OCT 28, 2016

New White Paper “Digital Citizenship: a Holistic Primer” released at Digital Citizenship Summit 2016 at the Twitter Headquarters

The paper, produced by Impero and the Digital Citizenship Institute, takes an in-depth look at educating children on living in a digital world and offers guidance for schools 

Simi Valley, CA – Oct 28, 2016 – Impero Software and the Digital Citizenship Institute today announced the release of a white paper to help schools understand and effectively teach digital citizenship. The whitepaper, Digital Citizenship: a Holistic Primer was released during the Digital Citizenship Summit 2016 in San Francisco. It can be downloaded here:


The white paper is authored by Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran, founder and CEO of the Digital Citizenship Institute; Dr. Jason Ohler, author, speaker and Professor Emeritus of Educational Technology and Virtual Learning at Fielding Graduate University; and Dr. Mike Ribble, presenter, consultant, and Director of Technology for the Manhattan-Ogden School District in Kansas, and author of Digital Citizenship in Schools, 3rd Edition. Digital Citizenship: a Holistic Primer defines digital citizenship, describes its important role in education today and in the future, and offers specific examples of schools and colleges that are teaching it well.


“Digital citizenship reflects our quest to help students, as well as ourselves, develop the skills and perspectives necessary to live a digital lifestyle that is safe, savvy, and ethical, as well as inspired, innovative and involved,” said Marialice B.F.X. Curran, one of the white paper authors. “We want all students to be able to assume the roles of researcher, participant and leader as they build communities that effectively span their real and online worlds. Our ultimate hope is that students will use social media for social good.”


Digital Citizenship refers to the ethics, concerns and opportunities associated with living a digital lifestyle. This begins with the need to educate children about the dangers that exist online such as identity theft, sexting, and cyberbullying and extends into the positive and practical application of social media and technology as a whole.


Digital Citizenship: a Holistic Primer breaks down digital citizenship into three core themes – respect, educate and protect, and provides six elements for each such as digital law, digital literacy and digital security. It discusses how schools can approach the issue of Internet access such as monitoring, filtering or blocking Internet use and handling of BYOD initiatives. It offers guidance on what schools should consider when creating a digital citizenship plan and lists classroom examples from educators in elementary, middle and high school and college.


A Digital Citizenship: A Holistic Primer is a collaborative effort between the Digital Citizenship Institute and Impero Software, a leading remote monitoring and management software provider.


The Digital Citizenship Institute partners with districts, schools and organizations to provide a community-driven approach to digital citizenship and develops solutions for schools and communities.


Impero’s Education Pro software monitors students’ online activity on the school network and alerts educators if students use keywords that could indicate issues such as cyberbullying, sexting, radicalization, or self-harm.


“Digital citizenship is critically important in today’s always-online world,” said Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero Software. “We recommend that schools be proactive in discussing digital citizenship and implementing policies, tools, curriculum and partnerships to ensure students can successfully navigate an increasingly complex digital world. We are pleased to partner with the Digital Citizenship Institute on this white paper and hope it will be a valuable resource to schools throughout the country.”



About Impero Software

Impero Software is relied upon by education establishments around the world. Founded in 2002, it is currently accessed via one million computers in over 70 countries, including by 500 U.S. districts. In the UK it is the market-leading provider of Classroom, Network and Internet Safety Management Software, with a greater than 40 percent market share of UK secondary schools and 24 percent of colleges.

The company provides intelligent school IT management to help teams cut costs and maximize productivity. Its cutting edge software and powerful learning tools assist schools in the day-to-day running of their computer networks, putting teachers back in control of the classroom and enabling them to proactively deal with internet safety concerns on a daily basis. For more information, visit


About the Digital Citizenship Institute

The Digital Citizenship Institute is committed to promoting social good through the use of social media and technology. They are a diverse group of connected educators who think differently and believe in amplifying the positive and practical applications of learning in the digital age. The Institute partners with districts, schools, parents and organizations to provide a community approach to digital citizenship. For more information, visit


LD OnLine and Landmark School Outreach Partner to

Deliver Teaching Strategies to Educators
BEVERLY, MA – Leaders in providing resources to educators serving the 5 – 15% of students diagnosed with learning disabilities, LD OnLine and Landmark School Outreach have partnered to deliver practical and effective strategies through their online platforms.


Landmark School Outreach is now providing articles with timely, research-based teaching tips, checklists, and downloadable templates for educators that LD OnLine features on their website monthly.

Topics to date include:


Noel Gunther, LD OnLine Executive Director said, “We are delighted to partner with Landmark School Outreach. This relationship allows us to deliver great content from highly-respected experts in their field.  The articles are full of practical suggestions that educators can use with both struggling and traditional learners.”


In 1977, the Landmark School established the Landmark Outreach Program to help meet the educational needs of students with language-based learning disabilities.  The Outreach Program’s mission is to empower children with learning disabilities by offering their teachers an exemplary program of applied research and professional development.  To that end, the program provides extensive professional development, including a Summer Institute, online courses, consultation services, and publications.


LD OnLine is a popular website for general and special educators and is a service of WETA, the flagship PBS station in Washington, D.C.   The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns by noted experts, a referral directory, and much more.



Learn more about the Landmark School Outreach Program and LD OnLine:




Credo Launches ‘Issue Briefs’


Topical world subjects examined objectively – ideal for students, librarians


BOSTON, Oct. 27, 2016 — Credo – the industry leader for information literacy, critical thinking, and research solutions – has launched “Issue Briefs,” designed for students performing research on a wide range of current topics. Each week, Credo will unveil three to four new Issue Briefs, which illuminate all sides of today’s top issues featuring unbiased reporting.


Issue Briefs, published by Law Street Media, the leading law and policy site for Millennials, can be subscribed to through Credo Online Reference Service.


Articles are written concisely, averaging 1,750 words in length, and engage students with high-quality multimedia featuring videos, infographics, graphs and images. Among the current issues covered are politics, technology, health care, law, business and economics, energy and environment, health and science, and entertainment and culture.


“Students today are confronted with a wide variety of resources for their academic research. Wading through all the noise is a never-ending challenge, and students need a trusted source,” said Daniel Mack, Associate Dean for Collection Strategies and Services, University of Maryland Libraries. “Issue Briefs are the perfect starting point for research.”


“The Issue Briefs are the most up-to-date content of their kind, and they’re rich in multimedia resources – providing a quick but comprehensive dive into hundreds of topics,” Mack continued. “They’re written by Millennial journalists who understand what today’s students need.”


According to Ian Singer, Chief Content Officer for Credo, librarians also will appreciate the new product as it adds a high degree of currency to their reference resources.


“With a collection of more than 450 articles at launch, and with weekly updates, students and librarians can be assured many current and controversial topics have been addressed,” Singer said. “The beauty of these Issue Briefs is they feature rigorous fact-checking standards and stringent editorial oversight to ensure objectivity. The presentation of all sides of an issue helps students craft coherent arguments early in the research process.”


Credo has partnered with more than 2,500 libraries over the last 16 years to drive more effective and efficient student research activities. Since 2014, Credo has been developing instructional content while working with librarians to improve student research outcomes.


For more information about Credo, visit; for more information about Issue Briefs visit


About Credo |

Credo is an information skills solutions provider that serves educational institutions worldwide. It enables the flexible configuration of content, technology and services for the purpose of connecting learners, faculty and teachers, librarians and publishers. Credo promotes knowledge building, problem solving and critical thinking to give people the information skills necessary for success throughout their academic, professional and personal lives. Founded in the U.K. under the name of Xrefer, Credo has helped colleges, universities and public libraries successfully educate students and patrons since 1999. Credo is headquartered in Boston, Mass., and maintains an office in the U.K.


About Law Street |

Law Street is a free web-based media platform covering law and public policy. It was founded as a way to provide a single essential resource to law students and young professionals in the rapidly-evolving legal industry. With millions of visitors and its unique focus on the information needs of engaged Millennials, Law Street has brought aboard numerous investors from the publishing industry with the intention of expanding into other niche markets. Law Street’s Chairman, Ken Michaels, is the CEO of Macmillan Learning. Read the press release about Law Street’s launch here, and see the Publishers Weekly story about the company here. Law Street’s Founder and CEO is journalist and author John A. Jenkins, formerly President and Publisher of CQ Press. Read more about John and the rest of the Law Street team here.


Leading K-12 SaaS Platform Edsby moves to Microsoft Azure Cloud
K-12 learning management, data aggregation & analytics system now running exclusively on Azure in regions around the world
ONTARIO (Oct. 27, 2016) — Edsby, an SaaS platform that gives K-12 school districts, regions and national governments better student, teacher and parent engagement, improved educational outcomes and new insight into educational effectiveness, is now running on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s hyperscale enterprise-grade cloud platform, as part of a global relationship between the two companies.
K-12 education organizations usually have strict data sovereignty requirements that require them to store their academic data in the country/region they operate. Edsby is now leveraging Microsoft’s investment in Azure data centers worldwide to meet these requirements for customers around the globe. This is especially attractive for large school districts along with state, provincial and national educational organizations.
To learn more about Edsby’s partnership with Microsoft, visit here.
Twine Fulfills Communication and Engagement Needs at Nevada School
Learning management system built for private schools connects administrators, teachers, parents and students

RENO, Nev. (October 27, 2016) — From small schools to large schools, one of the key factors of a successful learning environment is fluid communication among all members of the school community. To integrate student information and communication on one platform, Triad School in Reno, Nev. has recently implemented Twine, an integrated learning management system (LMS) built specifically for K-12 private schools.

Triad School aims to keep small class sizes with an average of ten students in each classroom. The school wanted a solution that was modern, flexible and easily customizable to support individualized learning paths of each Triad student, while also keeping the line of communication open between administrators, teachers and parents.

For the full release, click here.
RoboKind and the Autism Society of America Announce Nationwide School Grant Program
Robots4Autism School Grant Program offers schools the opportunity to adopt research-based curriculum, eliminate economic barriers to autism intervention

DALLAS (Oct. 27, 2016) – The cost associated with providing healthcare and education for children with autism often presents a barrier for care providers and school districts. To ease the adoption of evidence-based practices in delivering the highest quality education for students with autism, RoboKind and the Autism Society of America announce the offering of the joint Robots4Autism School Grant Program. The grant program aims to make the comprehensive, research-based Robots4Autism program accessible to schools across the nation.

The Robots4Autism curriculum, delivered by humanoid robot Milo, incorporates eight evidence-based practices to support a learner’s generalization of appropriate social behavior and promote emotional understanding. In clinical studies, Robots4Autism has significantly increased engagement levels for students with autism. As a cost-effective solution for autism intervention, the grant partnership offers schools of all backgrounds to integrate the Robots4Autism curriculum into instruction.

Watch how Robots4Autism is improving the lives of students with autism here. To read the full news release, click here.

OCTOBER 27, 2016



Digital Content and Professional Development Empower District to Create Authentic Learning Environments and Build Educators’ Capacity to Support Transition to Digital Learning-


Silver Spring, Md. (October 26, 2016) – Ohio’s Brunswick City Schools today announced the launch of a new, seven-year partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.


Through this new collaboration, Brunswick City educators in grades K-12 will accelerate the creation of authentic digital classrooms by integrating Discovery Education’s Science Techbook™ into instruction, while middle school educators will begin integrating Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook™ into teaching and learning. In addition, all K-12 classrooms across the district will have access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas.   Educators from all 11 Brunswick City Schools will also participate in Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps, a comprehensive, multi-year professional development initiative that cultivates teacher-leaders to help drive the district’s transition to digital learning.


This new partnership helps Brunswick City Schools’ educators increase student engagement and more deeply personalize instruction, and also supports the district’s 2015 one-to-one learning initiative.  Last school year, middle and high school students received a personal device for learning in school and at home. Now, through the district’s new collaboration with Discovery Education, these devices will be powered with dynamic digital content to expand students’ learning opportunities within the classroom and beyond.


Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in one-to-one or one-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.


Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, Discovery Education’s Science Techbook, through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists. The Social Studies Techbookseries uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing and problem solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, multimedia reference library, interactive maps and informational texts.   Discovery Education Streaming Plus’ resources are aligned to state standards and searchable, and teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies, and content collections organized around themes.  Students can access images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, articles, videos, and more.


To support educators as they implement these new digital resources, the Brunswick City Schools are engaging its educators in Discovery Education’s Digital Leader Corps, which develops a network of teacher-leaders prepared to design, implement, and share successful and innovative teaching strategies districtwide.  Featuring a unique combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, Digital Leader Corps offers participating educators proven strategies for integrating educational technologies and digital media into classroom instruction including educator created, student-centered Learning Labs. In these labs, teachers bring to life new teaching strategies, and practice and adapt their skills in a classroom setting before sharing their successes broadly with their colleagues. The Digital Leader Corps program provides teachers with continuous customized, job-embedded consultation throughout the process with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education experts in the pre-planning, stakeholder communications, and implementation phases.


“Brunswick City Schools’ digital transition is dedicated to more deeply engaging our students in learning and providing them the opportunities to develop the skills they need to be successful in the Information Age,” said Michael Mayell, Superintendent. “We are excited to partner with Discovery Education to achieve this vision. Their dynamic digital resources and comprehensive professional development will help us transform teaching and learning districtwide.”


In addition, the Discovery Education Community will support Brunswick City Schools’ educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.


“Discovery Education is proud to be a part of Brunswick City Schools’ efforts to use digital content to grow student engagement and personalize instruction,” said Kelly Burleson, Education Partnerships Manager at Discovery Education.  “We look forward to supporting their entire team and to providing all teachers and students with the digital tools and resources they need to create the real-world learning experiences we know engage today’s learners.”


For more information about the Discovery Education Techbook series, Digital Leader Corps, or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit


About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at


Pearson Announces Mixed Reality Pilots Designed to Solve Real World Learning Challenges at Colleges and Universities


Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College among first to explore power of mixed reality learning content, delivered via Microsoft HoloLens, to immerse students in real world experiences


ANAHEIM, Calif. – Oct. 26, 2016 – Today at EDUCAUSE 2016, Pearson announced a collaboration with Microsoft to explore the power of mixed reality to solve real challenges in areas of learning, ranging from online tutoring and coaching, nursing education, and engineering to construction and surveyor training. With Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first self-contained holographic computer, Pearson is developing and piloting mixed reality content at colleges, universities and secondary schools in the United States and around the world.


HoloLens embraces virtual reality and augmented reality to create a new reality – mixed reality. With virtual reality, the user is immersed in a simulated world. Augmented reality overlays digital information on top of the real world. Mixed reality merges the virtual and physical worlds to create a new reality whereby the two can coexist and interact. By understanding the user’s environment, mixed reality enables holograms to look and sound like they are part of that world. This means learning content can be developed for HoloLens that provides students with real world experiences, allowing them to build proficiency, develop confidence, explore and learn.


“We are thrilled to partner with Pearson to expand the curriculum available to students to learn through the power of holograms on Microsoft HoloLens,” said Lorraine Bardeen, general manager for Microsoft Windows and HoloLens Experiences. “Complex systems are more easily understood in 3D and learning through holographic computing in mixed reality provides students a higher level of understanding and experience that they can then bring into their real-world interactions. HoloLens gives students access to things they may never be able to see in real life – historical artifacts, natural history, hands on training, and a connection to the broader world.”


For example, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock and San Diego State University are both part of a Pearson mixed reality pilot aimed at leveraging mixed reality to solve challenges in nursing education. Today many nursing programs hire and train actors to simulate scenarios nurses will face in the real world — a process that is hard to standardize and even harder to replicate. As part of the mixed reality pilot, faculty at the two universities’ schools of nursing are collaborating with Pearson to improve the value and efficacy of the types of simulations in which students participate.


To develop the content for this pilot, Pearson will use Microsoft’s holographic video capture capability, filming actors to simulate patients with various health concerns and then transferring that video into holograms for the student nurses to experience in a clinical setting. When student nurses participate in the simulations using HoloLens, they will have a real world experience diagnosing patients, building the confidence and competence that they will need in their careers.


Philip Greiner, DNSc, RN, director of the School of Nursing at San Diego State University said, “It is a privilege to work with Pearson and Microsoft to develop these educational components for nursing education.”


At Bryn Mawr College, a women’s liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, faculty, students, and staff are exploring various educational applications for the HoloLens mixed reality devices. They are testing Skype for HoloLens for connecting students with tutors in Pearson’s 24/7 online tutoring service, Smarthinking. If successful, this out-of-the-box solution could provide struggling students with richer, more personalized just-in-time support from expert tutors as if they were sitting side-by-side. Bryn Mawr will also experiment with using holographs and mixed reality to explore 3D content and concepts in a number of academic disciplines, including physics, biology, and archaeology.


Pearson’s work with mixed reality and HoloLens isn’t limited to higher education. The company is in the early stages of evaluating the impact of holographic learning at the late grammar school stage.  At Canberra Grammar School in Australia, Pearson is working with teachers in a variety of disciplines to develop holograms for use in their classrooms. The University of Canberra is partnering with Pearson to provide support for the project and evaluate the impact these holograms have on teaching and learning.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit


Learning Upgrade Launches New Mobile App to Serve ELLs on the Go

The app, created as part of the Adult Literacy XPrize Competition, delivers literacy instruction for a wide range of English learners


(SAN DIEGO, CA) October 26, 2016 – Learning Upgrade, an innovative ed tech company providing digital, differentiated literacy curriculum designed for English language learners (ELLs), today announce the launch of a mobile app to increase accessibility and expand offerings to a wide range of English learners.


The app enables students to access Learning Upgrade’s high-interest musical lessons on their own using any device, including phones and tablets. With the app, Learning Upgrade aims to improve students’ time on task by no longer limiting them to sitting in front of a computer. ELLs of all ages are now able to work through lessons anytime and anywhere.


“Low-literate, low-income adults often do not have computer and internet access at home. However, about 75% of them do own a smartphone,” said Vinod Lobo, co-founder and CEO of Learning Upgrade. “If effective learning can be delivered through smartphones, more ELLs can ‘self-serve’ by downloading the program on to their phone, signing in, and making progress. This way, millions of learners that are not served by schools or adult education can finally receive quality literacy instruction.”


The app is part of the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPrize Competition, designed to address the 36 million low-literate adults in America. The competition challenges teams to develop mobile applications that result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among participating adult learners in just 12 months. The solutions will overcome key barriers to literacy learning by improving access, increasing retention, and scaling to meet demand.


“As the needs of our nation evolve, so must our educational resources. We are ready and willing to collaborate with any school or organization interested in improving English language proficiency among ELLs,” said Lobo. “Thanks to technology, we are able to reach even more ELLs and promote English proficiency in the United States.”


The Learning Upgrade app includes more than 300 sequenced lessons including topics on phonics, decoding, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and listening. The curriculum includes engaging songs, videos, games, and rewards that encourage all learners to achieve mastery. Each lesson provides practice problems accompanied by immediate intervention and remediation with multimedia supports. Students can repeat lessons until they master them, earning a gold certificate when they become proficient in each of the standard’s benchmarks.


Adult learners at Sweetwater Adult Education in Chula Vista, California, are already using the app on students’ personal smartphones as part of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The innovative blended learning approach combines instructor-led classes and on-site computer labs with at-home smartphone use. Instructors can track a learner’s progress and assess their literacy skills regardless of where the learner completes their lessons. The goal is to accelerate what is often a long path to proficiency, so that English Learners can qualify for GED, technical, and community college classes.


The app is available now as a free download from the Google Play Store, with Apple App Store access planned for release later this year.


About Learning Upgrade

Founded in 1998 by educators, musicians, artists and programmers in San Diego, Learning Upgrade designs innovative, engaging lessons to support struggling students in reading and math. Through the incorporation of songs, video, games, and educational research, Learning Upgrade has helped more than 1 million students make learning breakthroughs. For more information, please visit


Newly Released Nationwide Data from vibeffect Debunks Misperceptions of Low-Income Students in College

Low-income students have equal probability of thriving in traditional higher education institutions

Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2016) – Higher education institutions are relying on predictive analysis to make decisions about admission and resource allocation, a process that could perpetuate the underrepresentation of minority and low-income students. vibeffect, credited with engineering the first scientific model to increase student thriving and on-time graduation for higher education institutions, releases data showing that contrary to popular belief, students from low-income households are likely to thrive in four-year, traditional higher education institutions.


After surveying students in 5,000 households, spanning 1,000 institutions and covering 360 variables, this new data shows that students from low-income households ($35,000 household income and below) have equal probability of earning a high-thriving designation on all dimensions of thriving and often are equally represented in the highest-thriving group.

To read the full release, click here. To read the data summary, click here.


OCT 26, 2016

Follett Urges Schools to Share Their Stories of Unique Learning for 6th Annual Follett Challenge

$200,000 Contest to Recognize Leading Examples of K-12 Programs Teaching 21st-Century Skills to Students


MCHENRY, Ill., Oct. 25, 2016 – Does your school have a cool, unique program it would like share with the world? If so, the $200,000 Follett Challenge – an advocacy program that rewards groundbreaking educational programs – launched its sixth annual contest this week.

All K-12 schools/districts, public and private, in the U.S. and Canada are eligible to apply. Submissions are open to all K-12 educators and Parent Teacher Organizations. Entrants must complete an online application and upload a three- to five-minute video describing their program that teaches 21st century skills to students. Judges are looking for applications best illustrating critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff.

In the 2015-16 contest, a school located on the Eielson Air Force Base in the very far north city of Fairbanks, Alaska, was confident it had a unique program to share. Educators there, however, worried they might not be able to compete with some of the bigger, more technologically advanced schools in larger cities. The Follett Challenge judges thought otherwise after the school entered its innovative STEM and CTE program for students in grades 7-12.

“Sometimes it seems like little schools in Alaska don’t stand a chance,” said Mariko Kinikin, Digital Learning Coach at Ben Eielson Junior/Senior High School Library, part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. “Being named as a Follett Challenge semifinalist, and finally the grand prize winner, was a huge validation of the good work we are doing here in Interior Alaska.”

“Few events have rallied the school and community as completely as the process of assembling, completing – and winning! – the Follett Challenge,” Kinikin continued. “As budgets become more streamlined, and access to timely quality materials rises in importance, the Follett Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. We thank them for allowing us to share our story.”

With $200,000 available in products and services from Follett, this year’s three semifinalists each will earn a $30,000 prize. The grand-prize winner, to be selected from the three semifinalists, will earn an additional $30,000, for a total of $60,000, plus a celebration at their school. Ten $8,000 prizes will be awarded to “People’s Choice” winners – those schools that receive the highest number of online votes from the public for their submitted videos.

Eighty percent of each entrant’s score will be based on the judges’ evaluation of the entry, with the remaining 20 percent based on the number of votes generated for the school’s/district’s video.

In past years, the Follett Challenge has seen winning programs from varying school sizes in reading, math, service learning, project-based learning, and more.

“The Follett Challenge advocates for and promotes innovative educators who are looking beyond traditional means of teaching and learning,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “As our past winners have discovered, it is well worth the time and effort to enter. Year after year, we see how diverse winning programs can be, and school size doesn’t matter. We’ve had rural, small schools, larger schools, as well as public and private schools. Each year is a pleasant surprise, and it is exciting to see the innovation at work in schools everywhere.”

Qaimari added there are vast resources on the Follett Challenge website to help entrants get started when they’re ready to move forward with their submission. Moreover, he said Follett has scheduled an event for 7 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Nov. 15 on the Follett Challenge Facebook page that will provide tips on what the judges are seeking and how to make one’s entry shine.

Other key 2016-17 contest dates are:

  • Oct. 24, 2016:        Contest formally launches on website, and entries open
  • Dec. 23, 2016:        Entries close
  • Jan. 23, 2017:        Voting begins
  • Jan. 27, 2017:        Voting closes
  • Feb. 28, 2017:        Semifinalists and 10 video winners announced
  • April 28, 2017:        Grand-prize winner announced


For more information about the Follett Challenge, visit; for more on Follett, visit

About Follett’s PreK-12 Business|
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, eBooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.


About Follett Corporation

For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus bookstores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett’s reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world’s largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.




–National Initiative for Preteens, Teens, Educators and Parents Offers Standards-Aligned Resources to Address the Science of Addiction and Kick Start Lifesaving Conversations on Prescription Opioid Misuse and Heroin Use; Initiative Announced During Live Virtual Town Hall Event–


SILVER SPRING, Md. [October 25, 2016] – To combat America’s rapidly growing opioid and heroin epidemic, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced a new joint nationwide education initiative called “Operation Prevention.” This announcement was made as part of a live town hall event that was broadcasted from Virginia’s McLean High School and streamed into classrooms nationwide.


Designed for middle and high school students, educators and parents nationwide, Operation Prevention is an important effort to educate students about the science behind drug addiction and its impact, with resources that help initiate lifesaving conversations in the home and classroom.  The no-cost initiative offers standards-aligned classroom resources including digital lesson plans, and a parent toolkit that offers information on the warning signs of substance misuse disorder and a guide to prevention and intervention. In December, a student video challenge will also launch.


Every day in America, 44 people die as a result of prescription opioid overdose, and heroin use has more than doubled among young adults ages 18-25 in the past decade (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). The epidemic cuts across lines of age, race, gender and wealth, afflicting cities as well as suburbs, rural towns as well as tribal communities. Now, Operation Prevention will provide students with the tools they need to make smart, informed choices when they are prescribed or presented with the opportunity to experiment with opioids. Materials include:


Educator Lesson Plans – Standards-aligned digital lesson plans bring powerful real-world context to science and health classrooms by equipping teachers with dynamic curricula on the science behind opioids’ physical and neurological effects. Companion instructor guides are also available to support educators as they integrate these lessons into classroom instruction.


Interactive Student Resources – A self-paced e-learning module combines video, animation and interactive elements to offer students an engaging learning experience that encourages them to investigate the impacts of opioids on the brain and body. Accompanying this module are pre-and-post-assessments as well as companion guides for educators and parents to utilize to best support students’ experience.


Parent Toolkit – Designed to empower parents with knowledge and resources to begin lifesaving conversations, detect warning signs and take action, the Operation Prevention Parent Toolkit includes family discussion starters, a detailed guide of warning signs and what they mean, and prevention and intervention tools that allows parents to proactively take action through research-based strategies.


“Operation Prevention is a free science-based education tool for students, teachers, and parents,” said DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “In partnership with Discovery Education, we will illuminate the opioid epidemic by teaching kids the science behind it.”


“Discovery Education is proud to partner with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration on this important and potentially life-saving initiative,” said Bill Goodwyn, president and CEO, Discovery Education. “Operation Prevention will provide teachers, students, and families the engaging digital resources they need to combat the national opioid addiction epidemic.”


Today’s launch announcement was broadcasted from Fairfax County Public School’s McLean High School in Virginia. It connected students with a panel of experts including Louis J. Milione, DEA Assistant Administrator, Office of Diversion Control; Melvin Patterson, DEA special agent; Peggy Compton, Associate Dean at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies; Jamie Lane, Assistant Principal, McLean High School; and a former teen user, who discussed how prescription opioids and heroin affect the brain and behavior, and answered questions submitted in real time by participating students nationwide. An archive of the event is available for year-round use at:


“Substance abuse touches everyone and too often it is unrecognized as families are left to deal with the consequences on their own,” said McLean High School Principal Ellen Reilly. “By bringing this issue to the McLean school community during today’s town hall and to school communities worldwide, this is a unique opportunity to acknowledge and understand a very real crisis. Operation Prevention will increase awareness of this crisis which is key to developing solutions for those struggling with this issue.”


More information on Operation Prevention and access to the program’s free resources are available at For other Discovery Education initiatives,


About the Drug Enforcement Administration

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at


Colleges and Universities Improve Access for Adult Learners

Through Online Learning Partnerships With Pearson


Online programs meet student desire for flexible schedules in higher education, help learners acquire skills in in-demand career fields


NEW YORK – Oct. 25, 2016 – Nearly 80 percent of adults say the availability of classes to fit their schedules and the length of time needed to complete an education are barriers to completing their college degrees, according to the Adult Learners Survey 2016, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, on behalf of Pearson. Today, Pearson announced the results of newly released success stories demonstrating how colleges and universities around the country are implementing and sustaining successful online programs that provide adult learners with increased, flexible access to high-quality higher education opportunities.


A growing number of four-year colleges and universities are implementing managed online programs to help learners complete their higher education goals and increase their employability. The University of Cincinnati’s College of Allied Health Scienceslaunched an online bachelor of science in respiratory therapy in spring of 2013 and now has more than 1,000 students enrolled.


Shane Keene, associate dean of e-learning, College of Allied Health Sciences, credits Pearson’s Online Program Management (OPM) solution with helping the college increase enrollment and also with helping retain students.


“I’m very proud of our retention,” said Keene. “Our students are working professionals who realize the importance of the degree. We’re able to figure out ways to make our program work for students despite life issues that can happen.”


Pearson provides comprehensive OPM services, and partners with more than 40 higher education institutions across the country to implement and sustain nearly 300 undergraduate and graduate programs, which have produced more than 30,000 graduates.Some of Pearson’s other OPM partners include: University of Nevada, Reno; Maryville University;  Regis College; Adventist University of Health Sciences; Arizona State University; Ohio University; Abilene Christian University; Washington State University; Hofstra University School of Law; University of California at Riverside; Bradley University; and Villanova University. In 2015, a total of 6,672 students graduated from programs powered by Pearson’s student support and retention services, a component of many OPM partner solutions.



“With 72 percent of adult learners believing education is critical to keep up with advancements in their field, online learning continues to provide valuable opportunities for working adults and career professionals seeking to advance their skills,” said Todd Hitchcock, chief operating officer, Pearson Online Learning Services. “We are proud to partner with these colleges and universities around the country to help them provide educational opportunities to adult learners who might not otherwise have been able to access programs in the fastest growing career fields.”


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit

OCT 25, 2016

We have a show on this ,with the producers of the film, at noon October 26
Resilience Re-Set Campaign Launches Nov. 1
With Film Screenings, Other Events Nationwide 
Education, Health and Community Leaders Unite To Raise Awareness, Share Resources To Help Students Who Experience Trauma
Washington, Oct. 25, 2016 – Untold numbers of students go to school each day distracted, angry or highly anxious as a result of adverse experiences in their lives. Resilience Re-Set is a campaign to help communities understand why many of these students misbehave or disengage, and give adults resources to support students who live with toxic stress.

Resilience Re-Set begins Nov. 1 and is led by KPJR Films in partnership with Childhood Abuse America, American Academy of Pediatrics and others. Resilience Re-Set activities will include film screenings in communities nationwide, presentations, panel conversations and social media events. KPJR has produced two films that can be shared as part of Resilience Re-Set: Paper Tigers, a 90-minute documentary about the inspiring outcomes of trauma-informed education at a high school in Walla Walla, WA, and Resilience, an engaging new one-hour film on the science behind toxic stress.

Resilience Trailer - KPJR Films

“These films show us, through science and the stories of our young people, how adults are stepping up to help children who are exposed to adverse experiences,” said Jamie Redford, director, KPJR Films. “We hope the stories of children, educators and scientists grappling with the results of trauma help raise awareness, foster conversation and inspire action.”

“Resilience Re-Set is about moving from talk to taking action,” said Karen Pritzker, executive producer, KPJR Films. “We are grateful to our partners who are hosting resilience-building activities to promote cultures of hopefulness and understanding in their communities.”

Here is a sample of Resilience Re-Set activities scheduled for November:

  • The Topeka (KS) Public Schools is inviting staff from throughout the district to see Resilience on Nov. 2, following up on a recent screening of Paper Tigers.
  • Jamie Redford will host a screening of Resilience on Nov. 3 at the 2016 Resilience Summit in Chicago, which is hosted by the National Resilience Institute.
  • The San Diego Unified School District will team up with San Diego city officials to screen Resilience on Nov. 4 for educators and professionals who coordinate youth services.
  • The Chicago premiere of Resilience will be Nov. 5 at the Chicago Film Critics Festival.
  • The Bank Street College of Education in New York City is screeningResilience on Nov. 4.
  • On Nov. 16, the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education is hosting a screening of Resilience for its faculty and students.
  • The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is asking its 25,000 members to invite a high school principal to join them for a Nov. 16 digital screening of Resilience and Twitter chat with Redford and Jim Sporleder, the principal featured in Paper Tigers.

“We see the film Resilience as an advocacy tool that our members can use to help explain toxic stress and its impact on students and how they function in schools,” said Katherine C. Cowan, communications director, NASP. “This is a problem we can solve, but it will take expertise and support from educators, school psychologists, health experts and elected officials.”

KPJR Films, a producer of independent films about pressing social issues, offers documentary films Paper Tigers and Resilience for screening in local communities. The films are available through There are additional resources available on the website, including a Resilience Facilitator’s Guide and a One Caring Adult Resource portal.

Resilience Re-Set partners, such as ACES Connections, California Youth Endowment and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also will offer resources on their websites.

Organizations, educators and others who want to join Resilience Re-Set as a partner or want to learn more about hosting local screenings should send an email to:

On social media, please participate in Resilience Re-Set at:



ALEXANDRIA, VA—ASCD is excited to announce ASCD Empower17: The Conference for Every Educator, the mission-driven nonprofit’s 72nd annual conference and exhibit show. Empower17 will take place March 25-27, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif., and will empower educators—teachers, teacher leaders, principals, central office staff, and superintendents—to create their own personalized professional learning experience.

Why Did ASCD Reinvent its Conference Experience?

In a new Medium post, ASCD CEO and Executive Director Deb Delisle explains the genesis of Empower17:

“Pedagogy continues to evolve, methods improve, and educators across the world are improving instruction,” Delisle writes in the post. “Yet, at nearly every conference for educators, including ASCD’s annual conference, instruction and content delivery remains relatively static. After leaving last year’s conference, our team returned with a new recognition that, as educators, we aren’t practicing what we preach.”

Educators need professional learning that’s as innovative and effective as the instruction they deliver to their students. Attendees at Empower17 can create a learning path to help organize sessions around six areas of focus, and customized based on the attendee’s role in education and level of experience.

In addition to familiar Keynote Luncheons and learning sessions, ASCD Empower17 will offer:

  • Student and Practitioner Panels
  • Learning Labs
  • Great Debates
  • More than 250 exhibitors

The conference will also offer dedicated times and locations called Reflection Pools for teams to share new ideas and collaborate together. Reflection Pools are comfortable spaces designed to facilitate group interaction and innovative thinking.

On-site EdCamps and expert coaching will help teams harness their best thinking and generate actionable plans to implement at home. Because students are at the core of our work, ASCD Empower17 will also incorporate student voices, local school visits, and attendees who will become the next generation of educators. For full details,

Empower17 General Session Speakers

Wavelength – Those Who Laugh, Learn!
Founded in 1980 by a former high school English teacher, Wavelength’s mission is to train, motivate, and inspire education professionals through the use of humor, laughter, and improvisation.

Jahana Hayes – Empowering Students through Service Learning
2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes’ teaching path began as a student. The first college graduate in her family, she was inspired by her teachers who urged her to dream bigger and who believed that she was college material, despite a challenging upbringing.

Garrett Reisman – Human Space Flight Past and Present: Lessons Learned About Inspiration and Determination
Selected by NASA as a mission specialist astronaut in 1998, Reisman’s first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, which brought him to the International Space Station for a 95-day mission. He returned to Earth aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. He returned to the ISS on the Space Shuttle Atlantis for his second mission.

Stay up to date with Empower17 by following @ASCDempower on Twitter.

To register for ASCD Empower17, visit Visit our conference pricing page for individual, ASCD member, and group rates. To learn more about ASCD and the benefits associated with becoming a member,

Members of the media interested in attending Empower17 can register for a complimentary press pass

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 128 countries—the ASCD community also includes 54 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit


Pearson Announces EDUCAUSE Conference 2016 Lineup

Today, Pearson announced its lineup for EDUCAUSE 2016, as part of its “Programmed for Possible” theme for the conference. The theme highlights how technology is putting access to quality learning experiences within reach of every student in programs across the country. Company thought leaders and educational partners will discuss how the transition to digital is transforming higher education.

Presentations will feature institutions that are improving access, achievement and affordability through the Digital Direct Access model, which also provides educators with valuable insights into learning activity through data and analytics, as well as those that are leveraging key learning design principles to improve their digital learning environments. Other sessions will showcase colleges and universities that are implementing innovative online learning programs that accelerate employability. In addition, announcements will highlight new partnerships to provide colleges and universities with innovative immersive technologies that increase student engagement and transform the learning experience.

WHAT: EDUCAUSE, October 25-28, Anaheim Convention Center (ACC), 800 West Katella Avenue, Pearson Booth #1301.

WHO: College and university educators and administrators with a focus on teaching and learning, administration, instructional technology, information technology infrastructure, information systems or information technology leadership.

Transition to Digital Summit
Tuesday, Oct.25, 1-5 p.m. p.m., Anaheim Marriott
What: This highly interactive event will bring together academic leaders and bookstore directors from across the country to explore ways in which institutions are solving the access, affordability, and achievement gaps by transitioning to digital delivery of course materials.

Presenters: Sandra Erhorn, bookstore and auxiliary liaison, academic technology services, Office of the Chancellor, The California State University; Candice Jackson, acting vice president for academic affairs, general counsel, Office of the President, Kentucky State University; Bob Butterfield, instructional resource services director, University of Wisconsin-Stout; Jai Kumar, bookstore director, Canada College; David Kent, director of VolShop (university bookstore), University of Tennessee-Knoxville; Mark Goodner, lead business Analyst – IU eTexts, Indiana University Bloomington; Greg Fenton, CEO, Red Shelf; Stephanie Duguid, assistant dean of academic instruction, Copiah-Lincoln Community College; and Kate McKain, vice president, data informed services, Pearson.

Accelerating Employability for Adult Learners through Innovative Online Learning Partnerships
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 11:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., ACC Meeting Room 210C
What: The “new normal” student is a 25 year-old (plus) working adult, seeking to further their education, or gain valuable skills to keep them employed. In this session, attendees will learn how Eastern Gateway Community College is addressing the needs of adult learners through an innovative online learning program.

Presenters: Todd Hitchcock, chief operating officer, Pearson Online Learning Services & Embanet; Dr. Jimmie Bruce, president, Eastern Gateway Community College; and Dr. Ken Knox, provost, Eastern Gateway Community College.

It’s a Matter of Principles: Designing for Next Generation Learning
Thursday, Oct. 27, 8-8:50 a.m., ACC Meeting Room 210C
What: In this interactive session, attendees will be introduced to a ground-breaking set of learning design principles, based on a new white paper from Pearson, and learn how they can help drive the next generation of digital learning tools and courseware.

Presenters: Robert Atkinson, Ph.D., associate professor, computing, informatics and decision systems engineering and director of the innovative learner and user experience lab, Arizona State University; and David Porcaro, director of learning capabilities design, Pearson. Moderator: Curtiss Barnes, managing director, global product management and design, Pearson.

IBM Watson: Building a World Class Ecosystem for Higher Education
Thursday, Oct. 27, 1:30-2:20 p.m, ACC Meeting Room 303A
What: IBM’s cognitive platform Watson represents the new paradigm in the computing era. It is fundamentally transforming industries and their daily operations, including higher education. This session will explore the possibilities of Watson in higher ed and early use cases and share the latest thinking on industry strategy to adopt and leverage Watson.

Presenters: Katie Blot, chief strategy officer, global services division management, Blackboard; Doug Hunt, Watson Global Education Leader, IBM; Chalapathy Neti, vice president, education innovation, IBM; Mike King, vice president, global education industry, IBM; Angie McAllister, senior vice president, personalized learning and analytics, Pearson.

For a list of sessions and demos, as well as more information on Pearson at EDUCAUSE, visit

Follow @PearsonNorthAm on Twitter and use #EDU16 to join the conversation.

About Pearson
Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit


Vernier Wins a 2016 Tech & Learning Award of Excellence

Vernier’s Solar Energy Exploration Kit and accompanying “Investigating Solar Energy” lab book recognized in New Product category

BEAVERTON, Oregon, October 24, 2016 — Vernier Software & Technology’s Solar Energy Exploration Kit and the associated Investigating Solar Energy lab book have been named a winner of Tech & Learning’s 2016 Awards of Excellence in the New Product category. Now in its 34th year, this leading educational awards program recognizes innovative products that break new ground as well as those that have received significant enhancements.

“This is the second year in a row that one of our renewable energy kits and associated lab books have won this prestigious award,” said John Wheeler, CEO of Vernier Software & Technology. “It is a great honor to be recognized in back-to-back years, especially given that a panel of educators chose these resources because they provide students with an engaging, hands-on way to learn about important energy and STEM concepts.”

The Solar Energy Exploration Kit helps students investigate energy transformations, discover how the angle of photovoltaic panels relative to the sun affects power output, and experiment with basic circuits. TheInvestigating Solar Energy lab book contains nine hands-on experiments and two culminating engineering projects that utilize the kit and allow K–8 students to learn about solar energy and develop solutions to real-world problems.

To learn more about the Solar Energy Exploration Kit and Investigating Solar Energy lab book, visit

About Vernier Software & Technology

Vernier Software & Technology has led the innovation of scientific data-collection technology for 35 years. Vernier was founded by a former physics teacher and hires educators at all levels of the organization. The company is committed to teachers and developing creative ways to teach and learn science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) using hands-on science. Vernier creates easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and graphing/analysis software. With worldwide distribution to over 130 countries, Vernier data loggers are used by educators and students from elementary school to university. Vernier technology-based solutions enhance STEM education, increase learning, build students’ critical thinking skills, and support the science and engineering practices detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Vernier business culture is grounded in Earth-friendly policies and practices, and the company provides a family-friendly workplace. For more information, visit


CB&A Wins MarCom Gold Award for Special Event at ISTE
PR and digital marketing firm recognized for visibility initiatives at ed tech industry event

Madison, Wis. (Oct. 25, 2016) – C. Blohm & Associates, Inc. (CB&A), the premier PR and digital marketing agency for the education and special needs industries, has earned a MarCom Gold Award for its innovative BuzzHub events at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. The award recognizes distinguished work by professionals who are involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs.

CB&A’s work highlighted by the award includes the agency’s combination of workshops, meetings and events where clients can take advantage of the media’s presence at ISTE. The MarCom award emphasizes CB&A’s ability to create customized events that align closely with its clients’ goals.

To read the full news release, visit

OCTOBER 21,2016

Follett supports AASL’s ESSA implementation efforts

CHICAGO – Follett School Solutions continues to support the importance of school librarians in students educational careers with a matching funds sponsorship of American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation workshops. Presented nationwide through collaboration with AASL state affiliates, the workshops highlight opportunities within ESSA language for school librarians and school libraries to be included in state and local plans.

“At Follett, we are investing in the future of the role of the librarian,” said Britten Follett, vice president, marketing.  “We are committed to educating national, state, local, and district leaders about the role of a school librarian. As master curators of content with expertise in education technology, librarians are more critical than ever. We believe through our advocacy work and support of programs like these workshops, librarians can emerge as leaders in their schools by filling gaps district leaders are currently facing,”

“AASL thanks Follett School Solutions for their continued commitment to school libraries and school librarians,” said AASL President Audrey Church. “While the Every Student Succeeds Act includes effective school library programs in its language, school librarians must be visible and vocal as state and local implementation plans are written. School librarians positively impact student learning. Through the ESSA workshops, AASL is able to provide information and resources for our state affiliates and individual school librarians to use in their advocacy efforts.”

Presented in collaboration with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy and the ALA Washington Office, the state-specific workshops include the most current information on developments at the Federal level, connect ESSA language to the role of the school librarian, and provide recommendations of opportunities at the state and local levels to ensure the ‘effective school library program’ language in ESSA.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Here are the Regional Finalists for the 2016 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology!


WASHINGTON, Oct 19, 2016 — The Siemens Foundation today announced the 2016 class of regional finalists for the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation’s premier research competition for high school students.

This year, 96 regional finalists have been invited to advance to the next round of the competition where they will vie for college scholarships ranging from $1,000 up to $100,000 and one of the most prestigious science honors awarded to high school students in the country today.

“Every year, I look forward to seeing whether this will be the year when we’ll see a project that will lead to developing the cure for cancer – or identify tomorrow’s coolest technology,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “We congratulate the regional finalists on their accomplishments and wish them luck in the next phase of the competition.”

The Siemens Competition, launched in 1999 by the Siemens Foundation, was established to increase access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens.  This competition, administered by Discovery Education, seeks to recognize and hopefully build a strong pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

These 96 regional finalists announced today were picked from an exceptional group of 498 semifinalists that were recognized on October 18.  The semifinalist projects are those considered outstanding and notable from the pool of more than 1,600 projects submitted this year.

Regional finalists will go on to compete in one of six regional competitions virtually hosted over three consecutive weekends in November at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (November 4-5); Georgia Institute of Technology (November 4-5); University of Notre Dame (November 11-12); The University of Texas at Austin (November 11-12); California Institute of Technology (November 18-19); and Carnegie Mellon University (November 18-19). Winners of the regional events will then advance to the final phase of the competition, National Finals at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., December 5-6, 2016, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000.

A complete list of finalists and their projects will be available at www.siemens-foundation.orgpreceding each regional event held in November.


For up-to-date news and announcements about the Regional Competitions and the National Finals, follow us on Twitter @SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation.


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About the Siemens Foundation

The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $90 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. The Foundation’s mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are helping close the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. when it comes to STEM careers, and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.  For further information, visit or follow @sfoundation.


About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at

Today, Pearson released the results of its first Adult Learners Survey, measuring the attitudes of adults who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in a degree or certificate program. The poll found that traditional workplace fears of being outsourced or replaced by younger or immigrant labor are giving way to fears about keeping pace with technology.

These new concerns also are driving people to continue their education. Seventy-two percent (72%) of respondents indicated they will need additional education to keep up with advancements in their field, while sixty-nine percent (69%) fear that technological advancements will make their job significantly different within the next five years. Less than half (41%) worry about being replaced by younger workers, less than one third (30%) are concerned their job will fall victim to overseas outsourcing and only one quarter (25%) worry immigrant labor will take their job.

“As the global economy and student population change, it’s clear we need new ways for people to access to higher education,” said Todd Hitchcock, chief operating officer for Pearson Embanet. “Adult students are stretched with their current jobs, along with family and financial commitments. The higher education community needs to look toward online education, certification programs and flexible in-person programs to meet people where they are and in a way that suits their lifestyle or career needs.”

That flexibility is proving to be a key need for adult students. For those enrolled and working toward a degree, less than a third (27%) are pursuing that degree only using in-person courses. The rest are using online only programs or some combination of online and in-person classes. Across current and potential students, two-thirds of those polled (66%) view online program as being as prestigious as traditional degree programs, signaling confidence in the online programs they need.

Among other the key findings in the poll:

Beyond concerns about keeping up with a changing workplace, adult students were also concerned with improving their overall standing in life. For those who have already enrolled in an education program, nearly half (45%) said that improving their earning potential was a primary motivation for returning to school. Thirty-eight percent (38%) said they believed furthering their education would lead to a better life and a quarter (25%) wanted to improve their position at their current job.

Even with the urgency of re-skilling, the cost of returning to school is a major concern for adults, with eighty percent (80%) saying it’s a key barrier to completing their education. Equally important is the time commitment; with around eighty percent (79%) of adults saying the availability of classes to fit their schedules and the length of time needed to complete an education are other barriers.

Four year, public colleges and universities are the preferred place for more than half of adults enrolled and working toward a degree-followed by private four-year institutions and community colleges. For-profit colleges lag far behind as preferred institutions for adult students.

Adult students are more concerned about finding the right course or program subject, rather than picking an institution first. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of adult students say they selected the program or course of study first, rather than the institution.

While more than a third of adult learners (36%) said they wanted to advance in their current position, less than fifth of respondents (14%) say they had gotten any advice or information from their employer and half (50%) say lack of approval or support from their employer is a barrier to completing their education. These points all signal that employers are missing an important opportunity to develop their current workforce.

The poll was based on 1,634 online interviews conducted by PSB in late July and early August 2016 with US Adults aged 25-64 who were either enrolled in or planning to enroll in a degree or certificate program.

Click here to view the full report.


Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology.


Education Secretary John King Opposes NAACP Call for Charter Caps

Says charter caps like those in Massachusetts are “arbitrary” and “a mistake”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Secretary of Education John King, in remarks at the National Press Club, joined the chorus of education leaders, elected officials and respected members of the African-American community in criticizing by the NAACP‘s decision to demand moratoriums on charter schools.

He commented that caps on charter schools only serve to limit the amount of high-quality classroom seats available. King explained that “any arbitrary cap on the growth of high-performing charters is a mistake in terms of our goal of trying to improve opportunity for all kids”.

King’s comments on charter schools come right on the heels of comments made by Sephira Shuttlesworth, wife of the late civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who in the Lowell Sun called on Massachusetts voters to approve more charter schools and bring her late husband’s vision to life, “… educational opportunity for all …the battle for which he and others repeatedly put their lives on the line rages on.”Rev. Shuttlesworth founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was one of the key leaders in the civil rights movement.

Earlier this fall, chief of staff and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Wyatt T. Walker said if Dr. King were alive he would have supported charter schools “without a doubt.” The interview appeared in Real Clear Life in September.

“Charter schools have proven to be some of the most effective means to educating students most in need of diverse learning opportunities. They have the changed lives of countless individuals in the communities they serve,” said CER Board of Directors member Donald Hense. Hense, himself a civil rights activist, founded Friendship Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC and served under Marion Wright Edelman at Children’s Defense Fund.  “Limiting charter schools is like limiting education,” added Hense.


About the Center for Education Reform

Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that the conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.


President and Mrs. Bush Participate in Education Leadership Roundtable 

Conversation highlights Bush Institute release of comprehensive research on principal preparation


Fort Worth, Texas (October 19, 2016) – President and Mrs. George W. Bush today participated in a roundtable conversation with community and school leaders to discuss education leadership and the importance of attracting and supporting great principals, part of the Bush Institute’s focus on education reform.

“The principal can make a significant difference in a school. And so the question is are school districts properly recruiting, training, and retaining effective principals?” said President Bush. “Our goal is to find out what works and spread it nationally.”

President and Mrs. Bush were joined by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner, and other education leaders for the conversation at Edward J. Briscoe Elementary in Fort Worth.

The roundtable coincides with the Bush Institute’s release this week of two related major studies on education leadership: aprincipal preparation evaluation study and the Principal Talent Management Framework, developed through the Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership.

Of in-school factors, principals are second only to classroom teachers when it comes to impact on student learning. Despite the influence that principals can have, more rigorous research and information to guide schools and districts on how to prepare, recruit, support, and retain the most effective school leaders is needed.

The Bush Institute’s new studies look at effective ways to evaluate principal preparation and describe how districts can implement and update policies to get, support, and keep great principals.

The research on principal preparation, the result of a two-year study with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), highlights the link between principal preparation programs and student outcomes in five large districts across the United States.

The second study, specifically designed for school districts, includes a detailed literature review and guidebook. The guidebook, called the Principal Talent Management Framework, looks at how districts can evaluate policies and practices and ensure they align with elements of principal effectiveness.

The Bush Institute will also co-host an event Thursday with Texas Christian University focused on the complexities of evaluating principal preparation and how evaluation efforts can be improved in the future. The event includes a panel discussion with faculty who prepare educational leaders and conduct research related to this field from TCU, the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), the University of Denver, and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

For more information about the study, framework, and the Bush Institute’s Alliance to Reform Education Leadership, please visit



About the Bush Institute:

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of cultivating leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. The work is achieved through three Impact Centers – Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and our Engagement Agenda – by which the Bush Institute engages the greater community with its important work.

About the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership:

Rooted in President and Mrs. Bush’s belief that “excellent schools must first have excellent leaders,” the Bush Institute developed the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL) to dramatically improve the way our nation’s principals are prepared and supported. AREL is one of the Bush Institute’s flagship programs which signifies that school leaders are critical in raising achievement for students across the country. AREL is transforming districts’ talent management of school principals and helping to ensure that school districts have the knowledge and tools to attract and retain effective principals.


Research Shows That Project-Based Learning with Defined STEM Boosts Student Engagement and Test Scores

In a new study, PBL helped students perform better on standardized assessments and project tests than students in direct-instruction programs  


(CHICAGO, IL) October 20, 2016 —Defined Learning, a K-12 educational media company combining technology, creativity, and curriculum to provide useful and relevant tools to schools, today announced the release of a new research report, developed by MIDA Learning Technologies, LLC. The report focuses on quantitative and qualitative evaluations of students’ problem-solving abilities after implementation of Defined STEM in science class.


The research proves that the PBL strategies used by Defined STEM help students understand concepts more deeply than those who had traditional instruction, resulting in better performance on a wide range of assessments. Teachers reported marked improvements in the depth of students’ discussions and their problem-solving skills.


“I can see the growth from the beginning where we started out with the students, and I could see the growth as students increasingly took on more responsibility,” said a participating 2nd-grade teacher. “As time went on, (students) were not just asking questions but answering them.”


A participating 5th-grade teacher added, “Students didn’t look at it as learning—they were having fun. They also had a sense of accomplishment when they saw what they have done.”


The meaningful and authentic tasks presented by Defined STEM learning support student development of real-world skills and analytical thinking. In these projects, students are told that they are in the role of a real-world job, and are given a real-world problem to solve while collaborating with their peers. These tasks increase engagement by showing how the material learned can be applied to a future career, which allows students to imagine themselves in that career path.


According to the research, this increased engagement resulted in students performing better on both standardized assessments and project tests than students in traditional direct-instruction programs.


“This research is a powerful validation of our project-based approach to education,” said Joel Jacobson, the co-founder and chief operating officer of Defined Learning. “The data shows that PBL promotes independence, collaboration and problem-solving, all while keeping students engaged and showcasing how the tasks they do in school will be relevant to future careers.”


For more information, please download the research report here.


About Defined Learning

Defined Learning is a K-12 educational media company that combines technology, creativity, and curriculum expertise to provide useful and relevant products to schools. Defined Learning’s flagship service, Defined STEM, is a platform that enables teachers to provide application of knowledge to students through the use of project-based learning, real-world careers, and meaningful reading and writing activities. To learn more, visit


Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Helps Close the Achievement Gap for Students in the Nation’s Largest Urban School Districts

Award-winning program now used by more than 1 million students in Council of the Great City Schools districts and 3.5 million students nationwide


MIAMI, October 19, 2016—Curriculum Associates serves more than 1 million students with its i-Ready program in 48 of the 70 districts that comprise the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS). The program informs instruction which in turn improves student achievement. The CGCS, which is the only national organization to exclusively represent the needs of urban public schools, is convening this week for its 60th annual fall conference in Miami, FL.


“One of the most powerful outcomes of our i-Ready program is its proven impact on accelerating student growth,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Helping students, particularly those in the nation’s largest urban schools, get on grade level at a faster pace is critical to closing achievement—and equity—gaps.”


In addition to its wide usage in CGCS districts, i-Ready is currently being used this school year by approximately 10 percent of all K–8 students nationwide, serving over 3.5 million students across all 50 states. Additionally, more than 1 million students use the program every school day.


Built to address the rigor of the new standards, i-Ready is proven to help students make real gains. It combines a valid and reliable growth measure and personalized instruction into a single online product. The adaptive diagnostic for grades K–12 pinpoints student needs down to the sub-skill level and generates a combination of online instruction for grades K–8 and downloadable teacher-led lessons that are unique to each student’s diagnostic result. The program also delivers targeted skill instruction support through mobile apps. The program’s individualized instructional plans are easy to understand, helping educators differentiate instruction and support a blended learning solution.


“Curriculum Associates’ mission has always been to make classrooms better places for students and teachers,” said Waldron. “With i-Ready, we’re helping districts assess smarter, saving teachers valuable classroom time for what matters most—teaching.”


i-Ready has been recognized with numerous education awards. Most recently, i-Ready won a 2016 Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Award and a 2016 Association of American Publishers (AAP) REVERE and Golden Lamp Award and was named a 2016 MassTLC Innovative Technology of the Year finalist in the EdTech category. i-Ready Diagnostic also recently received the highest ratings on the Screening Tool chart from the Center on Response to Intervention (Center on RTI) at American Institutes for Research.


To learn more about i-Ready, visit To learn more about the effectiveness of the program, visit


About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, privately owned Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students. Curriculum Associates was recently honored as one of Boston Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Companies, The Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work and as a Best Technology Workplace by Tech in Motion’s Timmy Awards, among others.



OCTOBER 19, 2016


— Maanasa Mendu Awarded $25,000 and Named America’s Top Young Scientist in Nation’s Premier Middle School Science Competition for her invention of HARVEST, a device that uses solar and wind power to create energy —

Silver Spring, Md. and St. Paul, Minn. (October 18, 2016) – Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd) and3M (@3M) have named 13-year-old Maanasa Mendu from Mason, OH the winner of the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist). Mendu created HARVEST, a bio-inspired energy device that uses solar and wind power to create energy.  This innovation was inspired by a visit to India where she discovered many people lacking basic life necessities such as clean water and lighting.  Through her invention, Mendu hopes to provide a globally applicable, cost-effective energy source.  Mendu’s scientific thinking reflected the competition’s goal of applying science to everyday life, creating a solution that will improve lives and strengthen communities around the globe.

Mendu, a ninth grader at William Mason High School in Mason City School District, competed alongside nine other finalists today during a live competition at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. She was awarded the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist” as well as a $25,000 prize.

During the past three months, Mendu and the other nine finalists had the exclusive opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist to develop their personal inventions as part of a unique summer mentorship program.  Mendu was paired with Margaux Mitera, a 3M senior product development engineer whose research has helped 3M develop new Post-it® Note products.  Each of the students collaborated with some of 3M’s top scientists, who provided guidance as they worked through the scientific method to advance their ideas from a theoretical concept into a physical prototype. Together, the mentors and finalists shared their passion for science, reviewed the scientific process and worked virtually through pre-assigned objectives, with resources and support provided by Discovery Education and 3M.

During the final competition hosted by Discovery Education Vice President Lance Rougeux, the finalists presented their completed inventions to an esteemed panel of scientists and leaders from both Discovery Education and 3M, including honorary guest judge Trace Dominguez, producer, writer and host of Discovery’s DNews!. In addition to presenting their prototypes, the ten finalists paired up to compete in an additional challenge through which they combined multiple 3M technologies to solve a real-world problem.

“Witnessing a new generation of young scientists leverage their passion and knowledge is truly inspiring,” said Jon Lindekugel, Senior Vice President, 3M Business Development and Marketing-Sales.  “We know these young scientists learn a lot from the 3M mentors they are paired with as they evolve their science innovations over three months of hard work, and the truth is, we always learn from them as well. It reminds all of us at 3M that when scientists come together, they really can change lives for the better.”

“Each year, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge reminds us of the inspiring ingenuity that results when we empower our youngest generation to apply science, critical-thinking and creativity to solve real-world problems,” said Bill Goodwyn, President and CEO, Discovery Education. “Discovery Education is honored to stand alongside 3M in congratulating Maanasa and the rest of this year’s finalists on their impressive innovations that foreshadow a bright future for our nation.”

The remaining nine finalists also received a variety of prizes from Discovery Education and 3M. The second, third and fourth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a trip to a taping of a show on Discovery’s family of networks. These extraordinary students are:

  • Rohan Wagh from Portland, OR, a ninth grader at Sunset High School in Beaverton School District, received second place for his innovation that utilizes the natural metabolism of bacteria to create energy.
  • Kaien Yang from Chantilly, VA, an eighth grader at Nysmith School for the Gifted, received third place for his innovation that uses pumpkin seed oil to create both a biodiesel and bioplastic that reduces emissions and pollution from plastic.
  • Amelia Day from Sumner, WA, a ninth grader at Sumner High School in Sumner School District, received fourth place for her invention that uses sensory feedback to help rebuild neural connections inside of the brain during rehabilitation.

The fifth through tenth place winners each received a $1,000 prize and a $500 Excitations gift card. These finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Meghna Behari from Swickley, PA, an eighth grader at Marshall Middle School (North Allegheny School District)
  • Mrinali Kesavadas from Mahomet, IL, a ninth grader at Mahomet-Seymour High School(Mahomet-Seymour School District)
  • Rohit Mital from Rochester Hills, MI, a ninth grader at Adams High School (Rochester Community Schools)
  • Sara Makboul from Acworth, GA, a ninth grader at Kennesaw Mountain High School (Cobb County School District)
  • Sofia Tomov from Knoxville, TN, an eighth grader who is homeschooled
  • Will Paschal from Madison, GA, a ninth grader at Morgan County High School (Morgan County School District)

Since its inception in 2008, the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered much-needed science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. It targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. Winners have gone on to be featured in Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list, speak in front of members of Congress and attendees at the United Nations, meet the President of the United States, and demonstrate inventions on national television programs such as ABC World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

To download hi-res images of the science competition, click here. Video will be available shortly. For more information on the 2016 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and to learn more about this year’s finalists, go to

About 3M
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at