21st Century Learning
Follett's Lightbox Delivers Integrated Digital Content
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Education publishing company Follett has released a new line of digital resources for use in grades pre-K–6. Lightbox digitizes books and integrates them through a portal with audio, video, interactive activities, slideshows, Google maps, quizzes, curated Web links and keywords. Currently, the company offers 100 titles; each comes with a perpetual license that costs $40 for multi=user access.
Follett tested the new offering at an Illinois school. Two classes of fourth graders at Cotton Creek Elementary in Wauconda Community Unit School District #118 used Lightbox as part of a unit of study on glaciers. Students, teachers and the principal were surveyed about their use of online resources before the unit was taught and again at the end of the unit.
Before the glaciers unit, 35 percent of the students reported that they understood what they were learning in class. After the unit, the figure was 70 percent. A little less than three in 10 students (29 percent) said they like what they're learning more with the use of technology before trying Lightbox; afterwards six in 10 reported liking what they learned more.
"My students were very excited and motivated to use Lightbox," said teacher Susan Fluger in a statement. "They were engaged and enjoyed sharing their discoveries with one another."
Cotton Creek Principal Darlene Baker liked the integration of curriculum. "The whole cycle of learning, testing and instructing is all together in one place, and I think that's what's fabulous."
According to Follett, the program aligns with Common Core and other state standards and works with any device or course management system. Integration also includes working with content in a school's library collection managed through Follett's Destiny.
Lightbox focuses on science and social studies topics. Eventually, the selection will expand to include titles for grades 7-12.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.