If you’re in the business of selling to schools and selling to teachers, part of your job is identifying with your client base. That means more than just knowing the layout of the education marketplace; it means knowing what it’s like to be a teacher, and what kinds of developments your customers (and potential customers) are keeping an eye on.
Here’s a quick list of some of the best resources the web offers teachers — resources you should be perusing regularly if you want to be able to have an informed conversation with the educators to whom you’re marketing.
ERIC. This is a nation-spanning, federally-funded, digital library of education-related information. Sponsored by the US Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences (which also operates the National Center for Education Statistics; see below). It provides easy access to a wide array of education resources for teachers, librarians, professors, administrators, and even parents; in fact, anyone can explore the ERIC database.
National Center for Education Statistics. The task of the NCES is to collect, analyze and present data related to education across the United States and in other nations. It differs somewhat from ERIC; where ERIC is a clearinghouse for resources a teacher might use to improve his or her lesson plans, or an administrator might use to modernize curricula, the NCES is more concerned with the current state of American schools. The NCES also assists state and local education agencies with improving their own information-gathering and information-analyzing systems.
District Administration. This is a trade magazine published both in print and on the web, full of articles exploring the American educational landscape for K-12 administrators. As one of the most widely-read industry journals, it provides a wealth of resources, including job listings, technology news, updates on new school construction, and a blog reviewing new products.