Peter Poulton has worked at schools across Asia, including South Korea and Myanmar, and he joined the Taipei European School as Head of Physical Education in 2019.

A universal tool for a universal problem

Moki is expanding fast into different parts of the world, and it’s been fascinating to see how different physical activity patterns emerge in different countries.

Peter says it is well-established that many primary school children in the region do not get enough physical activity, so he is always looking at new ways to bring active learning to the curriculum. The school has bought two Moki class packs, and is rotating them every week across Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

“The key thing for us is simplicity. I didn’t need loads of complex features, I just needed a way to count the steps. All the software is already set up in the Moki app, so it was very easy to get up and running.”

“I also love the fact that the bands are so robust, and because they are rubber, we don’t have to worry about damages or injuries! The children can leave them on all day.”

A little friendly competition

Moki has helped to engage and motivate the children across the curriculum. In maths, for example, Moki graphs and charts have encouraged them to look at numbers in a different way, while PE lessons are now greeted with great enthusiasm as children vie to boost their individual step counts!

“We have made Moki a central part of our House competitions, and devised other little challenges to keep everyone interested. There are so many different ways you can measure the Moki data. We have awards for the top three boys and girls, as well as class and year group prizes which are presented at weekly assemblies.”

“The kids have really got into the spirit of things, and we have been able to track their physical activity using real data for the first time.”

Changing a mindset

Taipei European School

Peter says that schools in Asia typically approach PE slightly differently to the UK, so it has been challenging in the past to get teachers and families interested in active learning initiatives.

“In Asia, there is definitely more of an emphasis on the academic side of learning, so, for me, Moki has been a way of changing the mindset and introducing physical activity in an accessible way. The great thing is, that once the children and their families are on board, they give it everything. There is a spirit and competitive edge that you don’t necessarily get in the UK and other parts of the world.”

“Most rewarding of all is that, often, the children are competing with themselves, more than any wider peer group. They set themselves targets, like trying to beat yesterday’s score.”

“Most children only have a vague understanding of the health benefits of physical activity, but Moki is a tool that gives them tangible data and achievable goals that motivate them to stay active. For me, as Head of PE, that is incredibly important.”

To learn more about Moki, check out their website, or email us with any questions.

Physical activity is often seen as a crucial part of maintaining children’s health, but its benefits extend far beyond the playground. There is a compelling connection between staying active and excelling academically.

Getting kids moving is not just about burning energy; it’s about igniting the brain. Studies have shown that aerobic activities such as running and swimming enhance memory, attention, and cognitive functions in children. A stronger body means a sharper brain.

Physical activity not only encourages our hippocampus to grow, but also imparts essential life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and goal-setting. Moki is not just about individual success; it’s about creating a thriving, active, and inclusive community where every child has a place on the team.

With Moki’s active learning, we’re not just getting kids moving; we’re setting them up for a lifetime of success.

Let Moki help you get your class moving

Moki inspires schools to move more by providing an accurate picture of their physical activity. Using a simple, fun-to-wear wristband that records a student’s steps and active minutes, Moki offers educators a new way to engage children in their health and wellbeing. 

  • Inspire all children to move more, not just through sports and PE
  • A distraction-free wristband with no screen
  • Show the impact of your school’s health and wellbeing strategy with real data 
  • Create engaging challenges and activities that motivate children to move
  • Give every child ownership of their personal development with tailored reports

East Kingston Elementary School is undergoing a language education transformation. Faced with budget constraints and the challenge of meeting students’ diverse language interests, the school turned to Transparent Language Online (TLO), the leading language learning platform used by school, public and academic libraries worldwide.

TLO offers a range of 120 languages and 35 ESL courses, covering reading, writing, listening, and speaking – a comprehensive approach not found in other platforms. This unique feature made it the perfect solution for East Kingston Elementary, where students showed interest in less commonly taught languages like Vietnamese, posing a challenge in finding local instructors.

With TLO’s Connect program, East Kingston piloted an online language-learning initiative that combined live instruction with self-guided study. Students engaged with languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Vietnamese, reflecting their diverse interests and goals, from family heritage to future travel aspirations.

The results of the pilot program have been outstanding. Students have shown increased enthusiasm for language learning, entering the language lab excited to interact with Transparent Connect instructors. The flipped classroom approach, where students complete self-guided activities before live sessions, has proved to be a fun and engaging way to boost confidence and preparedness, leading to more effective communication in the target language.

Second language instruction extends beyond mere linguistic proficiency. It helps communication among students from diverse backgrounds, fostering friendships and the exchange of ideas, facilitating collaboration and mutual learning. This cultural understanding enables students to appreciate their peers’ backgrounds and fosters a sense of inclusivity and respect within the school community.

The success of TLO at East Kingston Elementary School shows the power of innovative language learning solutions in inspiring students, fostering engagement, and preparing them for a diverse and interconnected world.

School libraries in the US and worldwide are discovering a powerful new resource for enhancing language skills and promoting cultural awareness. The new LOTE4Kids service (it means ‘Languages other than English’) offers 3,000 primary school level picture books in 62 languages. The books come with read-along audio on an unlimited use model. The interface can be delivered in different languages and both US and UK English are available.

LOTE4Kids is designed to be a supplementary tool for language acquisition, literacy development, and multicultural education. It provides age-appropriate content across different educational stages, catering to learners’ diverse needs and preferences:

  • Interactive flipbooks with audio are perfect for auditory learners and help students improve their pronunciation and listening skills. 
  • Read-along highlight books benefit visual learners by drawing attention to text as it’s read aloud, which can enhance word recognition and reading fluency. 
  • Bilingual book formats support dual-language learning, allowing students to toggle between languages and build their skills in both their native and target languages.

With books in 62 languages, LOTE4Kids serves as a cultural bridge, introducing young learners to a wealth of global perspectives. This exposure to diverse cultures fosters empathy, understanding, and respect for people from different backgrounds.

Lote4Kids is growing fast, with over 80 new picture books added each month. This constant infusion of new content keeps the platform dynamic and relevant, providing fresh material for ongoing language study and cultural exploration. 

See here for the latest from L4K promoting multiculturalism and a new quiz feature.

Niche Academy provides library-specific learning management software that serves over 1,000 libraries worldwide with cost effective, professional and customizable training and learning tools, that empower library workers to support communities. 

Over 1500 video guides cover all major eresource platforms, digital skills, information literacy, safety and much more. Niche embeds seamlessly alongside the library site and catalogue, white-labelled so that all tutorials and content appears as the library’s own.

Librarians love Niche because it is so easy to use and configure across a wide range of applications.

Over 20 UK library authorities are now using Niche to engage users in increasingly innovative ways; to effectively train staff, and to collaborate with other local-authority services, extending the reach of libraries within their communities.

DCA introduced Niche to the UK around 5 years ago, helping libraries who faced challenges around delivering e-resource training, embedding custom video and content into the library site.

A successful Niche installation saves staff time, promotes resources to library users, and enables libraries to engage audiences and leverage the value of all their resources and programmes. Above all, Niche is a force multiplier for everyone around libraries – staff, volunteers, and users.

That’s what this award is about. We’ve seen some wonderful examples of libraries using Niche innovatively to empower library collaborations with health, education and heritage services (to name a few).

This is our first year to offer an award, recognising these outstanding achievements.

The 5 shortlisted libraries were selected by the Niche Academy head office, and are:  

Hertfordshire – highlights of their use of Niche include onboarding tutorials for their volunteer staff

Lancashire – who created a library academy, school libraries academy and a heritage learning academy in partnership with their heritage and museums service

East Sussex – who support the refugee community with essential training tutorials built within Niche

Leeds – re-branded as the Leeds Online Guides, Niche here acts as a helpdesk for the library, offering digital literacy and accessibility training. Leeds partnered with the local NHS Trust to build community health support tutorials and information ….. all delivered through Niche.

Hillingdon – who use Niche to curate a substantial and sustainable archive of their arts and crafts videos and author events material.

All of these libraries have done a fantastic job with Niche, and to find out more about how your library could use it to engage your community, click here or contact us for more information.

We are pleased to announce our two winners, who made a real difference to their community with Niche – Leeds and Lancashire libraries!


With Niche Academy, libraries can create attractive, interactive elements for their customers such as quizzes, polls and writing competitions. 

One of our finalists for the Niche Award, Lancashire Libraries, found new ways to engage with their audience by using Niche’s Quiz template and creating dozens of multiple-choice book quizzes for their young readers. By doing this, they engage and encourage the next generation of library-goers.

They also encourage return visits, with recommendations for your next book or comic coming at the end of every quiz.

They also got maximum benefit from their subscription by opening a dedicated Heritage Learning academy, with tutorials about the local area including Shakespeare’s connections with Lancashire. 

In addition their Schools Library Service academy hosts the Brilliant Book Awards and other ongoing resources to support schools. While the Lancashire Staff academy not only familiarises library staff with the library’s e-resources but also provides digital skills training and stores recordings of team training sessions. Bespoke tutorials on services such as Ask a Librarian, Business and Intellectual Property network, and Adult Education courses improve staff awareness and confidence in these programmes. 

“The staff academy refreshes the library team’s knowledge of digital resources, using assignments to embed the team’s learning and has become an invaluable resource.”

– Carolyn Waite , Lancashire Libraries

Lancashire’s Academies not only successfully train and support the region’s library team, but also reach right into the community by blending with other council services.

Congratulations to Lancashire for being nominated as a finalist in the Niche Awards 2023!

With Niche Academy, your subscription is all-you-can-eat, meaning you can run multiple separate Academies for different audiences as needed. 

For example, our first Niche Award finalist, Hertfordshire Libraries, runs a separate Academy just for their volunteer staff members.

This allows them to not only keep their public-facing tutorials separate from their staff- or volunteer-facing ones, but also allows them to assign specific tutorials to specific volunteers – and check that they’re actually doing them!

Using a mixture of public and custom-created tutorials, Hertfordshire have created an ordered pathway for each new volunteer at the library to step through. This instructs them in everything they need to know to help customers out – whether it’s how to use some of the eResources the library has, or even how to use the till at the front desk. Volunteers can progress through the tutorials on their own time, only asking for help when it’s needed, freeing up time for their instructors too.

On the back end, Instructors and Supervisors at Hertfordshire can assign specific tutorials to new volunteers, track their progress, and even see any quiz results they get – allowing them to make sure the volunteers are fully understanding the information they’ve been given.

Of course, once created, these tutorials also serve as a handy way for volunteers to double-check a process if they forget, meaning that alongside training, Hertfordshire have also created a powerful reference tool.

“Hertfordshire Libraries starting using Niche Learning Academy early in 2021, as a learning platform for the 300+ volunteers who support us with providing a library service in our 13 community libraries.  As these libraries had been closed for over a year due to the Covid pandemic and we could no longer offer in person training, it was a vital aid in helping us to refresh their knowledge and increase their confidence as part of our service recovery and restoring library opening hours.  We found the tutorials provided by the Academy very useful when creating our own training, and soon learnt how to upload custom made tutorials of our own following the guidance.  The feedback from our volunteers was very positive; they all found the access very straightforward and the tutorials relevant and informative.  Giving our volunteers access to Niche certainly resulted in us having a very smooth transition back to volunteering, and is continuing to be a valuable training tool with new volunteers too.”

Imelda Jackson, Community Services Librarian at Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire’s Volunteer Academy is a seamless combination of pre-existing and custom-created tutorials, and functions as a full learning management system to ensure all volunteers are fully trained and supported in their work. Congratulations to Hertfordshire for a well-deserved spot on our Niche Awards shortlist!


Every day, public libraries are proving and improving their ability to engage and serve communities, adding value and delivering successful social outcomes. Niche Academy provides over 1,000 libraries worldwide with cost effective training and learning tools that empower library workers to support community engagement. 


DCA and Niche Academy are excited to announce the launch of the “Niche Academy Award for Excellence in Community Engagement” – our way of recognising those library authorities working with Niche, who go above and beyond for their communities. 


Each of our five shortlisted libraries uses Niche Academy in innovative and unique ways, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing their stories. Niche is a powerful and flexible tool, and we’re excited to tell you all about the libraries who use it to its fullest – from creating exciting content in collaboration with other community services, to efficient and sustainable onboarding of new staff and volunteers.

Our five finalists are:

The winners will be announced at the EDGE Conference dinner on March 2nd in Edinburgh. Join us there, where DCA will be presenting the award in person, on behalf of Niche Academy.

Our recent survey, in partnership with Koios, asked library staff to think about the role of their website.  While the number of responses we got were too small to draw any meaningful statistical conclusions, the feedback and comments we got were thought-provoking enough for us to make some initial observations.

  • We asked, ‘In terms of providing service, what is the relative importance between your building and your website?’  Most people rated the importance of their website and their physical building about equally. 
  • While almost every library surveyed has web analytics installed, most respondents felt their analytics were underused.
  • It seems that everyone would like more online discoverability.  

We also found that the libraries paying for online advertising on social media platforms, primarily Facebook,  are not sure whether this advertising has any effect. Our analytics have shown that social media generally does not drive much traffic to library websites.

Most respondents rated ‘Promotion’ as their websites’ primary function, but driving circulation, providing community space, and meeting the needs of the underserved also scored highly. Other recurring themes included combating digital exclusion,  supporting local business,  and community health. The current economic squeeze in the UK will give libraries an opportunity to show their value in providing all of the above. It’s good to know that so many librarians recognise the critical role their websites are going to play. 

We have two winners of our prize draw: Congratulations to Doncaster and Hertfordshire libraries – some nice tea is on its way to you.

We’re donating $300 to our nominated charity, Clear voice interpreting services. 

Huge thanks to our respondents and if you haven’t yet shared your website thinking, please look out for our new and improved perma-survey, which will be out soon.

If you want to talk about how your library can get more value from its website, make better use of analytics, and spark more traffic – both online and to your buildings – please get in touch. Email us or fill out our online form to learn more.

This survey is designed to grow our collective knowledge and understanding of how library websites are perceived, designed, and used. It is not about website design, but rather about the utility and purpose of your website. We want to know: what is your website for, and how successful has it been in achieving your goals?
We will summarise and share all responses with you.

DCA will donate $2 to Clear Voice for each completed survey. You’ll also have a chance to win a special prize of some delicious tea!

The information you provide will be used by DCA (Digital Content Associates Ltd) in relation to the optional prize draw, and market research purposes only. Prize Draw winners’ surnames and regions may be published. If you object to this, please email

DCA regularly conducts library research, which is very important and valuable to all parts of our business and the library sector –  including content provision and product development. If you do not wish to participate in future public library research, there will be an option to select this at the end of the survey.

For more information on your rights and how we use your data, please see our Privacy Policy or contact

Posts navigation