Key AASL Conference Sessions Spotlight How to Empower K-12 School Librarians 

What:                   American Association of School Libraries (AASL) National Conference

Where:                               Greater Columbus Convention Center | 400 N. High St. | Columbus, Ohio

When:                                 Thursday, Nov. 5 through Saturday, Nov. 7
                                                                           Friday (Nov. 6) | 8 to 9 a.m. EDT | Battelle Grand Ballroom
“Power of a Positive Librarian: Yes! And…”
Friday (Nov. 6)|4:30to 5:30 p.m. EDT | Room C220-222     

                                                                           Casey Veatch, Digital Literacy Instructional Specialist

Colorado Department of Education


School librarians live in a shifting climate where they must prove their value to the students, staff and administration. This session will demonstrate to attendees how to elevate their libraries to the center of academic progress.


“Success for Struggling Readers: New Strategies Using eBooks”

                                                                           Saturday (Nov. 7)|9:50 to 10:50 a.m. EDT| RoomD230-232                             

Ann Fondren, district library coordinator (ret.),Spotsylvania (Va.) County Schools

Sarah Downing, librarian, Freedom Middle School, Spotsylvania County Schools


Two seasoned educators will share strategies for using ebooks to help struggling readers succeed and gain new enjoyment from reading. The session will include an overview of resources and strategies that individualize instruction, and ways to work with teachers in using ebooks in curriculum planning.


Turnitin Helps Wikipedia Protect Copyright and Support Student Research and Writing
Wikipedia Relies on Turnitin to Help Check All New Edits to English Wikipedia

OAKLAND, Calif. October 29, 2015 – Each month, 75,000 volunteers edit content on over 35 million Wikipedia articles. Today, Turnitin®–the leader in improving how students write and learn–announces a collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that supports Wikipedia and its sister projects, and the Wikipedia community to help protect and preserve free knowledge. Turnitin’s software now runs alongside the existing bots on English Wikipedia, helping to screen pages and identify potential copyright violations on the site. (Click to Tweet)

Wikipedia’s volunteer editors work hard to ensure Wikipedia is a place for accurate, reliable, and free knowledge. Over the years, wikipedians have created policies, guidelines and tools to ensure content on the encyclopedia meets high standards, including those on protecting copyrighted works. This collaboration, which has been developed with input from members of the English Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia Foundation, now enhances that process using Turnitin’s advanced content-matching technology. Turnitin’s technology works along with a copy-and-paste detection program developed by the Wikipedia community named EranBot, first envisioned by Wikipedian James Heilman (User:Doc James) and later developed by Wikipedian Eran Rosenthal.

“As an openly licensed free encyclopedia, Wikipedia respects copyright the same way traditional publishers do. In fact, each contributor in our community is a copyright owner who chooses to freely license his or her own work,” said Jake Orlowitz (User: Ocaasi (WMF)), head of the Wikipedia Library, the program dedicated to helping editors access reliable sources to improve Wikipedia. “Turnitin now gives us access to a more sophisticated system for flagging potential copyright violations.”

As a result of the program, which went live on English Wikipedia in April 2015, thousands of new edits are checked each day which generates roughly 100 flags for Wikipedia editors to further investigate using Turnitin’s customized reports. Turnitin, alongside EranBot, helps maintain Wikipedia’s high content standards and guards for copyright abuse. The bot also has the unique ability to learn, so it will only become more accurate over time.

Turnitin can more deeply match content from web sources–including academic publications and journals–using its progressive algorithm. EranBot, with Turnitin technology, now looks at edits individually, and in near real-time, whereas previous technology could only evaluate entire articles. While helping catch violations, these combined tools give Wikipedia communities the ability to provide feedback to editors and further help them in understanding copyright.

The Wiki Education Foundation, which supports the use of Wikipedia in higher education contexts, is also working with Turnitin to check edits made by students developing articles through Wiki Ed’s Classroom Program. This complements Turnitin’s efforts to teach students how to differentiate quotation from citation, and how to appropriately paraphrase and use source material.

“Wikipedia is the most widely used resource in both academic and non-academic contexts,” said Chris Caren, CEO of Turnitin. “We’re excited that Wikipedia has chosen to collaborate with us, so that we can help in their effort to ensure the overall quality of their content.”

Wikipedia and EranBot:



Wiki Education Foundation:  wikiedu.org


Turnitin iThenticate:  www.ithenticate.com


About Turnitin

Turnitin is revolutionizing the experience of writing to learn. The Company’s cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading and peer reviewing saves instructors time and provides valuable feedback to students. Turnitin is one of the most widely distributed educational applications in the world and is used by more than 15,000 institutions in 140 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student papers online. Turnitin also offers iThenticate, a plagiarism detection service for commercial markets, and Writecheck, a suite of formative tools for writers. Turnitin is backed by Insight Venture Partners, GIC, Norwest Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and Georgian Partners, and is headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with international offices in Newcastle, U.K., Utrecht, Netherlands and Melbourne, Australia.


About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any time. Wikipedia is offered in 291 languages containing more than 35 million articles, and visited by nearly half a billion people every month. Today its content is edited and shared by more than 75,000 volunteer editors each month.


About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia and its sister projects. With nearly half a billion monthly users, projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation are one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.


About the Wiki Education Foundation

The Wiki Education Foundation is a nonprofit institution that supports the use of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in higher education contexts across the United States and Canada. It is based in San Francisco. To learn more, visit wikiedu.org.



Annual Goal for the U.S. Is Set for 2025

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Only 19 percent of black 4th graders in the U.S. and 13 percent of the nation’s black 8th graders were proficient in math in 2015, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Only 5.5 percent of black 8th graders in the U.S. in 2005 completed calculus five years later, and a mere 1.1 percent of the nation’s black college freshmen enrolled in engineering programs in 2010, according to a recent analysis conducted by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). And then there’s this distressing fact from the American Society for Engineering Education: the percentage of African Americans among U.S. engineering bachelor’s degree recipients has been declining for more than a decade and was only 3.5 percent in 2014.

But the core mission of NSBE, founded 40 years ago, is to increase the number of black engineers. So the Society has decided to do something about the effect of these disparaging statistics on black youth and on the nation’s need for talent in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Society has targeted an ambitious goal: to have the U.S. produce 10,000 African-American bachelor’s degree recipients in engineering annually, by 2025, up from the current number of 3,620. NSBE will launch its “Be 1 of 10,000” campaign in October 2015, with an outreach to African-American 7th graders and others across the country. NSBE’s goal is to have 150,000 7th grade students envision themselves as engineers and pledge to achieve academic excellence in subjects such as algebra, chemistry and physics, which are at the base of an engineering education. The Society will then provide online and other resources to help those students achieve their goals.

“NSBE’s leadership is totally committed to this campaign,” says NSBE National Chair Neville Green, a senior in chemical engineering at the City University of New York. “As students and professionals in STEM, we know the importance of driving this change, to ensure the future of our communities.”

“Be 1 of 10,000” is reaching out to 7th graders because they are scheduled to graduate from four-year colleges in 2025. However, continued success in meeting NSBE’s strategic goals will require the Society to increase the STEM proficiency of students who are even closer to the start of the “pipeline” to engineering careers. In addition to the online resources being provided, plans to meet these milestones are expansion of the Society’s Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program for students in grades 3 through 8, and encouraging more public school districts to offer calculus in high school.

Providing more academic support to African-American engineering students in college is also part of the plan. This support will include tutoring and mentoring by older student and professional members of NSBE, collaborative study sessions, training in test-taking and other measures. We will also seek support to boost the institutional capacity of colleges of engineering to recruit, educate and graduate more black engineering students.

“10K looks like a big number, until we divide it among our 227 collegiate chapters across the U.S.,” says Tolu Oyelowo, NSBE’s national academic excellence chair, who is a senior in biomedical engineering at North Carolina State University. “If each chapter graduates an additional three members by 2025, we will have met our goal.”

The campaign is designed to mobilize the Society’s 31,000-plus members and others as well. Those who partner with NSBE will help bring about a positive cultural change that will create a mind shift in students of color across the nation. The hope is that these children will begin to see themselves as engineers instead of the athletes and entertainers they most often view as role models.

“Graduating 10,000 black engineers per year will generate benefits that extend far beyond our organization,” says Karl W. Reid, Ed.D., NSBE executive director. “By harnessing the STEM talent of greater numbers of African Americans, we are expanding the corps of problem solvers and innovators in service to the nation.”

NSBE’s “Be 1 of 10,000” campaign is sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Media sponsors of the campaign include WGBH Boston and National Journal “The Next America.”

To join the campaign or for more information, visit Graduate10K.NSBE.org. Or follow the campaign on social media at #Be1of10K. Through these and other media, NSBE hopes to make engineering a household word in the African-American community and help more black students envision themselves as successful engineers.

Founded in 1975, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States. With more than 31,000 members and more than 300 chapters in the U.S. and abroad, NSBE supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.” For more information, visitwww.nsbe.org.

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focus on the region’s diverse community include Greater BostonBasic Black and High School Quiz Show. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of programs for public radio (among them, PRI’s The World®), a leader in educational multimedia (including PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content), and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.