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November 2017


  1. Introduction/activities
  2. Network meeting in Prague
  3. Network meeting in Dublin
  4. BELMA
  5. IPA/EPF meetings and activities
  6. IARTEM conference
  7. Survey request by Sviesa
  8. Useful documents and links
  9. Requests for contacts

Introduction / activities

Between the last newsletter in May and this one, we have been very busy with successful network meetings, lobbying (more or less successfully) in Romania, and a great BELMA.

The AGM in Frankfurt on October 10th was attended by more members than ever. Some very important issues were discussed and the minutes can be found on the website in the members' section.

The website will undergo major refurbishment, making it much easier to navigate and more along the design of the new BELMA website. This is made possible by the new fee structure which will allow some more money to be spent on these issues.

The fee for members will be raised to Euro 4400 a year. New members (Art Klett in 2017) will pay Euro 2900 in the first year.

Please be reminded to volunteer for participation in the management board in 2019! Both Søren Peter and Carmo will not be able to stay another year due to commitments in the workplace. It would be very nice if we could have volunteers from members who have not been on the board ...

Network meeting in Prague

The meeting headed SMART (Specific - Measurable - Agreed upon - Realistic - Time-related) was concerned with data and the use of it in all forms. It was well attended by participants from 11 publishers. The introduction by Jiri Fraus was followed by a keynote on Recent challenges of educational systems and changes in learning by Jana Strakova and Hannah Friedlaenderova. David Soucek talked about Evaluation as a way of data collection, use of data in marketing and content development and Claes Sonderriis gave an overview about Getting data about reading behaviour from e-books. Most presentations can be downloaded on the website in the members' section.

In a very interesting talk Hans Osinga, legal counsel and data protection officer (DPO) for Dutch publisher Noordhoff Uitgevers, specified what can and cannot be done when using data provided by the users of learning platforms. His hand-out is also available and is useful reverence material when in doubt of what is allowed and what is not. After that, Rafal Romenko presented the Learnetics solution. This was followed by a lively panel discussion with representatives from Fraus, Otava and Learnetics. As is so often the case, a lot of questions were asked but the discussion brought up more questions than answers. However, it became very clear that data and the use of it both for learning more about the customer and for improving the content of our materials is a key issue for coming years.

After a very nice city tour and an evening spent eating well, socializing and discussing more issues, day two was spent visiting different classes in a school in Prague. It was interesting to compare this to the school visit we had in Tel Aviv in March (see previous newsletter). In the afternoon, many participants took the opportunity to visit the Prague Book fair.

Please download presentations and information here.



Network meeting in Dublin

The third network meeting in 2017 took place in Dublin on September on 14th and 15th. The meeting hosted by CJ Fallon) was attended by 13 publishers (+ guest publisher Clio). The topic was "social media" and was for some of its attendants the highlight of the year. Stephen Walsh from Anders Pink gave a most comprehensive overview about Content Marketing, Curation, Social Selling: What do they mean for Education? with a lot of case studies. Stephen has an impressive background of building start-ups in education and his presentation is full of useful ideas for reaching out to all target groups (teachers, parents, students) - well worth looking at again. Anybody interested in working with Anders Pink can contact him here.

The participants were also able to present and discuss their own campaigns. There are some documents on the website where participants explained there goals and also described some of their campaigns. Especially interesting was a presentation by Mihaela Marinova from Prosveta. Mihaela described how some statement from the management team was presented out of context by the press and went viral with a virtual "shit storm". It was interesting to see how that had been dealt with by the publisher and what other possibilities were suggested by Stephen and the participants.

Anders Hyldig from Clio, Denmark, gave a presentation on Digital paradigm shift in the educational system in Denmark but this was mainly a presentation about the Clio business model. Quite a few participants commented on this. It has to be said that both Brian as the host and Helga as the co-organizer, had briefed Clio extensively but obviously to little avail. We are trying to work out how this can be avoided in the future.

The visits to both Facebook and Google on the Friday proved to be eye-openers regarding the power and reach of social media as well as the way Google will influence education Facebook presented very useful tools to show the publishers how they can target specific groups without compromising their data. They were quite convincing in showing how data protection works with Facebook. Obviously, they are trying extremely hard to get rid of their "bad" image. Google showed how they are going into classrooms directly, offering infrastructure as well as hardware and what opportunities there are for publishers to distribute their content via Google chrome books. There's a detailed link-list also available from the website with contact addresses.

Please download presentations and information here.




As many of you attended the Book Fair, you will know that this year, the winners were given all the material for marketing right after the ceremony at Frankfurt. The website was updated the minute the winners were announced. Also, we had a screen at the EEPG stand so that the online titles could be looked at as well. Here's a photo of the happy winners:


And here are some interesting statistics about 2017 BELMA winners:
The following countries received a prize: Bulgaria, Denmark (2), Estonia, Finland, Israel, Italy, Norway (3), Portugal, Serbia and Slovenia.

The following subjects were chosen: general (2), maths (2), music (2), English (3), Danish as a foreign language, German as a foreign language, history and literacy.

From the winners, 10 titles were submitted by members of the EEPG and 3 came from non-members.

However, overall the ratio was different:
There were 31 submissions by members and 16 by non-members. Since the jury is completely un-biased - most jury members are not aware which publisher is an EEPG member - this clearly shows that the production of publishers inside the EEPG is of very high standard.

IPA/EPF meetings and activities

Most of you will probably receive the IPA newsletter anyway, but for those who don't, here is a brief report about the Educational Open Forum at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The next meeting of the EPF will take place in Tallin on December the 5th. Here's the agenda. If there is anything that interests you specifically, please contact me before. Otherwise, I will make all published papers available after the meeting.

09:10 EPF & IPA matters
  • Present and apologies; Welcome to new EPF members
  • Approval of Agenda; Matters Arising from EPF #27 Geneva
  • Confirm: EPF Organization and Governance Memorandum [paper]
  • Confirm: EPF Strategic Focus [paper]
  • Confirm: schedule of EPF meetings and events to end 2018 (dates and venues)
  • Confirm: EPF Budget for 2018 (from IPA)
09:30 Host speaker: Antti Rammo, Avita Publishers, Tallinn:
  • Overview of the market and the activities of publishers in Estonia (and the Baltic states?
10:20 Break
10:45 Guest speaker: René Montenarie, GEU (Dutch educational publishers association):
  • Digitalization and public-private co-operation in Dutch education
11:30 The Value of (Educational) Publishing
  • Presentation and discussion: launching a new EPF campaign
12:00 Country Reports and Case Studies (<10 minute sessions), provisionally including:
  • Events in Finland (Sakari)
  • Government activity in Poland (Myron)
  • Challenges for publishers in Romania (Ilas)
  • Update from Germany: federal government digital strategy (Andreas)
  • Workbooks in Ireland (Brian)
13:00 Lunch
13:45 EPF 'Freedom to Publish' Collaboration: Case Studies
  • Iceland (Heidar) [paper]
  • Greece [paper]
14:30 Public Affairs & Advocacy:
  • Update: Digital Single Market Directive: educational exceptions and copyright (Enrico)
  • Progress report: EPF-FEP coordination on EU affairs (Stephan)
  • Developments around WIPO SCCR #35, 13-17 November 2017 (José)
  • UNESCO position on OERs (José)
  • EPF presentation at FIL Guadalajara, 27 November (Jaume)
  • IPA Position Paper on Educational Exceptions [paper]; endorse latest version
15:15 Upcoming EPF activity
  • BETT show, London, 24-27 January 2018
  • EPF panel at IPA Congress, New Delhi, 10-14 February 2018
  • EPF panel at What Works? 2018
  • IPA-EPF statistics [paper]: agree policy/action
15:30 Confirm actions agreed

15:45 Any other business/ Adjourn

For this meeting, the participants will prepare country reports. I have put the last EPF country reports (aggregated for 2016 and 06/2017) on the EEPG website in the members' section. There might be some new insights that go over and above the EEPG country reports we published on the same page after the last AGM.

IARTEM conference

Due to a personal commitment, I had to cancel my participation at the bi-annual conference, in Lisbon. No papers have been published as yet, but here is the link to the abstracts. Some topics sound really fascinating. As soon as the results are published, I will let you know. I think, for example, that some of you might be interested in this:

B8: Policies and textbook production

Has the use of classroom teaching and learning resources changed? An analysis of TIMSS Studies 2007-2015 data on the use of resources
Zuzana Sikorová, Iva Cervenkova, Marek Vaclavik, & Ivana Fialova
University of Ostrava
Country: Czech Republic
This paper reports on an analysis of the questionnaires data from TIMSS Studies in 2007, 2011 and 2015 regarding the use of classroom teaching and learning resources in mathematics and science lessons. Comparing data from the three studies the main question was formulated as follows: What changes can be tracked regarding the frequency and way of using the classroom resources? Is the change really happening? Can the transition to digital resources be tracked and confirmed based on the TIMSS data?
Three specific research questions included:
1) 'How often do the teachers ask students to read their textbooks or other resource materials in science lessons?'
2) 'How often do the students use a computer/tablet for schoolwork at school?' and
3) 'How often do the teachers have students use a computer for doing specific activities in science and maths lessons?'
First, the TIMSS data regarding classroom resources use were identified in International TIMSS Databases. The data were sourced from large-scale teachers' and students' surveys conducted by TIMSS. Next, the countries were selected that had participated in all three studies, to be able to compare the data. The sample thus included 26 countries for 4th-grade data analyses and 28 countries for 8th-grade data analyses. For statistical analyses of differences among the findings from the three years the non-parametric Mann-Whitney tests were applied. The results suggest a relatively high level of constancy in using the resources both among different countries and in international average outcomes. No significant differences have been proved regarding the frequency of reading textbooks in science lessons in the course of time. Although the students reported an increase in using computers at school, the data from teachers on specific student activities with computers did not back up the conclusion.

You could also look for these:
  • Teacher training in the use of textbooks
  • Teacher opinions about textbook quality and changes in the adoption process in Bulgaria
  • Changing teaching practices with digital media? The case of music education
  • Printed vs. electronic textbooks: the offer of multimedia in foreign language textbooks

One of the reasons I wanted to attend the conference was to look for a new jury member for BELMA. Fortunately, our board member Carmo Correia, who was at the conference, managed to make contact with Julieta Savova, who teaches at the University of Veliko Turnovo in Bulgaria. She is very suited from her background, speaks a number of languages and can, of course, read Cyrillic.

Request for a survey by Sviesa

Our Lithuanian members have asked me to conduct a survey on the use and life cycle of textbooks in the member countries.

I will do this via survey monkey in the first week of December. However, if you can think of any questions that you would like to add or aspects that interest you, please get in touch so that we can make this survey a really useful tool for everybody. Here are the proposed questions:

Questionnaire about textbook lifecycle in EEPG member countries

1.) How long is the average life span of an individual printed copy?
lower secondary
upper secondary

2.) What is the average life span of an edition (how many years is a book used before it is revised)?
lower secondary
upper secondary

3.) Is the life span different depending on the subject?
If so, please grade from least often revised to most often revised for the main subjects.

4.) What type of textbook approval system is applied in your country? (This was already answered by most of you in my last "urgent request")
a) state approval
(if yes):
recommended or
b) only one book per subject per grade
(if no)
how many textbooks are roughly available in the main subjects?

5.) In which subjects and grades (primary, lower sec, upper sec) are electronic textbooks used?
(not supplementary but as the main medium)

6.) How many electronic textbooks are available in the market? Please specify subject and grade.
(main subjects only)

7.) How many textbooks in total do students use every year? Please specify grade.

8.) Are supplementary materials used in the classroom?
If so, do parents pay for them and what is the average cost of supplementary materials per year
per students in
lower secondary
upper secondary

Useful documents and links

This education and training monitor 2017 gives the most comprehensive overview about education and training in Europe.

And please note the latest publications by Eurydice:

Published on 16th of November:
"This report provides information on the structure of mainstream education in European countries from pre-primary to tertiary level for the 2017/18 school and academic year. It includes national schematic diagrams, an explanatory guide and a map showing the main organisational models of compulsory education. The information is available for 43 European education systems covering 38 countries participating in the EU's Erasmus+ programme."
"This publication focuses on the duration of compulsory education/training in Europe. It highlights the starting and leaving ages and distinguishes the notions of full-time and part-time compulsory education/training. The information is available for 43 European education systems covering 38 countries participating in the EU's Erasmus+ programme."
Published on 7th November:
"The report is divided into four chapters, each of which is complemented by a case study on recent policy initiatives:
Curriculum Organisation and Content
Teaching, Learning and Active Participation
Student Assessment and School Evaluation
Teacher Education, Professional Development and Support
The report is primarily based on qualitative data, and covers 42 education systems. It focuses on the existing regulations and recommendations regarding citizenship education in public sector schools and includes general education and school-based initial vocational education training programmes."

Published on September 25th:
"This Brief is structured around five key EU and national language policy themes: the importance of learning two foreign languages from a very early age; the range of foreign languages learnt by students; the foreign language teaching itself with a particular focus on teachers and their visits abroad for professional purposes, and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) as a teaching approach; the expected levels of attainment in foreign languages; language support measures to facilitate the integration of newly arrived migrant students."
Other useful and interesting material:
Article on the world largest publishing companies, note the analysis of the educational market.
A new facet of learning: PISA adds a new dimension to its assessment results. The existing 2015 PISA results have been complemented by a new volume on collaborative problem solving.

Requests for contacts

I have been asked to forward this from Aude Pilleron at Panda Suite.

PandaSuite helps publishers and designers create interactive content without any coding. Drag & drop your content, add animations and play with interactive features to build quizzes, serious games, puzzles... for mobile, tablet and desktop! Publish to the app stores, add rich content into your website or keep it private for limited audience. You can try for free on pandasuite.com.
Here is a video of what you can do, and here is a presentation.

Wielandstr. 33, 10629 Berlin / Germany
Phone: +49 171 275 63 23
E-Mail: helga.holtkamp@eepg.org