ICT news

Ok it had to happen…your bot shopping experience is here! The Kmart Buddy bot will help you with suggestions this Xmas. Search for Buddy in Facebook Messenger. Specify what you want and Buddy presents web pages where you can buy the goods online.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/kmart-buddy-bot-can-it-do-your-christmas-shopping/news-story/9f0b135b5def79e6e6880b39b54dc53f

 

Digital Inclusion Index Report

Produced by Swinburne University of Technology and Telstra in August. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index measures the extent of digital inclusion in Australia – access, affordability and digital ability. No surprise – Australians are spending more time and doing more online. The highest-scoring state is ACT, followed by Victoria. Groups with high digital inclusion include those who speak other languages. Those with low levels of income, education and employment are less included. Indigenous Australians and people with disability have low but improving inclusion. The gender gap is narrow but there is a marked difference in attitudes towards learning new technology. Geography also plays a critical role – inclusion is higher in capital cities than country areas. Access and affordability can be barriers but a person’s digital ability (attitudes, skills, activities, safety concerns) also has a large impact. The Index will help inform and promote policy and programs to enhance digital inclusion in Australia.

http://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2016/08/swinburne-study-measures-australias-digital-divide.php

http://digitalinclusionindex.org.au/

http://digitalinclusionindex.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Australian-Digital-Inclusion-Index-2016.pdf

 

Born Digital 2016

Born Digital 2016, the National and State Libraries Australasia conference in August, explored the collection and preservation of digital content via video interviews with experts. Topics included Science and space; Indigenous voices; Digital lifestyles; Video games.

http://www.nsla.org.au/born-digital-2016

Why it’s important to preserve video games: http://www.nsla.org.au/news/borndigital2016-day-5-play

Truth and history with John Birmingham – libraries need to preserve digital content such as Facebook, blogs and tweets: http://www.nsla.org.au/news/borndigital2016-day-3-truth-and-history

 

The NBN GranTechie Report: the new wave of silver surfers

This Sept 2016 report shows that access to fast broadband, NBN and smart devices is redefining how older Australians are using the internet and debunks myths that they are not using technology to connect and learn. 72% of grandparents say the internet makes them feel more educated, more purposeful (66%) and more connected (85%). 93% go online every day; 79% use technology to stay connected with family and friends; 59% use the internet for online shopping; 72% couldn’t imagine life without the internet. And 49% of 18-34 year olds believe older generations are just as savvy as them when it comes to technology and the internet. Go Nan and Pop!

http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/The%20nbn%E2%84%A2%20GranTechies%20Report.pdf

https://startsat60.com/stories/tech/grantechies-rise-of-the-silver-surfer

Good books and reviews: https://startsat60.com/category/stories/entertain/books

 

Google Expeditions adds 50 new tours for schools

There are now over 400 virtual reality field trips, with over 100 lesson plans also available. Places include Machu Picchu, Antarctica, coral reefs, the International Space Station and a Viking settlement. Expeditions has been used by over 1 million students and is the app is available in 123 countries. Google Cardboard VR sets make the experience more immersive, but are not essential. Android and iOS.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/peter-cosgrove-launches-google-tour-of-government-house/news-story/560b2534672c74be7174c170ae587fb0

https://blog.google/topics/education/adding-50-new-tours-schools-google-expeditions/

https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/6335093?hl=en&ref_topic=6334250

 

Google Earth Timelapse

Google has updated Timelapse, their comprehensive picture of the Earth’s changing surface. First released 2013, it now includes 4 additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data from satellites, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. Watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, glaciers in Antarctica and a river in Tibet.

https://blog.google/products/earth/our-most-detailed-view-earth-across-space-and-time/

View Timelapse: https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/

 

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Verbs

This infographic lists verbs used to facilitate technology in the classroom, from lower-order thinking skills (LOTS) to higher-order thinking skills (HOTS).

https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/blooms-digital-taxonomy-verbs

Bloom’s taxonomy and apps for the iPad: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2016/06/new-visual-on-blooms-digital-taxonomy.html

More Bloom’s and apps: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2016/11/new-blooms-digital-taxonomy-poster-for.html

 

Netflix shows can now be downloaded and watched offline

Rolled out worldwide last week. Enjoy an offline binge on your smartphones and tablets. Update your Netfix app and choose the downward arrow icon when browsing. Free.

https://www.wired.com/2016/11/netflix-offline-viewing/

 

18 best external storage devices for iPad and iPhone

Very useful when your device is full of photos and videos. Includes Verbatim iStore ‘n’ Go (USB at one end and a Lightning port at the other) and SanDisk Connect Wireless USB flash drive (copies photos automatically straight onto the device).

http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/iphone/best-ways-get-more-storage-for-your-iphone-or-ipad-external-devices-3579792/

Lexar JumpDrive (USB and Lightning connectors): http://www.lexar.com/products/usb-flash-drives/Lexar-JumpDrive-M20i-USB-3-flash-drive.html

 

ICT news

Mobile web browsing overtakes desktop browsing for the first time

Not really surprising – but now it’s official. Browsing on smartphones and tablets now accounts for 51.3% of worldwide web browsing (StatCounter). However, in Australia, desktop accounts for 55.1% of browsing; 58% in the US and 55.6% in the UK. This will only decrease. Mobile-friendly websites are now essential and Google recently made a change making mobile search potentially more up to date than desktop.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/mobile-web-browsing-desktop-smartphones-tablets

 

Google’s desktop search could be out of date

Google has now begun to push mobile search and desktop searches could end up slightly out of date compared to mobile searches. Google is splitting its search index into 2 versions – a rapidly updated mobile version and a separate search for the desktop.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/14/google-desktop-search-out-of-date-mobile

 

Nielsen Digital Landscape Report

Monthly summaries of Australian online behaviour. Latest report September.  19.8 million people actively surfing, with ages 50+ having the largest percentage online (30.27%). Top 10 brands: 1. Google 2. Facebook 3. YouTube 4. MSN/Bing/Skype 5. Apple 6. eBay 7. Microsoft 8. Yahoo7 9. Wikipedia 10. Instagram. Top brands for streaming: 1. YouTube 2. Facebook 3. Vevo 4. News.com.au (9.ABC).  Men outnumber women for streaming: 7.35 million men vs 6.34 million women.

file:///H:/Downloads/Digital%20Landscape%20September%202016.pdf

http://digitalmeasurement.nielsen.com/digitalmedialandscape/surfing_report.html

 

American Academy of Pediatrics lifts ‘No screens under 2’ rule

Last month the 1999 rule was lifted. The focus has shifted from what is on the screen to who else is in the room. For babies under 18 mths, no screens are best – except for live video chat. From 15 mths to 2 yrs, children may learn new words from educational media, but only if parents are watching alongside them. Treating videos or apps like a picture book is best. Preschoolers aged 2 to 5 have the ability to transfer knowledge from screens to the real world.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/21/498550475/american-academy-of-pediatrics-lifts-no-screens-under-2-rule

 

Hour of Code 5 December

ABC and Code Club Aust. have set a challenge for students to make their own video game using Scratch.

http://splash.abc.net.au/res/nl/20161118/STEM_news/STEM_news_20161118.html

60 min. tutorials for all ages: https://code.org/learn

 

Zuckerberg to invest $4bn in health

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife Priscilla Chan will invest nearly $AU4 billion over the next 10 years to build technology that can speed up research on disease. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC will initially create the Biohub research lab in San Francisco, which will create tools for researchers such as a cell atlas (a map of the different human cell types). Other tools could include a chip to diagnose disease and using machine learning to analyse large databases of cancer genomes. Zuckerberg and Chan have promised to give away 99% of their wealth over their lifetimes via their Initiative – one of the world’s largest philanthropic initiatives. They have also created Chan Zuckerberg Science.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/zuckerberg-family-fund-to-invest-4bn-in-research-technology/news-story/6ac9a9c2235e1318e6e9abb568311240

 

Google Play Music

Music streaming, as with movie/TV streaming, is the most popular way of listening to music. Google Play Music is now smarter and easier to use. It uses machine learning and a diverse range of datasets connected to your Google account – search history, maps, YouTube etc – to personalise your music. It then mixes in signals like location, activity, and the weather along with hand-picked playlists to give you music that you like. Started last week in 62 countries for Android, iOS and the web. Workout music as you enter the gym; a sunset soundtrack at dusk….

https://blog.google/products/google-play/introducing-the-new-google-play-music/

 

Google self-driving car project

Monthly report Oct 2016. 24 Lexus SUVs on the road along with 34 prototype vehicles. Over 2.23 million miles  driven in autonomous mode and Google cars are experts at 3-point turns.

https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//selfdrivingcar/files/reports/report-1016.pdf

 

Failed Google projects

Google has been involved in a host of projects – not all of them successful. These projects may soon cease development: Project Wing (delivery drones); Verily smart lenses (measure diabetic glucose levels via eye tears); Google Glass (sales were stopped in 2015 and social media data erased). Autonomous cars may not be available till 2025.

http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/with-so-many-failing-x-projects-its-time-for-google-to-get-back-to-basics-346227.html

 

Google to ban fake news sites from ads

Advertising tools will be closed to websites that promote fake news. Fake news easily goes viral.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/14/13630722/google-fake-news-advertising-ban-2016-us-election

Free ebook and audiobook websites

Here are some good free ebook /narrated ebook websites with titles that would be of interest to high school  new English learners with a low reading age (below ESL).

Best sites to read books online without download or registration

Mega-list of 346 legal and ‘safe’ sites last updated May 2015.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/free-books-read-online

 

Awesome Stories

82 collections of 4506 stories with primary sources ‐ all subjects for learners of all ages. An American site but with a good variety of interesting topics. Subjects include language arts, social studies, STEM, arts, film and books. Also has a free option.

https://www.awesomestories.com/

Price: https://www.awesomestories.com/Signup

 

Tumble Book Library

This popular site is often available via public libraries (with logins). It is available via Libraries ACT. Titles include non fiction, graphic novels, ebooks, readalongs, story books and short videos. Many titles are for younger readers but various titles are suitable for EALD students, even those in high school. You can also choose reading levels eg. advanced readers, chapter books etc and make playlists. Any number of students can read the same book at the same time. Books are in English, Spanish and French.

http://preview.tumblebooks.com/BooksList.aspx?categoryID=13

 

International Children’s Digital Library

Acclaimed site for reading books in many different languages. Age ranges 3 to 5, 6 to 9, 10 to 13. Short, medium and long books including true books, award winning books, chapter books etc

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

Browse titles:

http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/SimpleSearchCategoryids=86&langid=&pnum=1&cnum=1&text=&lang=English&ilang=English

 

Free ebooks

Links to free online book sites from the Uni of Qld: http://guides.library.uq.edu.au/cyberschool-students/schools/free_ebooks

Lots of sites: http://www.freebooknotes.com/free-ebooks-guide/

 

Loyal Books

(Formerly Books Should Be Free). Free public domain audiobooks and ebooks. Many are older public domain titles so the language could be difficult eg. Tom Sawyer. Various languages – Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog…

http://www.loyalbooks.com/genre/Children

 

Some replies……

 

Ziptales is a subscription site, but has ESL material. – Marie Miegel

 

EPIC is a great website. “The only kids’ eBook subscription service that offers thousands of high-quality books from well known publishers like HarperCollins, National Geographic and others”. It is for K-5 but there are lots of great titles that could be of interest to middle school/ESL students including the popular ones like Big Nate, Warrior Cats, Timmy Failure etc. It is free for educators.

https://www.getepic.com/

Kerry Gittens

Good films

Some good films coming up for various curriculum areas – fantasy, sci-fi, war, fiction to film…..

Jasper Jones

Upcoming mystery thriller film based on the acclaimed book by Craig Silvey and directed by Rachel Perkins. Stars Levi Miller, Aaron L. McGrath, Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving. A moving coming of age story about a young boy and his Aboriginal friend who find the body of a girl and deal with racism and other terrible secrets in their small town. Due 2 March 2017.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/25/jasper-jones-first-look-review-spielberg-meets-stranger-things-in-australian-coming-of-age-tale

Trailer: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/entertainment/a/33013639/jasper-jones-teaser-trailer-out/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5091014/

 

Hacksaw Ridge

Biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson. Stars Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving. Based on the true story of US Army medic Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist conscientious objector who refused to bear arms or kill, but was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 comrades during the Battle of Okinawa in WW2. Filmed mostly in Australia, the film received a 10 minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Opens 3 Nov.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/mel-gibson-movie-hacksaw-ridge-receives-standing-ovation-at-venice-film-festival-20160907-gral5t.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2119532/

 

Doctor Strange

Marvel superhero film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton. A neurosurgeon’s life changes after he loses use of his hands after a car accident. He finds hope in a mysterious enclave who are battling dark forces bent on destroying reality and, as a powerful sorcerer, uses martial arts and an ancient guru to save the world. See it if you fancy Benedict in a “velvety neo-Edwardian uniform with an occult medallion and fierce goatee.…like a glam rock vocalist who yearns to do a magic trick in Vegas”. (Bradshaw). In cinemas now.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1211837/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/24/doctor-strange-review-benedict-cumberbatch-marvel-eyepoppingly-freaky-extravaganza

 

The light between oceans

Based on the novel by M. L. Stedman. Directed by Derek Cianfrance. Stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson. A lighthouse keeper and his wife find a baby adrift in a boat and raise her as their own – only to face the consequences of their actions several years later. Filmed in New Zealand and Stanley, Tasmania. Opens 26 Dec.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/movies/the-light-between-oceans-review.html?_r=1

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/now-showing/five-hankie-film-review-for-australian-bestseller-the-light-between-oceans-20160903-gr7zg2.html

 

Red dog: True blue

Prequel exploring early events in the life of the legendary Red Dog. A young boy is sent to a cattle station in the Pilbara and finds a puppy in a flood. Stars Jason Isaacs, Levi Miller, Bryan Brown. Opens 26 Dec.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3567194/

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/red-dogs-story-continues-in-prequel-red-dog-true-blue-20160916-grhpaj.html

 

Rogue One: a Star Wars story

Directed by Gareth Edwards. Stars Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn. A group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. Opens 15 Dec.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3748528/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story

http://www.theweek.co.uk/62924/star-wars-rogue-one-is-spin-off-film-an-origin-story-for-reys-mother

 

Passengers

Sci-fi thriller directed by Morten Tyldum. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt. A spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant planet colony has a malfunction in its sleep chambers and 2 passengers are awakened 90 years early. Opens 1 Jan 2017.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1355644/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/21/passengers-trailer-jennifer-lawrence-chris-pratt-titanic-avatar

 

His dark materials (Northern lights)

BBC series based on the award-winning fantasy trilogy by Philip Pullman – an amazing series. Set in a multiverse including Oxford, a young girl embarks on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.  No cast as yet. Series 1 will have 8 episodes. Possible launch late 2017.

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/cult/feature/a789641/his-dark-materials-bbc-tv-series-casting-characters-start-date-everything-you-need-to-know/

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35967042

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Dark_Materials

 

Mary Poppins returns

Directed by Rob Marshall. Stars Emily Blunt as Mary, Colin Firth Meryl Streep (Mary’s cousin)  and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a new character, a lamplighter. Set 20 years after the original film in Depression-era London, Michael and Jane Banks are grown up and Mary returns to take care of Michael’s children. In the new film, Mary is based more on the character from the series of books. Due Dec 2018.

http://variety.com/2016/legit/news/lin-manuel-miranda-mary-poppins-little-mermaid-1201870663/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5028340/

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/mary-poppins-returns-julie-andrews-gives-her-verdict-on-emily-blunt-casting-a7216726.html

 

Big little lies

7 part HBO series starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, based on the book by Liane Moriarty. The seemingly perfect lives of a group of suburban mums begin to unravel. The series is set in California, rather than Sydney’s northern beaches. Due Feb 2017.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/drama/nicole-kidman-and-reese-witherspoons-adaptation-of-aussie-bestseller-big-little-lies-gets-a-steamy-trailer-20161016-gs3ove.html

ICT and media news

RUOK? survey reveals Aussies spend more time with screens than quality time with family and friends

We spend an average of 46 hours of our weekly downtime looking at TVs and devices, compared to 6 hours engaging with family and friends. About half of all Australians spend 2 hours or less weekly connecting with those who matter to them. Obstacles include distance, being too tired, being busy, housework and long work hours. Finding time in busy schedules is crucial. Strong and caring connections provide a safety net to help people cope with challenging times.

https://www.ruok.org.au/new-survey-reveals-aussies-spend-more-time-with-screens-than-quality-time-with-family-and-friends

 

Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2016

Their 5th edition- more than 2000 Australians aged 14 to 69 were surveyed. The survey provides a snapshot of how consumers are interacting with media, entertainment and technologies. Results include:

 

* Huge influence of social media – the #1 digital destination; 84% are on a social network

*61% use social media every day; 84% of younger millennials use it every day

*Most used social media sites: 1.  Facebook (92%) 2. Instagram (28%) 3. Twitter (24%) 4. (All equal) Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ (18%)

*18% use social media sites as their most frequently used source of news (14% online papers; 6% print newspapers); many younger people use social media as their primary source of news

*Word of mouth is still the main influence on purchase decisions, followed by recommendations on social media (which has surpassed the influence of TV advertising)

*TV viewing, on any device, is the most preferred entertainment activity (62% rate it in top 3)

*Using the internet for social or personal interests is almost as popular as TV (60% rate it in top 3)

*Millennials prefer using the internet as their top source of entertainment; watching TV is the most popular with other generations

*Live programming is the most used method for consuming TV (42% of viewing time)

*Watching streamed programming is increasing (22% pay for a subscription)

*Millennials lead the uptake of streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto

*Almost everyone likes to binge-watch (74% millennials; 50% others)

* 88% multitask while watching TV

*66% own tablet devices

*86% of households own a smartphone and a laptop; 85% own a TV

*67% rank smartphones in their top 3 devices

*Social media apps are the most popular with millennials; banking apps are also popular with younger people; older people like weather apps!

*10% intend to buy a Virtual Reality headset next year

*21% own a fitness band and 11% own a smartwatch

*Millennials (age 14 to 32) lead the way in engaging with the digital media universe

 

Preferred entertainment activities of all respondents – including books!

  1. Watching TV (any device) 2. Using the internet 3. Listening to music (any device) 4. Going to the movies 5. Reading books 6. Playing video games 7. Attending live performances 8. Reading newspapers (print or online) 9. Listening to the radio (any device/format) 10. Reading magazines (print or online)

*Reading books (in any format) is rated by 25% of people as a top 3 entertainment activity

*Reading books (in any format) decreased in popularity by 8% compared to 2015, despite gains for the past 4 years.

*Reading books and playing video games are almost equal in popularity as a top 3 entertainment activity (25% for books; 24% for video games)

*Movie-going increased in popularity by 5% over the past year

*Aside from using the internet and watching TV, millennials also favour listening to music, going to the movies and playing video games

*Aside from watching TV and using the internet, boomers and matures also like reading newspapers and books

 

Good short video and infographic: http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/media-consumer-survey-2016.html

The report: http://bit.ly/2cV9Ml2

Summary: http://which-50.com/social-dominates-digital-reshapes-media-habits/

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

Great to see Canberra born and raised author Anna Snoekstra  release her debut novel – a psychological thriller set in Canberra! The film rights were sold to Universal Pictures and the script has been completed by Erin Wilson (who wrote the scripts for The girl on the train and Secretary). The book follows the disappearance of 16 year old Rebecca Winter and the impostor who claims to be the missing teen 11 years later. The story is told in alternating chapters by both characters. Snoekstra said Canberra was the “perfect fit” for the setting, but the film sets the story in Arizona. Her next novel – Dolls – is due out next year.

 

“Only Daughter is a true psychological thriller. It is not just a little bit scary, or a little bit creepy – it’s an exploration into the psychology of young women; it’s a murder mystery; and on top of that, it’s completely riveting. This novel plays with the stereotypes of crime fiction by giving a voice to both the young woman Rebecca who disappears, and the woman who willingly takes her place…..It’s safe to say you won’t see the end coming.” (Melanie Joosten)

Review: http://www.annasnoekstra.com/?page_id=79

 

Review: “One woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future”: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book/only-daughter/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BOW%2021th%20of%20September%20-%20Only%20Daughter&utm_content=BOW%2021th%20of%20September%20-%20Only%20Daughter+CID_f90fb0950a15e8e3a69f343e10b28939&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=READ%20MORE

 

From Bluebeard to Gone girl: why I’m proud to be part of the ‘domestic noir’ comeback by Anna Snoekstra. All those books about ‘burnt-out, middle-aged male detectives’ have been replaced by numerous titles with female protagonists.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/australia-books-blog/2016/sep/07/from-bluebeard-to-gone-girl-why-im-proud-to-be-part-of-the-domestic-noir-comeback?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

Interview in Canberra City News: http://issuu.com/citynews/docs/160818_citynews/7?e=1141122/37942558

http://citynews.com.au/2016/digital-edition-18-august/

 

http://www.annasnoekstra.com/

Good TV and films

Good things from the ABC and some good upcoming films…..

 

iView Arts channel

Art, fashion, books, film, photography, music….

http://iview.abc.net.au/channel/abcarts

 

iView Arts programs include:

 

Bookish

“A short-form digital complement to The Book Club – where books, reading culture and storytelling collide online”. Videos are 3 to 7 minutes.

http://iview.abc.net.au/collection/bookish-new-from-abc-arts

 

The Word

Poetry from writers and performers from diverse backgrounds. Videos are 3 to 10 minutes.

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/word/IV1609H012S00

 

Meet the mavericks

Featuring iconic artists, performers, thinkers, cultural leaders and all round troublemakers. It pairs guests from different generations and fields who have aspects of their work in common eg. Tim Minchin and Phillip Adams; Ben Quilty and Warwick Thornton.

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/meet-the-mavericks/AC1519H001S00

 

The critics

Examines screen culture from feature films to web series and video art. Videos are 10 minutes.

http://iview.abc.net.au/collection/the-critics

 

Anh’s brush with fame

8 part series from Wed 24 Aug on ABC. Comedian and artist Anh Do paints a portrait of a well-known person whilst getting to know them and learning about their life and formative years. The celebrities also share personal photos and videos. First up is Magda Szubanski, followed by Jimmy Barnes, Amanda Keller, Dr Charlie Teo, Kyle Sandilands, Craig McLachlan, Kate Ceberano and Anthony Mundine. Anh was a finalist in the 2014 Archibald Prize.

https://tv.press.abc.net.au/comedian-anh-do-paints-aussie-celebs-in-new-abc-series

 

ABC3 becomes ABC ME on 19 Sept

“The complete digital and broadcast service designed to reflect and celebrate the lives, interests and diversity of young Australians”. The channel is aimed at school-aged children and will have quality short and long form Australian and international content, with a new app that can be personalised. New programs include News to me (weekly pop culture review show); Prisoner zero (sci-fi action animation) and This is me (short documentary series). Returning programs include the acclaimed Nowhere boys, Little lunch and Behind the news. There will also be new strands that will allow children to share their ideas and opinions. ABC ME will be on Channel 23 free to air.

https://tv.press.abc.net.au/strictly-embargoed-media-release-abc3-becomes-abc-me

 

Good shows on the ABC for the remainder of the year…..

Man up – Looks at the disconnectedness of Australian men, mental health problems and suicide.

Jane Caro’s Compass series explores family relationships.

When TV was awesome – Short ABC archival gems get a comedy-mash-up makeover. Satirical, irreverent and shareable.

You can’t ask that – excellent insights into the lives of marginalised Australians who answer anonymous questions.

Looking forward to Upper middle bogan (series 3)….such a good show!

http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2016/08/abc-upcoming-highlights.html

 

Some good films….

 

Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children

Directed by Tim Burton. Based on the  bestselling dark fantasy/horror young adult novel by Ransom Riggs, which was illustrated with unusual vintage photos of children. Following  a family tragedy, 16 year old Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, leading him to an abandoned orphanage on an island, inhabited by a variety of children with unusual traits and powers. Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson. Rated PG. Opens Sept 2016.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1935859/

Book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9460487-miss-peregrine-s-home-for-peculiar-children

 

Pete’s dragon

The adventures of an orphaned boy who is rescued after an accident by a giant green dragon who lives in a forest. Remake of the 1977 film musical. Stars Bryce Dallas Howard , Oakes Fegley and Robert Redford. “The elemental friendship between boy and beast and a lovely affirmation of family, community, and the preciousness of the natural world” (Tobias). Out now.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2788732/

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/petes-dragon-2016

 

Fantastic beasts and where to find them

Prequel to the Harry Potter series, set in New York in 1926; the first in a film trilogy. Based on the book by J.K.Rowling/Newt Scamander (an approved textbook at Hogwarts). Follows the adventures of writer and introverted wizard Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. When Newt visits New York for a conference, a misplaced magical case leads to the escape of some fantastic beasts and an increase in violence, fear and tension between magical and non magical peoples. Directed by David Yates (who directed Harry Potter 5,6,7,and 8). Stars Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell. Opens 18 November.

http://moviepilot.com/p/fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-news-rumors-all-you-need-to-know/4076907

http://www.fantasticbeasts.com/

https://www.pottermore.com/fantastic-beasts

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3183660/

 

A monster calls

Based on the acclaimed book by Patrick Ness (a very moving, sad but wonderful story). An ancient yew tree helps a boy cope with his mother’s terminal illness and face the truth about an incident in his past. Stars Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson as the voice of the monster. The trailer looks excellent. Opens Jan 2017.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMgm20Di9Wg

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3416532/

RUOK? Day Thursday 8 Sept

RUOK? Day is tomorrow Thursday 8 September and World Suicide Prevention Day is on Sat 10 Sept. We have a display of mental health resources in the library. It’s a great day to check in with someone you care about – students, family, friends and colleagues. And it’s ok to say “No, I’m not ok”.

https://www.ruok.org.au/365-day-resources

Inspiring conversations and stories: https://www.ruok.org.au/stories

World Suicide Prevention Day: http://wspd.org.au/

 

Getting help

 Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 24hr crisis support on 13 11 14. Suicide prevention, crisis support and mental health services.

beyondblue  https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ Information about depression to consumers, carers and health professionals.

Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/  Information, self-tests and resources about mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

Headspace http://headspace.org.au/ Support, information and assistance for young people aged 12 to 25 years who are experiencing emotional or mental health issues and/or a substance use issue.

eheadspace  https://www.eheadspace.org.au/ A confidential, free and secure space where young people 12 – 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional.

Reachout http://au.reachout.com/ Support for tough times, wellbeing, toolbox.

e-couch https://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome  Self-help modules for depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, relationships, bereavement.

MoodGym https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome Learn cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression.

Kids Helpline https://kidshelpline.com.au/  24 hour telephone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Ph. 1800 55 1800.

Living is for Everyone (LIFE) http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/ Suicide and self-harm prevention resource, dedicated to providing the best available evidence and resources to guide activities aimed at reducing the rate at which people take their lives in Australia.

Mens Line Australia  https://www.mensline.org.au/  A telephone support, information and referral service for men. Ph. 1300 78 99 78.

Suicide Prevention Australia https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/   A public health advocate in suicide prevention.

Supportlink StandBy Response Service  https://www.supportlink.com.au/standby.aspxs  A community crisis response service for families, friends and associates who have been bereaved through suicide.

 

Living Is For Everyone (LIFE)

This Australian Government project is a suicide and self-harm prevention resource.

Excellent links, fact sheets and information: http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/

24 fact sheets:  http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/resources/individual-fact-sheets/

Brochure: Suicide – worried about someone?  http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/resources/suicide-worried-about-someone-brochure/

Excellent links to services for helplines, mental health, drugs and alcohol, youth, gender diversity, bereavement:  http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au/links/

 

Happy Book Week!

Literature quizzes

25 fun bookish quizzes: http://bookriot.com/2013/04/10/25-fun-bookish-quizzes/

http://www.triviaplaza.com/literature-general-quizzes/

http://www.funtrivia.com/quizzes/literature/

Great opening lines: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/30-great-opening-lines-in-literature/

53 best opening sentences: https://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahgalo/it-was-a-queer-sultry-summer?utm_term=.drxY61B0Y#.ldmRaDLjR

100 best closing lines: http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/the-best-100-closing-lines-from-books

 

Better Reading

Australia’s largest annual celebration  of books and reading, encouraging everyone to pick up a book and read.

The first Top 100 list was launched in 2015:

http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/better-reading-presents-australias-top-100-books/

Vote for your favourite book in 2016  and go in the draw to win Australia’s top 100 books. Entries close 31 Aug; top 100 announced 9 Sept. Titles can be fiction or non fiction from around the world.

Top 50 kids’ books: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/better-reading-presents-australias-top-50-kids-books/

 

Dymocks Top 101 2016

  1. The book thief 2. To kill a mockingbird 3. Pride and prejudice

https://www.dymocks.com.au/top-101?gclid=CP2-s6XO3M4CFQwnvQodv8gNiA

 

Miles Franklin Award announced 26 Aug

Australia’s most prestigious literary prize is awarded to “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases”.

http://theconversation.cmail2.com/t/ViewEmail/r/8D3A20714D85AF372540EF23F30FEDED/E047E5910EF91B07D8E2A916412CAE5B

Book lists and awards

Literary awards around the world – there are lots!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_awards

Reading suggestions and awards: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/

 

Goodreads

The world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations (owned by Amazon). Lists, quizzes, trivia, quotes…

https://www.goodreads.com/

Goodreads Choice Awards: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2015

 

New York Times Bestsellers

Truly madly deeply by Liane Moriarty at #4.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/

 

After something new to read? Try these…

 

All these perfect strangers by Aoife Clifford

Psychological thriller (Aust. author) with an unreliable narrator. Within 6 months of Pen starting university, three of her friends are dead and only Pen knows the reason why. “A novel of disquieting intimacy and controlled suspense” – Gary Disher.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27838280-all-these-perfect-strangers

 

Ancillary justice by Ann Leckie

Award-winning sci-fi novel, the first in a space opera trilogy. The only novel to win the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Breq is the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery. As the artificial consciousness of the starship, she seeks revenge on the ruler of her civilisation.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333324-ancillary-justice

 

The trap by Melanie Raabe

Psychological thriller. “I know who killed my sister. I wrote this book for him”. Twelve years after the murder, Linda sees her sister’s killer on TV as a well-known journalist. She sets a trap for him by writing a thriller about an unsolved murder of a young woman.

https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/the-trap

Go books and reading!

 

 

Robots and Education Today magazine

Education Today: the school principals’ magazine

You may have seen this interesting magazine in staffrooms. It comes out each term and is also available online and searchable back to 2007. The articles cover a broad range of current educational topics, are written in an engaging style and PDFs of articles are available for downloading and sharing. Education Today is owned and published by Minnis Journals (publisher: Bill Minnis) and is not aligned with any group. www.educationtoday.com.au

 

Interesting articles from Education Today (term 2 2016):

 

Digital technologies: beyond the panic – Damian Perry

The new AC Digital Technologies Curriculum will be in place in 2017, but will probably take 10 years to implement. It promotes the creation of solutions using technology, with students experimenting with algorithms and programming, exploring hardware, software, data and networks. Computational thinking is an essential component. It differs from the ICT General Capability, where students use software, access and evaluate information, consider issues of copyright and privacy, and collaborate and share. Money and time will be needed to train teachers in the new Digital Technologies Curriculum and students will be at vastly different skill levels.

There are some f=good links at the end of the article.

http://www.educationtoday.com.au/article/Digital-Technologies–1195

 

 

NAO robots enhance learning in South Australia

These humanoid robots have been used in 7 independent schools since early 2015, in the first major Australian study of how humanoid robots affect  learning and teaching in schools. They have been used with preschoolers to Yr 10 for Maths, Digital technologies, English and German. Using the robots has enhanced collaboration between students and teachers, unlocked innovative approaches to education, led to a rapid uptake of high level cognitive processes and quick adoption of coding language Python. The robots have proved to be a powerful way for teachers to embrace the new Digital Technologies Curriculum. Teachers and students love the robots because of the endearing way they behave. Deepest learning occurs when students play with the robots and discover things themselves. ANO robots have been used to diagnose autism and treat brin-injured patients – subjects often respond better to the robots than humans. NAOs are expensive though – $8000.

http://www.educationtoday.com.au/article/NAO-robots-enhance-learning-in-SA-1196

http://www.educationtoday.com.au/article/NAO-robots-get-to-work-in-classrooms-1197

Aust. distributor of NAO robots: http://www.brainaryinteractive.com/nao-robot/

 

Pretty sure you want a robot?

Here are 13 advanced humanoid robots for sale: Darwin Mini ($499), Hovis Eco Lite ($700), Robotis Op 2 ($9600)…..or maybe you’d prefer the Robothespian ($78 000) or perhaps the Asimo ($2.5 million)?

http://www.smashingrobotics.com/thirteen-advanced-humanoid-robots-for-sale-today/

Fearful of robots? Don’t worry…they have to follow the Three Laws:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

 

I’d love to be using my robotic vacuum cleaner this weekend (if I had one)…..