I spend a large portion of my work day looking at a web browser, and I probably read more on a computer monitor in one week than I read on paper in a month. So you might think it’s out of character that I almost never visit the web site of one of my favorite print publications. It’s a sports magazine, and when it arrives in my mailbox each week, I drop everything else to read it. But when I surf over to its web site, my stay is short-lived at best.

Some media experts might say this is just an example of how consumers choose to receive content. They would say consumers are aware of their choice between print and online media, but remain within their comfort zones and stay loyal to what they’re used to.

In the case of my favorite sports magazine, the experts would be right. But that’s only because, despite all the technology available to them, the publishers of this magazine clearly choose to make their web site a second-class citizen to their print publication; they don’t put a single piece of unique or original content on the web. So, despite spending so much of my day online, I spend almost no time on their site.

If you think this is also the case with eSchool News and eSchool News Online, you’re terribly mistaken. I only wish my favorite sports magazine was imaginative enough to approach content the way we do at eSN Online–because while you can find much of our eSchool News print content online, you can also find a great deal of content online that you could never find in print. We not only offer more content, we offer it every day–fresh, updated, and in real time.

eSN Online content includes video clips of student-produced videos; a new audio feature that lets educators ask questions of ed-tech experts; an online Career Center for listing and searching available jobs; the Educator’s Resource Center, which links educators to dozens of articles on specific topics of interest; and the Ed-Tech Insider blog, where a group of experts gives advice and responds to questions. Try watching this video, listening to this audio, or interacting with an ed-tech expert in real time with nothing more than paper in your hands, and you’ll see why our print readers miss eSN Online at their own risk.

The advantage of making eSN Online a unique product really hit home in early September when, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many educators were looking for ways to help the victims. At eSN Online, we published a list of resources within hours of the devastation, giving readers a means to reach out to their fellow citizens and giving educators some help in explaining the tragedy in their classrooms. On our Ed-Tech Insider blog, we published a daily journal by University of Southern Mississippi Professor Eric F. Luce, a local educator coping with the worst disaster the nation had ever seen.

By the time any of this content could have reached eSchool News print readers, it would have been too late to have the dramatic impact it had online. It’s not all that different from educators missing out on a teachable moment because they fail to take advantage of online resources.

But it shouldn’t take a hurricane to spark your interest in eSN Online–so here’s where you can find some of the online-only content that I’ve already mentioned:

Video Resource Center
http://www.eschoolnews.com/vrc/

Interview the Experts
http://www.eschoolnews.com/newsmakers/

Career/Professional Development Center
http://www.eschoolnews.com/erc/professionaldevelopment/

Educator’s Resource Center
http://www.eschoolnews.com/erc/Challenges/

Ed-Tech Insider
http://www.eschoolnews.com/eti/

New content this month

Speaking of the Educator’s Resource Center (ERC), we added three topics at the start of this school year, and they’re all still available online. These ERC additions would not be possible without generous support from our sponsors, and we thank them for helping us provide this information to educators in such a convenient, one-stop location. The new ERC topics are:

Emerging Technologies in Education (sponsored by CDW-G)
http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/emergingtech2005/index.cfm

Network Administration (sponsored by ProCurve Networking by HP)
http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/networkadmin/index.cfm

Whole-Class Learning (sponsored by SMART Technologies)
http://www.eschoolnews.com/resources/reports/wholeclasslearning/index.cfm

Come to think of it, wouldn’t it be silly if a publication about how technology can transform learning made no effort to transform itself with available technology? If we don’t encourage hard-core print readers to use the internet, who will?