As others have mentioned in this space, not everything on edweek.org is going to require a paid subscription. Ed Week’s executives resolved early on that the parts of the site catering mainly to teachers and students would remain free of charge. The thinking was that we absolutely did not want to exclude or deny these users—who make up a big part of edweek.org’s audience and are obviously key members of the education community.
In fact, an important part of our editorial strategy under the new subscription model is to provide more and better online content for teachers and prospective teachers—more interactive forums, more news features, more Web resources. The idea is to create, alongside the premium Education Week content, a dynamic free site primarily for classroom educators.
This is where I come in. My official title is Assistant Managing Editor for Teacher Online and Agent K-12. But I’m also known, more descriptively, as the Teacher Content Producer. That is, I’m in charge of developing and managing new editorial content on the Teacher Magazine channel on edweek.org, as well on our education jobs site, AgentK-12.org.
This is a new position at Ed Week. However, I am not new to EPE. For five years, I was the senior online editor of edweek.org. In that position, I oversaw Web production of Education Week and Teacher Magazine, developed and edited several of our e-newsletters, and produced a number of new content features, including the “Career Intelligence” column that appears in the back of every issue of the print Education Week.
To a certain degree, I see my new position as an almost natural part of the evolution of the site—a kind of branching out that will help us develop new interactive features and think more about the needs of unique (and often neglected) segments of our audience.
If you take a look at the Teacher site, you’ll get an early picture of what we’re trying to do. This summer, we’ve added Web-only newsmaker interviews; live chats; a new news department called “Trend Tracker”; a new Teacher TalkBack discussion forum; and enhanced photo presentations. We’re also planning to launch a couple new blogs by classroom teachers, and we’re continuing to produce a spirited weekly news-roundup column called Web Watch.
We’re planning similar enhancements to Agentk-12.org, our job site. In fact, we launched a first-ever blog on that site just last week—by an Indiana education student who’s finding out what it’s like to work in an inner-city school. For Agentk-12.org, we also want to focus on creating interactive tools to help education job seekers and recruiters. One of our biggest priorities is to develop a data tool to help prospective teachers sort through each state’s teacher-preparation and certification requirements.
In developing content on both sites, I plan to work closely with teachers themselves and to use the Web’ interactivity to capture teachers’ voices and opinions. We want all our new content to be practically useful and highly participatory.
I’d appreciate any feedback.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Behind the Scenes blog.