Australians’ Digital Lives Report

iPad magician

Can you do this with your iPad? Check out Simon Pierro on the Ellen show in Feb (9 million views) J


Australians’ Digital Lives Report

New report from ACMA (Aust. Communications and Media Authority) – a good resource for articles and reports. The lives of Australians are converging even further into their phones and data downloading almost doubled in the year to June 2014. 70% of Australians went online using a smartphone; 50% using a tablet. 92% of Australians use the internet with 81% having the internet at home. However, 1.1 million Australians have never been online, mostly aged over 65 years. In Sept 2014 Australia ranked 21st in the world on internet access. 10.9 million Australians made an e-commerce transaction (entertainment most popular, then fashion, then reading material). We are downloading more apps and participating in more blogs and online communities. 68% are using 3 or more devices to access the internet. Almost half of employed Australians are digital workers (5.7 million), using the internet to work away from the office.

Good short video:


Moderate use of video games linked to better behaviour

A study from Oxford University has found that kids who play video games in moderation (less than 1 hour a day) are not at risk of anti-social behaviour. They do better at school, are less aggressive and more emotionally stable. However, those who played for 3 hours or more were hyperactive, more likely to get into fights and to lose concentration. Kids who played Minecraft did not perform better academically but had better emotional health and social behaviour. A recent Griffith University study found better collaboration, problem solving and thinking skills among kids who played video games.


How Google picks new employees

Lazlo Bock of Google says that an increasing proportion of people hired at Google don’t have college degrees. Test scores don’t predict anything. Number 1 criteria used when evaluating candidates: Ability to learn – the ability to pick up new things, to learn on the fly, to find patterns in disparate pieces of information and take the next step. 2. Leadership – at every level,  including how to step back. 3.  Humility – openness to someone else having an even better idea than you.  4. Ownership – taking responsibility for solving problems and moving forward. 5. Expertise – but the other 4 attributes far outweigh expertise.












ICT news

Mapping the future: the future of the internet

The World Economic Forum has many interesting articles about world trends – great for global studies classes. By 2020, there will be 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things – all connected to the web, giving and receiving information. Who should oversee our online world? Should core infrastructure remain in Western institutions? Do the real dangers of the internet lie with the emergence of monolithic platforms eg. Google, Facebook? Can existing laws about copyright, libel, data protection and freedom of expression be effectively enforced online?


“The internet will disappear”

Google chairman Eric Schmidt states that the internet’s presence will become so all-encompassing that we won’t even be aware it’s there. With devices, sensors, wearables etc, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be highly personalised & interactive.

Two thirds of the world is not connected to the internet. You have probably seen the ads recently on TV – (a non-profit organisation founded by Mark Zuckerberg) will bring the internet to developing nations, in partnership with local carriers. It was launched on Android phones in Colombia and Ghana in January and India in February; also available in Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania. Users have free access to websites and services – news, local info, education, books, health info; sport, job search. Services include BBC News, Wikipedia, Facebook, Wattpad.


Facebook suicide prevention

Facebook has 1.4 billion users. Working with mental health organisations, Facebook will add new tools in the US (and then globally) to assist users who express suicidal thoughts. If someone posts something that indicates self-harm and it is reported to Facebook, they will be sent messages that encourage them to speak with a mental health expert and offered support. Resources will also be offered to those who flag the posts.


What are the most important features of digital content to improve student learning?

Center for Digital Education Survey (2014). 1. Enables interaction among students or between students and teachers (44%) 2. Is adaptive or personalised (22%) 3. Is project or problem-based (16%) 4. Is game-based (12%) 5. Includes video (6%).


Apple iWork

Apple is to challenge Office 365 and Google Apps by offering their productivity suite (Pages, Numbers , Keynote and 1GB of storage) free to Android and Windows users via a browser.


Most anticipated technology of 2015

The Apple Watch has been launched (available late April); USB 3.1 Type C – faster, reversible, no “right way up” – yay!; lightning accessories for Apple’s port eg. wireless speakers; Windows 10; self-driving cars; Oculus Rift virtual reality headset; Sony Project Morpheus (VR for Playstation)…..


Top 10 emerging technologies of 2015

Next-generation robotics; emergent artificial intelligence; “sense and avoid” drones; digital genome….


No punctuation is funnier

What. Vs What? A written statement can be funnier when there isn’t any punctuation. The informality and open structure of text messaging has led to stylistic changes – full stops, commas, capitals and other punctuation are used infrequently, especially on Twitter. It is a style that can remove emotion from a sentence or present a feigned nonchalance.