States, districts, and schools purchase instructional materials in a variety of formats for instructional needs. Print materials, textbooks, workbooks and paper-based activities continue to be mainstream instructional materials in K12 education however, shifting to digital is a fast growing trend and often teacher and student resources are a blend of both print and digital. As schools and districts move towards student-centered, personalized learning approaches to increase student success — utilizing digital resources supports these deeper learning experiences. Digital materials can provide increased benefits via interactive functions that support differentiated learners and pique student interests. Digital materials are often more flexible and portable than print content and can be more easily adapted to personalize learning experiences. Digital materials may include full course content, specific apps based on subject areas, online textbooks, and simulations.
Digital Material’s Unique Characteristics
Digital materials provide many teaching and learning benefits to educators and students.
- Opportunity for more rapid updates than traditional print materials
- More easily adapted to address students’ learning differences and styles (with an appropriate license),
- Interactive functions
- Long-term storage of content
- Inclusion of video and adaptive practice
- Real-time assessments
- encourage collaboration, co-creation
Beyond the PDF – The shift to digital is not just a digital format of a textbook. Digital content should be interactive and engaging including features such as videos, practice activities, word banks, dictionaries, and note taking tools.