I have been fascinated by the unvarnished thoughts, insights and grassroots power expressed through Web logs, or blogs, since they first arrived online. My favorites include Engadget, on breaking technologies; TechCrunch, on Internet products; and The Huffington Post, on politics. Blogs have become significant sources of information on almost any subject, and your staff and students need to know their way around the blogosphere.
In K12 education, readers regularly access the often-controversial opinions in our DA blog, The Pulse, edited by Gary Stager and featuring contributors such as Yvonne Andres, Bruce Dixon, Ken Goodman, Alfie Kohn, Etta Kralovec and Susan Ohanian. For example, posts that recently caught my eye claim that that Teach for America is "more like Enron than Google," that standardized tests prompt students to read less for fun, and that court decisions have returned us to "legally sanctioned segregation."
A Royal Blog
I am therefore pleased to announce the launch of a unique new blog dedicated to the complex world of K12 products from our DA editor Ken Royal, who reviews products each month for both the magazine and the Web site and directs the annual Readers' Choice Top 100 Awards. Appropriately titled The Royal Treatment, Ken's new blog is a labor of love, which he writes largely on his own time and in which he shares insights from his decades of experience at all levels and content areas of public education. "I look forward to attending conferences and interviewing people behind the products," he says. "It is also a joy listening to district leaders actually using these products to make education, technology, communications, management and safety better in their districts."
Recent posts cover interviews with Paul Draper, director of digital strategies for Holt McDougal; Bob Kirby, senior K12 director of CDW-G; and Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin. They also include thoughts on Toshiba's Tecra M8 laptop, an MP3 player/recorder from Califone, and a 10-ounce video hard drive for camcorders from Shining Technologies. As Ken puts it, "Many times stories related to products have gone untold, but with this blog there will be an opportunity to share what I hear at shows and learn through daily conversations with leaders in education and the education market."
Visit The Royal Treatment through the links in the blog or product sections of the DA Web site, or by going there directly. www.districtadministration.com/productsblog.
Odvard Egil Dyrli, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, firstname.lastname@example.org