for students to be in the same location as a physical book has also made learning available to students at any time and location. To address this new learning model, college campuses are being reconfigured with open-air study environments, high-speed Wi-Fi, and extended hours in various buildings such as libraries. Further, a student can attend classes carrying a laptop instead of toting a stack of textbooks around campus.
Another benefit of e-textbooks is that revisions of e-books can be accessed without the purchase of brand-new editions. With the licensing arrangements offered by many e-publishers, students receive many of these updates with no additional costs.
Students are also being exposed to new digital mediums as early as elementary school. This early exposure to digital media has transformed learning. As students move through elementary school, highschool, and matriculate into university, they are more adept at the use of these tools and are more open to exploring them as they become available.
This shift in learning trends has provided students with the ability to delve deeper into specific topics and interests in a way that prior generations would not have been able. Students may utilize assigned e-texts, as well as easily accessible online content to enrich their learning experience. Digital publishing also gives publishers the ability to intersperse different styles of learning content inside a specific learning segment; thereby, maximizing the learning for the student.
Digital publishing in the field of education has transformed the ways that students learn and has made significant improvements in both the lives of university students as well as educators. Limitless opportunities have been enabled for students and educators to tailor education content in a variety of ways to maximize the learning experience. With the ability to access information in the blink of an eye and customize the delivery of learning material, digital publishing has created an unprecedented, accessible, and efficient learning environment.