Reconciliation Week 27 May – 6 June 2012

Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June: Let’s talk recognition
A great chance to celebrate, appreciate and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. 
National Indigenous Youth Parliament
The first National Indigenous Youth Parliament is on this week in Canberra and Steph Pollard (year 12) has been chosen as an ACT representative, along with 50 participants from all around Australia. The program develops youth-led advocacy & community leadership and includes debating bills written by teams. It marks the 50th anniversary  of the Indigenous right to vote in federal elections.
NAIDOC & Reconciliation Week Assembly 18 June
Guest performer is Owen Campbell, a local indigenous singer and guitarist who has reached the semi-finals of Australia’s got talent. The assembly falls 2 weeks before NAIDOC Week and after Reconciliation Week so it’s a celebration of both.
Info, resources & news about reconciliation
Animated video for Reconciliation Week (1 min.):
Online video competition: Shoot a 45 second video on a handheld device & win an ipad or lunch with chef Mark Olive. Choosea key action for reconciliation such as Change the future, Praise people, Look through different eyes… Entries close 21 June.
NAIDOC Week 1 – 8 July
This year’s theme is Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on.

The Sapphires film gets standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival
Based on the play by Tony Briggs, the true story of an all-girl singing group from a remote Aboriginal community in Victoria who play for Australian troops in Vietnam. The feel-good musical comedy stars Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and Deborah Mailman; directed by Wayne Blair.
Mabo: Sunday 10 June ABC1, 8.30pm
Docudrama – the story of Eddie Koiki Mabo and his fight for justice and Native Title. Directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae; Radiance; The first Australians). Stars Jimi Bani & Deborah Mailman.
The ABC website has good resources including teacher notes and activities for Years 7-12. Includes videos from the 480:Mabo series which celebrates 20 years since the Mabo decision.
Timeline of Native Title with short videos:
Amnesty International 2012 human rights report
Amnesty says that Australia continues to violate the rights of Indigenous people, and is driving them from their homelands through policies & inadequate funding.

Amnesty and Indigenous rights
In March, the Commonwealth Government committed long-term funds to support Homelands, but more is needed. Homelands are communities established so that Aboriginal people can maintain connection with their traditional, ancestral land. These communities have lower levels of social problems and significantly better health outcomes, and are home to around a third of the Aboriginal population of the Northern Territory.

Facebook; tablets; apps

21 May 2012
Facebook – now valued at $US104 billion
18/5/12: Shares were offered at $US38 each. The 8 year old company is now worth more than Amazon, Disney or McDonalds. Google is worth $200 billion, Apple $496 billion & Microsoft $246 billion. The sale of shares means more money to operate the data centres that hold all the status updates, photos etc shared by Facebook’s 900 million users.
And he just got married too!

Zuckerberg the musical
Watch this 4 min. musical tribute to Zucks and the 8 year history of FB, using great showtunes!
Interesting milestones in Facebook’s history….. was the best thing the “like” button?!

Why we like to brag on Facebook and Twitter
Harvard neuroscientists monitored brain activity using MRI and found that self-disclosure heightens brain activity in regions associated with reward and pleasure. People were even willing to forgo money to talk about themselves.,0,7870124.story

Tablets will rule the future personal computing landscape
Forrester Report 23/4/12: By 2016, they expect global tablet sales to reach 375 million units, compared to 56 million sales in 2011, with around 760 million tablets in use worldwide in 2016 (people keep tablets for around 3 years). The iPad will dominate. Tablets will be the conductor for PCs, devices and personal cloud services at work and at home. Analyst Frank Gillett attributes the growth in tablets to a longer battery life, easy information consumption and their ease of use for sharing and working in groups – all great reasons for schools to implement and support iPads! More content-creation apps will arrive, using gestures and voice input. However, Gillett says there will always be a place for powerful PCs with large displays – and some people will always prefer them.
Apps and mobile devices
Australians love their apps and mobile devices and have downloaded one billion apps since they became available in 2008: 700 million for iPhones; 64 million for iPads; 230 million for Androids. In March 2012, Australians downloaded 66 million apps – making us 5th in the world (per person) – behind Korea, Sweden, UK and Denmark. More than half of all Austns have a smartphone. More proof that schools need to support mobile technologies and BYOT!

Google’s Knowledge Graph and cloud storage

18 May 2012
The secrets of the superbrands 3 part series (ABC1 Thurs 9.30pm) looks good. This week’s was on Technology.

Google’s Knowledge Graph
This is rolling out to from 16 May with various places getting it gradually.
Google is building a Knowledge Graph from all the searches that are sent to Google. It is a huge collection of people, places and things and how they are connected to one another. Watch the short video to see how Google is changing from an information engine to a knowledge engine. It will try to determine the exact result you require – the semantic web (eg. Mercury the planet, not the chemical element). When you search for a person, place or thing there will be a summary box to the right of your results with the most useful & interesting information for that topic, based on the questions other people have asked. It looks like it will help to clarify search results and make the results easier to review and explore.

Google Search Education
Google has revamped its search education pages. Includes search literacy lesson plans – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. Also has Live Trainings page with video tutorials about search literacy. You might not follow the lesson plans exactly as they are, but they could be good as a guide.

Cloud storage
Need more space to store your files? Keep losing your USB stick? There’s definitely a good reason why Apple didn’t put a USB port on the iPad – will we really need them in the future? Use these free services for storing your documents, music, photos etc

Google Drive – 5GB free storage
Google’s cloud storage system launched on 24 April and now has millions of users. You must sign in to your Google account. You can share your files publically. Extra storage: 25GB: $2.49/month; 100GB: $4.99/month.

Microsoft Skydrive – 7GB free storage
You can create Word docs, PowerPoints, Excel spreadsheets and OneNote notebooks in the cloud with group editing and public sharing. Save an Office 2010 document in SkyDrive, and you can edit it online using Office Web Apps. You need a Windows Live ID. Use phone apps, iPad or web browser to access files.

Dropbox – 2GB free storage
Dropbox recently made sharing easier by adding a public link for every file. Use phone apps or PC & Macs to upload files.

iCloud – 5 GB free storage
iCloud syncs across iOS (iPhones, iPods, iPads) and Mac devices.

Sugarsync – 5GB free storage
For PCs/Macs and phone apps. Select the files that you want to synchronise across all devices and it will happen automatically when connected to the internet.

Compare storage services from Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive, Dropbox and Apple iCloud:

Free TV and computer recycling services to start in Canberra

14 May 2012
From Tuesday 15 May 2012, Canberra households and small businesses will be able to dispose of their unwanted television and computer products for free under the new National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. The ACT is the first jurisdiction ready to implement the new scheme.
People can drop off their old or unwanted televisions and computers at the Mugga Lane and Mitchell Transfer Stations which are open from 7.30 am to 5 pm, seven days a week.
Accepted items: TVs, computers, monitors, laptops, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cats?, hard drives.
Non accepted items: mobile phones, microwaves, video recorders, DVD players, radios/stereos.
The free e-waste recycling service is a permanent arrangement and residents will be able to access the scheme on an ongoing basis.
For more information about the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme in the ACT, including what items can and cannot be accepted visit

Academic journals and Intellectual monopoly privileges

11 May 2012
Over 11 000 researchers globally have pledged to withdraw their research articles from Elsevier journals, the world’s biggest journal publisher. Journals charge large amounts for online access to articles and research that has mostly been funded by taxpayers. Many people believe that publically funded research should be freely available in the public domain.

In some countries, government agencies now insist that government funded research articles must be available free of charge within 12 months of publication. In Australia, the National Health & Medical Research Council will change its rules later this year to ensure academic work that it funds is made freely available but the Aust. Research Council has been less supportive. The push for open access publishing has been dubbed “the academic spring” by many supporters.

3 May 2012: The great publishing swindle: the high price of academic knowledge
15 Feb 2012: Academics line up to boycott the world’s biggest journal publisher

Open access solutions
2 May 2012: Wiki founder to build open access site for UK research
“Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales will help the UK govt design a platform where all taxpayer-funded academic research will be freely available online – regardless of whether it is also published in a subscription-only journal….Leading members of Australia’s open access movement are less than optimistic that Aust. will follow suit”.
A report will be prepared this year in the UK that will chart a course for academic articles to be freely and openly available at or around the time of publication. The project will begin with a Gateway to Research website.
The Wellcome Trust, the world’s second largest non-govt funding body for medical research, is nearly ready to release its world-class open access journal called eLife, which will compete with prestigious journals such as Nature and Science.

ANU Digital Collections database: a free online repository of academic research
Members of the ANU share their research with the wider community – journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, working papers and other scholarly communication. It also has digital photos from the uni collections.

ArXiv (pron. Archive)
An archive for online preprints of scientific papers in maths, physics, astronomy, computer science, biology, statistics & finance. Owned by Cornell University Library; began 1991. Although the articles are not peer reviewed (as they have not yet been printed in journals), moderators review submissions & there is also an endorsement system. Most works are later published in journals.