Discovery Education Named Lead Sponsor for ASCD’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Alexandria, VA (12/12/2013)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to announce that Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content for K–12 classrooms, is the lead sponsor for the association’s much-anticipated 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show.

The 69th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, held in Los Angeles, Calif., March 15–17, 2014, will showcase ideas and best-practice strategies that are driving student achievement and will unlock ways to boost teacher and leadership effectiveness. Attendees will choose from more than 350 sessions that will enable them to prepare our world’s learners to be creative, critically minded, and compassionate citizens. The official hashtag of the 2014 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is #ASCD14, and the official Twitter handle of the conference is @ASCD.

Discovery Education enhances teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core standards, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools, community colleges, and in 40 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to engage students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications, the number one nonfiction media company in the world.

As lead sponsor, Discovery Education will play a key role in presenting the Welcome Reception on Friday night, March 14, by providing entertainment from Discovery’s award-winning networks like Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. More than 2,000 reception participants will gather to kick-off one of the largest leadership conferences.

Along with these signature event enhancements, Discovery Education’s key thought leaders in educational technology, curriculum, and assessment will deliver multiple presentations throughout the three-day conference. Of special note will be a featured presentation on Saturday, March 15 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. by Hall Davidson, as well as a series of BYOD workshops.

“ASCD is excited to partner with Discovery Education as lead sponsor for our 2014 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Gene R. Carter. “We are looking forward to a dynamic and exciting conference experience, and are eager to see education leaders from across the globe in Los Angeles in March.”

Year after year, thousands of educators representing a diverse range of professional roles, countries, and experience levels; leading education experts; hundreds of exhibitors; and journalists and education bloggers turn to ASCD’s Annual Conference and Exhibit Show for an unrivaled, world-class professional development experience.

To register for the 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, visit the conference website at The early bird registration rate is available through January 15, 2014, and is $259 for ASCD members and $325 for nonmembers. Attendees who register for the full conference at the nonmember rate will automatically receive a free, one-year Select Online membership to continue their learning long after the conference is over. Learn more ways to save on registration fees by visiting the registration page on the Annual Conference and Exhibit Show website.

Contact Information

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 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



Follett Launches Simon & Schuster ebooks to Schools

Follett continues to secure major publisher partners, further expands its collection of popular ebook titles for PreK-12 students

MCHENRY, Ill., Dec. 12, 2013 – Follett today announced a partnership with Simon & Schuster that makes more than 450 PreK-12 titles available in ebook format on Titlewave®, Follett’s powerful collection development, search and ordering tool.  Follett now offers more than 250,000 ebook titles through Titlewave to schools nationwide.

Simon & Schuster titles will span the full range of popular school titles from pre-school picture books to chapter books for early readers to higher-level fiction and nonfiction for young adults. Specific titles available include “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type” by Coreen Cronin, “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, “Out Of My Mind” by Sharon Draper, “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt and “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Ernest Hemingway.

“The addition of Simon & Schuster’s ebook titles reflects our mission of helping educators engage students with content and technology that impact student achievement,” said Todd Litzsinger, president, Follett’s Content Solutions and Services.  “Our customers have expressed strong interest in Simon & Schuster titles, and we are pleased to offer them in our expanding ebook catalog.”

Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats.  Earlier this year, Follett announced ebook partnerships with Random House and Hachette Book Group.

With books increasingly moving to digital formats, Follett has been at the forefront of the transition with tools and solutions that help customers access and integrate the new forms of content within schools.FollettShelf® is the digital bookshelf most used by schools to access ebooks. In addition, Follett Enlightprovides students with a consistent and easy-to-use ebook reading environment on their desktops, tablets and smartphones, and allows users to add notes and highlights to an ebook and then view them anywhere they have access to their FollettShelf account.  Today, more than 29 million students and educators in 42,000 schools worldwide use ebooks provided by Follett. 

To learn more about 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

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.


Rourke Educational Media Introduces 100 New

Dual-Language Spanish Titles for ELL Market

Texts further commitment to learning in elementary, middle school classrooms


VERO BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2013) –Rourke Educational Media announced today that it will  release 100 new science titles in Spanish in January. The announcement comes on the heels of test data results from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “the nation’s report card,” that showed the math and reading achievement of the nation’s English Language Learners (ELL) in grades 4 and 8 showed little or no gain since 2011.

The new Spanish titles also are available in English to support learners in English as a second language and dual-language programs. All new Spanish titles will be available next month in both print and ebook formats.

“With the publication of this rich new line of Spanish titles, Rourke Educational Media is showing its commitment to Spanish language learning in the elementary and middle school classroom,” said Stephen Marban, director of ELL Instruction, Rourke Educational Media. “Academic language is key toachieving advanced levels of proficiency in Spanish and  English, and Rourke’s materials consistently support the acquisition of science and math content vocabulary to support reading comprehension. These brightly illustrated, high-interest titles will delight young readers in dual-language and Spanish programs.”

Among the available titles are books  that are correlated to the new Next Generation Science Standards including “My Science Library,” “Big Ideas for Young Scientists,” “Earth’s Power,” “History of America,” and “Let’s Explore Science.” Purposefully designed for supplemental programs in the classroom, these titles support Common Core and other state standards, helping to improve student achievement.

Rourke Educational Media has been assisting ELL students with custom-created print and technology programs to improve comprehension and vocabulary worldwide since 1980.  Its cloud-based Reading Web Program includes technology, digital and print books and is used throughout the country by many prominent school districts to improve ELL literacy. Moreover, its dual-language titles, in both print and ebook form, are designed to comfortably move the ELL student from their native language into the English version of the content, and ultimately to increase student achievement.

About Rourke Educational Media
Rourke Educational Media, based in Vero Beach, Fla., helps to improve student learning through digital content, traditional print publishing, and response-to-intervention learning solutions that support the Common Core,  Next Generation Science, and state and national standards. A global leader in educational technology, print, and distribution, Rourke Educational Media promotes literacy/reading, science and math for the preK-12 market, and offers interactive ebooks, assessment tools, print resources and other learning resources for the classroom, library and parental involvement. For more information, visit


Ashland University’s Teacher Education Program Receives Top Ranking

ASHLAND, Ohio — Ashland University has been recognized as the top private college for teacher education in the state of Ohio by the Online College Database in its newest ranking titled “Top Colleges in Ohio Shaping the Next Generation.”

“This ranking solidifies what we have known for years – that Ashland University’s teacher education program, which offers pre-K through doctorate level courses, is one of the strongest among independent and state institutions in Ohio,” said AU Provost Dr. Frank Pettigrew. “The undergraduate teacher education program has been NCATE accredited since 1973, and that program as well as with the master of education, doctor of education and professional development services are recognized on a state and national basis.”

Dr. James Van Keuren, dean of the Dwight Schar College of Education, was pleased with the top ranking.

“This ranking honors the post-secondary institutions in the state that graduated the most education and teaching professionals in 2012 and we are ranked as the top private college in the state,” Van Keuren said. “Ashland was the only private college in the Top 10 in this ranking.”

The Online Colleges Database rankings can be viewed at:

Doug Jones, founder of The College Database, based in San Francisco, corresponded with Van Keuren informing him of the news. “A very well deserved ‘congratulations’ to Ashland University. And a huge thank you for training the educators of the next generation,” he noted in the correspondence.

“Many colleges and universities have tremendous teacher education programs,” Jones said. “But which ones are producing the most young educators today? We wanted to identify the colleges making the largest impact on our students.”

The College Database website notes that Ohio colleges boast many of the premier education programs for students who are interested in building the next generation.

“These Ohio schools champion comprehensive experience that prepares graduates for limitless educational environments. For instance, these programs that incorporate internships, and research programs into the curriculum, are maintaining the highest caliber of graduates in the educational field. Choices in specializations also contribute to an extraordinary depth of knowledge students can expect from these programs. The faculty found at these Ohio schools is some of the best in the country, and maintain their excellence by continually exploring new ways of teaching through educational research centers,” the website notes.

The College Database is a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to provide free information about education options both nationally and locally to students, parents and other interested parties. The goal is accomplished by making all information and tools on the site free and easy to access. While still a relatively young company, The College Database has become a leader in providing educational information to libraries, high schools and career centers across the country.

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###


RoboKind Receives Top Innovator Award at SIIA Education Business Conclave

Robots4Austism therapy program voted Most Innovative

NEW YORK (Dec. 11, 2013) – Robots4Autism, a comprehensive autism intervention program that features advanced humanoid robots and developmental curriculum, was voted Most Innovative during the annual Innovation Incubator Program held by the Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) on December 10. RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics, presented its autism therapy program during the annual SIIA Education Business Forum in New York.

“As a tool that bridges the academic success of students with autism to their developmental progress, Robots4Autism stood out as a program meeting an incredible need,” said Karen Billings, vice president for the SIIA Education Division. “Robots4Autism shows tremendous promise for shaping the future of autism education and therapy programs.”

Robots4Autism, one of 10 products and services featured in this year’s program, socially engages children with autism and teaches critical emotional skills through expert-developed instruction and the human-like Zeno robot. Through its unique CompuCompassion software platform, the social robot interacts with children by reading and reacting to facial expressions and maintaining natural, conversational eye contact.  

Offering the world’s first affordable social robot for school districts and autism therapy centers, RoboKind forges a new relationship between man and machine.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the education industry based on the capabilities our program has for engaging children with autism,” said RoboKind CEO Fred Margolin. “By creating a non-threatening and welcoming learning environment, the Robots4Austim robot can play an important role in the social and academic development of students with special needs.”

SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program began in 2006 and supports entrepreneurs in their development and distribution of innovative learning technologies. Winners and runner-ups are determined by votes from Forum attendees.  An Educator’s Choice Award was also determined based on the votes of educators and administrators from across the country. To learn more about the SIIA Education Business Forum, visit

About RoboKind

RoboKind, the world leader in social robotics, designs and builds a series of robots that enable people to engage with robots on a personal level. Through the Robots4Autism and RoboSteps programs, RoboKind leverages these advanced social robots to supplement autism therapy, special education and STEM instruction. The programs use humanoid robots that feature life-like facial expressions, natural social interaction and comprehensive curriculum to assist educators and therapists in helping students learn and grow. For more information, visit