The textbook is changing. In the age of the computer, smartphones, tablets and a younger generation increasingly going online to interact with one another, so educational materials are having to change, too. No longer is a simple text book appropriate.
Increasingly there is a demand for additional material that can be used for more interactive teaching, such as a DVD provided with the book that allows the use of multimedia to assist pupils with understanding the subject matter traditionally handled by the textbook. Additional information can be imparted, exercises can be provided which can be automatically marked.
And there is another dimension of teaching that the new technologies provide, that of using IT in other ways. Software enables school children to become more intimately involved in the subjects they study, while taking the teaching online can pitch pupils one against another in a competitive environment, as it increasingly used for computer games.
As well as doing homework online, lessons now have the potential to make the most of broadband connections. And just as new smartphone and tablet “apps” are instantly updated to eliminate bugs, so it is now possible to provide online access to coursework material, which can be updated instantly and uniformly, ensuring everyone using it only has access to the latest, approved version of any material they are using.
All of these changes present new challenges for textbook publishers. Thankfully, alongside the traditional textbook publishing companies, there are new providers springing up and harnessing new disciplines such as software design, animation and graphics production. These skills, once the preserve of the film industry, are increasingly being employed to create learning materials that can fire the imagination of school children in new ways, and add to the learning experience.
One such company that has grouped these new disciplines together is HL Studios. The company now provides a flexible support to mainstream school textbook publishers, helping them to meet the demands of school curriculum boards and organisers, as they prepare the materials required for upcoming teaching schedules. Today’s e-books, for example, can include video, images and activities within their pages.
Within its own team, HL Studios is able to provide a fast, effective and fully project managed support to leading textbook publishers. The portfolio of services available includes page layout, design and illustration as well as a host of animation development activities, capable of delivering the most forward-thinking multimedia material.
The use of an outsourced subcontractor also helps to deal with the inevitable peaks in workload that crop up. During the development of new coursework it is quite possible for a textbook publisher to be awarded a project that must be delivered within a tight timescale, putting pressure on the existing in-house team. In such situations, it makes absolute sense to outsource elements of the project to be developed and delivered by a resource such as HL Studios, which can react quickly and flexibly to the publisher’s demands, helping to ensure a consistent quality of work and delivery to deadline. For a textbook publisher facing the challenge of a tightly timed project, the opportunity of outsourcing is one not to be ignored.
Phone: +44 (01993) 848260
HL Studios, Witney Business Centre, Windrush House, Witney, Oxon, OX29 7DX.
HL Studios Witney Business Centre, Windrush House, Witney, Oxon, OX29 7DX
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