It makes me wonder once again if a group of like minded folks couldn’t do the same sort of thing with Teaching with Technology|Penn State? I think so. I’d love it.


I loved the idea of a real physical print piece focusing on teaching and learning with technology at Penn State the first time my friend and colleague Dave Stong suggested it. I just wonder if print is the right medium. Perhaps I am being too closed minded (and I am inviting anyone to tell me so) about the idea. I love the Penn State Research magazine for lots of reasons … and it honestly makes me wonder if I’d be more or less likely to read its stories in print or online. I only now even looked to see if there is an online companion and it doesn’t come close to living up to the print version. It is screaming for a digital version that makes sense and captures the same visceral feeling the print version does — I’m not sure HTML can do that.

What I wonder is if the kinds of stories we want to tell wouldn’t benefit from a more stylized monthly digital aggregate of the content we are currently producing. Jamie Oberdick in ETS does a great job producing daily content — some with companion videos and podcasts that probably wouldn’t translate to a print only format. Would we just end up with a magazine that said, “to hear more about X, visit our website at”

What I do see is the potential to reach new stakeholders. People who might want to bowled over by what we do, but don’t spend a heck of a lot of time online — especially looking for our content. We are reaching a certain percentage of the market (so to speak), but could be ignoring a whole other demographic … reaching them is a worthy goal.

In my estimation we ought to figure out how to auto create ePub versions of our content for the iPad or other ePub capable devices given where mobile reading might be going. I worry about the cost, distribution, and everything else that goes with physical printing — but given I know very little of the process I could be wrong. If we could roll our web content out the way we do online and have it move into a flexible workflow that would produce both a print and ePub version we’d be hitting a much larger percentage of people … and we’d be satisfying people across lots of dimensions of the spectrum. One thing having a regularly published print piece would give us is a long term historical artifact that could actually be stored at the Library … but at the end of the day my guess is that they would scan them and store them as PDFs. Any thoughts?

Credit Dave Stong