JUNE 5, 2020
BY SHANNON MAUGHAN, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Trade and educational companies offer lessons from their distance learning efforts.
For the past couple of months, as the world has grappled with stay-at-home orders and self-isolation in light of the COVID-19 crisis, PW has been reporting on the many ways that publishers and education companies are providing resources for educators, students, and families doing schoolwork at home. We checked in with a number of these companies to see how their efforts are going, what they’ve learned from this experience, and what summer and a new school year might look like.
Across the board, content providers we contacted in both the educational and trade segments of the industry reported that they’ve seen very high demand for their free digital resources since mid-March, when many schools and libraries were first forced to close their doors.
Students who are able to access digital materials from home “are definitely taking advantage of the free resources we’ve made available,” Britten Follett, Executive Vice President of Follett School Solutions, says. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, she notes, “We’ve seen nearly 10,000 schools sign up for our free offer of Classroom Ready Collections [standards-aligned open educational resources in various subjects] and nearly 30,000 register for access to the 1,000 free Lightbox [interactive eBook] titles.”