ICT news

Mobile web browsing overtakes desktop browsing for the first time

Not really surprising – but now it’s official. Browsing on smartphones and tablets now accounts for 51.3% of worldwide web browsing (StatCounter). However, in Australia, desktop accounts for 55.1% of browsing; 58% in the US and 55.6% in the UK. This will only decrease. Mobile-friendly websites are now essential and Google recently made a change making mobile search potentially more up to date than desktop.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/mobile-web-browsing-desktop-smartphones-tablets

 

Google’s desktop search could be out of date

Google has now begun to push mobile search and desktop searches could end up slightly out of date compared to mobile searches. Google is splitting its search index into 2 versions – a rapidly updated mobile version and a separate search for the desktop.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/14/google-desktop-search-out-of-date-mobile

 

Nielsen Digital Landscape Report

Monthly summaries of Australian online behaviour. Latest report September.  19.8 million people actively surfing, with ages 50+ having the largest percentage online (30.27%). Top 10 brands: 1. Google 2. Facebook 3. YouTube 4. MSN/Bing/Skype 5. Apple 6. eBay 7. Microsoft 8. Yahoo7 9. Wikipedia 10. Instagram. Top brands for streaming: 1. YouTube 2. Facebook 3. Vevo 4. News.com.au (9.ABC).  Men outnumber women for streaming: 7.35 million men vs 6.34 million women.

file:///H:/Downloads/Digital%20Landscape%20September%202016.pdf

http://digitalmeasurement.nielsen.com/digitalmedialandscape/surfing_report.html

 

American Academy of Pediatrics lifts ‘No screens under 2’ rule

Last month the 1999 rule was lifted. The focus has shifted from what is on the screen to who else is in the room. For babies under 18 mths, no screens are best – except for live video chat. From 15 mths to 2 yrs, children may learn new words from educational media, but only if parents are watching alongside them. Treating videos or apps like a picture book is best. Preschoolers aged 2 to 5 have the ability to transfer knowledge from screens to the real world.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/21/498550475/american-academy-of-pediatrics-lifts-no-screens-under-2-rule

 

Hour of Code 5 December

ABC and Code Club Aust. have set a challenge for students to make their own video game using Scratch.

http://splash.abc.net.au/res/nl/20161118/STEM_news/STEM_news_20161118.html

60 min. tutorials for all ages: https://code.org/learn

 

Zuckerberg to invest $4bn in health

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife Priscilla Chan will invest nearly $AU4 billion over the next 10 years to build technology that can speed up research on disease. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC will initially create the Biohub research lab in San Francisco, which will create tools for researchers such as a cell atlas (a map of the different human cell types). Other tools could include a chip to diagnose disease and using machine learning to analyse large databases of cancer genomes. Zuckerberg and Chan have promised to give away 99% of their wealth over their lifetimes via their Initiative – one of the world’s largest philanthropic initiatives. They have also created Chan Zuckerberg Science.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/zuckerberg-family-fund-to-invest-4bn-in-research-technology/news-story/6ac9a9c2235e1318e6e9abb568311240

 

Google Play Music

Music streaming, as with movie/TV streaming, is the most popular way of listening to music. Google Play Music is now smarter and easier to use. It uses machine learning and a diverse range of datasets connected to your Google account – search history, maps, YouTube etc – to personalise your music. It then mixes in signals like location, activity, and the weather along with hand-picked playlists to give you music that you like. Started last week in 62 countries for Android, iOS and the web. Workout music as you enter the gym; a sunset soundtrack at dusk….

https://blog.google/products/google-play/introducing-the-new-google-play-music/

 

Google self-driving car project

Monthly report Oct 2016. 24 Lexus SUVs on the road along with 34 prototype vehicles. Over 2.23 million miles  driven in autonomous mode and Google cars are experts at 3-point turns.

https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//selfdrivingcar/files/reports/report-1016.pdf

 

Failed Google projects

Google has been involved in a host of projects – not all of them successful. These projects may soon cease development: Project Wing (delivery drones); Verily smart lenses (measure diabetic glucose levels via eye tears); Google Glass (sales were stopped in 2015 and social media data erased). Autonomous cars may not be available till 2025.

http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/with-so-many-failing-x-projects-its-time-for-google-to-get-back-to-basics-346227.html

 

Google to ban fake news sites from ads

Advertising tools will be closed to websites that promote fake news. Fake news easily goes viral.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/14/13630722/google-fake-news-advertising-ban-2016-us-election

Free ebook and audiobook websites

Here are some good free ebook /narrated ebook websites with titles that would be of interest to high school  new English learners with a low reading age (below ESL).

Best sites to read books online without download or registration

Mega-list of 346 legal and ‘safe’ sites last updated May 2015.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/free-books-read-online

 

Awesome Stories

82 collections of 4506 stories with primary sources ‐ all subjects for learners of all ages. An American site but with a good variety of interesting topics. Subjects include language arts, social studies, STEM, arts, film and books. Also has a free option.

https://www.awesomestories.com/

Price: https://www.awesomestories.com/Signup

 

Tumble Book Library

This popular site is often available via public libraries (with logins). It is available via Libraries ACT. Titles include non fiction, graphic novels, ebooks, readalongs, story books and short videos. Many titles are for younger readers but various titles are suitable for EALD students, even those in high school. You can also choose reading levels eg. advanced readers, chapter books etc and make playlists. Any number of students can read the same book at the same time. Books are in English, Spanish and French.

http://preview.tumblebooks.com/BooksList.aspx?categoryID=13

 

International Children’s Digital Library

Acclaimed site for reading books in many different languages. Age ranges 3 to 5, 6 to 9, 10 to 13. Short, medium and long books including true books, award winning books, chapter books etc

http://en.childrenslibrary.org/

Browse titles:

http://www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/SimpleSearchCategoryids=86&langid=&pnum=1&cnum=1&text=&lang=English&ilang=English

 

Free ebooks

Links to free online book sites from the Uni of Qld: http://guides.library.uq.edu.au/cyberschool-students/schools/free_ebooks

Lots of sites: http://www.freebooknotes.com/free-ebooks-guide/

 

Loyal Books

(Formerly Books Should Be Free). Free public domain audiobooks and ebooks. Many are older public domain titles so the language could be difficult eg. Tom Sawyer. Various languages – Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog…

http://www.loyalbooks.com/genre/Children

 

Some replies……

 

Ziptales is a subscription site, but has ESL material. – Marie Miegel

 

EPIC is a great website. “The only kids’ eBook subscription service that offers thousands of high-quality books from well known publishers like HarperCollins, National Geographic and others”. It is for K-5 but there are lots of great titles that could be of interest to middle school/ESL students including the popular ones like Big Nate, Warrior Cats, Timmy Failure etc. It is free for educators.

https://www.getepic.com/

Kerry Gittens

Good films

Some good films coming up for various curriculum areas – fantasy, sci-fi, war, fiction to film…..

Jasper Jones

Upcoming mystery thriller film based on the acclaimed book by Craig Silvey and directed by Rachel Perkins. Stars Levi Miller, Aaron L. McGrath, Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving. A moving coming of age story about a young boy and his Aboriginal friend who find the body of a girl and deal with racism and other terrible secrets in their small town. Due 2 March 2017.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/25/jasper-jones-first-look-review-spielberg-meets-stranger-things-in-australian-coming-of-age-tale

Trailer: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/entertainment/a/33013639/jasper-jones-teaser-trailer-out/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5091014/

 

Hacksaw Ridge

Biographical war film directed by Mel Gibson. Stars Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving. Based on the true story of US Army medic Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist conscientious objector who refused to bear arms or kill, but was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of 75 comrades during the Battle of Okinawa in WW2. Filmed mostly in Australia, the film received a 10 minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Opens 3 Nov.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/mel-gibson-movie-hacksaw-ridge-receives-standing-ovation-at-venice-film-festival-20160907-gral5t.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2119532/

 

Doctor Strange

Marvel superhero film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton. A neurosurgeon’s life changes after he loses use of his hands after a car accident. He finds hope in a mysterious enclave who are battling dark forces bent on destroying reality and, as a powerful sorcerer, uses martial arts and an ancient guru to save the world. See it if you fancy Benedict in a “velvety neo-Edwardian uniform with an occult medallion and fierce goatee.…like a glam rock vocalist who yearns to do a magic trick in Vegas”. (Bradshaw). In cinemas now.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1211837/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/oct/24/doctor-strange-review-benedict-cumberbatch-marvel-eyepoppingly-freaky-extravaganza

 

The light between oceans

Based on the novel by M. L. Stedman. Directed by Derek Cianfrance. Stars Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Bryan Brown and Jack Thompson. A lighthouse keeper and his wife find a baby adrift in a boat and raise her as their own – only to face the consequences of their actions several years later. Filmed in New Zealand and Stanley, Tasmania. Opens 26 Dec.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/movies/the-light-between-oceans-review.html?_r=1

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/now-showing/five-hankie-film-review-for-australian-bestseller-the-light-between-oceans-20160903-gr7zg2.html

 

Red dog: True blue

Prequel exploring early events in the life of the legendary Red Dog. A young boy is sent to a cattle station in the Pilbara and finds a puppy in a flood. Stars Jason Isaacs, Levi Miller, Bryan Brown. Opens 26 Dec.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3567194/

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/red-dogs-story-continues-in-prequel-red-dog-true-blue-20160916-grhpaj.html

 

Rogue One: a Star Wars story

Directed by Gareth Edwards. Stars Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn. A group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star. Opens 15 Dec.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3748528/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story

http://www.theweek.co.uk/62924/star-wars-rogue-one-is-spin-off-film-an-origin-story-for-reys-mother

 

Passengers

Sci-fi thriller directed by Morten Tyldum. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt. A spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant planet colony has a malfunction in its sleep chambers and 2 passengers are awakened 90 years early. Opens 1 Jan 2017.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1355644/

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/21/passengers-trailer-jennifer-lawrence-chris-pratt-titanic-avatar

 

His dark materials (Northern lights)

BBC series based on the award-winning fantasy trilogy by Philip Pullman – an amazing series. Set in a multiverse including Oxford, a young girl embarks on a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.  No cast as yet. Series 1 will have 8 episodes. Possible launch late 2017.

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/cult/feature/a789641/his-dark-materials-bbc-tv-series-casting-characters-start-date-everything-you-need-to-know/

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35967042

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Dark_Materials

 

Mary Poppins returns

Directed by Rob Marshall. Stars Emily Blunt as Mary, Colin Firth Meryl Streep (Mary’s cousin)  and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a new character, a lamplighter. Set 20 years after the original film in Depression-era London, Michael and Jane Banks are grown up and Mary returns to take care of Michael’s children. In the new film, Mary is based more on the character from the series of books. Due Dec 2018.

http://variety.com/2016/legit/news/lin-manuel-miranda-mary-poppins-little-mermaid-1201870663/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5028340/

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/mary-poppins-returns-julie-andrews-gives-her-verdict-on-emily-blunt-casting-a7216726.html

 

Big little lies

7 part HBO series starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley, based on the book by Liane Moriarty. The seemingly perfect lives of a group of suburban mums begin to unravel. The series is set in California, rather than Sydney’s northern beaches. Due Feb 2017.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/drama/nicole-kidman-and-reese-witherspoons-adaptation-of-aussie-bestseller-big-little-lies-gets-a-steamy-trailer-20161016-gs3ove.html