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October 07, 2014

Table of Contents

Change the Headlines! Gale’s New Library Campaign Asks Public to Share “My Library Story”
Fourth Annual Follett Challenge Launches
Schoology Portfolios Highlight Academic Achievement
PBS LearningMedia Expands Classroom Offerings With New Teacher tools and Student Portal
ProQuest Introduces Enhancements to SIRS Issues Researcher and SIRS Discoverer

Change the Headlines! Gale’s New Library Campaign Asks Public to Share “My Library Story”

Ninety-five percent of Americans believe public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed, but today’s headlines focus on the many challenges facing libraries and their risk of becoming irrelevant. Gale, a leading provider of library resources and part of Cengage Learning, intends to change those headlines with a campaign encouraging everyone to share My Library Story through a newly created online community designed to help libraries tell a strong value story around their impact.

“If we’re going to change the headlines about libraries today, we need to tell a stronger story around what it is that libraries do and how they change lives for the better,” said Frank Menchaca, senior vice president for Gale. “Through the Career Online High School program, which brings accredited education to public libraries and our newly launched My Library Story community, Gale is providing the tools and the platform for libraries to demonstrate their value.”

For every story submitted to My Library Story (now through February 28, 2015), Gale will donate $1 to an advertising fund used to promote libraries through mainstream media during National Library Week 2015. In addition, Gale has developed a short video to bring to life the benefits that libraries offer and inspire all library staff and users to share their library stories in an effort to change the conversation taking place around libraries today.

WHAT: Let’s change the headlines around libraries. View the short video developed by Gale and submit your library story to the My Library Story community.

WHO: Open to all library users and library staff

WHERE: My Library Story community - http://mystory.gale.com/. This website is hosted and moderated by Gale, on behalf of its library partners.

WHY: Because libraries are essential to the health, wealth, and education of the student and residential communities they serve, but they are too often portrayed as struggling to keep up with changing technologies and user needs—and at risk of becoming irrelevant. The challenges are real, but so are the successes, wins, and outcomes driven by libraries. It’s time to change the headlines.

Contact Kristina Massari at kristina.massari@cengage.com for more information on the campaign and how Gale is helping change the headlines around libraries.

Source: Cengage Learning and Gale, www.cengage.com or www.gale.cengage.com

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Fourth Annual Follett Challenge Launches

The fourth annual Follett Challenge, which will highlight and reward the most innovative K-12 programs that teach 21st century skills to students, launches its 2014-15 contest Monday, Oct. 6.

“Our contest’s new tagline, ‘Follett Challenge – Empowering Innovation’, speaks to the idea that we’re not just rewarding innovative educators, but empowering them to share their stories and do more,” said Tom Schenck, president, Follett School Solutions. “Doing more with less is another theme we consistently see from the schools, and it is an ongoing source of pride for Follett to reward these passionate educators with resources to do even more.”

With $200,000 available in products and services from Follett, the contest’s three semifinalists each will earn a $30,000 prize. The grand-prize winner, to be selected from the three semifinalists, will earn an additional $30,000, plus a celebration at their school. Ten $8,000 prizes will be awarded to “People’s Choice” winners — those schools that receive the highest number of online votes from the public for their submitted videos.

Since its debut, the Follett Challenge has evolved from focusing on libraries to include the entire school. The 2014-15 Follett Challenge is open to submissions from the full spectrum of classroom teachers, technology specialists, administrators, PTAs, and, of course, librarians.

Last year’s grand-prize winner was Belleville West High School in southern Illinois. The school won for its cutting-edge “Community of Readers” program, which challenges students in each grade level to become avid and engaged pleasure readers. The other semifinalists were Albert P. Terhune Elementary School in Wayne, N.J.; Memorial and Thomas Jefferson middle schools in Fair Lawn, N.J.; and Wayland Union Schools in Wayland, Mich.

To participate in this year’s contest, entrants must complete an online application and upload a three- to five-minute video describing their program. The judges will be seeking applications that illustrate critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among teachers and other members of the school staff. Eighty percent of each entrant’s score will be based on the judges’ opinion of the entry, with the remaining 20 percent based on the number of votes generated for the school’s video.

Key 2014-15 contest dates are:

· Oct. 6, 2014: Contest formally launches on www.follettchallenge.com , and entries open

· Jan. 9, 2015: Entries close

· Jan. 19, 2015: Video voting begins

· Jan. 30, 2015: Video voting closes

· Feb. 13, 2015: Semifinalists and 10 video winners announced

· April 30, 2015: Grand-prize winner announced

For more information on the Follett Challenge, visit follettchallenge.com.

Source: Follett School Solutions, follettlearning.com

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Schoology Portfolios Highlight Academic Achievement

Schoology has announced Portfolios in Schoology, a new solution for digital portfolios for students to store and manage their own customizable, portable digital profiles, attaching research papers, certificates, endorsements, test results and other learning projects.

Portfolios in Schoology will act as an extension of a user’s profile, highlighting a user’s academic and extracurricular achievements, and following them throughout their educational career. Users will choose which content--including, but not limited to graded items, research, certificates and endorsements--and how to display it on their personal profile. Portfolios will be portable and can be private or public and sharable with peers, faculty and potential employers.

This announcement follows recent product upgrades for Schoology’s platform including in-app native iOS mobile annotations, improved mobile grading, and numerous improvements to course management, workflow and user experience.

Portfolios are planned for release to all users in early 2015.

Source: Schoology, schoology.com

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PBS LearningMedia Expands Classroom Offerings With New Teacher tools and Student Portal

PBS LearningMedia has unveiled a new suite of teacher tools, a student website and Spanish-language content designed to support an expanded audience of teachers and students as they settle into the new school year. These new offerings add to PBS LearningMedia’s existing library of more than 87,000 digital resources designed for PreK-12 classrooms.

New productivity tools including a Lesson Builder, Storyboard tool, and Quiz Maker enable deeper engagement with content and allow educators to create personalized, interactive activities for students that can be used in the classroom or as homework assignments. With these tools, educators can track results at the individual level as well as for the entire class, getting real-time data demonstrating student understanding.

PBS LearningMedia for Students (PBSstudents.org) allows students of any age to create their own learning experiences by engaging directly with content. Students can search for, save and share their favorite resources, as well as download for offline viewing. Students 13 or older can also create their own Storyboards to demonstrate their mastery of curriculum concepts.

The addition of more than 700 newly translated videos offers Spanish-language speakers more opportunities to interact with PBS LearningMedia. The videos span a wide range of subjects, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The videos, including content from NOVA and Ken Burns’ The Roosevelts, offer Spanish audio and closed caption text, and can be paired with an English version, making it easy for students to toggle from one language to the other.

Users can gain access to PBS LearningMedia content and tools through a newly designed website optimized for viewing on all screen sizes and devices including tablets and smartphones. They can search for resources by grade and subject, alignment to standards, or keyword. The site is updated frequently to reflect weekly content themes and current news and events.

Source: PBS LearningMedia, pbslearningmedia.org

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ProQuest Introduces Enhancements to SIRS Issues Researcher and SIRS Discoverer

Educators and students this fall are benefiting from online resources from ProQuest that are mobile optimized, include new instructional tools and features, and vetted content aligned to national standards. Now formatted for easy screen reading on a variety of smart phones and tablets, full-text and image information in the SIRS Issues Researcher and SIRS Discoverer research resources can be easily accessed any time from anywhere. Source information is displayed, making it easy to select articles, media or website links. Additionally, prominent one-click link features foster collaboration with other students and make citation effortless with direct export to the EasyBib citation tool.

The SIRS Issues Researcher offers curated, unique content supported by Topic Overviews, Essential Questions and Viewpoint Articles—providing students with a solid foundation for understanding the pros and cons of 350+ Leading Issues. New features now available include:

  • Eight new frequently-debated current Leading Issues—including Antibiotic Resistance, School Environment, and World Cultures.

  • A new Infographics feature that supports the curriculum standard requiring students to use quantitative data and graphics to address a question or solve a problem.

  • Three new teaching and learning guides correlating to Common Core Standards, providing deeper understanding of primary sources, statistics and infographics.

Designed for K-8 students, SIRS Discoverer differentiates instruction of core curriculum areas with Lexile scores and supplemental teaching and learning materials. To help educators capture students’ curiosity and foster learning with a variety of content formats, the new features now available include:

  • Pro/Con Leading Issues specifically created for research and English Language Arts (ELA) writing requirements with topic related materials to guide the student. The initial release includes 50 age-appropriate topics, including Animal Rights, Bullying, and Junk Food.

  • Animal Facts provides new contextual material for researching 50 animals and uses a scaffold learning approach to engage younger students, while providing additional links for deeper understanding by older students.

Source: ProQuest, proquest.com

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