The rise of digital learning has surpassed all expectations in a world beset by social distancing and an increased reliance on digital tools. During the pandemic, no sector was more impacted than education, as institutions the world over scrambled to keep learning alive. At the centre of this adaption was the evolution and proliferation of eBooks, including various forms of multimedia, which presented an opportunity to not only keep learning alive, but to take it to the next level.

At a South African level, access is still an issue. Dr Benadette Aineamani, director of Product & Services at the South African arm of international education provider, Pearson says, “Our school system already carries historical inequalities and pre-existing challenges such as language, lack of funds, infrastructure and resources, all playing a role.”

For Aineamani this is not to say that digital learning is not picking up pace in South Africa. “Our eStore has doubled annual revenue for two consecutive years, showing a demand for academic eBooks.”

To compensate for this surge in demand, Pearson needed to upgrade its eStore. “This refresh leverages and maintains key components of our existing system but simplifies them and adds some new elements to align our visual identity with Pearson today – a modern, digital and multi-dimensional learning company.”

?Pearson offers a comprehensive range of eBooks in multiple formats, to support the teaching and learning process for school, TVET and higher education institutions. In line with the capabilities of digital platforms, the company has even developed interactive eBooks, which are enhanced with links, interactive activities, case studies and media-rich content that brings the text to life, stimulates critical thinking and reinforces study skills.

Aineamani says the South African education sector is primed to take advantage of this new wave of digital learning. However, she notes that South Africans should never forget about those on the other side of the digital divide. For her, she is optimistic about government partnering with the private sector to spearhead the leap toward digital education.

“Digital transformation can only be achieved once government and its partners consider various solutions to issues such as awareness, connectivity, expensive data costs, skills development, hardware access, as well as contextual multilingual digital learning content, and effective use of digital content," says Aineamani.

To learn more about how Pearson is enhancing digital education at every level, visit the new and improved Pearson eStore.

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