TED-Ed and The scale of the universe

Be inspired by the scale of things in our universe……you are but a speck…This is awesome (you might have seen the first one from 2010).

The scale of the universe 2 (2012) by Cary & Michael Huang
An interactive tool – use the scroll bar to zoom in on the smallest things in the universe (like quantum foam) & then zoom out to the edge of the universe. Compare the scale of things along the way. Click on each picture for more info.
Or watch it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaGEjrADGPA
The scale of the universe 1 (2010)

TED-Ed YouTube Channel: Lessons worth sharing
Launched 8 March. The channel will be a collection of short animated talks explaining various concepts (3 – 10 min; no talking heads). 12 animated videos are currently available & will be added to daily. From April, teachers can submit their best lessons (or suggest one) which will then be animated & existing TED content will also be remade.

The 2012 TED Prize winner: The City 2.0
This could be useful for Geography/SOSE/Design/Architecture classes. This year’s winner was awarded to a concept rather than an individual. People are encouraged to submit their ideas to The City 2.0 & “Dream me, build me, make me real”. The TED Prize will “create a platform to allow citizens anywhere to participate in the creation of their City 2.0. The platform will excite, connect and empower individuals and communities around the world through editorial content (video and text), a shareable project database, tools for local connection, and resources for executing ideas. The result will be an ever-expanding network of citizen-led experiments, with the ability to scale successes and learn lessons from failures”.

Encyclopaedia Britannica now available only online
After 244 years in print, Encyclopaedia Britannica will no longer publish its 32-volume book sets.
A new version is usually printed every two years, but the company has announced the 2010 set will be the last.
The online version has many more links & articles than the book edition and is available free online via eResources at the Libraries ACT website: http://wfxsearch.webfeat.org/wfsearch/menu?cid=10228 (you need a card & PIN).


iPad news

A review of the “new iPad” unveiled hours ago…….no, it wasn’t named iPad3…..CEO Tim Cook said more iPads were sold in the last quarter of 2011 than all global PC sales combined for that quarter…..the future is mobile.


Have a look at this intriguing 1 minute video of what could be possible….well maybe for the iPad6….(computer graphics by AatmaStudio) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s2oYUy_cVY

Or their idea for the iPhone5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzsBwnv_dAg

If you are looking for some worthwhile educational apps for iPads, here is a useful iPad wiki by Kel Hathaway (Apple Distinguished Educator; Catholic Ed. Office, Canberra). The apps are in various categories with prices (ongoing list – all are tested).

http://ipadcentral.wikispaces.com     Apps include these & others:

Top picks:  http://ipadcentral.wikispaces.com/Apps+-++Top+Picks

Free apps – good quality with educational value:  http://ipadcentral.wikispaces.com/Apps+-++For+Free

Animation apps: http://ipadcentral.wikispaces.com/Apps+-+Animation

Kel’s Scoopit collects informative sites about iPads in education. Heaps of info!    http://www.scoop.it/t/all-things-ipad

 The official Apple link to iPads in education: http://www.apple.com/education/ipad/

 iTunes U – a great source of free info:

Download the iTunes U app to get access to  over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects. Hundreds of universities, colleges, and K-12 schools provide free content. More info: http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/

 Here are some useful educational web tools collected by Kel Hathaway:       http://delicious.com/cgceo

Horizon Report 2012 & 10 mega-trends for learning

Some people asked for the websites on my Mod Day presentation – What’s new in ICT, Media & Popular Culture? Here is the link to the Powerpoint. I hope the info is useful.


 Corning Glass released their first video in Feb 2011 about the future of glass technologies in ICT, education, work & life and how glass will help shape our world. It’s had over 18 million views:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38

 A day made of glass 2 (Feb 2012)

5 min. video of Corning Glass’ expanded vision for the future of glass technologies in ICT, education, work & life and how glass will help shape our world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkHpNnXLB0

Info about the glass technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-GXO_urMow

 Horizon Reports

The Horizon Reports are issued annually by the New Media Consortium. They identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on global education. 

10 mega-trends impacting learning: Horizon Project 10th Anniversary Report (coming soon)
1. The world of work is increasingly global & increasingly collaborative.
2. People expect to work, learn, socialize & play whenever and wherever they want to.
3. The internet is becoming a global mobile network.

4. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based & delivered over utility networks, facilitating the rapid growth of online videos & rich media.
5. Openness – concepts such as open content, open data & open resources, along with notions of transparency & easy access to data & information – is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world.
6. Legal notions of ownership & privacy lag behind the practices common in society.
7. Real challenges of access, efficiency & scale are redefining what we mean by quality & success.
8. The internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning & education, while refining our notion of literacy.
9. There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities & training.
10. Business models across the education ecosystem are changing.
http://www.nmc.org/ & Judy O’Connell

Just released: The Horizon Report 2012 – Higher Education


The K-12 edition will be available later in the year.  

Key trends:
1. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
2. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured.
4. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
5. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
6. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.

The areas of emerging technology to watch :
Time to adoption: One Year or Less

Mobile Apps
Tablet Computing

Time to adoption: Two to Three Years

Game-based Learning
Learning Analytics

Time to adoption: Four to Five Years

Gesture-based Computing
Internet of Things (all kinds of devices will be connected to the internet to receive/generate info)

The Numberlys – iPad book app

Moonbot Studios (started in Shreveport, Louisiana in 2010) created the Oscar winning short film The fantastic flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore.  Moonbot’s philosophy is “to develop stories as books, interactive applications & games with a compelling emotional narrative and exciting visual aesthetics”.

The fantastic flying books… short film is now available in iTunes ($2.99)

The iPad book app preview:  http://vimeo.com/25833596 ($4.99 in the App Store)

Print version of the story coming soon.


In January they released their new app ($6.49): The Numberlys – “not quite a movie, not quite a book & not quite a game. It is set in a black-and-white world inspired in part by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, where only numbers exist – until five little guys decide to create the alphabet by transforming numbers into letters. To do this they jump on them, spin them, smash them and pull them apart using various tools. The reader/player has to help them.” (LA Times blog 14/1/12)

The Numberlys app preview : http://vimeo.com/31565551

Review: http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Board=news&Number=42048


Moonbot Studios on Vimeo (sample pages, clips, teasers):    http://vimeo.com/moonbot


Moonbot Studios blog: New pictures, news, Oscars celebrations: http://moonbotstudios.blogspot.com.au/


Looking forward to more Moonbot creations!

National Year of Reading 2012



National Year of Reading: Love2Read


PM Julia Gillard launched the National Year of Reading on 14 February in Canberra and celebrations were held around Australia. You will see the Love2Read logo in many places during the year. Special events & many reading links are listed on the website as well as prominent ambassadors for reading such as Anh Do, Anita Heiss, Bryce Courtenay & Graham Base You can also join the Twitter feed and Facebook page.


Looking for a top book to read? Try the shortlist of nominated “best books” for each state which have been selected as excellent portraits of the Australian experience – remote, regional, suburban and metropolitan.


The 8 winning titles include Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, Well done those men by Barry Heard, Listening to country by Ros Moriarty, Smoke and mirrors by Kel Robertson (ACT). Winners: http://www.love2read.org.au/our-story.cfm


Happy: secrets to happiness from the cultures of the world (new Lonely Planet book – should arrive in DC Library in a week or so)




Looks at 55 inspirational practices, festivals and traditions around the world, exploring happiness through the themes of mind, body and spirit. Includes lessons on love, acceptance, achievement, wealth, work, generosity, family compromise, and death. Some examples – could be useful for Happy Hour discussions:

  • Proritise mental wellbeing over financial success: In Bhutan, happiness is more important than the country’s wealth. GNH = Gross National Happiness.
  • Free yourself from self-induced, self-limiting inhibitions: Karaoke like the Japanese!
  • Consider your words before someone takes them to heart: Next time you are angry, count to 3 & think of a gentler way of speaking.
  • Draw on humour & new experiences to get on with your life: An ironic, philosophical perspective can help.
  • Rid yourself of physical & mental clutter & get your life back under control: Sweep away the junk at home, work & in your relationships.
  • Exercise to produce endorphins & get a physical & mental workout: Your brain & body will get a boost.
  • Connect your whole being – mind, body & breath: Use your breath to control mind & body – as in yoga.
  • Allow yourself to luxuriate: Massages, baths, nice meals, sleep-ins…
  • Express yourself physically: Dance without a care or play sport.
  • Dress up to create beauty where you see none: Here’s where the 50 pairs of shoes comes in 🙂
  • Find the ultimate contentment in friends & family: Simple get-togethers & socialising.
  • Enjoy life now because you never know what’s ahead: Do something for yourself every day.
  • Moderate your life & be flexible: Consider which elements of your life may be out of balance & change them.
  • Release your inner child & play: Water fights!
  • Realise your interconnectedness with others: The African concept of “Ubuntu” (“I am only a person through other people”) recognises that no human exists in isolation. Everything one does affects others & the welfare of each is dependent upon the welfare of all. Cultivate empathy.

Great films

The fantastic flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Nominated this year at the Academy Awards: Best Animated Short Film…..an entrancing wordless film about “people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favour….a poignant humorous allegory about the curative powers of story”. Award-winning illustrator William Joyce used miniatures, computer animation & 2D animation.



Academy Awards


The Academy Awards take place 26 Feb. The list of 9 films nominated as Best Picture has some good films for Fiction to Film courses, Children’s Lit and other social issues courses:


The Artist – Silent film; the relationship between an older silent film star & a rising young actress as talkies take over.

The Descendants – Family issues & land rights issues vs big business in Hawaii.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer. Directed by Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot; The hours; The reader – all nominated for Best Director or Best Picture). A boy loses his father in 9/11 and discovers a key in a vase that inspires him to search New York for information, meeting many people along the way.

The Help – Based on the Book by Kathryn Stockett. A young female journalist decides to write a controversial book from the point of view of black maids who worked for white families in 1960s USA.

Hugo – Based on the book The invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Directed by Martin Scorsese. A boy living alone in a Paris station tries to repair a broken mechanical man.

Midnight in Paris – Written & directed by Woody Allen. A writer travels back in time to 1920s Paris and meets artists & authors of the day.

Moneyball – Biographical drama. A manager of a baseball team uses a non-traditional approach to assemble a competitive team.

The Tree of Life – Examines the origins & meaning of life using a man’s childhood memories mixed with imagery of the origins of the universe & life on Earth.

War Horse – Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo & the stage play – a moral epic that exposes the madness of war. A young man joins the army after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry in WW1; the extraordinary life of the horse is depicted as he moves through the war.

Brief summary of each film with photo:       http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16703165


At the movies with David & Margaret

Top 100 films from 2011: Viewers’ Choice Poll


Here are the first 10:

1.       Black swan  2. Midnight in Paris  3. True grit  4. Red dog  5. The guard  6. Drive  7. Harry Potter & the deathly hallows (Pt 2)  8. The tree of life  9. The ides of March  10. Bridesmaids


Some interesting upcoming films:

Chronicle: (in cinemas now). Three high school students get superpowers and have a lot of fun, until one starts to misuse his powers. Excellent for 15yrs + spec fiction.

World War Z: Directed by Marc Forster; stars Brad Pitt (not as a zombie I hope). Based on the book by Max Brooks (son of Mel). An employee of the U.N. travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly zombie pandemic.

The Lorax: 3D film based on the environmentally-themed book by Dr Seuss; release date March. Voice of Danny DeVito as the Lorax.

Les Mis (release date Dec 2012): Film adaptation of the amazing musical. Stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe & Anne Hathaway. Can’t wait! http://www.lesmis.com/news/article/an_update_on_the_les_mis_film_for_2012

Freddie Mercury biopic: Will probably start filming this year, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie. Awesome! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11340336

One for the money: For fans of the Janet Evanovich books! The first film about Stephanie Plum the bail enforcement agent; starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara & Debbie Reynolds(as Grandma). Out soon!

The Dark Knight rises: Directed by Christopher Nolan. Set 8 years after the events of the previous film. Former hero Batman returns to battle a terrorist.

And of course the highly anticipated 2 films The Hobbit (to be released Dec 2012 & 2013). Directed by Peter Jackson; stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Also includes LOTR stars Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving. Already I feel like a second breakfast!

Words of the Year

6 February 2012
Some English language trivia: Words of the Year
Macquarie Dictionary announces Word of the Year 2011 (1 Feb 2012) http://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/anonymous@9c9FFD77472929/-/p/dict/WOTY11/index.html
And the winner is… burqini – chosen from the new words selected for inclusion in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online. Judges include poet Les Murray and David Astle (the Dictionary Guy on SBS’s Letters and Numbers).
Burqini – noun; a swimsuit designed for Muslim women, comprising leggings and a tunic top with a hood. [Trademark; BURQ(A) + (BIK)INI]
“Burqini seemed to be a very cute and successful coinage and what lay behind it was a fusion of culture, in an area of life which is so Australian… life on the beach.” – Susan Butler, Editor of Macquarie Dictionary.

Honourable mentions to:
patchwork economy – an economy characterised by areas of growth reflecting regions which are booming, and areas of decline reflecting regions which are less prosperous.
dairyness – the productivity of a cow in terms of the quality and quantity of its milk, assessed by udder shape and size, pedigree, genomic screening, etc.; used as a judging criterion in competitions.
announceable – noun; an item made public by the government, usually in a media release, as good publicity for the government or as a distraction from bad publicity.

Category winners:
• Agriculture – dairyness
• Arts – beatboxing (hip-hop vocalisation that mimics a drum machine)
• Business – patchwork economy
• Colloquial – devo (short for devastated eg I was completely devo about the team’s loss)
• Communications – disaster porn (repeated coverage of disasters)
• Crops – superfruit (a fruit with exceptional qualities eg antioxidants)
• Environment – fracking (see below)
• Fashion – burqini
• Eating and Drinking – food porn (food presented in a visually stimulating way; or high fat food)
• General Interest – photobomb (to upstage the subject of a photo by appearing in it in a distracting way)• Health – food coma (lethargy from eating a large amount)
• Internet – planking (to lay out flat somewhere & then post the photo on the web)
• Politics – soy cap intelligentsia (comfortable middle class people with left-wing views that don’t affect their own lives)
• Social Interest – party house (a chosen venue for a party, with no constraints such as parents)
• Sport – stair climb (a race up the stairs of a skyscraper)
• Technology – jailbreak (to remove the restrictions that Apple places on their devices, in order to download apps from places other than the Apple store)

The Macquarie Dictionary People’s Choice Award
The clear winner was … fracking – noun; in oil and gas mining, a process by which fractures are made in rock by the application under pressure of chemically treated water mixed with sand to natural or man-made openings, in order to gain access to oil or gas supplies, considered by some to be associated with groundwater contamination; shortened form of fracturing.

American Dialect Society Word of the Year 2011 http://www.americandialect.org/occupy-is-the-2011-word-of-the-year
Winner: Occupy (verb, noun) – referring to the Occupy protest movement in many major cities. Also considered was FOMO – acronym for “Fear of Missing Out,” describing anxiety over being inundated by information on social media. Most creative? Mellencamp – a woman who has aged out of being a “cougar” (after John Cougar Mellencamp)!!

Global Language Monitor’s 12th Annual Survey of Global English (6 Dec 2011) http://www.languagemonitor.com/global-english/top-words-of-2011/GLM conducts an annual global statistical survey of the English language via the monitoring of print & electronic media, including social media. Top word = Occupy; Top phrase = Arab Spring; Top name = Steve Jobs. Occupy was followed by deficit, fracking, drone, and non-veg.

Merrriam-Webster Word of the Year 2011 http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/2011words.htm
These were the most commonly searched words in 2011 in their online dictionary. 1. pragmatic 2. ambivalence 3. insidious 4. didactic 5. austerity 6. diversity 7. capitalism 8. socialism 9. vitriol 10. après moi le deluge