Best TEDTalks 2011; Google 2011; Best of iTunes & App Store 2011

Some trivia and “best of” lists for the end of year and some inspirational videos for the holidays…

TEDTalks – 18 great ideas from 2011 that can help shape 2012
TED and the Huffington Post countdown 18 of the most powerful TEDTALK videos of 2011, with ideas that can help shape the world in 2012. Includes Less stuff, more happiness; Pay attention to nonviolence; The power of vulnerability and Google’s driverless car – still uses petrol though.

The 10 best TEDTalks of 2011 (according to ReadWriteWeb)
Includes How to spot a liar; How I became 100 artists and Try something new for 30 days.

Google’s top Australian searches for 2011
No real surprises. The top overall searches were for Facebook and YouTube. Jackie Chan was in the top 10 celebrities and red velvet cupcakes was the top food search. The most popular “What is?” search was What is love? The most popular travel destination was Hamilton Island; there were more searches for AFL than NRL and there were more searches for Toyota than Holden.

Google Zeitgeist 2011
3 minute video of the world in 2011 & other links:

Best of the iTunes & App store 2011
Apple Australia have released the best of the iTunes and App Store for 2011 – the bestsellers and also their top editorial choices.

Apps: Their top choices were Instagram (photosharing app for iPhone) and Snapseed (photo editing app for iPad) but the most popular free apps were Facebook, Viber and Words with friends. Angry birds was the top selling game. They liked Tiny wings and Real racing 2HD.

Music: Bestselling song was Party rock anthem by LMFAO. Bestselling albums were 21 by Adele and Making mirrors by Gotye.

TV shows: They liked Game of thrones & The slap; bestsellers were True blood & The big bang theory.

Movies: Bestsellers were Harry Potter & the deathly hallows Pt 2 and Inception.

Books: They liked Caleb’s crossing by Geraldine Brooks and kids’ book What body part is that? by Andy Griffiths. The top 5 bestsellers (bar one) were all by George R.R. Martin – A Game of thrones series. #3 went to Something borrowed by Emily Griffin. And the bestselling non fiction title was Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs.

Log in to your iTunes account & visit the App store to see the full Rewind 2011 list.

Results for iTunes USA:

iPads in education

2 good sites, especially for teachers:

Info about getting iPads to project interactively:
An iPad will display all through a projector (or via an Apple TV) to a screen or IWB. You (currently) cannot operate the iPad interactively from the IWB because:
To make a computer interact with an IWB you load a set of drivers on your computers which makes the connection. At present no IWB manufacturer has drivers for an iPad. Also required is a physical connection through a USB cable which the iPad also does not have.
However, in the (near??) future this would be possible if the IWB manufacturer wrote a set of iPad drivers which allowed a connection either wirelessly or via bluetooth. This is not beyond the realms of current technology. First IWB company to do so is on a winner.

YouTube for Schools

YouTube for Schools
If your school doesn’t allow open access to YouTube, your school can now sign up for YouTube for Schools, announced on 11 Dec.

YouTube for Schools filters YouTube videos and only allows access to the thousands of educational videos from YouTube EDU, from groups such as TED, PBS, Khan Academy, Numberphile, various universities etc. Teachers can log in and watch any video, but students can only watch YouTube EDU videos (plus any videos their school has added). All video comments and related video suggestions are disabled. Teachers can create playlists – many are available at

YouTube stats….
Over 3 billion videos are viewed a day.
48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day.
70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US.
It’s strange when you think back to a time when we didn’t have access to all these online videos…and how cool are cat videos?

ALA Best free reference websites 2011

ALA Best free reference websites 2011

Their 13th annual list – completed in June 2011. A bit of a US focus but includes some excellent sites:

 Morguefile  Strange name but a great resource. Free images to use, even in commercial work. Remix and reuse, even without attribution!

Public Library of Science   Science and medicine research. All articles are open access.  Pros and cons of controversial issues. A great resource from an independent, non-profit group. Has a US focus but still very worthwhile. Has a Teachers’ Corner and includes a Readers’ Comments tab for each issue.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  Evolves with new research and refereed contributions from experts.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  The International Union for Conservation of Nature provides this world standard database of threatened plants and animals.

OpenLibrary  An open, editable library catalogue building towards a web page for every book ever published. Many titles can be borrowed as ebooks.

 Other ALA best websites for 2011 include Google Translate, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Wikileaks, WolframAlpha & Worldometers.

Previous lists back to 1999:

 ALA recommended websites page

Highlights various lists produced by ALA. Good resources.

 ALA great websites for kids

Listed in categories – Arts, Animals, Literature & languages, Sciences, Reference desk, History & biography, Maths, Social sciences.

 AASL Top 25 websites for teaching and learning 2011

These free sites “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration”. Includes Zooburst, PicLits, Kerpoof, Myths and legends, Dipity, iEARN, Khan Academy, Geocube….

Their 2010 list: