Read magazines like New Scientist for free (good for teaching ideas)


Teachers need to keep their subject knowledge up to date.  I can still remember one of my lecturers at university in an epidemiology lecture telling me that one day John Selwyn Gummer would come to regret feeding his daughter those beef burgers. In the twenty years that have elapsed since, we’ve know a lot more about CJD and have put measures in place to tackle it.  By reading and watching the news, I’ve been able to build on and update what I already learned back at uni.

I’ve blogged before about ways of developing subject knowledge (a little out of date now) and using internet websites to help that.  I’ve recently discovered two ways of reading magazines for free or cheaply.

Using your library

I’m guessing that the days of the library service could be numbered but in the meanwhile you should be using the service that your tax contributions have paid for.  Lots of local authorities buy into a service where you can check out magazines and read them inside the Zinio app – this can be on a tablet, phone or laptop (or all three!).  I would suggest that you start on your county library pages.  New Scientist is only one of the magazines you can check out, others include BBC wildlife, National Geographic and even computer magazines.



I discovered Readly this Christmas.  Basically it is like Netflix for magazines where a flat fee (£9.99 a month with a one month free trial) gives you access to dozens of different publications.  You can even change the country in the app and read American magazines if this floats your boat.  Titles of interest to the teacher include BBC Focus, Wonderpedia and the Sky at Night.


I’m sure that much of the content in these magazines is available on the internet for free, but if you are old school like me, you can’t beat sitting down with a cup of tea and reading a magazine (even if it is on an iPad!)

Leave me a comment if you use either of these services?  What magazines do you read and find useful? (and which are the opposite?)



Published by Rob Butler

Ex-science teacher, ex-school leader and full-time geek.