A New Type of Educational Content


I love how teachers and thought leaders have been sharing resources and ideas on blogs the past ten years. It has taken the field of education from a “closed door” mentality to a vibrant community of sharers, collaborators, and connectors. This has been helped by the social steroids of Twitter and Facebook. Yet, as I continually dive into new blog posts and content created by educational leaders, I’m left wanting more sometimes.

I’d like more research. I’d like more thoughtfully put together resources. I’d like articles that would stand up to my administration when they ask for “best practices” to support a pedagogical change. Books do provide this. In fact, they do a great job of bringing together big ideas and the research to back it up. Yet, many of the best educational books come out too late. After a movement has already started, and instead of fostering that movement’s growth…it is left to only document the movement.

So we have two separate forms of content that benefit the educational community:

1. Blogs and Online Articles, Videos, Presentations: They help move education forward and can reach massive audiences through social sharing. Yet, they don’t hold the same credibility of a book when needed to support new initiatives.

2. Books and Journal Articles: They have big credibility and research to support, but usually take too long to publish and thus struggle to help a movement or initiative grow.

We need a middle ground. I’d like to have well thought out and researched pieces that still are current enough to help engage members of our community to take action. This is not a new notion, but our current level of technology actually makes my wish a reality. The tech community has recently launched a series of digital magazines (and digital magazine platforms) to fill this void.

I’ve been particularly interested in the launches of two new Digital (Apple Newsstand) Magazines: Marco Ament’s “The Magazine” and Jim Dalrymple’s “The Loop Magazine“. Marco’s reasons on creating “The Magazine”:

There’s room for another category between individuals and major publishers, and that’s where The Magazine sits. It’s a multi-author, truly modern digital magazine that can appeal to an audience bigger than a niche but smaller than the readership of The New York Times. This is what a modern magazine can be, not a 300 MB stack of static page images laid out manually by 100 people.

The Loop founder shares his thoughts on this platform as well:

It wasn’t until I saw the format that Marco Arment used in The Magazine that I realized what I really wanted for The Loop — a design and reading experience that matched what I had on the Web site. An easy to read magazine that focused on original content, not on selling ads.

It’s not about selling ads. It’s not about getting page-views or hits. It’s about providing real value and strong content to the people that want it most. I’m working on something similar to this for education, but just like Marco, I want the right people on board. If you are interested in touching base about this new type of educational content, feel free to reach me on Twitter or Email.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • This is an intriguing idea, A.J. You are so much further ahead than me, but I am interested in touching base about this new kind of content!


    • AJ Juliani says:

      Thanks Denise. I’m definitely not farther ahead! What you do with students everyday is awesome, I’m so happy to have met our Genius crew! When I think about education online the three main areas I see that need help are:

      1. A real forum/space to share lessons and resources with feedback.
      2. Real time research and well written articles that help drive movements forward (like this post is talking about).
      3. A “Hacker News” type site where teachers submit there posts to be voted up and replied to and seen. Too many great articles and posts go unseen in my opinion.

      We will definitely touch base soon!

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