Mike and I are excited to announce the relaunch of unpackedu. You should already see some of the aesthetic changes as we have redesigned the website to make our content easier to access, easier to search, and more reflective of our vision. Some of the other changes will roll out over the course of this summer, but we wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to visit this website over the past 18 months. We love to write, and we’re passionate about education, but we created unpackedu to build an audience of solutions-oriented allies. We hope to take that to the next level. So, why the change? There are a few reasons for that.
Mike and I have talked about lacking a clear theme to our work. We liked the content we were producing, but it felt all over the place. We knew we needed to narrow our focus, or we needed to build a formula for how we approach topics. Second, personal matters took over. Mike made the ambitious decision to run for county commissioner, so that become an important focus for him. As for me, I was presented with an amazing opportunity to join one of the country’s big three education publishers. That meant leaving the classroom, and I ultimately decided to take that job. It was a significant process, transitioning not only from one career, but the lifestyle of teaching to something vastly different. Because of these two events, unpackedu grew dormant.
We knew that we had built some equity in the brand, and we didn’t want to lose that. We let the domain expire and had some serious conversations as to whether we should continue or walk away. Mike and I met up at a Teach to Lead summit in Nashville, and we talked about our options. We reached out to our colleagues and friends who were also at the summit, gauging their opinions on the topic. Then, Mike found out that he was going to be receiving an award from the Tennessee Education Association for his advocacy work through his writing. This was a perfect opportunity to share unpackedu, but the website wasn’t even active. We realized that we cared too much about what we started and what we can do for students and teachers everywhere. We decided to relaunch unpackedu, and we’re moving full steam ahead.
You’re going to see a few significant changes over the next six months, and I wanted to share a little bit about that with you.
1. New Content; New Format – You’re going to see two types of posts on the site.
a. Features are the blog posts that will tackle the big issues. We’re going to research a topic in depth, get input from multiple stakeholders, and offer the most comprehensive narrative that we can. You can expect to see a new feature 1-3 times a month, depending on the topic.
b. Blurbs are going to be shorter in nature. They’re more reflective and topical and provide our opinions on matters. Think of these as traditional blog posts.
2. When we post the features, we’re going to have roundtable discussions with teachers, administrators, students, and other role players in education. This will become the new unpackedu podcast, and it will post approximately one week after a new feature is posted.
3. Video – sometimes it’s easier to say something than type it, and we’re going to leverage YouTube to tell our stories through multiple mediums. We’ll post video blurbs and breakdowns of features. We’ll also interview amazing teacher-leaders whose stories are worth sharing.
4. Seasons – we’re going to tie everything together into seasons in the way you see on television. We’re calling the past year season zero, with season one launching later this summer.
Mike and I are excited about the relaunch, but we know we work best when we’ve got your input. Please use the comment section below to leave any feedback or suggest ideas for improvement. We’ll credit the ideas we use to you and invited you to participate in a future topic discussion.
Enjoy your summer everyone, and we hope you’ll join us when we launch season one in July!