The State of MathML in K-12 Educational Publishing
Educational publishers are moving to modern, single-source XML production workflows and are embracing MathML as part of the process. The development of single-source publishing workflows is part of a much larger digital evolution aimed at enabling publishers to make content available both as traditional print products and digital content as ebooks.
Furthermore, K-12 publishers are becoming more competitive by including supplemental materials available through digital-only learning management systems that implement a combination of ebook content, teacher lecture material, assignments, assessments, and automatically graded homework assignments.
However, educational publishers face challenges in producing math content through modern single-source multiple output publishing workflows including:
Support for constructs unique to K-12, such as geometry and visual, mathematical representations (e.g., diagrams, charts).
Government regulated accessibility requirements and lack of multiple assistive technology tool support for students (e.g., support for print content disabilities that are not necessarily a matter of physical disability).
Inconsistent or non-existent MathML support across the major web browser rendering engines that are the basis of popular desktop and mobile web browsers.
Competing educational publisher business requirements and management priorities.
Assessment and adaptive learning limitations due to inconsistent or non-existent MathML support within browsers.
The purpose of this article is to review various publishing challenges specific to K-12 educational content publishers. A further goal of the article is to provide insight into cooperative solutions mitigating current K-12 MathML publishing challenges. The assertions and recommendations in this article require the fully engaged participation of K-12 educational publishing production management and staff, XML-based markup subject matter experts, and the web browser rendering engine development community.