Interesting webcasts and ICT news

School Library Journal webcasts

Lots of good free archived webcasts here – Building a 21st century library; Hot new graphic novels coming soon; Pop literacy; Virtual reality and Augmented Reality….

You can also sign up for the following 3 webcasts in the Top Tech Trends Spring 2017 series (in association with ISTE) or access them later in the archives:

16 March: Information literacy in the age of fake news (now archived)
Critical thinking is more important than ever. Examines best practices for students to manage the digital firehose and considers perspective and bias.

20 April: 60 tools in 60 minutes
Explores the best applications and gear for your school or library, including must-have multimedia content, cool coding platforms, and top choices for your maker space.

18 May: Technology to aid the struggling reader
A resource-rich program with tips on how to leverage technology to help new and struggling readers. Learn about the best storytelling apps, digital sources of high-interest content for kids and teens, and more.

http://www.slj.com/category/webcasts/

 

Job hunting robots

Stephen Hawking , Elon Musk and Bill Gates are worried about our jobs.

Hawking: “The rise of Artificial Intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.”

Musk: “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better than a human.” A universal basic income would allow the economy to continue as millions of workers are displaced by automation.

Gates: Governments should start taxing robot workers.

Meanwhile, Uber has bought a self-driving truck company and Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, is testing a store with no employees. And you can get a coffee made by a robot barista in San Francisco’s Café X!

https://www.good.is/articles/automation-elon-musk-bill-gates-jobs?utm_source=thedailygood&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailygood

http://abc7news.com/technology/robot-baristas-serve-coffee-at-san-franciscos-cafe-x/1728812/

 

Preparing for the future of work

Lots of skills and attitudes here that we try to develop and encourage in our students!

People skills will continue to be in high demand – machines have no empathy and emotional intelligence (EI) plays a role in everything. Critical thinking will be crucial and creative thinkers will add value and new perspectives. Adaptability and insight will be more important than talent. Digital and media literacy and predicting trends will be paramount. Virtual collaboration skills will be essential to communicate with teams located elsewhere. Upsetting the status quo can be an asset!

https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-prepare-yourself-for-the-automated-future-107ed5bc763#.bnlw1a486

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s robot butler Jarvis

Each year Zuckerberg creates a personal challenge for himself. For 2016, he wanted to develop a simple Artificial Intelligence to run his home – “Jarvis” (like in Iron Man). It took 100 hours. You can’t see Jarvis but you can hear him (voiced by Morgan Freeman!) and he is great at assisting with tasks. Zuckerberg controlled Jarvis from smartphones placed around the house and often used text (a Facebook Messenger bot that he built) rather than voice. Is it the future?

Fun videos – including wife Priscilla’s experience: https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/20/watch-mark-zuckerbergs-morgan-freeman-voiced-jarvis-ai-in-action/

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/innovation/mark-zuckerberg-shows-off-jarvis-ai-he-built-to-run-his-home-20161220-gtfgfq.html

His 2017 challenge – meeting and talking with someone from every state of the US: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10103385178272401

 

70+ educational  iPad apps for the classroom

Useful categories: presentations, screencasting, video and audio creation, book creation, file storage, whiteboard, notetaking, mindmapping, speech to text…

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2017/01/70-educational-ipad-apps-for-teachers.html

 

Apple Park

The new Apple headquarters (aka the “spaceship”) opens soon in Cupertino, California, with 12 000 employees moving in from April. It will be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world – run entirely on renewable energy and with walking & running paths for employees, an orchard, meadow and pond. Product launches will take place in the Steve Jobs Theatre on a hill.

http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/apple/52-facts-about-apples-spaceship-campus-february-drone-video-3489704/

What’s new in ICT, popular culture, media and education?

Some interesting developments – artificial intelligence, robots taking our jobs, disengaged students, Generation Alpha, words of the year, great new films, TV and books….

Previous presentations about What’s New can also be found here.

http://dckclib.wikispaces.com/Technology%2C+media+%26+popular+culture+updates

 

 

Good films and TV

Some good films and TV shows coming up – useful for various curriculum areas…

 

Jasper Jones

Based on the acclaimed novel by Craig Silvey. Directed by indigenous director Rachel Perkins; screenplay by Craig Silvey. Stars Levi Miller, Aaron McGrath, Toni Collette. A young boy and his friend try to solve the mysterious death of a young girl in their country town. Opens 2 March.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/jasper-jones-is-a-classic-in-the-making/news-story/4aac912ce1d385d382591e9de55ee9c6

Review: https://dailyreview.com.au/jasper-jones-movie-review/55573/

 

Wake in fright

Based on the book by Kenneth Cook. 2 part series to be directed by Kriv Stenders – a remake of the cult 1971 film, reimagined for new viewers. A young schoolteacher finds himself marooned in a small mining town where a dangerous series of events render him a broken and desperate man.

http://if.com.au/2016/09/08/article/Network-Ten-orders-Wake-In-Fright-mini-series/JJCSEPFVAR.html

 

Picnic at Hanging Rock

6 part adaptation based on the novel by Joan Lindsay. Cast: Natalie Dormer, Yael Stone, Samara Weaving. Still set in 1900, the story will give new forms to the iconic characters.

https://www.foxtel.com.au/got/whats-on/foxtel-insider/foxtel/picnic-at-hanging-rock/cast.html

 

ABC shows in 2017

Lots of great upcoming programs relevant to the curriculum: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2016/11/2017-upfronts-abc-highlights.html

 

ABC programs include:

 

Blue water empire

3 part series. Stars Jack Thompson, Damian Walshe-Howling and Aaron Fa’aoso. Combines drama with archival footage, digital effects and key interviews, to explore how Torres Strait Islanders have sustained their cultural heritage throughout the impact of 200 years of European settlement. The series starts in traditional times, through to the arrival of missionaries, pearling and WW2, to contemporary history and politics, resistance and racism.

http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2016/07/filming-to-begin-on-abc-docudrama-blue-water-empire.html

 

The warriors

Two young indigenous football players from the country are chosen to play in the big league in Melbourne, where their lives are turned upside down.

 

Bullied presented by Ian Thorpe and Cyberhate with Tara Moss

Airs as part of National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence Fri 17 March. Ian Thorpe helps schoolchildren handle real-life situations and provides mentorship for victims and perpetrators. Tara Moss investigates the effects of cyberhate.

 

My Year 12 life

14 students were given cameras to document their lives during Year 12 in 2016.

 

Cleverman

Series 2. Stars Hunter Lochard-Page. Inspired by Aboriginal Dreaming stories and superheroes from pop culture. Set in a futuristic Australia, the newly emerged hero seeks to harness his power and protect others, fighting injustice to the Hairies.

 

Davis Stratton’s stories of Australian cinema

3 parts. Charts the story of Australian cinema and its creators, via David’s personal reflections and interviews.

 

Art bites

New series of arts docos. Includes Shock art, The glass bedroom (Instagram artists), The wanderers (street artists).

 

Returning ABC shows

Anh’s brush with fame, Glitch, Cleverman, Stop laughing this is serious, You can’t ask that

 

iView, ABC News

All ABC channels are live streamed on iView. The ABC will double its commitment to digital-first content, with more than 200 hours made especially for iView. ABC News 24 is now ABC News.

 

The Oscars

Ceremony 26 Feb. There are some good films for various curriculum areas.

All nominees: http://oscar.go.com/nominees

 

Best picture nominees include:

 

Lion

Based on the book A long way home by Saroo Brierley. Directed by Garth Davies. Stars Dev Patel. Amazing and very moving biographical story of Saroo Brierley, who tries to find his birth family in India. Rated PG.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3741834/

 

Hidden figures

Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly. Directed by Theodore Melfi. Stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. True story about a team of African-American women mathematicians who played a vital role at NASA in the early years of the space program. Great for STEM, civil rights, sociology and gender studies. Rated PG.

Review: https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2017/feb/21/why-hidden-figures-should-win-the-best-picture-oscar

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/

 

Hacksaw Ridge

Directed by Mel Gibson. Stars Andrew Garfield. The true story of pacifist medic Desmond Doss, who was the only frontline American soldier in WW2  who did not carry a gun. Rated MA15+.

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

 

Arrival

Based on the novella Story of your life by Ted Chiang. Directed by  Denis Villeneuve. Stars Amy Adams. Thought-provoking, philosophical and enigmatic sci-fi that deals with time and how we perceive it. A linguist communicates with alien arrivals and makes decisions that will affect her life and those around her. If you knew the future, would you change it? Rated M.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543164/

Review: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/arrival-review-dazzling-science-fiction-that-will-leave-you-spee/

 

La La land

Directed by Damien Chazelle. Stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Sweet and poignant musical about an actress and a musician who fall in love and chase their dreams. Rated M.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958/

 

Moonlight

Directed by Barry Jenkins. Stars Trevante Rhodes. Coming-of-age story of a young black man’s struggle to find himself whilst growing up in Miami – a timeless story of self-discovery and connection. Rated M.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/19/moonlight-review-five-star

 

Best animated film nominees

Kubo and the two strings; Moana; My life as a zucchini; The red turtle; Zootopia.

 

Foreign language film nominations

Includes Australia’s first nomination in this category for Tanna. Set in Vanuatu, a young couple’s plan to wed is thwarted by rival chiefs. Also includes A man called Ove (Sweden).

http://oscar.go.com/news/nominations/foreign-language-film-nominations-2017-oscars

 

Something for everyone!

Words of the Year and Google Translate

Interesting words and their reflection of society…..

 

Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year

Announced 25 January. The Committee’s Choice for 2016 Word of the Year is fake news. Honourable mentions go to enby and halal snack pack.

People’s Choice: Halal snack pack.

Fake news – disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes or to drive web traffic, with the incorrect information being passed along by social media.

Halal snack pack – hot chips, grated cheese, halal kebab meat, garlic sauce, bbq sauce and chilli sauce.

Enby – a person who identifies as neither male nor female.

Shortlist category winners: youlk; racebending; standing desk; shoefiti; fatberg; greige; rumbler alarm; patient navigator; filter bubble; alt-right; enby; bubble soccer; plyscraper.

Winners and finalists with definitions: https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/resources/view/word/of/the/year/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-25/fake-news-named-2016-word-of-the-year/8211056

 

Other Words of the Year 2016

 

Oxford Dictionaries (UK and US)

Post-truth  – relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Other popular words: alt-right, glass cliff, hygge (Danish cosiness), chatbot (computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users), adulting (behaving like a responsible adult).

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-the-year/word-of-the-year-2016

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/15/post-truth-named-word-of-the-year-by-oxford-dictionaries

 

Collins Dictionary

Brexit – withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Other popular words: hygge, mic drop, Trumpism, throw shade, sharenting (sharing your kids’ photos on social media), snowflake generation, dude food, Uberization, JOMO (joy of missing out).

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/word-lovers-blog/new/top-10-collins-words-of-the-year-2016,323,HCB.html

 

American Dialect Society

Dumpster fire – an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation. Other popular words: normalize, post-truth, woke (socially aware). Emoji of the Year: fire (exciting). Digital Word of the Year: @ (replying on Twitter).

http://www.americandialect.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-Word-of-the-Year-PRESS-RELEASE.pdf

 

Merriam-Webster

Surreal – marked by the intense irrationality of a dream. Other popular words: icon, deplorable, feckless, revenant.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/woty2016-top-looked-up-words-surreal

 

Global Language Monitor

Tracks global trends through Big Data analysis of Global English, with over 1.83 billion speakers. Number of words in the English language (1 Jan 2016 estimate): 1 035 877. Most understood word of the English language – OK. Top 40 words for the first 15 years of the 21st century and what they portend: 1. Web/internet 2. China 3. Selfie 4. 404 (internet failure) 5. 9/11

http://www.languagemonitor.com/trending-words/top-words-for-the-first-15-years-of-the-21st-century-the-trends-they-portend/

 

Google Translate

Google Translate now uses Neural Machine Translation Artificial Intelligence for translation tasks. This works on entire sentences at once, giving more context to work out the best translation. It is used for 8 of the most common language pairs and results in more natural translations with better syntax. Now 10 years old, Google Translate supports 103 languages and translates over 140 billion words every day. It also continues to rely on Translate Community, where speakers contribute and review translations.

https://translate.google.com.au/

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2114748-google-translate-ai-invents-its-own-language-to-translate-with/

https://blog.google/products/translate/found-translation-more-accurate-fluent-sentences-google-translate/

 

Vocabulary.com

Free fun way to learn over 13 000 words effectively – suitable for Grade 5 onwards. A games approach personalises learning experiences, asking questions to increase vocabulary. The online dictionary used is very user-friendly and easy to understand. Vocabulary lists are easily created and can be shared. Educator Edition also available. Available on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

https://www.vocabulary.com/

https://www.vocabulary.com/howitworks/

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/