AEP's 45th Annual Educational Product Awards Open with Major Updates

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The largest and longest-running recognition program for the learning resource industry has undergone sweeping changes for 2012.

The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), the nonprofit organization for the educational resource community, today announces sweeping changes in its acclaimed awards program for educational resources.

The AEP Awards program—which honors outstanding educational products across multiple media—has undergone some of the biggest and most comprehensive changes in its 45-year history.

"The enormous changes in educational technology and systems are truly transforming schools,” said Charlene Gaynor, CEO of AEP, "and we felt it was important for our organization to recognize and laud the way the learning resource community is responding to those changes. So we have created a large new Innovation category and revamped many other requirements."

These changes come as AEP opens its nominating process for 2012. Since the first Golden Lamp was awarded in 1967, the Educational Press Association—now AEP—has recognized the top educational resources for use in and out of the classroom, making it one of the longest-running, most comprehensive, and most highly regarded programs in the industry. Each year the AEP Awards committee examines the program and identifies areas for improvement, ensuring the Awards reflect the evolution of education, emerging product areas and technologies, and market shifts in the industry—without sacrificing the standards of quality and excellence that have come to be synonymous with the program.

Updates in 2012 include:

  • All-New Innovation Awards - Closely aligned with AEP's mission to foster creativity and change in the educational resource community, this new category recognizes products that are exemplars of innovative methodologies, tools, and technologies.
  • Revamped Categories - The four overarching categories within the program's Distinguished Achievement Awards and Golden Lamp Awards have been rethought to more closely reflect the current education marketplace.
  • No Audience Subdivisions - In 2012, the audience subdivision has been removed from the category structure, effectively resulting in the naming of one overall best product in each subject area.
  • Updated Judging Process - The Committee strengthened the definition and criteria of the program's three-tiered judging process:

1) Educator Review: Educator judges from AEP's National Educator Review Panel will evaluate all submissions, assigned by subject area and age-grade level expertise.
2) Professional Review: Experts in educational product development and design will take an in-depth look at the narrowed field with a focus on overall quality.
3) Certification: Certification judges, an elite group comprised of high-level educators and industry professionals, are tasked with doing an in-depth, comprehensive assessment of the final entries.

Entries for the 2012 AEP Awards are now being accepted in four overall categories:

  • Distinguished Achievement Awards (DAAs), honoring the best in a range of product types and resources used by teachers, parents, and students.
  • Innovation Awards—new in 2012—recognizing forward-thinking products that are pioneering changes in the education landscape
  • Beacon Awards, recognizing outstanding marketing of educational products
  • Golden Lamp Awards, one of the most prestigious honors in the education industry, highlighting the "best of the best" products for teaching and learning each year

AEP Awards Finalists and Winners earn the right to display the AEP Award Seal, nationally recognized by educators, administrators, and parents as a mark of outstanding quality and achievement. Finalists are announced when the judging process is complete in April, and winners will be announced in June at AEP's Content in Context Conference in Washington, DC. For more information on this event, visit http://www.contentincontext.org.

The early bird entry period for the AEP Awards runs until November 30, and the regular entry period closes January 15. Find out more or enter today.

About AEP
The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) is a nonprofit organization that serves and advances the industry of supplemental educational publishing. The membership of AEP represents the breadth of educational content developers delivering progressive educational products in all media and for any educational setting.

AEP's thought leadership and market insight have created ground-breaking opportunities for its members to collaborate, network, and partner with each other as well as to acquire a voice in the development of government education policy. Founded in 1895, AEP now assists its members in navigating the global realities of educational publishing in the 21st Century. For more information, please visit http://www.AEPweb.org.

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