Educator productivity, student learning get boost with new mobile features in Follett’s Aspen SIS

Lauren Williams's picture
Friday, June 28, 2013

With dynamic new features that will help instructors work more efficiently and drive student achievement, Follett’s acclaimed student information system, Aspen, is going mobile.

With the October release of Aspen 5.0, the system’s new mobile features will give instructors unparalleled flexibility, allowing them to spend less time taking attendance and entering grades into a manual system, and freeing them to spend more one-on-one time with students to help drive learning.

An educator at one of the schools piloting Aspen Mobile has come away impressed.

“Aspen Mobile gives teachers a tool that allows them to systematically monitor and assess their students on any web-enabled device,” said Josh Murphy, director of student information, Burlington (Mass.) Public Schools. “And, in a world where many students are walking into schools with smartphones and schools are moving toward BYOD, Aspen Mobile and its responsive design provides all students with an efficient, eloquent medium for evaluating their progress.”

With cell phone in hand, teachers can leave their desks and computer and access Aspen to take attendance, quickly locate where a student can be found during any period or determine if he or she is even on campus. Aspen Mobile also will allow learning to be more student-directed: assignment details, attachments, grades and averages can be viewed from a tablet or smartphone. Plus, a “to-do list” shows what is due and when, and students can conveniently check off what has been completed.

Like Murphy, Gail Callahan, director of technology for PreK-12 at Duxbury (Mass.) Public Schools, has been piloting Aspen Mobile, and she has seen a wave of excitement from the district’s teachers.

“I sent an email to one of our teachers who had been piloting Aspen Mobile, asking if he thought it was user friendly and useful,” Callahan said. “His response was a very enthusiastic, ‘It rocks!’His enthusiasm has inspired several of his peers to give it a try and everyone who has tried Aspen Mobile has had the same reaction.”

Aspen Mobile, too, will make life easier for administrators, as student and staff information will be available with a user-friendly search directly on the screen. And parents will be brought closer to their child’s progress at school as they will easily be able to access academic information from their mobile device.

According to Ruben Hentzschel, vice president/product management for Follett School Solutions, Aspen Mobile is another example of the company’s unwavering commitment to provide its customers with the latest technology and services.

“Aspen Mobile reflects our ongoing digital strategy to support how teachers are teaching, and how students are learning,” Hentzschel said. “We’ve listened closely to our customers to ensure Aspen responds to their needs and solves the challenges they face each day.”

Earlier this year, Aspen was named one of the six finalists for the 2013 SIIA Education CODiE Awards in the “Best K-12 Course or Learning Management Solution” category, which recognized the best digital learning environment/system designed for K-12 educators to manage curriculum-based content, student access and use, diagnostic and remediation programs, data management and reporting tools.

Far more than a traditional SIS that allows school districts to manage their student data, Aspen links student information with curricular and educational tools in a single platform. It tracks class schedules, school events, overall student performance, athletic eligibility, and student health records.

Now in 14 states and the United Kingdom, Aspen serves more than one million students.

To learn more about Follett’s Aspen, visit www.follettsoftware.com/school-administration-software.

About Follett’s K-12 Business

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

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.