Well, this has been a very interesting conference for me so far this year. The program has been fantastic, thanks to Tom Hutton and our very own Suzanne Eckes. If you are a person that has an interest in Ed. Law, you need to think about being a member and coming to the conference (next year Savanna). This year, a cool thing happened, an attendee said that she was here because she learned about the conference from us at the Edjurist, so I am quite proud of that and would encourage you to at least consider the same decision.
So, some thoughts regarding this blog:
1. Great presenting with Mark Walsh of Ed Week and the School Law Blog, again. We were invited to present a session on technology and blogging and we had a great crowd. For those of you at the session, a post is coming here with some of the data and links we mentioned in the session. But, the session was interesting in that not only was it very well attended but it was also attended with generally enthusiastic crowd that was excited to see new ideas with technology.
2. ELA seems to be turning a page regarding their acceptance of technology. For years (and still continuing) I think people looked at me and other techy folks as a little crazy. We (I) was outside the norm and therefore someone to either be ignored or to marginalize. Well, something has changed this year. Now, there is not just acceptance but nearly genuine excitement about what we can accomplish using some of these new tools. Other contributing professors are also pushing the Edjurist and taking some ownership. This development is so extremely heart warming. Obviously, personally, having developed this resource has been a passionate love affair, but it has always been a risk. To see it transition to something that is mainstream and something that other scholars feel is a core resource to our field is almost enough to bring me to tears.
3. Because of that, I am having some serious thoughts about making some big changes here at the Edjurist. Now that I have another outlet to put some of my more controversial (and less research based) thoughts on technology and education at Education Recoded (please, go check that out and add it to your reader) it is probably time for the Edjurist to mature a little bit into something a bit more mainstream and more scholarly. It may also be time to consider a more formal partnership with ELA or another organization (I'm listening to offers) that will provide a bit more of a formal justification for adding these posts to people's vitas (which is the end-all for keeping your job as a professor).
4. Some of the changes I am considering are:
- Expanding our contributor base. Perhaps doubling or more our list of contributing scholars would get more and more relevant content out there to you readers.
- Taking and publishing submissions from non-contributors, so that anyone, including people that are not legal scholars, can publish information here.
- Creating different types of publications here. From simply updating blog posts, to perhaps more extended scholarly articles (with citations). In this way, I could see elements of the Edjurist evolving into somewhat of a peer-reviewed journal.
- Peer-reviewed posts. With our (expanded) team of contributors, we could potentially take some of the posts and elevate them to peer reviewed status. While it won't count as a peer-reviewed electronic journal article (and I do not intend to post those), it does provide a level of confidence to the posts that things like tenure committee's could take some additional faith in.
- Many, many more teaching resources. In the past, I've put up my own courseware, but I want to expand beyond that to including resources, organized by topic, that anyone could use, but particularly those teaching education law. I have been requested, by Kevin Welner amongst others, to do this in the past, so perhaps now is the right time to make a larger push here. In the past, I and Jon Becker have worked with NASSP to build a set of online school law resources. Perhaps it is time to work with them again to get some more of those available.
- Integrating tweets and other online resources. In the past year, a substantial base of people on twitter have developed enough to keep some relevant and fresh information on school law coming in from twitter.
- Building and syndicating a free newsletter that administrator organizations can publish in their magazines each month. This is a bit of a stretch, but if there is a substantial interest, perhaps something to pursue.
So, if anyone wants to chime in on some rethinking here, please let me know either in a comment or just personally.