Thoughts on education, publishing, and other intellectual titillations – by Marie Brown, Consulting Editorial Project Director
***The following comments, views, and opinions are solely those of Marie Brown, and do not necessarily reflect those of Westchester Publishing Services, its management, and staff.***
As 2018 is winding down, I’m taking the space this month to reflect on the significant education-related events of the past year and ponder what may lie ahead for education and publishing in 2019. I’m not going to attach my own opinions and biases, but simply state the facts as I recorded them.
LOOKING BACK ON 2018
SCHOOL SHOOTINGS – Regretfully, several instances of shootings in schools permeated the news cycles this year. The tragedy that befell the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL gripped the attention and horror of the nation for months and is still in the news. A recent decision by the Parkland Shooting Panel concluded that the best way to protect students is by arming teachers –at least those who would volunteer to do so. We’ll have to see the reaction to this announcement.
TEACHER STRIKES – Teachers have long been underpaid and underappreciated. This year, activists took their grievances public, taking to the streets to garner attention to their plight and hoping to gain support. With the teacher-shortage alert, school administrators are faced with a serious challenge.
TEACHER/POLITICIANS – Perhaps as a result of the two aforementioned items, a growing number of teachers have opted to leave the profession and enter the world of politics. The recent mid-term elections saw the election of
several teachers to state and national offices. It will be interesting to see how they fair in this new pursuit and how they will bring their perspective to the issues at hand.
$$ for SCHOLARS – Seriously wealthy people were choosing to fund education endeavors. Among those who have donated MILLIONS toward that end are: Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Jeff Bezos, LeBron James, and Rihanna.
DIGITALLY SPEAKING – The migration from textbooks to digital platforms seemed to be gaining speed. Traditional educational publishers’ profits were down while tech giants such as YouTube, Google, and Amazon jumped in to add to the disruption.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019
PERSONALIZED LEARNING – This trend is getting increasing attention, and educators and publishers are reacting. Look for more products that will address this need with a focus on digital solutions.
ED-BIZ-BUZZ – Experts forecast that the global market for e-learning will reach $4.4 TRILLION this year and rising over the next 5 years. This projection includes several sectors: K-12, higher ed, corporate & government programs). This news is spreading globally. Several sources report that China is actively exploring how to capitalize into this lucrative opportunity. Other countries will no doubt follow suit. Stay tuned.
CIVICS – Alarmed by how little students know about our government, the Constitution, etc., look for educators and publishers, both text and digital, to address the issue by creating more civics-related materials designed to prepare students to be “capable citizens”.
AULD LANG SYNE
To close out this year, I would like to thank Westchester Publishing Services for giving me the opportunity to write this monthly blog—reporting education and publishing news while also voicing my opinions and biases along the way.
I wish you all a fruitful new year!
P.S.: Due to new and time-consuming project obligations, I need to put my blog postings on hold for now. Stay tuned for future ruminations.