April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Follett Challenge Seeks Innovative Schools; $200,000 in Prizes Available

The 2013–2014 Follett Challenge has begun! A total of 15 schools that best demonstrate innovative approaches to 21st century learning will be selected to earn $200,000 in Follett products and services. All levels of education are encouraged to apply before the February 28, 2014, deadline. Semifinalists will be named in four categories: elementary, middle, high school and magnet/parochial/preK–12.

The grand prize winner will be selected from the semifinalists to earn a $60,000 prize, while each of the other three semifinalists will earn $30,000 prizes. Ten $5,000 prizes will be awarded to the “People’s Choice” winners, schools that receive the highest number of online votes. To participate, entrants must complete the 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. Final scores for the semifinalists will rely 70 percent on the final rubric score from the judges and 30 percent from the number of popular votes that a school’s video receives.

Judging of entrants in the 2013–2014 challenge will be conducted by a mix of previous prize winners and school technology experts. They are:

• Meg Omainsky, a teacher librarian at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA, one of two winners last year of the a $60,000 grand prize.

• Patrice Bryan, who teaches social justice and Semester of Service at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School in St. Louis. Bryan’s school was the other grand prize winner for 2012–2013.

• Michael Gorman, 1:1 coordinator at Southwest Allen County Schools in Fort Wayne, Ind. He consults for Discovery Ed, November Learning, PBS, and BIE.

• Andrew Miller, an education blogger who has taught both in the brick-and-mortar classroom and online. He currently serves on the National Faculty for the Buck Institute for Education and ASCD.

• Paul R. Sanfrancesco, who is director of IT for the Garnet Valley School District in Glen Mills, PA. Previously, he was director of technology for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s 200-plus schools.

• Susan Adelmann, vice president of strategic partnerships for Follett School Solutions. Her work at Follett has centered on digital and personalized learning platforms, data measurement and interoperability and other emerging technologies that support 21st century learning in K–12 schools.

Video voting will be conducted March 7 through April 4, 2014. The four semifinalists and 10 video winners will be announced April 14, 2014. The grand prize winner will be announced May 16, 2014.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson (kpeterson@mediasourceinc.com) is a former News Editor ofSLJ.