Follett Challenge Announces Grand-Prize Winning School

Alaska’s Ben Eielson Junior/Senior High ‘Aims High’ and Earns First Place


MCHENRY, Ill., April 26, 2016 – Featuring an innovative and successful STEM program that teaches 21st-century learning skills in a unique way, Ben Eielson Junior/Senior High School, located on Alaska’s Eielson Air Force Base, is the grand-prize winner of the fifth annual Follett Challenge.

The school, part of Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and named after famous aviator, Carl Ben Eielson, earns a $60,000 prize in Follett products and services, plus a celebration May 6 at their school.

The school’s winning entry, “Aiming High at Eielson” documents how the students, many of whom are children of military personnel stationed at the base, participate in a STEM(science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) pilot program that gives them the opportunity to work with and learn from U.S. Air Force personnel.

Students in grades 7-8 are provided with specialized career training aligning with STEM lessons being taught in class. They have the opportunity to learn about aircraft maintenance on fighter jets, intern at the medical and dental clinic on base, work at the base fire station or pharmacy, shadow builders on construction sites, and do pre-apprenticeship at the two elementary schools on base.

“Students are able to partner with their military and civilian mentors and learn skills related to each job,” said George Cromer, Jr., USAF School Liaison Officer, Airman and Family Readiness Center. “All students receive hands-on instruction and receive the opportunity to demonstrate what they have mastered in the skill. This program also provides students with future employment opportunities within the military, government or private industry sector, or to continue with post-secondary educational opportunities.”

Joe Deutsch, Career and Technical Education Coordinator for Eielson, said he and the school appreciate the opportunity Follett has afforded with the contest. “Follett’s support and faith in us means everything,” Deutsch said. “This is a generous gift and one we appreciate so much; it will allow us to better serve these students and prepare them for a bright future.”

Last month, the Follett Challenge – sponsored by Follett – announced Eielson was one of three semifinalists along with Quest Elementary School in Hilton, N.Y., and Broughal Middle School in Bethlehem, Pa. The other two schools each earn $30,000 in Follett products and services.

“The program at Eielson is the epitome of innovative teaching and learning,” said Britten Follett, vice-president of marketing for Follett School Solutions, who has spearheaded the Follett Challenge since its debut. “The way the school collaborates with the Air Force community and the exposure the students have to real STEM lessons in the workplace is an inspiring path to deeper learning.”

In seeking the most innovative K-12 programs teaching 21st-century skills to students, the Follett Challenge asks entrants to complete an online application and submit a video describing their program. The judges seek applications illustrating critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration.

For more information on the Follett Challenge, 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 pre-K and K-12 schools, districts, and college campuses, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach and students to learn. Every day, Follett serves more than half of the students in the United States, and works with 70,000 schools as a leading provider of education technology, services and print and digital content. Follett is higher education’s largest campus retailer and a hub for school spirit and community, operating more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,700 virtual stores across the continent. Headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, Follett is a $2.6 billion privately held company.


Pearson and General Assembly to Provide Online Courses in 21st Century Skills to Improve Employability for College Students


Education Leaders to Extend Real-World Learning Opportunities That Will Help Create Pathways for Students Towards Successful Careers


NEW YORK – April 26, 2016 – According to The Atlantic Media/Pearson Opportunity Poll, a strong majority of Americans believe they would get better and higher paying jobs if they obtained more skills. To help college and university students build those 21st century skills, Pearson today announced it is now able to offer colleges and universities mentor-led online courses from General Assembly (GA), the global education company specializing in the most in-demand skills.


GA’s skills-focused courses in the areas of digital marketing, web development, user experience design, and data analytics are designed to increase learners’ employability by enhancing student skills relevant to industries with high-paying, in-demand career opportunities. The curricula are created by subject matter experts with real-world experience along with insights from GA’s network of employers.


General Assembly online offerings now available from Pearson include:

-Data Analysis Circuit Course – Creates pathways to becoming a more proficient data analyzer. Data analysis skills enable learners to become stronger analytical operators which are applicable skills in areas such as product management, marketing, finance, and operations, thereby providing a mentor-guided path toward becoming a proficient data analyzer.

-HTML, CSS, & Web Design Circuit Course – Creates pathways to becoming more proficient in basic coding and web design through learning web design skills, enabling learners to build and edit basic webpages.

-Digital Marketing Circuit Course – Creates pathways to becoming more proficient in digital marketing practices. Acquiring digital marketing skills enable learners to analyze the vast amounts of data generated by digital marketing activities. Learners can then translate that analysis into digital marketing strategies and tactics.

-User Experience Design Circuit Course – Creates pathways to becoming more proficient in the key fundamentals of UX design. Students will learn the decision-making skills required to captivate audiences and standout from the competition.


“Through our partnership with General Assembly, we are delivering on our commitment to help learners make measurable progress in their lives through high-quality learning that leads to better employment and career advancement opportunities,” said Annabel Cellini, senior vice president, Strategy & Marketing, Pearson. “This partnership is part of our comprehensive portfolio of professional development and training course offerings designed to provide high-impact credentialing and employability solutions that prepare learners for successful, accelerated entry into the workforce.”


A mentor, who is a practitioner in the field, will provide guidance and feedback for students over the 5-10 week long courses including weekly mentoring sessions to answer any questions. Delivered via social and mobile technologies already being used by students, courses can be completed online. Students will gain a deeper understanding of material, as well as understand how to apply newly learned skills and concepts through exercises, assignments and projects.


“We are extremely excited to partner with top learning providers to bring innovative programs to underserved markets,” said Jason Pfaff, VP of Product Development, Delta Career Education Corporation. “Our partnership with Pearson to provide General Assembly’s courses will help usher our students into competitive jobs of the 21st century.”


Pearson’s partnership with General Assembly is part of Pearson’s broader initiative to increase access to high-quality courseware offerings focused on helping learners to develop the skills and competencies they need to succeed in-demand career fields. Pearson’s comprehensive portfolio of alternative credentialing and employability solutions include partnering with institutions to provide labor market analysis, courseware offerings, and digital badging.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with 36,000 employees in more than 70 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit


About General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) is a global educational company on a mission to empower a global community to pursue work they love. Focusing on the most relevant and in-demand skills across data, design, business and technology, GA is confronting a skills gap through best-in-class instruction and providing access to opportunities. To learn more, visit


Increasing Number of Georgia School Districts Turn to itslearning to

Consolidate Siloed Systems and Content Resources


Rockdale County Joins Forsyth, DeKalb and other leading Georgia school districts in driving student-centered learning through itslearning’s award-winning platform


Boston, MA – April 26, 2016— Seeking an easy and effective way to unify all the different systems that are critical to the functioning of schools, Rockdale County Public Schools has joined a growing number of Georgia school districts in selecting the itslearning learning management system (LMS). As a single end-to-end teaching and learning platform, more than seven million teachers, students, and parents worldwide use itslearning to provide a streamlined, user-friendly learning environment that simplifies student-centered learning.


East of Atlanta, Rockdale County Schools was in the process of rolling out a district-wide 1:1 initiative last year when their LMS provider informed them they would no longer support their product. “The timing was unfortunate, but it allowed us to start fresh, to look for a system that would help our 1:1 program live up to its potential,” said Derek Fort, Rockdale’s lead digital learning specialist. “We wanted a system that could serve as the central hub, a place where we could house all our curriculum resources and provide teachers and students easy access to everything they need. A committee including teachers, tech experts, curriculum leaders — everyone who would be using the system – met with all the top LMS providers and we chose itslearning.”


Designed specifically for the K-12 sector, itslearning is a leading, cloud-based learning management system that helps teachers make education more inspiring and valuable for today’s students anytime, anywhere and on any device. As a student-centered learning environment, itslearning gives teachers, students and parents access, as appropriate, to course materials, assignments, communities for collaboration, professional development tools and student progress reports. The platform’s personalized dashboards give teachers a way to quickly and easily share instructional resources, assignments and activities, and assessments with students and parents.


“The itslearning system includes all of our requirements…and in one place,” said Grover Dailey, chief technology officer for Rockdale schools. “From both an instructional and technology standpoint it works extremely well with all the other programs and software we use. During our rollout our teachers were impressed with the ease of use. They can find and deliver content quickly and easily, and it greatly facilitates the workflow of assigning tasks, reviewing student work, and providing instant feedback for improved learning.”


The platform debuted in Georgia in 2012 when Forsyth County Schools selected itslearning to be part of a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) grant to create the “ideal digital learning system.” Recognized across the nation as a leader in public education and technology innovation, Forsyth County Schools implemented the system and began working with itslearning to develop a standards mastery and content recommendation engine to add to the evolving solution.


Recently, Forsyth and Dekalb County Schools were cited among the top-ten school districts with over 12,000 students, for their focus on student learning through the innovative uses of technology like the itslearning platform. The recognition was part of the Digital School District Survey Awards sponsored by The Center for Digital Education and the National School Board Association.


“School districts like these in Georgia are increasingly using all kinds of cutting-edge tools that assist learning, inspire creativity and help prepare their students for the future,” said Matt Dobosh, vice president of sales and marketing for itslearning. “For our part, it’s a privilege to congratulate our partner districts that are making exceptional gains to transform their education systems with effective uses of technology.”


About itslearning

Designed for teachers and how they want to teach, itslearning is a cloud-based learning platform used by millions of teachers, students, administration staff and parents around the world. It can be found at all levels of education, from primary schools to universities, helping teachers make education more inspiring and valuable for today’s students. Established in 1999, itslearning is headquartered in Bergen, Norway, and has offices in Boston, Atlanta and multiple locations around the world. For more information, visit


**************************************************************************** hosts interview with Michael Ross on his new book, Dealing with Disruption: Lessons from the Publishing Industry

PRINCETON, NJ, April 26, 2016 – will be hosting an online presentation and interview onMay 2 with Michael Ross, Senior Vice President/GM, Encyclopaedia Britannica, on his new bookDealing with Disruption: Lessons from the Publishing Industry. The book provides an inside look at the publishing industry, how it has changed over the last 15 years due to innovation in technology, and the implications for educational publications, particularly digital delivery. The book is #1 on Amazon’s “Hot new releases” for books on the book industry.

Neal Goff, President of Egremont Associates and the former President of the Board of the Association of Education Publishers, will be the host and interviewer for the program. Neal and Michael will take questions from the live audience, and will share insights on their many years in the publishing industry.

During the program, Michael will provide insights into the maturing of digital publishing and the challenges and opportunities provided by new technologies, and will discuss some of the dos and don’ts of using intellectual property in the digital age. Technology has made the mechanics of publishing, particularly web publishing, much easier. But business models are still in flux. Michael will talk about these models, what options are available to educators, and how best to adapt to them. Michael will discuss trends in digital publishing and what educators are likely to find in the future.

Michael Ross is a 30-year publishing veteran and has been at Encyclopӕdia Britannica since 2002, where he leads the company’s educational marketing efforts in North America and EMEA. He was inducted into the Association of Educational Publisher’s publishing Hall of Fame (2009).

Michael Ross commented, “The edWeb community is the one group that can actually make a difference in providing value for their customers and stakeholders, and, equally important, align publishing professionals with the same goals in order to improve their contributions and quality of life. We believe that the new world of digital publishing can provide the right tools and outcomes to satisfy the needs of all of these stakeholders. This is what the conversation will be about.”

Learn more and register for this event at

This event is being co-hosted by and MCH Strategic Data.

For more information, contact: 

Lisa Schmucki, Founder and CEO,
908-407-2755 |

About is a free professional learning and social network that is a highly engaged community of connected educators who are on the leading edge of innovation in education. edWeb members are teachers, faculty, administrators, and librarians at PreK-12 and post-secondary institutions who are working together to provide peer leadership, training, and support. Educators are creating their own communities on edWeb, and also participating in edWeb’s professional learning communities and webinar programs. edWeb’s growing ecosystem is a collaboration space where educators and thought leaders in the education industry gather and share ideas that can improve learning for all students. Learn more at or follow on Twitter @edwebnet.

About MCH Strategic Data

MCH Strategic Data is a leading source of compiled K-12 marketing data, and provides email, direct mail, telemarketing, online and geospatial marketing solutions focused on more than five million K-12 educators. With the launch of Infinite Access and Monitor Service, MCH is the unparalleled provider of solutions for education sales and marketing. Over the years, MCH has invested heavily in developing new and more accurate compiling methods that enable them to provide the most accurate data, attributes and personnel names for the markets they serve.  Founded in 1928, they have evolved into a leading data compiler and have never wavered in their commitment to provide only the highest quality data.  MCH is a strategic partner of and is helping to spread the word about edWeb to the preK-12 education community. Learn more at


New York University’s Music Experience Design Lab Teams Up with Soundtrap Online Music Recording Studio

First Collaboration, Groove Pizza to be Included in Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz’ and UNESCO’s Website and at International Jazz Day

NEW YORK, – April 26, 2016 –  New York University’s Music Experience Design Lab – MusEDLab  ( has teamed up with online music recording studio Soundtrap ( to create “Groove Pizza” a playful online app for creating and exploring rhythms and grooves that brings mathematical and scientific concepts and the world of music together.  The solution makes it possible for students to “export” a groove made on the Groove Pizza into Soundtrap ( and continue to compose across any platform whether laptop or mobile, in the classroom or at home.

Speaking about the collaboration, Alex Ruthmann, Associate Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt said, “Soundtrap is ideal for the education market.  Traditional music technologies are often very complex and only made simpler when they are being marketed to schools.  Soundtrap goes in the other direction – it starts with a very simple, clean interface with preloaded beats and examples that students can use to take music and audio with them wherever they go. It has really captured the attention and inspiration of students and opens up a world of possibilities for Groove Pizza users.”

“Working with NYU MusEDLab brings us closer to fulfilling our goal of integrating the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) within K-12 schools in the US,” said Per Emanuelson, CEO, Soundtrap.  “We are especially honored to work together with NYU in contributing to the Thelonius Monk Institute and UNESCO’s Math Science Music initiative and website.


“Math Science Music” is a project initiated by music legend Herbie Hancock and the Thelonious Monk Institute and backed by UNESCO. Groove Pizza with links to Soundtrap will be integrated into the Math Science Music website which will be officially launched at the US Department of Education on April 26.  At this event will be US Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Representative Sven Osttveit, Endre Balogh & Susan Courey (UC San Francisco), Jeanne Bamberger (MIT/UC Berkeley), Gena Greher (UMass Lowell), Vijay Iyer (Harvard), Dan Naiman (Johns Hopkins University), Eric Rosenbaum (MIT Media Lab), Alex Ruthmann (NYU Steinhardt), Rajna Swaminathan (Harvard).

The website, including Groove Pizza, which is linked to Soundtrap, will also be presented to the President and First Lady in the White House on International Jazz Dayon April 30th, 2016.

Soundtrap has generated significant buzz since its launch in 2015. It’s currently in use in over 1,000 schools and the solution has grown from 20,000, to a half of a million users in 200 countries in only 16 months.  It was awarded “The Best Website for Teaching & Learning 2015” by the American Association of School Librarian

About Soundtrap

Soundtrap is the first online music recording studio to work across all operating systems, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows and Chromebook, where you collaborate with music makers from all around the world in an easy-to-use browser, cloud-based system.  Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, birthplace of many successful music tech startups such as Spotify, Soundcloud and Tidal, the company also has an office in Silicon Valley. Soundtrap provides an easy-to-use platform for all levels of musical interest and ability and is being used by the K12 and higher education market. For more information, visit:

About the NYU Music Experience Design Lab (MusEDLab)

The MusEDLab was founded in Fall 2013 with the purpose of researching and designing new technologies and experiences for music making, learning and engagement. Led by Dr. Alex Ruthmann, Associate Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt, the Lab collaborates with industry, non-profit, community, artist, school and youth partners in co-designing tools and approaches that lower barriers to creative expression and enable playful experiences with the music people love. For more information, visit



How Soundtrap works: R&B collaboration with Soundtrap:


Pricing information: