Future Ready Librarians Announce Micro-Credential Pilot

for Librarians — ‘Empowering Students as Creators’


WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 22, 2017Future Ready Librarians (FRL), formed byFuture Ready Schools (FRS) a year ago, announced today a micro-credential for librarians—“Empowering Students as Creators”— has been developed and will be piloted by five U.S. school districts in the fall. As with FRL, the development of the micro-credential is a joint partnership between Follett’s Project Connect, theAlliance for Excellent Education, and Digital Promise.

“This innovative credential is designed to help librarians reflect on and validate what they do to promote students as creators,” said Mark Ray, FRL Lead. “As a teacher, a Future Ready Librarian helps students become creators and fosters a culture that promotes design thinking, innovation, and collaborative problem solving. They build and sustain learning environments that ensure students have space, tools, and resources to support these goals.”

Student creation activities, Ray explained, can include making, coding, multimedia, digital storytelling, video production and publishing. To earn the micro-credential, librarians will be asked to reflect on their practice, define their vision for student learning, and document how their instruction and learning environment support students as creators.

“In today’s digital world, the school library has evolved from a place to merely check out books to one that offers opportunities for collaboration, project-based learning, and online access,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, which leads FRS. “Similarly, librarians are now playing central roles in school leadership and working daily with students, teachers, and administrators.”

The focus of the micro-credential is one of the components of the Future Ready Librarians Framework, which over the past year has helped both librarians and district leaders effectively connect school libraries to the strategic work of personalizing learning through digital transformation.

Working closely with Digital Promise, Ray collaboratively developed the micro-credential with fellow librarian leaders Shannon Miller and Joyce Valenza. The five pilot districts are:


  • California: Vista Unified School District
  • Illinois: Indian Prairie School District 204
  • Maryland: Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Tennessee: Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Washington: Vancouver Public Schools



“We look forward to working with the pilot districts to learn alongside them and their librarians,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions “Our hope is to be able to develop additional micro-credentials for librarians, and allow others to benefit from these tools.”

Last June, FRS—led by the Alliance—formed FRL, an expansion of the FRS initiative aimed at positioning librarians as leaders in the digital transformation of learning. Project Connect was formed by Follett to advocate for librarians to serve as leaders in their districts and schools.

For more information about Future Ready Librarians, visit www.futureready.org.


Future Ready Schools (FRS) | www.FutureReady.org

Future Ready Schools is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations. Find FRS on Facebook and follow@FutureReady.


Project Connect | www.2.follettlearning.com/projectconnect/

Follett formed Project Connect to advocate for librarians as district leaders so that students can learn digital literacy, modern research techniques and cutting-edge skills that apply across all subject areas. Project Connect helps librarians transform their library spaces into vibrant hubs of digital learning by giving them ideas and resources to become future ready. It recently launched Professional Development courses for librarians; these online Microcredential courses help librarians and other educators develop a vision and plan to promote digital learning in their library.


About The Alliance for Excellent Education| www.all4ed.org/

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, a career, and citizenship.


About Digital Promise | digitalpromise.org

Digital Promise is a nonprofit organization that builds powerful networks and takes on grand challenges by working at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators. Our vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world. Follow @digitalpromise for updates.



Breaking the Spanish Barrier Flashcards Featured on the Apple App Store

The latest version of the language-learning app offers groundbreaking

voice-recogni­tion technology and a new Traveler’s Guide


(Groton, MA) June 22, 2017 Breaking the Barrier, Inc., a global leader in print and digital language learning, announced today that the new version of its Essential Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards has been selected by Apple as a featured app on its App Store. The company’s first iOS app, the inaugural version of Essential Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards, was also featured by Apple when it was released in 2016.


This groundbreaking app employs state-of-the-art voice-recognition technology to enable learners to interact with their device—even offline—to master the most useful words in the Spanish language. Audio by native speakers and entertaining quizzes engage and encourage learners as they progress from one level to the next. The new version features a new component entitled Traveler’s Guide, which serves as an electronic phrasebook that will help travelers master key vocabulary before or during their journeys.


Essential Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards features the same vocabulary lists as Breaking the Barrier’s award-winning world language series, making the app the perfect companion for both print and digital books.


The Breaking the Barrier World Language Series helps learners read, write, and speak the target language fluently, while developing a deep understanding for and appreciation of the various cultures and traditions associated with each language. Developed by Groton School teacher and Dean of Faculty John Conner, the Breaking the Barrier World Language Series gives learners everywhere access to the same rigorous and effective language learning experiences found in one of America’s top schools.


“We are thrilled that our Essential Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards has been chosen for a second time as a featured app by Apple,” said Conner, Breaking the Barrier’s Founder and Series Editor. “We’ve built upon our groundbreaking voice-recognition technology and added a highly practical travel component to create an updated app that will continue to inspire and motivate users. Any language learner or traveler is in for a treat!”


For more information or to download the app, please visit www.tobreak.com/app .


About Breaking the Barrier, Inc.

Founded in 1997 by educators, Breaking the Barrier is a global leader in print and digital language learning. Featuring instruction in Spanish, French, and English, Breaking the Barrier offers students the fastest path to true language fluency. For more information, visit www.tobreak.com .