The Impacts of Technologies on Publishing and Education Sectors

The Impacts of Technologies on Publishing and Education Sectors
Course: Publishing 401
Student Name: Jim (Junyao) Huang
Student Number: 301144358
Instructor: Juan Alperin

Publishing industry comprises of magazine, book and newspaper industries. Products from the publishing industry have had a great influence on the cultural and socio-political environment; an example is the education system. Technology advancement in digitization has led to increasing in popularity of e-books and various online resources. It has led to high levels of competition, which affects consumer spending. It is believed that digitization in online newspapers and e- books has led to dying of the industry. On the contrary, it has opened up new opportunities (Greco, 2005). The aim of this paper is to find the points of both convergence and divergence on the use of technology in the publishing industry and education sector.

With digital technologies, there exist virtually no boundaries of time or geography. Magazines, books, and newspapers can now be published anytime and anywhere. Digital technology provides a platform for marketing in which digitization of books in websites has made it easier for students to access information with no limits. It has reduced the burden of carrying hefty books from one location to another. The Internet has led to saving of time for other activities since physical distribution has disappeared. The distribution now exists in forms of electronic copies. Distribution of the copies on the Internet is done freely and therefore costs are cut for producing additional books and journals (Ronte, 2000). Saving of costs leads to economic growth. However, fixed costs tend to increase because digital publishing requires investments in the installation of networks. According to Ronte, digital distribution is fast compared to physical distribution and its exclusive access attracts more consumers.

In the education sector, the Internet has facilitated a platform in which educational materials can be shared from one person to another. This development has led to increasing in popularity of distance learning. It has been made flexible to study while doing other tasks like working since attending school is no longer mandatory. There are new platforms where teachers and students can connect within the network (De, 2003). However, a clear assessment of students undertaking online learning is not yet figured out. In the current generation, most students are computer literate and hence are exposed to unique online resources, which increase their knowledge. They can also access the Internet from their mobile phones and tablets. The Internet and mobile technologies have provided a platform for advertising. School admissions and job opportunities are now made available online. Advertising of job opportunities helps students know the available job openings in the market and what is required of them to acquire the jobs. Students can also know the openings for admission in various schools from a wide variety. It offers opportunities for students to enroll in schools in other continents because they can apply via the Internet or use the option of distance learning. This is an indication of enhanced diversification.

The Internet and digital technologies have eased off if not solved the problem of oversupply in the publishing industry. Currently, there are close to 72 million active websites with 5% of the websites being blogged (McGuire, 2015). Links have been introduced to solve the problem. Links create currency for writers and readers to surface and access wonderful stuff. Google has built a reputation exchange in that, the more the links one has, the more the importance of Google search. The more weighted links confer their importance to others. It created an ecosystem for writers and readers to a point blogs are the fact of life and are created in various ways to make them attractive. Strictly speaking, Google does not make money from the free content they offer. In fact, profits are generated from selling advertising space on their screens. Customers’ profiles are being sold to advertisers (Morrison, 2011).

An opportunity created by technology is the invention of e- books, which has been growing rapidly. An advantage of e- books is that a publisher can never be out of print and the supply chain in the industry is shorter and faster (Carreiro, 2010). It results to lower costs, which result in higher profits for authors and publishers. Readers also access the books at lower prices. In the past, hardcopy books were commonly used in the education sector, for learning and teaching. The invention of e-books has led to the development of education sector in the cost of purchasing books has been minimized. Teachers can now teach via information on the Internet and students can access the information. Digitalization, however, goes in hand with piracy. E-books face a risk of being copied and being spread illegally on the Internet, but this is solved by both compression and encryption. According to Carreiro, the digital object identifier is an initiative of the publishing community for the protection of its assets in the digital world (Carreiro, 2010). Other than technology, the increasing demand of e-books is caused by user friendliness, privacy, and cost. Some readers find the change interesting.

Another change in the publishing industry due to technology is the introduction of online newspapers. Globally, all countries are now producing a traditionally printed newspaper and online newspaper. Digitization of newspapers has created a platform where students, philosophers, and even business people can now access news from all over the world. Current trends and emerging issues in different countries are conveyed in the newspapers hence greater knowledge to all those researching for information. Availability of the information from the media has helped shape students with a passion for being writers, politicians, business people, journalists and other professions. Exposure to stories about legends and great leaders inspire them. Online newspapers have tried to shut off the traditionally printed newspapers, but it has not been entirely successful. Publishers have been afraid that offering free content on the Internet is going to reduce the sales of the traditionally printed ones. To curb this, they have introduced a subscription fee for access to the online news, which cuts down the demand for online news. The welfare benefits outweigh the cost. Hence, both forms are still on demand in the market. The Internet has brought a new experience to the publishers. In the past, they were stuck to publishing covered books but now there is a variety. It is an exciting experience, which increases the publisher’s motivation by doing something out of the norm. It has led to the rise of blogs by writers.

Digitization has made the research process easier. The education sector has developed due to this. Students can now research information easily with the click of a button. In the past, studying was a struggle when students were limited to study volumes of books when carrying out research. It was time wasting and tedious. Covered books were also limited since schools could not provide every student’s desire of books for study. E-books have benefited the education industry since any student can access information anytime and anywhere (Morrison, 2011). There are online resources such as references, research topics, and even catalogs, which are beneficial to students instead of using a traditional, physical library.

The increase in the use of Internet and digitization has exposed the publishing industry to working hand in hand with other industries. They use technicians from the information and technology industry to create networks for them. This has helped in job creation in the industry, making lives better and even contributing to economic growth. It also promotes teamwork and good working relations to have a good working environment. There exist many publishers in competition with others, which motivates critical thinking and prevents stagnation to remain in the market. Technology has also caused the publishing industry to be flexible in their operations, as they are not stuck to publishing books with covers. Barnes and Noble claim that it sells three times digital books than physical books combined (Morrison, 2011).

Publishers are expanding their markets to social media such as Facebook and Twitter. They are powerful and massive social media platforms, which reach out to many people. Social media is not only limited to the interaction of people, but publishers also get a platform to post interesting contents that would capture the reader’s attention. It exposes people to long-form content discoveries. It also exposes them to interesting articles and discoveries in the platforms, which creates a relationship between the writers and the readers. Digital magazines have turned out to be an activity of leisure to some students (McGuire, 2015). They can also sharpen their skills, talents and hobbies through such exposures. Shifting from the printed books due to digitized publishing has been a challenge but the publishing industry has come up with ways to embrace the shift. They have looked for new distribution platforms, which allows for more streamlined contents instead of relying on traditional marketing infrastructure. It opens up options for free contents for readers and high profits to the publishers. By embracing the digitized publishing, publishers can now find new ways to monetize long-form content. Since digital content is not limited to physical space, it gives publishers a platform to express themselves with no limitation. An article can be transformed into a must- faceted story due to its ability to expand. Digitalized distribution has raised the expectations of the consumers. Therefore, the publishers must deliver. Embracing up to date designs helps to retain readers. Embracing applications provide publishers with effective ways to satisfy their readers and increase of digital edition distribution. An example for this is the increasing number of applications associated with various magazine and newspaper companies. The form of digital content transmitted via applications on mobile devices enhances the interactive experiences of reading. Videos, links and sounds can be embedded in the application alongside the traditional text content.

Similarly, Internet popularity has also led to the creation of apps. The education industry has successfully used apps to connect with students in a more engaging way. Parents and teachers report positive improvements in many categories including academic performance, critical thinking skills, motivation, positive attitude and literacy due to the use of those apps. Students can also access online tutorials, which help them gain more knowledge and a chance to access their abilities themselves. There exist students living with disabilities who faced a challenge in coping with studies in their conditions. Digital contents and applications made it possible for those students to study in a better way without having to move. Some applications tutor them on how to do some things that seemed impossible in the past. It made life easier for those students. Applications allow both publishers and school teachers/instructors to reach a growing number of people using tablets and mobile phones in a more effective way.

Digital publishing has lead to self- publishing innovations. It is motivated by the urge of independence, which had not been foreseen for the publishing industry in the past. Self- publishing has offered independent publishers a chance to new and exciting opportunities for distributing digital content. Initially, the process was tedious with the publishing and awaiting acknowledgment and marketing afterward. In addition, digitization has encouraged students with a passion and talent for writing to pursue their dreams. As a result of this, students can find a way to express themselves and turn to activities that will boost their growth. There is a platform for everyone without limitation to display his or her talents to the whole world. Social media makes it easier and effective. It saves on cost and time. The publishing world was once reserved for large organizations who would afford production infrastructures but now it is expansive, and others can do it independently. Self- publishers can now operate from their homes. Costs of production have been minimized such as volume print runs. Due to increase in self-published books, there has been a 105% increase in drama books and poetry, 80% biographies and general fiction and 30% increase in science books (McGuire, 2015)

Technology has indeed impacted (both positively and negatively) to the development of many industries. It is foreseen that there will be a big disruption in industries in the coming years as the world gets digitalized by the day. It leads to a massive imbalance of supply and demand in the industries. Dreams of many people have come true due to the technology advancement.

Ronte, H. (December 01, 2000). The Impact of Technology on Publishing. Publishing Research
Quarterly, 16, 4, 11-22.
Carreiro, E. (December 01, 2010). Electronic Books: How Digital Devices and Supplementary
New Technologies are changing the Face of the Publishing Industry. Publishing
Research Quarterly, 26, 4, 219-235.
De, F. D. M. (2003). Closing the gap in education and technology. Washington, D.C: World
Greco, A. N. (2005). The book publishing industry. Mahwah, N. J: Lawrence Erlbaum
McGuire, H. (2015). Sifting Through All These Books – Tools of Change for Retrieved 30 September 2015, from
Morrison, E. (2011). Are books dead, and can authors survive? | Ewan Morrison. the Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2015, from books-dead-ewan-morrison


  1. Your article takes on the education sector as one of the industries greatly affected by technology. The topic is a very interesting and important one, and from what you stated, this essay’s aim is to find points of convergence and divergence between publishing and education industry. There’s a lot that can be discussed here, since the education sector has undoubtedly seen a lot of changes due to improved technology. However, the ways you will go about achieving your aim should be made more clear from the get go, and it would be useful to the reader to hint at the arguments you will be providing.

    The claim you put forward in the introductory paragraph states that digitization has led to the popularity of e-books and “online resources,” affecting “customer spending.” The following paragraph then goes on to state that digitization has made “books in websites… easier to access,” and that the disappearance of physical distribution has led to “saving time for other activities.” The first argument you bring up lacks logical continuity. An explanation of what you mean by “time for other activities” should be elaborated. It’s important to not leave the reader pondering the claims you make.

    In an attempt to capture the changes that the publishing industry has experienced due to digitization, you are correct in saying that there is less of a need for physical distribution and saving costs, but you definitely need to expand on the more pertinent impacts that the disappearance of this important step in the publishing process has, like the shrinking bookshelves in bookstores and not having to deal with costs of storage and pulping leftover books. In the beginning, you state that the publishing industry is comprised of magazine, book and newspaper publishers, but you should have stressed that you will only focus on books, since you could have talked about how the digitization of magazines or newspapers has brought on a new level of interactivity that is not possible in print. You also should have also backed up broad claims like “saving of costs leads to economic growth” by quoting relevant articles with supporting data. Direct quotations might be especially useful in this case.

    Your choice to alternate between the two industries indicates that you have given some thought about keeping a balanced argument, but again, each paragraph is riddled with sweeping generalizations and broad claims that work on assumptions that aren’t necessarily true. In the second paragraph, you point out, “Most students are computer literate and… are exposed to unique online resources, which increases their knowledge.” You are speaking about students who are of a certain economic class, live in a more technologically advanced location and completely ignored the issue of digital divide and how technology has helped alleviate that, even providing access to educational resources. These claims about “the increase of knowledge” is not accurate without an attempt to further expand on what you meant by terms like “knowledge,” how it can be measured, or even a comparison to a different time where technology is not as ubiquitous and what the education sector was like then.

    Overly simplistic claims throughout the essay make it difficult for readers to be convinced by the arguments you put forward. The absence of a clear, driving thesis to legitimize the arguments is also another factor that has made this read a rather confusing one. You then end by stating, “technology has indeed impacted (both positively and negatively)… the development of many industries” but you didn’t reiterate how exactly that is so. Again, this leaves me as the reader puzzled and left to pick up the pieces. The last sentence– the parting words, also seemed very random.

    To make the discussion of this topic more clear, you should have focused on aspects of both industries, like the (e)book publishing industry and the post-secondary education sector, and just that to avoid the essay being to general and minimize overlapping arguments. Bringing more concrete examples like MOOCs, would be useful to show just how technology has impacted both industries.

    Peer Reviewed By: Aninditha K

    • A solid critique that clearly identifies many of the shortcomings of this piece, and offers suggestions for improvements.

  2. This essay goes through (rather unsystematically) many changes in both publishing and education, but only in a few instances does it do so with concrete examples and citations to back up its claims. The essay is also riddled with very vague statements and declarations, almost none of which are then supported by arguments or references. I found there were some good ideas hidden in there, but the lack of a strong thesis or rigorous structure, combined with the above, made it difficult to discern.

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