Follett Challenge showcases how schools are integrating 21st-century skills into instruction

More than 100 educators recently took Follett Software’s challenge to create and submit a video showing how they incorporate 21st-century skills such as critical thinking into the curriculum, and now the company is asking the public to vote for their favorite entries. The voting closes March 18, and six winning entries will be announced in May.

Besides helping Follett chose the winners, visitors to the Follett Challenge website can discover models they might want to incorporate into their own instruction. The grand-prize winner will receive $60,000 in Follett services, and the six winners will share $200,000 in prizes altogether.

Follett Software also is launching a new user community, called New Leaf in Learning, where educators can collaborate, ask questions, download content, and learn from their peers. The site is currently in beta testing, and Follett is looking for educators to participate.…Read More

New breed of student information systems is emerging

Experts say the future is all about the integration of best-of-breed applications.

The market for student information systems is undergoing tremendous change in the wake of several recent ed-tech mergers and acquisitions—and this trend has important implications for school software.

As large ed-tech companies swallow up smaller providers of student information systems, they are able to integrate new features into these programs, resulting in a new breed of school software that meets several needs of educators in a single solution. For instance, student information systems and learning management systems traditionally have been viewed as two separate software programs—but today, they are merging in ways that allow educators to track student achievement and personalize the learning process, all from the same system.

On the other hand, consolidation within the ed-tech industry is leaving educators with fewer choices for their school software providers.…Read More