MAY 17, 2017
Platform Empowers Teachers, Librarians to Work Together to Recommend Best Content
BALTIMORE, MD — Follett today announced it has entered into a partnership with Unbound Concepts and its flagship platform, Artifact, which helps districts, teachers, librarians, and curriculum buyers discover the best content for their students. Artifact catalogs the topics, themes, concepts, educational objectives, and literary elements in content — all of which can now be found as enhanced metadata tags within Titlewave®, Follett’s powerful collection development and curriculum support tool.
According to Katie Palencsar, CEO/Founder of Unbound Concepts, the Artifact platform’s metadata tags are pulled from a fixed set of more than 700 terms that describe content, encompassing topics, themes, and literary and educational elements.
“Each tag includes descriptive information and a text snippet showing how the concept appears in the text,” Palencsar said. “Artifact supports a common language between teachers and librarians, which empowers stakeholders to work together to recommend the right books for a curriculum, classroom, or student. Plus, it allows publishers to highlight, through search and discovery, critical elements in their text to better sell into schools and libraries.”
Nader Qaimari, President for Follett School Solutions, said the partnership is a first step toward developing universal meta-tagging for K-12 instructional content incorporation, and added the use of Artifact in Titlewave® will provide educators the opportunity to curate titles and lists based on specific topics, themes, and curriculum elements.
“Artifact provides assurance that targeted curriculum elements exist in the texts purchased and assigned to classrooms,” Qaimari said.“Artifact also provides a way to develop collections around a district’s scope and sequence. This partnership will allow us to provide evidence-based curation, meaning when a teacher or librarian assigns a particular text—print or digital— it supports exactly what a student needs and aligns to their instructional objective.”
Each Artifact includes three key items: 1) an artifact type, which is selected from Unbound Concepts’ taxonomy; 2) a rationale, which is written by a teacher and shows how and why the artifact is in the text; and 3) a quotation from the text to provide direct evidence.
Unbound Concepts partners with a variety of book distributors and publishers, including Baker & Taylor, which Follett acquired more than a year ago.