5 Online Tools for Creating Picture Books
By Christine Stohn, Senior Product Manager, Discovery & Delivery, Ex Libris
“Last time, you will recall, I described how Ex Libris user studies were designed to provide a better understanding of users’ discovery needs, by placing their search scenarios in their real-world context. During the collection and analysis of a wide range of user case studies, three core discovery concepts repeatedly appeared in our user scenarios:
In this post, I’m looking at these concepts in the context of two different scenarios that I see as fairly representative of various classes of users.”
“A Gartner analyst claims many firms will lose their market positions through digital incompetence in the next few years – but understanding the future of technology will swing this around.”
“1. Cloud has become the platform for the next transition
2. By 2017, 75 percent of IT organizations will have a bimodel capability — and half will make a mess trying to maintain this balance
3. Digital business incompetence will cause a quarter of organizations to lose their market position by 2017
4. The Internet of Things (IoT) will be the driving force behind business and technological change for the foreseeable future
5. The most important, disruptive thing in the cloud market today is not actually technology — but rather the customer”
Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving school leaders, educational technologists, and teachers a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report provides in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.
“The NMC Horizon Report > 2-15 K-12 Edition stimulates crucial conversations about what trends and challenges are influencing the adoption of forward-thinking strategies in schools throughout the world,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “In this year’s edition, we found that an increasing number of schools are incorporating online learning through blended learning models, allowing learners to accelerate at their own pace. Creativity and the integration of making are also key themes that have recently come to the forefront in K-12 learning.”
“This year’s report is the result of a rewarding long-term effort between CoSN and the NMC to keep the discussion regarding technology in schools accurate and flourishing,” notes Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “At CoSN, we tackle some of the greatest challenges facing schools today. The NMC Horizon Report has become a fundamental reference for us as we decipher the trends that are shaping the complex landscape of K-12 education.”
Key Trends Accelerating K-12 Education Technology Adoption
The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 K-12 Edition identifies the “Increasing Use of Blended Learning” and “Rise of STEAM Learning” as short-term impact trends accelerating the adoption of educational technology in K-12 education over the next one to two years. The “Increasing Use of Collaborative Learning Approaches” and the “Shift from Students as Consumers to Creators” are mid-term impact trends expected to drive technology use in the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Rethinking How Schools Work” and “Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches” are long-term trends, anticipated to impact institutions for the next five years or more.
Significant Challenges Impeding K-12 Technology Adoption
A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in schools. “Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities” and “Integrating Technology in Teacher Education” are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Rethinking the Roles of Teachers” and “Personalizing Learning” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Scaling Teaching Innovations” and “Teaching Complex Thinking,” which are complex to define, much less to address.
Important Developments in Educational Technology for K-12 Education
Additionally, the report identifies bring your own device (BYOD) and makerspaces as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. 3D printing and adaptive learning technologies are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; digital badges and wearable technology are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.
The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engaged an international body of experts in K-12 schools, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in K-12 education. The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 K-12 Edition details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.
The NMC Horizon Report > 2015 K-12 Edition is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.
> Download the Report (PDF)”
Public libraries have needed this website and app for a long time. Your library supports a lot of online gaming but most have a whole lot of other board games that don’t require a computer – from chess to Monopoly through Dungeons and Dragons any strategy game your heart desires. Sometimes it for the teens and other times it supports adult programs. Choosing which games to buy and support is difficult and this website isn’t supported by paid recommendations but by the honest and professional reviews and perspectives of a board game enthusiast. It was tested with years of experience at one of Toronto’s amazing Board Game coffee houses, Snakes and Lattes. They know their stuff!
So, check it out and learn more about board games and dream about events at your library.
(I’ll let you in on a secret (shhh). The developer is an avid board game enthusiast and amazing expert who comes by this service development honestly. His dad developed games and his mom is a celebrated Canadian librarian!)
Here’s his press release.
Your Board Game Sommelier Has Arrived
June 29, 2015
Toronto, ON – As tabletop games continue to grow in popularity, more and more board game cafés are
opening to cater to demand. The best ones have specialized staff who can make personal recommendations for you. These game sommeliers don’t just pull titles randomly from a list of the
“best” games or select an arbitrary category like “party games” or “strategy games.” They listen to their
guests, and use what they hear to figure out what’s going to work for them.
Which leaves everyone else out in the cold if they can’t get to a place like that… except now there’s an
app for it.
One of the game experts at a beloved Toronto game café has spent years developing an online board
game recommendation service. The web app at www.pick-a-game.com has just launched, and it’s
probably the closest thing you can get to that sommelier experience without going there yourself.
For a quick recommendation with as little fuss as possible, the app’s “quick pick” is what you want. If
you’re willing to go a little deeper, you can take a quiz and get more accurate picks, along with some
psychological insight via games. Or you can also just say “I like Scrabble and Scattergories,” and get
recommendations based on that.
Veteran players can use it to find games to introduce to their neophyte friends, and the neophytes can
confidently explore beyond the games they know from childhood.
The web app is free, and it gives a better experience than you’re likely to find at many game stores. A
mobile-optimized version is in development, and there’s video content coming soon as well.
About the creators
The web app was created by a father-and-son team. Jonathan Moriarity has spent the last five years as a
game guru at Snakes & Lattes, Toronto’s celebrated board game café. He’s also been a game designer,
developer, art director, rules writer, and retailer. His father Michael Moriarity has been designing and
implementing software since the ancient times before the IBM PC. He lives in Hamilton.
10 Basic Elements of Design | Creative Market
“Reading with your kids is proven to build healthier relationships, improve basic reading skills and entrench them in imaginary experiences. Not to mention, it’s a great way to share in the enjoyment of your favorite childhood books. But when your child comes home with a reading assignment or grabs a new favorite book at the library, have you ever wondered how long it’ll take for them to finish?
Taking the average reading speed based on the grade level appropriate for each book, we calculated how long it would take kids to tackle more than 50 popular children’s books. From literary classics like The Velveteen Rabbit and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to 21st century favorites like Harry Potter, use this to help you figure out how long storytime needs to be.
Is your kid not yet in the fourth grade? Scroll to the bottom of this graphic to see the average words per minute for all elementary school grades based on academic fluency standards.”
“What about my seven year old?
Wondering where your child falls in this list? Follow the fluency standards for elementary grades 1 – 6 below and you can quickly calculate how long it’ll take your eager reader. This doesn’t account for reading comprehension, only speed, so remember to ask questions and encourage your child to enjoy what they’re reading.
Grade 1: 50 words per minute (wpm)
Grade 2: 70 wpm
Grade 3: 100 wpm
Grade 4: 130 wpm
Grade 5: 140 wpm
Grade 6: 160 wpm
After picking out the reading nook, get your kids excited about reading by gifting them their own personalized storybook.”