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Mennonite Education Agency's e-newsletter Stepping Up, ​has been on hiatus. In the fall of 2014 subscribers were asked to complete a survey evaluating Stepping Up which proved useful in the revision process.

The publication was put on hold as the website underwent transformation. With the new site live, it is time to roll out the new format for Stepping Up. The publication's purpose remains the same: "to strengthen the leadership of Mennonite educational institutions at the board and administrative levels." Stepping Up is entering a new more modern format, the blog.

The top 10 evaluation responses and how the new Stepping Up is improving upon them:
    1. "The content is good but I don't have time to read it." Everyone is busy. Stepping Up, in blog format, allows one article to be posted at a time. One article is easier to read in one sitting than three.
    2. "I get most of my board development from Education Leaders Gathering, Mennonite Educators Conference and Stepping Up. Is there a way to tie these together?" Yes! We are excited to announce the new blog will feature content written by presenters at the MEA conferences. Both introductory material to get to know presenters ahead of time and summaries from workshop leaders will be included.
    3. "This should be available to more than just educational institution board members." The previous Stepping Up was available to any interested persons. The new format is cleaner and easier to access. Interested parties may go to the website and scroll through articles. There is a subscribe button at the top of the page for easy subscription.
    4. "I wish I had known about this before. There is lots of old content that is good." There is excellent content already produced for Stepping Up not in blog format that people might have missed the first time around. New content will continue to be released on the blog. The new format allows older content to be freshened up and released in an easy searchable format.
    5. "I don't read the book reviews. I like book suggestions but don't need a summary of the book." Book reviews were the least read articles, yet people still wanted suggestions. The blog allows for posts with book lists and links to full book descriptions. It's more concise and a quicker read for the busy leader.
    6. "Use a variety of writers, include photos, share stories of what is working well in other schools." There are many excellent writers out there who can speak to Anabaptist leadership and education. The blog is set up to allow persons to submit articles for possible publication. Allowing for a broader audience and voices we may not be familiar with.
    7. "There is lots of good content out there already." There are many great writers on topics readers requested. The blog will pull in strong articles already written for Stepping Up readers to access.
    8. Leadership development, board development and spiritual development on the board were the top articles requested. The blog will continue to provide a variety of topics.
    9. Different respondents wanted different topics. The blog will allow readers to search by topic for articles that interest them.
    10. "Include photos." The blog has a place for photos to accompany each article.
Stepping Up, is adapting. There is a plethora of great information floating around on the internet. The blog can filter this information to fit the needs of the Mennonite institutions and their leadership.

Stepping Up depends on you, our readers. If you have feedback we are eager to hear it and will incorporate what we are able.

If you would like to write for the blog you may submit an article for consideration to KristaA@MennoniteEducation.org

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Contributed by Krista Allen  –  5/19/2015

 

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