McGraw-Hill launched its first all-digital, cloud-based textbook for the K-12 market on Monday at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference.

Unlike the company’s previous digital efforts for this age group, the books are intended to be used as primary texts (other McGraw-Hill digital texts have been sold as a companion of physical textbooks). This is the first time a major publisher has launched such a platform.

Grade schools and high schools have been slower to adopt digital textbooks than universities, at least partly because K-12 textbooks are traditionally provided by schools — many of which lack hardware to ensure that all of their students can access them.

But textbook makers have good reason to innovate in this area. K-12 textbook sales this April — traditionally the start of the classroom curriculum buying period — dropped more than 15% since the same time last year, according to the Association of American Publishers. Digital books might offer one way to help reverse the trend.

Read more at Mashable