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review 2017-08-14 20:35
Geography for Homeschool
Jaw-Dropping Geography: Fun Learning Facts About Spectacular Stonehenge: Illustrated Fun Learning For Kids - Jess Roche

I know that this book seems young for 7th through 9th grades, but it is a good starting point to get them to research more. It is more of a reference and quick read. Last night I prepared this lesson and a few others to help teach my children how they are going to do reports this year. I also was using it to help them learn note taking habits that would help them as they progress. I know that eventually they are going to be doing some online college style lessons and they will need these skills. 

 

The book was cute and quick and full of information well organized so that it was easy to relay the information to the girls. 

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text 2017-08-03 10:25
EPub for Education - an analysis

The present era is witnessing many radical changes in the most basic processes of life, including education. Learning in schools might still be the same as it was a decade ago but with the introduction of online education, the education paradigms has been affected because the learning and teaching methodology has jumped to a whole new level. Technology makes it possible to let the learners indulge in a more comprehensive and effective form of learning. Even though many technologies have been introduced so as to enable eLearning, this sector still experiences constant evolution and innovations.

 

 

The digital educational content provides many audios, visuals and documents to enable learning in an interesting and collaborating environment. New styles of online education have been developed like quizzes and interactivity and these features have attracted more users towards the same; typical eBook creation companies create rich interactive content that appeals and educates more effectively. Earlier, Adobe Flash was preferred for eLearning but with the facilitation of html5 support in eBooks, its advantages over shadowed Flash.

 

The ePub profile has made a major contribution in evolving eLearning terrain. After html5 support in epub was enabled, many interactive learning options were made available but this concept still lacked defined standards.

 

With the arrival of EDUPUB, which is the latest ePub3 profile, these standards can be defined and better use can be made to provide superior content for advanced learning processes. To provide more accessible and superior quality of educational content, which could also be shared across various electronic channels and devices, a new format of EDUPUB, was launched in 2016 by International Digital Publishing Forum.

 

Need for ePub educational publishing

 

There are several benefits of using ePub for Educational publishing. It is actually safe to say that EDUPUB is not a very new file format but is a part of ePub. Its aim is only to improve the online learning experiences by adding some specifications to ePub3 content.

 

Making the most of web standards like the inclusion of CSS3 and HTML5

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language that is used to elaborate the look and the format used for a document written in markup language. HTML is a markup language that is used for giving a definite structure and to present content on the internet. The current version of the same is HTML5. Making use of such tool is necessary as it betters the quality of the content whereby more users are attracted towards using the same. The purpose of improving digital content is to gain popularity across channels while promoting education.

 

Semantically structured content

EDUPUB aims in creating digital content that has a proper body and structure to it. It also filters out the unnecessary things and only works on content relevant for educational purposes. Thus this epub for education is thus highly beneficial.

 

The focus on metadata increases

Metadata provides basic information about data that in turn makes it possible to locate and work with specific instances of data without facing troubles. EPUB has been designed in such a way that it accommodates different kinds of publications and a varied sort of content. Metadata recognizes the educational publication and records all the accessible characteristics it possesses and then expands the structural semantics vocabulary of the ePub to add the terms related to education.

 

Creation of highly accessible and distributable content

EDUPUB creation for Education facilities distribution of digital learning content across various electronic devices. When digital content is available for both online and offline use, it automatically becomes more convenient for the user because then, this content becomes available 24/7 at per the ease and requirement of the user. This is easily achieved by EDUPUB.

 

Authoring tools and structures

While creating mLearning or eLearning content, it is often stated that the use of an authoring tool that is the right fit for you is very important. With this format an authoring structure with useful educational data is supported and this helps in creating superior content with new and developing interactive features.

 

Promotes innovation

When there exists a structure that would support innovation in content creation, it boosts the possibility of thinking out of the box and moving forward with more rapid strides. E-Publishing solutions for educational sector encourage consistency in both functionality and presentation of the content and improve its flexibility as well.

 

EDUPUB has the same file extension “.epub” but it is specifically used to cater to some explicit requirements that are needed to create a standard ePub for the purpose of education. It is basically an ePub3 that has the validation of IDPF standards and also contains some supplemental guidelines. The most amazing thing about EDUPUB, enhanced epub creation, is that it facilitates making copies of the educational content for the teachers as well as the students and they can be differentiated with the help of tagging and annotations.

 

EDUPUB aims at creating high quality content that can be functional across various platforms. A major advantage that these interactive and enhanced eBooks offers is that it provides for Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) and Question and Test Interoperability (QTI). This is the reason why EDUPUB has lifted the level of a standard published eBook to new heights. The only uncertainty right now is to witness the speed at which this profile is adopted.

 

When it comes to the provision of e-publishing services in India, there are countless companies. The trick lies in getting associated with the right people with solid reputation. 

 

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review 2017-07-14 16:46
Cat Pictures Please by Naomi Kritzer
Cat Pictures Please - Naomi Kritzer Cat Pictures Please - Naomi Kritzer

I first heard about this short story through a podcast. It sounded like a light story I would enjoy so I decided to give it a read. What I got was so much more than that. It's a story that follows an AI and its desire to help people improve their lives. That's the premise, anyway. As the reader, you get the feeling of what it's like to live in this world and it being what you make it and it's not always as simple as making it what you want it to be. Does that make sense?

 

Naomi Kritzer did a beautiful job in writing an engaging story about how difficult life can appear to be but how the solutions are sometimes easily overlooked. She had a way of making the heavy subject matter light with her sense of humor sprinkled throughout the story to make it easy for the reader to come to terms with the message of the story. Kritzer is a brilliant writer and I am looking forward to reading more of her work in the future.

 

If you love sci-fi stories about AIs, if you love stories about life, if you love stories about cats, then I highly recommend you read this one! I think you may find that you learn a bit of something about your own life in the end.

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review 2017-06-27 18:59
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Al Franken 
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Al Franken

It is terribly important that the most trusted figures in American politics right now are comedians: Al Franken, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert. It is important that our newest president has only ever actually been professionally successful as a television character.

 

Don't get me wrong: I don't think actors, performers, and certainly not writers are somehow less valid as elected officials. While the primary business of senators and congress people is lawmaking, I recognize that they themselves don't (possibly ever anymore) write the laws; federal laws are written by interested parties, think tanks, and congressional staff. So it isn't necessary to be a lawyer in order to shape laws. What is necessary: I think a broad, general interest is good; literacy is useful; the ability to listen is huge; one has to judge sources, because I'm sure there's never less than two sides to any issue, and all of them purport to have data backing them up, of which some must be less valid or useful than others; a willingness to admit ignorance and to learn is key, because no one is an expert in everything, and hastily-formed judgements are unlikely to result in successful solutions to complex problems. And of course, one has to be able to work with many difficult people, but that's true of all work, isn't it? That list of qualities leaves previous work experience pretty open.

 

It's important that our emperor is naked, and that as many people as possible are pointing at the bare ass he's waggling at us, and laughing. It's not possible to bring him down by arguing with him or fact-checking him: he's a shameless liar, he just makes shit up, most of his shtick is just childish insults. You can't argue with him. He doesn't believe in the idea of a fair fight. But you can point and laugh: he has no defense against mockery.

 

Franken is a mensch. I would give that man an organ I can't spare, secure in the knowledge that he would use it only for good. He is everything one could hope for in an elected representative, just once I would like to vote for someone who was so progressive and also so pragmatic. Harvard has gone up in my esteem by being Franken's alma mater. If you've never read any of Franken's political books you're in for a treat.

 

Library copy

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review 2017-06-02 22:06
The Assistants - Camille Perri  
The Assistants - Camille Perri

I opened the package, and the Spouse asked what it was. "I think it's the new Microserfs". He looked blankly back at me. "Generation X?" More blank. "Devil Wears Prada?" Oh, well. He's an excellent cook, among other sterling qualities.

***

I enjoyed the book enormously. It was funny, it was zippy, it was mild-mannered and self-effacing, and inoffensive. The way Tina develops strength and self-confidence felt right. It would make a good film, not unlike The Devil Wears Prada.

But I wanted more. I wanted a little rage, some self-righteousness, some recognition that this horrible dilemma of college debt and poorly paid jobs isn't acceptable and that something needs to happen to help everyone in the same boat, not just a lucky few. It was too mild for my socialist leanings, too tentative, unwilling to name the sexist elephant in the room, and somehow oblivious to the fact that the depressed minimum wage, the lack of affordable housing, and the insane cost of higher education are all issues that have been successfully remedied in other times and countries. I wanted anger, and I wouldn't have minded a call to arms.

And also, two issues that snapped me out of the book within a page of each other: in a book so modest and coy about sex, making reference to any specific penis is a shocker. But as a metaphor it just didn't work at all. But even more jarring was a comment about a character in college having read to many James Lee Burke novels. Said character would have graduated from college twenty five years before James Lee Burke was published. The twenty century is not lost in the mists of time. Someone should have checked.

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