Back to school time is upon us once again, and across the nation teachers are working overtime buying supplies, getting classrooms organized, attending beginning of the year meetings, and planning for the months ahead. As fall closes in, I encounter a mixture of emotions—a bittersweet longing for the freedom of summer, a bit of anxiety as I contemplate the changes that always accompany a new year, and excitement as I anticipate meeting my new students and putting into place all the plans I have spent the summer working on.
The weeks of summer tend to spin by at a dizzying pace, and many of us are still spending significant amounts of time working—teaching summer school, receiving professional development, or preparing for the coming school year. I take advantage of the time off to scour the Internet and interact with my online peers, looking for new ideas and resources. One of my discoveries this summer was the existence of a growing number of teaching magazines available in electronic format.
Electronic magazines (e-magazines) offer several advantages over traditional paper formats. Access to these resources is easy and immediate—no need to seek them out in a store, or go searching for back issues. All issues are at your fingertips, requiring no physical storage space, which solves the problem of untidy and disorganized stacks of magazines. Downloaded issues can usually be archived once the reader has finished with them, preventing the problem of taking up precious memory on devices.
In addition, most magazine apps are free of charge to download, and magazine subscriptions can often be acquired on a month-by-month basis, instead of having to commit to a full year of issues. This allows the reader to choose which issues to purchase based on content and avoid wasting money on issues that may not be particularly useful.
On top of all these benefits, most publishers are beginning to take advantage of the opportunity to use innovative publishing formats. E-magazines often boast clickable links, the ability to share articles and resources via email or social media, embedded videos, and other interactive content. Not only are these features incredibly handy, they are fun to use!
Education magazines are an excellent and inexpensive way for teachers to gain insights about their profession, read about new techniques and ideas, and learn about important resources that are constantly evolving in the ever-changing world of education. Here are a few of my favorite discoveries: TEACHHUB
(free; iPhone & iPad app)—If you frequently use the Internet to search for teaching-related content, you may be familiar with TeachHub. This site offers a wide variety of articles, discussions, and resources geared towards educators. TEACHHUB now offers a free monthly magazine in electronic format that boasts original content addressing Common Core State Standards topics, must-have apps, and even entertaining anecdotes that will remind teachers why they love their jobs. EDUCATION MAGAZINE
($1.99/issue; iPhone & iPad app)—EDUCATION MAGAZINE is one of the most recent additions to the iTunes Store. It focuses on the use of technology in the classroom, and is a valuable source of product reviews, implementation ideas, and quality articles on all areas of educational technology. You can get a free trial of Education Magazine by downloading the app, which is an excellent opportunity to preview the content before committing to purchasing an issue. TEACHING THE AVATAR GENERATION
($5.99/issue; iPad app)—TEACHING THE AVATAR GENERATION aims to keep teachers and parents informed about educational technology trends and topics. In each issue you will find articles, reviews, and resources, as well as a high level of interactivity that makes full use of the advantages of electronic formats. TEACHING TOLERANCE
(free to educators, iPhone & iPad app)—TEACHING TOLERANCE is published three times a year, and offers unique content geared towards teaching students to be respectful and accepting towards all their peers. In this publication you will find articles, lesson ideas, and resources for creating a classroom environment that promotes equality and justice for all students. T.H.E. JOURNAL MAGAZINE
(free; PDF & iPad app)—Geared towards both teachers and administrators, T.H.E. JOURNAL MAGAZINE contains articles on best practices, tutorials, and expert advice on all areas of educational technology and mobile learning. It is an excellent resource for K–12 professionals who are exploring the intersection of education and technology.
These are a few of my favorites from among the wide range of electronic magazines. They provide ideas and inspiration to teachers, not just as we return to the classroom but throughout the school year.
A side note: Many of these publications are new and are lacking ratings and reviews. If you find one you enjoy, please take the time to let the publishers know. Doing so ensures that quality educational content will continue to be available in the years to come, and that is something we can all appreciate! Lindsey Fuller is a sixth grade teacher in Decatur, Illinois. Her interests are classroom technology integration, literacy instruction, and Common Core curriculum development and implementation. You can read more from Lindsey on these topics at her blog, Tales of a 6th Grade Classroom.
© 2013 Lindsey Fuller. Please do not reproduce in any form, electronic or otherwise.