Follett joined a strong educational coalition of national partner and regional organizations, and major corporations, by supporting Future Ready Schools, an initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Education to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for career success.
The announcement was made Dec. 10 by the Alliance for Excellent Education at a White House event, which featured the release of the National Education Technology Plan. Further, it was announced that more than 2,000 school district leaders, representing 16 million students, have taken the Future Ready District Pledge to personalize learning for students using effective digital learning strategies.
According to Nader Qaimari, Follett Executive Vice President and General Manger, Follett is supporting the Future Ready initiative on behalf of Project Connect’s Future Ready Library Framework. Project Connect, sponsored by Follett, is a national initiative to advocate for school libraries and connect powerful school library programs to the needs of successful 21st century learning. The goal is to shed light on how the expertise of librarians can be more fully utilized, and how an innovative school library program can be a solution to the many challenges that arise from a digital transformation.
“Our involvement is an expression of our dedication to creating Future Ready Librarians, and reinforces our message that school libraries are a cornerstone of all good programs,” Qaimari said.
Qaimari also described a micro-credentialing program currently in development by Project Connect, which would present professional development opportunities to librarians. “As we define future ready libraries, it only makes sense to develop innovative professional learning experiences that model new ways of working," said Mark Ray, Chief Digital Officer, Vancouver Public Schools, a member of Project Connect’s Librarian Leadership Committee. “Micro credentials offer a nimble way for librarians to build on their expertise and level up their skill set so they can lead, teach and support as part of future ready schools.”
The pledge Follett made this week represents a new library “strand” for Future Ready to support the nation's librarians and media specialists. Other major corporations involved in the overall Future Ready initiative include Apple, Google, Microsoft, and McGraw-Hill Education.
Launched 14 months ago, Future Ready Schools is an Alliance for Excellent Education project featuring more than 50 partners, including the U.S. Department of Education. “Future Ready Schools isn’t just about technology,” Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education, said Thursday. “It’s about a more personalized approach to teaching and learning that ensures that all students have the skills they need to succeed in college and a career. Future Ready Schools is about empowering teachers and leaders, helping students take charge of their own learning, and keeping parents engaged and informed.”
About Follett's PreK-12 Business | FollettLearning.com
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 | Follett.com
For more than 140 years, Follett has been a trusted partner to preK-12 schools, colleges and campus bookstores, taking care of the critical details that make it easier for schools to run, teachers to teach, students to learn and fans to celebrate. A leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett currently works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores. With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett's reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. Today Follett Corporation is the world's largest single source of books, entertainment products, digital content and multi-media for libraries, schools and retailers. Follett is a $3.6 billion privately held company headquartered in Westchester, Illinois.