Report: School Leaders Predict Greater Ebook Use in Next Two Years

According to the State of the Digital Market from LightSail, the majority of U.S. school leaders predict their schools will take a substantial step in the transition from paper to ebooks in the next two years. Overall, the participants believe that the library purchase model is what will work best for their schools rather than a subscription or rental model.

Key Numbers

  • 94% of respondents predicted an increase in the number of ebooks read by students in the next 2 years.
  • 59% report that ebooks currently account for fewer than 10% of books read.
  • 52% expect that, within two years, ebooks will account for more than 40% of books read.
  • District and school leaders show strong interest in technology tools for literacy: 86% have researched at least one of these tools; 58% have researched 3 or more tools.

Respondents also shared their concerns about transitioning to ebooks.

  • Challenges finding all desired titles in ebook format.
  • Ensuring that the reading experience honors pedagogical needs.
  • Ensuring that students accessing ebook libraries “are selecting content appropriate for their social/emotional level.”
  • Overall cost of transition to ebooks, and questions about access to ample devices to support student use of ebooks.

“With a record 10 million tablets and computers sold into US schools last year, district leaders and decision makers are gearing up to make a major shift from print to digital,” said Gideon Stein, Founder and CEO of LightSail Education. “The results of this survey strongly suggest that schools are looking to build digital libraries where they own their content outright rather than experiment with models like book rentals or subscriptions.”

Read the State of the Digital Market from LightSail.

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