With education shifting to online platforms due to COVID-19, publication houses have had to adapt and innovate to stay relevant in the rapidly changing post Covid era. With schools, colleges, and universities as their primary customers, the need for study materials and resources compatible with e-learning is more relevant than ever.
Exploring technologies such as interactive PDFs, videos, audiobooks, and virtual reality (VR) is important for publication houses, mainly due to the stagnating demand for printed books. The pandemic has expedited the transition from offline education to online education. Even after the impact of pandemic fades away, institutions will likely adapt the hybrid education model, rather than returning back to just the pen and paper or in-campus methods.
Even before COVID-19, the use of technology to improve education was being explored by various experts. However, COVID-19 , catalyzed the transition to a rate faster than ever imagined, thus precipitating instructional content gravitating towards the use of electronic media. The global e-learning market is now expected to reach over $457 billion by 2026.
Increasing demand for online study material
The need for study material for online teaching is increasing manifold. Print media is already suffering from a massive loss of revenue due to COVID-19 and increasing customers’ inclination towards digital content.
Circumstances have made it necessary for educational institutions to adopt the online/hybrid model of education. Even after the pandemic subsides, the institutions will be more than willing to continue the hybrid education model in sync with the changing consumer needs. The bad news is that the market for printed books for education is bound to get affected, and the growth, which is already stagnating, might start plummeting. This stagnating demand for printed books is mainly due to shift towards e-learning. With digitalization, students and teachers often find it more convenient to use e-books than in paper form, inevitably pushing digitization. However, the good news is that this is the perfect time to expand the portfolio and add products that are more suitable for online education. Adapting and evolving to the new normal is no longer an option, but a prerequisite for survival.
With the focus shifting to online classrooms and lectures, the demand for study material compatible with online learning (storage media, web apps etc.) is increasing at a fast rate and publication houses must account for this while deciding their future digitization vs print strategy. Studies have shown that the attention span and retention rate of students is much less in digital mode rather than in print mode. Therefore, it is important to create material that is more engaging for the students. It creates the need of formats which are better than regular PDFs.
New opportunities for publication houses driven by technology
The change in the education format brings many opportunities for publication houses:
a.The current situation presents a perfect opportunity to explore virtual reality (VR) technology to create content for curriculum. VR in education is not a new concept, however, it is still not accessible to students at a large scale.
b.By adopting technologies and collecting data, publication houses can also ascertain the type of content required, based on the demographics and regions, thus supporting customized content. Also, new information (trends/user preferences) can be updated more frequently, making it easier to adjust and modify the content just before launching it into the market.
c.The customer experience will also improve as the feedback and implementation cycle will be shorter.
Educational content publishers need to embrace technology and adapt to the change at an optimum speed. Some of these options include:
- Interactive documents that contain sounds, videos, and other features can be created and sold. These are also more likely to keep the learners engaged due to their interactive nature.
- Publishers can create videos of the content of their books. This will increase the variety of the portfolio of products offered by the companies. Firms like Pearson are already using videos to attract more educational institutions.
- Given that virtual reality is now more easily accessible, this is the right time to produce contents for VR platforms. The most effective use of VR will be to provide practical content like lab experiments and simulated scenarios.
- Published materials and videos can contain links to websites which conduct assessments of the learnings. They can also contain PDFs to access additional reference contents.
- Publishers may also want to explore the audiobook industry. Many companies are already creating audiobooks which are slowly gaining favor with a set of audience, though still remain niche.
Wipro’s capabilities to enable publishing companies and education providers seamlessly adapt to digitalization
Wipro provides several services to publishing companies that are looking forward to change and adapt to the new hybrid education model. With the competency in IT services and consulting, Wipro can help our clients in the following ways:
- Operational and distribution services of content distribution. We can track the links and analyze it to detect piracy and copyright infringement
- Wipro has been augmenting its virtual reality capabilities and can help the publishers to generate the VR content and execute the overall experience
- Advisory and consulting services to explore the various technologies and create engaging content
- Reducing the data usage by videos and audiobooks for enhanced cost efficiency and user-friendly interface, resulting in better customer engagement
- Custom solutions based on clients’ current offerings and the resources available for use. We can also help clients to continuously track industry trends and best practices available for implementation
Publishing houses catering to the needs of K-12, colleges, and universities need to evolve with time. Online education may not completely replace the traditional offline models, but the rate of their adoption is high. It is evident that adapting the technology in the new market is not just an option anymore, it is mandatory to stay relevant and keep growing. The competencies and experience of Wipro can help companies in enhancing their products and seamlessly managing operations of the company.
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