ICT news and ACARA: technologies

State of the web report by Mary Meeker (from Internet Trends D11 conference- 28 May 2013)
Each year Meeker analyses the web and makes a detailed report. Fascinating info includes: Facebook leads social media, but YouTube, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram are rising fast. Mobile traffic is growing sharply. Smartphone users reach for their phone 150 times per day. 17% of Australians say they share “everything” or “most things” online (world av. 24%). We are heading for a new computing cycle, following the rise of smartphones & tablets – wearable, drivable, flyable, scannable technology.
7 interesting graphs: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/30/internet-facts_n_3361077.html
Full report (117 slides!):  http://au.businessinsider.com/mary-meekers-latest-masterful-presentation-on-the-state-of-the-web-2013-5#meeker-preso042-42
7 things you need to know about Apple iOS7
From this week’s Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Tim Cook says it’s the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone. Cleaner icons & fonts; true multitasking; new camera app with filtering; male or female Siri (Siri soon to be integrated into cars); autodownloads of App Store updates; iTunes radio.

Apple iTunes Radio
Announced this week and available later in the year in Aust. You can browse by popular tunes, by mood, feel or genre. Choose a  station or set up your own. Also works with Apple TV.

Music streaming services in Australia
Excellent overview of all the music streaming choices in Aust. – from free Pandora (awesome) to Spotify, JB Hi-Fi Now, Samsung Music Hub, Songl, Rdio and more. Using these services is just like tuning in to a radio station – but one that you can program by artist, genre or mood. With free Pandora, you may never need to buy songs again!

ACARA: technologies
Computer coding is a feature of the Draft Foundation to Year 10: Technologies curriculum. “The Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies draws together the distinct but related subjects of Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. It will ensure that all students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which we live. In creating solutions, as well as responding to the designed world, students will contribute to sustainable patterns of living for themselves and others.”

Why programming is the core skill of the 21st century
It’s never been easier, more accessible or more essential to learn coding skills.

Learn computerese as a second language

Online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in programming languages. Users get badges and scores for exercises.

Supports and promotes the learning of coding. Testimonials from Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Ashton Kutcher…

Yahoo, owner of Flickr, recently announced some updates. “Photos are now arranged in an attractive lattice design that is less cluttered with text and comments, and it has two killer features: photos can be stored as high-resolution images and are not cropped, and Flickr will offer one terabyte of free storage to every user: enough for more than 500,000 photos each, depending on resolution”.
 Adobe CS6 last version before cloud and pay per user
Goodbye to Creative Suite (Photoshop etc) – it is now Creative Cloud and will involve buying monthly subscriptions. Not sure how this will work in schools.

Apple Maps improves
Improvements have been added steadily with regular updates on iOS6. Apple Maps is nearly 5 times more data-efficient than Google Maps because it uses vector graphics, where no new data needs to be downloaded to zoom in on a map (1.3mb to download a Google map but only 300kb for an Apple map).

Gmail tabs
Gmail is the world’s most popular email service. Google is cutting the clutter from Gmail inboxes with a new design that incorporates tabs. Important emails will go in the Primary tab – other tabs could include Social (Facebook notifications etc), Promotions (ads), Updates (bills, confirmations etc), Forums (messages from online groups). The use of the tabs is optional and you can choose which ones you want.

SMH and The Age paywalls
From 2 July, Fairfax Media will introduce a paywall and digital subscriptions for these 2 papers. Online readers will be allowed 30 free articles using web or mobile, before being asked to pay for a subscription. For tablets, some sections will be free and others will be for paying readers. So in July, all major Aust. papers will be charging for web, mobile & app access. “Digital subscribers will also have access to new features including research tool Zoom, specialist eBook collection Shortbooks and rewards program, My Benefits”.

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June

 “The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey of Aboriginal Australians – the anniversaries of the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

 May 27 marks the anniversary of Australia’s most successful referendum and a defining event in our nation’s history. The 1967 referendum saw over 90 per cent of Australians vote to give the Commonwealth the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise them in the national census.

On 3 June, 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision which legally recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a special relationship to the land—that existed prior to colonalisation and still exists today. This recognition paved the way for land rights called Native Title. 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the Mabo decision.

The week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements and to explore how each of us can join the national reconciliation effort.”   http://www.reconciliation.org.au/

Resources and fact sheets: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/home/resources

Recognise (part of Reconciliation Australia) – the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution. “We want to see fairness and respect at the heart of our Constitution, and to remove discrimination from it. Our goal is a more united nation. This is a chance for Australia to acknowledge the first chapter of our national story, and to forge our future together – after so many chapters apart.”

News & info: http://www.recognise.org.au/

Share our pride (part of Reconciliation Aust.)

Resources section: info on famous indigenous Austns; books & articles; films.

Learn section: culture; shared history; beyond the myths; respectful relationships.


NAIDOC Week 7 – 14 July


This year’s theme: We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963. This year is the 50th anniversary of the presentation of the bark petitions to Parliament, protesting mining rights on Yolngu land & seeking recognition of Yolngu land ownership.




The secret river and other good films and TV

David Gulpilil wins award
Last week Gulpilil, the acclaimed indigenous actor, dancer, singer & artist, won the Red Ochre Award for his contribution to Aboriginal arts at the Australia Council’s National Indigenous Arts Awards. His next film is Satellite boy, directed by indigenous filmmaker Catriona McKenzie, where he plays the grandfather of a boy whose home in an outdoor cinema is threatened with destruction by a mining company. “A beautiful & uplifting adventure. An inspiring, spirited portrait of cross-generational bonding and the intersection of ancient and modern Aboriginal culture.” (Toronto Int. Film Festival).

He will also star in the Rolf de Heer film Charlie’s country, which “explores how an Aboriginal person in the Top End, who comes from a traditional background, can live a good life, a proper life, in what is now Australia – the intervention and those things included. It’s the biggest role he has ever had and I think it’s his most extraordinary performance.” – Rolf de Heer.

Vale Yunupingu of Yothu Yindi
A great and inspiring indigenous Australian – musician, educator and leader.

The secret river
The ABC is developing a mini-series of the acclaimed novel by Kate Grenville that dramatizes the lives of a convict family who come to NSW and become involved in the escalating conflict between white settlers and indigenous inhabitants. Screenwriter – Jan Sardi (Shine). The Sydney Theatre Company’s stage adaptation was highly acclaimed in January.
ANZAC girls
6 part mini-series based on the true stories of ANZAC nurses. Based on the book The other ANZACs by Peter Rees and sourced from letters, diaries and personal stories, the series will probably screen at the time of the centenary of Gallipoli in April 2014. Acclaimed screenwriter Felicity Packard (an ex student of our college) is co-writer. Should be excellent and informative!

The feed
A new, interesting and useful resource aimed at 16–39 year olds (SBS2 7.30pm M-F). A 15 minute news, culture & technology show with edgy, adventurous and fun items aimed at younger people. Would appeal to high school students in various classes – social sciences, global relations, geography, media, popular culture, sociology… Various segments also appear online and can be shared in various ways. The feed will also present 60 second news breaks on SBS2 and in social media. Recent segments include: Review of Google Glass; How PNG handles the death penalty; Where’s my hoverboard? The new-look SBS2, launched in April, is targeting “thinking 20 and 30 somethings”.
The truth is?
This new 3 part program (Ch. 10 Mon 8.30pm) follows award-winning young journalist Hamish Macdonald on interesting foreign assignments where he aims to show the real human experiences of a foreign correspondent researching big issues of our time. Would definitely appeal to high school social science, global relations, geography, media and journalism classes. This week presented stories about families living illegally near the Chernobyl nuclear reactor and PTSD in returned American soldiers. Hopefully more episodes will be made.

Much ado about nothing
A black & white contemporary adaptation of the play by Shakespeare directed by Joss Whedon (Buffy; The Avengers).
The biting romantic comedy retains the 16th century language and was filmed in 12 days at his house! Opens 11 July.

Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp (who created the awesome District 9). Stars Matt Damon and Jodi Foster. In 2154, the very wealthy live in a luxurious space habitat named Elysium that orbits Earth. The rest live on an over-populated, ruined Earth. They are desperate to escape crime and poverty and need the health care of Elysium, but those in Elysium enforce anti-immigration laws and try to preserve their luxurious lifestyles. An ordinary man (Damon) goes on a dangerous mission that could bring about equality and finds himself up against the ruthless Elysium  leader and her forces (Foster). Themes: immigration, human rights, equity, class. Sounds great for sci fi, sociology, human rights…Opens 15 August.

The internship
Comedy. Tagline: Hiring them was a brilliant mistake. Stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as 40 year olds who land summer internships at Google. Even Larry Page has lauded the film. Some say it is really just an ad for Google – the perfect place to work and a company that does wonders for the world. Hehe the Google Help Line.
Matt Smith is leaving Dr Who!
Despite denying it – yes – after the 50th Anniversary show in Nov and then regenerating in the Xmas Special.
Maxwell’s Collection closed
Sad to see that Maxwell’s Collection, the education video supplier in Sydney, has closed after 25 years. It was a good source for programs for many years. Perhaps competition from online sources and JB Hi Fi was too strong.

Just for fun: The 10 most liked and disliked Aust. celebrities
From Encore Magazine. And why wouldn’t Hugh Jackman win? 

Can’t wait to see Gatsby this weekend – it had the biggest opening weekend of any Aust. film. Sorry to have missed the recent Aust. drama production of A clockwork orange. Our Year 11 & 12 psychology students saw it and said it was amazing.