Houston Independent School District

Adopts Follett Technology to Simplify

Management of Education Content, Data

Follett Destiny Library Manager to provide educators, students

with single point of access to their print, digital resources

MCHENRY, Ill., Aug. 25, 2014 – Houston Independent School District (HISD), the seventh largest K-12 school district in the country, has adopted Follett’s Destiny® Library Manager™ for its new centralized, integrated library management solution.Destiny Library Manager will be implemented later this year throughout the 212,000-student district, which is comprised of 86 certified libraries and 282 campuses.

“Our clear focus was getting all of our district’s data in one place,” said Liz Philippi, library services manager, Houston ISD. “Our focus is to get all of our campuses on a union catalog so that we can share best practices and ideas on how to quickly access titles.”

Destiny, now in eight of the country’s 10 largest school districts, is a universal solution that provides students and teachers access to all their content through the Destiny portal regardless of its material type, format, distributor, and publisher, including websites, downloadable audio content and ebooks. Destiny offers a consistent and convenient user experience with single sign-on access.

Destiny Library Manager integrates with Houston ISD’s ebooks to support and enhance PowerUp, Houston’s district-wide initiative aimed at transforming teaching and learning beyond the four walls of the classroom. By providing students with 24-hour access to a digital device, the district’s goal is to create a personalized learning environment for 21st-century learners and engage today’s digitally wired students.

“We are excited to work with Houston ISD to ensure Destiny Library Manager is fully complementing the district’s PowerUp initiative, and working to help ensure its success,” said Tom Schenck, president and COO, Follett School Solutions. “This is clearly a visionary district, and we look forward to providing them with our long-term solutions in support of their high-performance learning environments.”

Philippi said Houston ISD will soon migrate all of the individual school sites’ library records, and is scheduled to go live with Destiny Library Manager in December.

For more information on Destiny Library Manager or any of Follett’s PreK-12 solutions, visit www.FollettLearning.com.


# # #

About Follett’s PreK-12 Business | follettlearning.com
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| follett.com

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 Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.



Mac to School offers low-cost recertified iPad 3s in time for back to school

Top-quality EdTech available at affordable prices

(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) Aug. 25, 2014 — With the 2014-15 school year officially underway, districts across the nation are facing a dilemma: How can you keep up with the changing landscape of expensive educational technology when budgets are tighter than ever?

To help answer that question, Mac to School, K-12’s leading provider of recertified Apple technology, is now offering recertified iPad 3s to school districts.

The recertified iPads are available for 25% less than what schools would pay buying comparable devices directly from Apple. On an average order of 300 iPads, a school or district would save more than $20,000.

“We want every school district to put the best educational technology in the hands of their students without putting a strain on their budgets,” said Robert Baker, co-founder and president of Mac to School. “Most districts are looking for bulk orders, so the savings really add up quickly when you’re talking about hundreds or thousands of machines. We take great pride in facilitating that.”

Recertified iPads 2s are also available, as well as CCSS-ready MacBooks. All of Mac to School’s devices come with a one-year warranty, as well as customer service from a team of Apple Certified Technicians.

To learn more about Mac to School and the Apple products currently in stock, visit www.mactoschool.com

About Mac to School:

Mac to School buys, sells and recertifies all types of Apple computers and equipment. We serve the public and private education market, working with small schools up to large districts throughout all 50 states. Our mission is to deliver the best value to our customers while providing the highest level of customer service. Our team of Apple Certified Technicians employs customized tools to generate detailed audits and provide quality refurbishment.


LearnZillion Releases Hundreds of Free Common Core-Aligned Lesson Plans; Gives Teachers a Head Start on PlanningCrafted by top teachers, task-based math lesson plans and English language arts resources allow every teacher to deliver clear, effective instruction for the new standards

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — LearnZillion, a digital curriculum and professional learning platform valued by over 450,000 educators, announces the addition of more than 750 free, standards-aligned lesson plans in math and English language arts (ELA). This expansion is just in time to meet the needs of teachers across the country, over half of whom feel inadequately prepared to teach the new standards according to a recent paper released by the Education Week Research Center.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140821/138765

The new lesson plans were created by LearnZillion’s Dream Team of top teachers recruited from 42 states. Built directly from the Common Core State Standards, the lesson plans solve a major problem for teachers – how to understand and effectively teach the new standards. Lesson plans are designed for use on any Web-connected device, and feature a digital display mode that can save on printing and copying costs, while also being compatible with paper-based classrooms.

“I spent more than eight weeks developing my 7th grade lessons on triangles,” said middle school math teacher and 2014 Dream Team Teacher Shana Lindeman of Grand Forks, N.D. “It was enlightening to be able to spend so much time figuring out just one standard, but very few teachers have the luxury of planning that way. I’m so glad my lessons will help other teachers get a leg up on planning, and I think they’ll really like how they can personalize these new lesson plans for their class.”

While individual teachers have access to thousands of LearnZillion’s free resources, schools and districts can access LearnZillion’s complete curricular resource library and proven professional learning products with a subscription to LearnZillion Premium. This offering includes:

  • Complete task-based lesson plans for math grades 2-12 to engage students with the problem-solving, perseverance and vocabulary mastery required by new standards. Math lessons come with three levels of practice, formative assessment, relevant intervention and extension suggestions.
  • Close reading modules for grades 2-12 to develop confident readers and precise writers. These lessons come with downloadable texts and include four days of scaffolded test-dependent questions and formative writing tasks, culminating in an extended written response.
  • Interactive WriteAlong writing intervention videos for grades 3-8 to support the revision and editing phases in the writing process.
  • Job-embedded professional learning that meet a school or district’s instructional development needs. These collaborative, content-focused modules can work in a variety of settings, and include professional learning community (PLC) facilitator guides to better equip principals and other instructional leaders for success.

“Teachers need high-quality, standards-aligned resources that will be immediately useful in the classroom,” said Eric Westendorf, LearnZillion CEO and former principal and teacher. “Too much valuable planning time is lost because teachers have to start from scratch. We’re excited to provide a wealth of free, standards-aligned resources that will support teachers right now.  We’re also excited to work with schools and districts to build system-level instructional capacity in the years ahead.”

About LearnZillion
LearnZillion champions teachers and provides schools and districts with an effective bridge to the Common Core. LearnZillion Premium’s math curricular resources and close reading/writing program are built by a Dream Team of top educators directly from the standards to unlock the instructional potential of teachers and prepare every student for the rigorous new assessments. A flexible learning platform allows schools and districts to develop teacher leaders as they customize a high-quality curriculum for every building. Over 450,000 teachers now use the LearnZillion platform. Customers include District of Columbia Public Schools, Syracuse City Public Schools, the Delaware Department of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education and hundreds of individual schools throughout the United States. Founded in 2011 by two former teachers, LearnZillion is on Fast Company’s World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education and a recipient of eSchool News’ 2014-15 Readers Choice Award. Connect online at @LearnZillionand www.LearnZillion.com.

SOURCE LearnZillion


University of Buffalo education student and ‘regular English teacher’ chosen for national media literacy award

BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education doctoral student Denise Grandits, a middle school literature teacher in St. Amelia School in Tonawanda, is the latest recipient of the Media Literacy Award from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Grandits received this national recognition for her work integrating new media and literacies into her seventh- and eighth-grade literature class at St. Amelia. The award goes to an individual, team or department that has implemented and refined exemplary media literacy practices in the school environment. Grandits is the sole recipient of the council’s media literacy award this year.

Grandits, a student from the Department of Learning and Instruction, is in her third year at St. Amelia. A photograph is available at http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/08/030.html.

“I am humbled, honored and, to be honest, still in shock, that I have been named this year’s recipient,” says Grandits.  “I always knew my students were excited and motivated to learn, but until my studies in my doctorate  program at University at Buffalo, I didn’t have the words or theories to back up what I saw happening.

“I can’t believe this happened to just a regular English teacher in regular America.”

In her award letter, the selection committee praised Grandits for her commitment to media literacy. “You have shown persistent, innovative, and imaginative application of media analysis and media composition in the English studies,” Grandits’ letter stated.

Grandits will accept her Media Literacy Award at the November 2014 NCTE Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

Before entering education, Grandits worked in health care for more than 15 years before “finally gaining the courage” to pursue her dream of becoming an English teacher. She discovered her deep interest in media literacy when she was attending Empire State College. Media literacy generally refers to the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create messages in a variety of forms. Specifically, Grandits focuses her students on reading and “writing” diverse kinds of texts, including videos.

Grandits says she knew there was more about media literacy to explore, and after graduating from Empire State College decided to pursue her doctorate at UB. While there, Grandits found UB’s Department of Learning and Instruction and, in particular, her program, English Education, shared her belief in the power of media literacy to build exciting, engaging classrooms.

“I personally have seen the power media literacy has to engage, excite and educate all students, and I want to share these experiences with colleagues,” Grandits says.

She says she believes that all teachers can use media literacy to help all students develop critical reading, writing and thinking necessary for success on tests and in their lives. “Unfortunately,” Grandits says, “as far too many media literacy advocates have experienced, work in such classrooms can seem ‘too fun’ for it to be the real work of school.

“Until there is some evidence that students who are exposed to reading, writing and thinking in multiple modes can transfer those skills to test-taking, I fear teachers — many of whom now are evaluated on their students’ test scores — will shy away from media literacy in favor of traditional pedagogy.”

Grandits lives in Kenmore with her husband of 25 years, Jim, her three college-aged sons, Scott, Ryan and Tyler and her “very spoiled dog” Samantha. She plans to  take what is known about media literacy and explore student outcome in multiple measures, including high stakes test results.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB’s nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

For More Information:

Phone: 716-645-6969 • Fax: 716-645-3765
Press Contacts: buffalo.edu/news/our-services/media-contacts.html
Find UB Experts: buffalo.edu/news/faculty-experts.html



Sparking Curiosity – Geography, the C3 Framework and the Inquiry Arc

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT

Join a panel of classroom and content experts as they share how to spark your students’ curiosity about the world through geographic reasoning.

The NCSS’s C3 Framework is structured around an Inquiry Arc that places student questions and questioning at the center of the learning process. The National Geography Standards similarly place inquiry at the center of geographic learning. During this webinar, learn how to help students apply geography’s unique spatial and environmental perspectives to critical social studies content by exploring links between Dimension 2 of the Inquiry Arc and the National Geography Standards.

Presented in cooperation with National Council for Geographic Eduation. 

Learn More & Register

Get Digital with Discovery Education and NCSS

Tuesdays, September 16, 23 & 30 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.

Are you looking for more digital sources for your Social Studies class? If so, this 3-part webinar series is for you!

Join us in exploring the use of digital sources in the classroom by discussing:

  • Unlocking the C3 Framework with Digital Resources: What is Social Studies Inquiry in the Digital Age?
  • The Five Keys to Digital Social Studies: How to use digital tools to enhance Social Studies instruction and develop strong thinkers, readers, and writers?
  • Reflections from the Classroom: How teachers are using digital resources in their classrooms?

Learn More & Register

Mapping the Nation: Making Global Classroom Connections

Tuesday, September 18, 2014  8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT

Mapping the Nation is a new classroom resource that presents economic, demographic, and education data at both the state and county levels to show international connections for every county in the U.S. – from jobs tied to global trade and immigrants with rich linguistic resources, to the billions of dollars contributed to our economy by international students studying here.

With almost one million data points, as well as over 50 info graphics, MappingtheNation.net, is a robust research tool with many potential uses for grades 4-12. This webinar will help you utilize this new interactive resource and share tools you can use in the your state, building, district, and classroom.