ICT and STEM news

STEM learning

Special edition of STEM articles from Teacher magazine. Includes virtual classrooms for Year 10s, STEM and gender and best practice for primary STEM.

Demystifying the AC Digital Technologies Curriculum P-6

Webinar with Dr Linda McIver; 19 June and 31 July 3.45-5pm.

http://email.acer.edu.au/t/ViewEmail/r/60882C5177B09AF02540EF23F30FEDED/F4AF64F35C0EDFC438A555EB6E97B45B

STEM learning: international best practice: Queensland science teacher Sarah Chapman gathered evidence from around the world. Essential elements include real world experiences, expertise from industry links, mentorships and cross-curricular integration.

https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/stem-learning-international-best-practice

Full report: https://cew.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Engaging-the-future-of-STEM.pdf

 

Australian Online Landscape Review (latest: April 2017)

Quarterly report produced by IAB/Nielsen. Top 10 brands: 1.Google 2.Facebook 3.YouTube 4.MSN/Outlook/Bing/Skype 5.Apple 6.eBay 7.Microsoft 8.Wikipedia 9.Instagram 10.Yahoo7.

Top 10 brands for streaming: 1.YouTube 2.Facebook 3.VEVO (music) 4.Vimeo (videos) 5.news.com.au 6.smh.com.au 7.MSN/Outlook/Bing/Skype 8.nine.com.au 9.Yahoo7 10. ABC Online

Smartphones are used more than desktops, which are used more than tablets.

file:///H:/Downloads/Digital%20Landscape%20Report_April%202017.pdf

 

Australians’ viewing habits

There are more screens (6.4 in each home) and most are internet-capable. Viewing is spread across devices but TV remains by far the most-watched screen. 86% of video viewing is on TVs – free-to-air or subscription; live or played back. TVs are also used for other tasks – gaming, DVDs, internet, music streaming, YouTube videos etc

http://www.nielsen.com/au/en/insights/news/2017/how-australians-viewing-habits-have-changed-over-the-past-five-years.html

http://www.oztam.com.au/documents/Other/Q4%202016%20AMSR_release.pdf

 

Australia’s internet speeds

According to the most recent Akamai State of the Internet report we are now 51st in the world for home broadband internet speeds (10.1 Mbps). However, we are well above the global average of 7 Mbps even with a large area to cover. Fastest is South Korea (26.1Mbps) 2. Norway 3. Sweden 4.Hong Kong 5.Switzerland. We are leading the Asia-Pacific region in mobile connectivity speeds (13.8 Mbps).

https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/03/australias-internet-speeds-are-a-global-embarrassment/

 

Why do adults think video games are bad?

The excellent news site The Conversation is running a series for children – Curious Kids, where children send in questions they would like an expert to answer. Recent research suggests that playing online games that involve puzzle-solving increases scores in maths, science and reading, whereas using social networking reduces academic achievement.

http://theconversation.com/curious-kids-why-do-adults-think-video-games-are-bad-76699

http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5586/1742

 

The science for and against video gaming

They can make your brain grow and they make you more self-aware and happier; but they can make you less empathetic and more violent.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/is-video-gaming-bad-for-you-the-science-for-and-against/

 

People could be genetically predisposed to social media use

One to two-thirds of variance in social media use is attributable to genetic traits; unique and shared environmental factors account for the remainder of variance.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/ica-pcb050217.php

 

NASA EarthKAM

“A classroom with the ultimate view” – students enrol in missions on the International Space Station and request images of specific locations on Earth. The program was set up by astronaut Sally Ride in  1995, initially on space shuttle flights. 8000 schools from 78 countries have now participated with over 500 000 students creating a library of 94 000 images.

https://www.earthkam.org/

Search the image gallery: https://www.earthkam.org/ek-images

https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/capturing-the-earth-as-art

 

Google Maps street-view of Uluru

Just launched after 2 years of consultation with traditional owners. The interactive map includes audio stories from the Anangu owners about the significance of Uluru, traditional law and creation stories. Many sacred sections of the rock were not photographed. Viewers can zoom into crevices, walk along trails and view ancient art. Google plans to map other Australian cultural sites, including Kakadu.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-08/google-street-view-allows-visitors-to-experience-uluru/8599050

 

Live interactions with robots increase their perceived human likeness

We need to get used to a future where robots will be part of our everyday lives, but rarely do we see robots face to face. A recent study found that people who watched live interactions with a robot were more likely to consider the robot to have more human-like qualities. Robots presented in virtual reality also scored high in human likeness. Watching a robot on a 2D screen scored lowest. “Many people will have their first encounter with a service robot over the next decade. Service robots are designed to communicate with humans in humanlike ways and assist them in various aspects of their daily routine. Potential areas of application range from hospitals and nursing homes to hotels and the users’ households” (Schreiner).

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/ica-liw051017.php

 

The 2017 emoji list: emoji version 5.0

All those cute little emoji have to be approved by the Unicode consortium and will be launched this month. There are 69 new images; 24 have 5 additional skin tones and 10 are non-gendered. New emoji include a genie, an older person, a breastfeeding mum and broccoli. There are now a total of 239 approved emoji.

http://blog.emojipedia.org/final-2017-emoji-list/

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

Robots and Education Today magazine

Education Today: the school principals’ magazine

You may have seen this interesting magazine in staffrooms. It comes out each term and is also available online and searchable back to 2007. The articles cover a broad range of current educational topics, are written in an engaging style and PDFs of articles are available for downloading and sharing. Education Today is owned and published by Minnis Journals (publisher: Bill Minnis) and is not aligned with any group. www.educationtoday.com.au

 

Interesting articles from Education Today (term 2 2016):

 

Digital technologies: beyond the panic – Damian Perry

The new AC Digital Technologies Curriculum will be in place in 2017, but will probably take 10 years to implement. It promotes the creation of solutions using technology, with students experimenting with algorithms and programming, exploring hardware, software, data and networks. Computational thinking is an essential component. It differs from the ICT General Capability, where students use software, access and evaluate information, consider issues of copyright and privacy, and collaborate and share. Money and time will be needed to train teachers in the new Digital Technologies Curriculum and students will be at vastly different skill levels.

There are some f=good links at the end of the article.

http://www.educationtoday.com.au/article/Digital-Technologies–1195

 

 

NAO robots enhance learning in South Australia

These humanoid robots have been used in 7 independent schools since early 2015, in the first major Australian study of how humanoid robots affect  learning and teaching in schools. They have been used with preschoolers to Yr 10 for Maths, Digital technologies, English and German. Using the robots has enhanced collaboration between students and teachers, unlocked innovative approaches to education, led to a rapid uptake of high level cognitive processes and quick adoption of coding language Python. The robots have proved to be a powerful way for teachers to embrace the new Digital Technologies Curriculum. Teachers and students love the robots because of the endearing way they behave. Deepest learning occurs when students play with the robots and discover things themselves. ANO robots have been used to diagnose autism and treat brin-injured patients – subjects often respond better to the robots than humans. NAOs are expensive though – $8000.

http://www.educationtoday.com.au/article/NAO-robots-enhance-learning-in-SA-1196

http://www.educationtoday.com.au/article/NAO-robots-get-to-work-in-classrooms-1197

Aust. distributor of NAO robots: http://www.brainaryinteractive.com/nao-robot/

 

Pretty sure you want a robot?

Here are 13 advanced humanoid robots for sale: Darwin Mini ($499), Hovis Eco Lite ($700), Robotis Op 2 ($9600)…..or maybe you’d prefer the Robothespian ($78 000) or perhaps the Asimo ($2.5 million)?

http://www.smashingrobotics.com/thirteen-advanced-humanoid-robots-for-sale-today/

Fearful of robots? Don’t worry…they have to follow the Three Laws:

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

 

I’d love to be using my robotic vacuum cleaner this weekend (if I had one)…..

 

ICT news

Coding world record

On 20 July, more than 10,000 Australian kids set a new world record for the number of children coding simultaneously at the nationwide Moonhack event. Run by Code Club Australia, participants completed a series of online computer programming exercises related to science and astronomy. Founded in 2014, Code Club Australia has over 900 clubs.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/aussie-kids-set-new-coding-world-record/news-story/83825ec56170e8bcf45861f09afb08c4?utm_source=The%20Australian&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial

 

Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app

At WWDC in June, Apple introduced the free Swift Playgrounds app that makes learning to code fun and easy for all. Designed for the iPad, the app encourages beginners to explore using Swift, the easy-to-learn programming language used by professional developers. Through lessons, students learn how to write code to guide onscreen characters through worlds, solving puzzles as they learn core coding concepts. Templates are included to help students create real programs that can be shared. Swift Playgrounds allows students to create an unlimited variety of interactive programs. Extra challenges will be released so students can further develop their abilities.  Swift Playgrounds is “not about learning apps for platforms. It’s about learning good coding practices” (Hodges, Apple). iOS 10 beta version available in July; final version available Sept/Oct.

 

“Swift Playgrounds is the only app of its kind that is both easy enough for students and beginners, yet powerful enough to write real code” (Federighi, Apple VP). “The new Swift Playgrounds app from Apple is one of the most powerful, yet approachable, educational coding apps we’ve ever seen.…it’s a fun and intuitive way for our students to learn the basic principles of coding using the iPad, and also become skilled in Swift” (MacDonald).

http://www.apple.com/au/pr/library/2016/06/13Swift-Playgrounds-App-Makes-Learning-to-Code-Easy-Fun.html

http://www.apple.com/swift/playgrounds/

Swift Playgrounds is built for kids, but adults might like it too:

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2016/07/14/apple-swift-playgrounds-preview/#gref

 

Facebook’s internet drone test  flight

Facebook hopes to connect the world’s 7 billion people to the internet. Aquila, Facebook’s lightweight, solar-powered, high-altitude drone, recently flew successfully for 96 minutes above Yuma, Arizona. Aquila will fly over areas of the world not yet connected to the internet, and beam down lasers to provide connectivity. It has a massive wingspan, flies as slowly as possible and only uses the equivalent power of 3 hairdryers. Using drones is more feasible than covering the world with signal towers.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-22/aquila-facebook-solar-powered-internet-drone-takes-flight/7651394

http://www.theverge.com/a/mark-zuckerberg-future-of-facebook/aquila-drone-internet

 

Chromebooks and Chromeboxes

At our Year 11-12 school, we have installed 30 Asus wifi Chromeboxes to replace ageing PCs in the library. The Chromeboxes use an existing monitor and run Chrome OS ($280). The device is a desktop variant of the Chromebook laptop (HP $550), which our students use frequently.  In May this year, Chromebooks outsold Macs in the US education market for the first time. That was before Google announced that apps on the Android mobile platform – all 2.2 million – would be coming to Chromebooks too. Any app on your Android phone will sync to your Chromebook (or ChromeBox, the desktop unit). Chromebooks are less expensive and require far less IT support than PCs.

http://www.crn.com.au/feature/chromebooks-cross-major-milestone-in-battle-with-apple-431039?eid=4&edate=20160722&utm_source=20160722&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily_newsletter

 

The benefits and otherwise of Pokemon Go

More daily users than Twitter; more time spent playing it than on Facebook. Some benefits: getting gamers to exercise; socialising with others; positive impacts on mental health; cooperation between players; increasing use of museums, coffee shops, cafes etc

http://theconversation.com/pokemon-go-gets-people-out-and-about-and-thats-a-good-thing-62343

http://www.sciencealert.com/pokemon-go-is-reportedly-helping-people-with-their-depression

http://time.com/money/4410946/pokemon-go-accidents-bar-crawls-dating/

http://www.theverge.com/2016/7/25/12273134/pokemon-go-tips-guides-news-nintendo-niantic-labs

 

Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.3 billion

The purchase includes Yahoo Search, Mail and Flickr.  Verizon will merge Yahoo with AOL, providing an advertising alternative to juggernauts Google and Facebook, which have 43% of digital ad sales worldwide. Yahoo was launched in 1995 by Stanford grad students Jerry Yang and David Filo as ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’.

http://www.cnet.com/news/verizon-buying-yahoo-likely-merging-it-with-aol/?ftag=CAD1acfa04

 

STEM and ICT news and Google’s best of 2015 lists

Good news for STEM in Australia…..

 

The new National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA)

Malcolm Turnbull’s $1.1 billion innovation package (the Ideas Boom) was released yesterday at CSIRO in Canberra – “inspiring Australians to be innovative” and to take risks. The government will spend $48 million over the next 4 years “inspiring” Australians in digital literacy and STEM areas. This includes funding to upgrade teachers’ digital skills, educational apps and $13 million to boost the participation of girls and women in STEM. The government will spend $51 million over five years targeting coding activity in schools including online computing challenges for Year 5 and 7 students, ICT summer schools for Years 9 and 10, an annual ‘Cracking the Code’ national competition for years 4 to 12 and support for teachers to increase IT-related activity in the classroom. This fits well with  the AC Digital Technologies.

 

CSIRO and other science research projects will enjoy more funding and a renewed focus, businesses will get more support for innovation and universities will get increased funding for research. The Australian Synchroton (bright light beams for research) and the Square Kilometre Array (largest radio telescope) will get $800 million over 10 years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-07/pm-malcolm-turnbull-unveils-$1-billion-innovation-program/7006952

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/here-comes-the-governments-innovation-statement-2015-12

 

 

Tech Girls Are Superheroes

The Tech Girls Are Superheroes campaign was started by the Tech Girls Movement (TGM) in 2014. Founded by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, TGM promotes positive female IT role models to encourage and raise awareness of STEM career options for girls. The free booklet Tech Girls Are Superheroes has 26 stories from talented women in IT, each with their own avatar. Available here:

http://www.techgirlsaresuperheroes.org/home/

The winners of the 2015 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero were announced last month. See their work here:

http://www.techgirlsmovement.org/news/2015/11/9/hp1cc4do6v7rnzq8jwvxpv6yy7c6q9

Entries are now open to all girls in years 4-12 for the 2016 Next Tech Girl Superhero. Students submit technology-based solutions for different challenges according to their year group eg. building body confidence, increasing cybersafety, reducing environmental impacts. Winners receive funding and mentoring for their idea. Entries close 1 July 2016. http://www.techgirlsmovement.org/superherosearch/

Resources: http://www.techgirlsmovement.org/repository/

 

 

Google’s best of 2015 lists

Take a look at what has been popular in Android during 2015 – apps; games; top-selling music, movies, books, news sources; favourite movies and TV…

Click on each category to see the full list – all with links to buy now! (hmm thanks Google).

Favourite books include: Go set a watchman – Harper Lee; Fates and furies – Lauren Groff; The buried giant – Kazuo Ishiguro; Between the world and me – Ta-Nehisi Coates; Carry on – Rainbow Rowell.

Favourite movies and TV include: Paper planes; The secret river; Ex machina; Mr Robot; Fargo; Outlander; Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries; Inside out; Mad Max: Fury Road.

Favourite music includes: 25 – Adele; Currents – Tame Impala; Sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit – Courtney Barnett; Fire and the flood – Vance Joy.

Best apps include Skype, Catch of the Day, Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Microsoft Word.

https://play.google.com/store/info/topic?id=bestof2015

Google Trends – check out what we’re searching for: https://www.google.com.au/trends/

Robotics and coding

Spare parts – film

This is a very good film and book – great for Lives and Times / Biography units. It is the true story of 4 Mexican high school students (3 of whom were illegal immigrants) who form a robotics club at an underfunded Phoenix, Arizona high school, under the leadership of a teacher (in real life, 2 teachers). With no experience, $800, used car parts and a dream, the team goes up against the country’s reigning underwater robotics champion, MIT. Directed by Sean McNamara. Stars George Lopez, Marisa Tomei. Rated PG.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3233418/

The original story by Joshua Davis appeared in WIRED magazine in 2005. Following publication, readers contributed more than $90 000 in scholarships for the 4 youths.

http://www.wired.com/2014/12/4-mexican-immigrant-kids-cheap-robot-beat-mit/

Here’s what they are doing now: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/spare-parts/

Book by Joshua Davis – Spare parts: Four undocumented teenagers, one ugly robot, and the battle for the American Dream: http://www.amazon.com/Spare-Parts-Undocumented-Teenagers-American/dp/0374534985

“This is hands down my favorite kind of story: underdogs plus ingenuity plus pluck and dedication equals a deeply moving and touching narrative. I love these kids!” ―Adam Savage, cohost of MythBusters

 

Robotics and computer coding in Queensland schools

These will be taught to all students from prep to Year 10 from 2016. The premier announced that the AC Digital Technologies curriculum would be fast-tracked. Every state school in Qld will also have access to specialist STEM teachers and a Qld coding academy will be set up. The AC Digital Technologies revised curriculum (approved in Sept) now has programming beginning in Year 5, rather than Foundation.

http://www.startupsmart.com.au/leadership/queensland-makes-coding-and-robotics-compulsory-in-schools/2015101515722.html

http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/digital-technologies/curriculum/f-10?layout=1

 

5 reasons to teach robotics in schools

It’s fun for kids; it introduces programming; provides skills for future employment; suitable for range of abilities; demystifies a complex technology.

http://theconversation.com/five-reasons-to-teach-robotics-in-schools-49357

 

Code Club merges with Raspberry Pi Foundation

Global children’s coding network Code Club has merged with the UK charity Raspberry Pi Foundation, which makes low-cost computers to promote computer skills in schools. They are both part of the movement helping people become digital makers and not just consumers. In Australia, the popular Code Club teaches programming languages like Scratch and Python to more than 8000 students in 300 classes. Now they will also start robotics. Raspberry Pi comes pre-loaded with Scratch and Python. It can also be used for Minecraft  and advanced robotics. The new merger will offer even more free resources online for learning coding and digital making.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/11/03/pi-club/

https://www.codeclub.org.uk/

http://www.codeclubau.org/

https://www.raspberrypi.org/

 

National Science Week, makerspaces and coding

Since it’s National Science Week 15-23 August, have a look at the RiAus website – “Australia’s national science channel, promoting public awareness and understanding of science”. Always something interesting and “accessible for all Australians”. Includes videos, articles, links, blog, In Class livestreaming sessions (eg. astronaut Chris Hadfield and Prof. Brian Cox), science/art  exhibitions.  Includes free guides to uni courses and careers – Ultimate science guide and Ultimate engineering guide.

http://riaus.org.au/

A week in science – short video newsfeed each week. Great stuff eg. The secret life of apples; Science fiction prediction; Waking up before your alarm: http://riaus.org.au/series/week-in-science/

Blog: http://riaus.org.au/articles/type/blog/

 

Webby Awards 2015 – Science

Winner: If the moon were only 1 pixel: a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system.

People’s Voice: BBC Earth. Shortlist: Global climate change: vital signs of the planet; WIRED Science; Interactive history on the origins of HIV.

http://www.webbyawards.com/winners/2015/websites/general-website/science/

 

Top 15 most popular science websites (Aug 2015)

Based on Alexa Global Traffic Rank. 1. HowStuffWorks 2. NASA 3. Discovery 4. LiveScience 5. ScienceDaily 6. ScienceDirect 7. Space 8. Scientific American 9. Nature 10. PopSci

http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/science-websites

 

Makerspace ideas

 

Orbotix Ollie – racing, spinning and flipping robot controlled from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch – $150 http://www.sphero.com/ollie/

 

Orbotix Sphero – robotic ball controlled from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch – $200 http://www.sphero.com/sphero-sprk/

 

Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider – ultra compact drone controlled from a smartphone – $150 http://www.parrot.com/au/products/rolling-spider/

 

Parrot MiniDrone Jumping Sumo – a responsive bot which jumps, rolls, zig-zags, circles and takes turns at 90° – $240. Parrot have a new range of camera-enabled mini-drones coming soon.

http://www.parrot.com/au/products/jumping-sumo/

 

Lego robotics – object oriented programming – $500 per kit

http://www.teaching.com.au/catalogue?catalogue=MTA&category=MTA-WEDO-ROBOTICS

http://shop.lego.com/en-AU/Robotics-ByCategory

 

Raspberry Pi – mini programmable computer board – $60  http://raspberry.piaustralia.com.au/

 

Makerspaces and coding in schools

3 interesting articles from the current edition of principals’ journal Education Today:

 

“Lauriston FabLab is transformative” 2015, Education Today, Term 3.

*Established one of the first FabLabs in Australia in 2014

*FabLab@School program from Stanford University – focus on transformative learning

*Many cross-curricular opportunities – house design; model of an eye, art, history

*3D printer, 3D mill, laser cutter, programming and more traditional tools

*Skills of problem-solving, self direction and collaboration – very relevant to workplace skills

http://www.lauriston.vic.edu.au/about/lauristons-fablab-school

https://tltl.stanford.edu/about/fablabatschool

 

“ScopeIT education” 2015, Education Today, Term 3.

*Scope IT Education – provides courses, instructors, lesson plans, assessment, Macbooks, equipment, internet, weekly 40 min. lessons for 10 weeks (NSW Stages 1-3 – primary school)

*Teaches coding (Scratch, WordPress, HTML, Javascript, Python, iOS apps), 3D printing, electronics, robotics, digital citizenship

*Entered into partnership with Aust. Primary Principals Association

http://www.scopeiteducation.com.au/

 

“Coding in schools building up a head of steam” 2015, Education Today, Term 3.

  • Importance of coding as a component of STEAM teaching– Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths
  • #WeSpeakCode Microsoft conference at UTS in Sydney in May 2015 – 7000 students had to create a flappy bird game
  • Microsoft Asia Pacific study – only 32% of Australian students had an opportunity to learn coding in school (lowest figure for all countries surveyed)
  • Two-thirds of Australian students said they wanted to know more about coding
  • By 2022 a deficit of 12-15 million jobs in STEM fields
  • Kodu – games programming for kids; free download http://kodu.en.softonic.com/
  • Blockley – by Google; educational games that teach programming  https://blockly-games.appspot.com/
  • Grok Learning – coding courses (and competitions) for high school students  https://groklearning.com/
  • Code.org – many courses for different ages and levels https://code.org/

 

What’s new in ICT, education and popular culture?

Here is the link to my Moderation Day presentation on 13 August to Year 11 and 12 teacher librarians in Canberra, ACT.

What’s new in ICT, education and popular culture?

http://dckclib.wikispaces.com/Technology%2C+media+%26+popular+culture+updates

ICT news

Lots of interesting developments….HoloLens, Minecraft, Google & STEM, video games, the internet….

 

HoloLens by Microsoft

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in L.A. in June, Microsoft demonstrated its upcoming HoloLens, an Augmented Reality (AR) headset that allows players to visualise and manipulate digital images overlaid on the real world and to explore games in full 3D. Microsoft describes HoloLens as a “see-through holographic computer” that allows holograms to integrate with our world – an experience they call “mixed reality”. They believe it will unlock new ways to create, communicate, work and play.

In the demo, the player enters the world of Minecraft, playing first on a wall and then building a 3D world on a coffee table….awesome! He uses an Xbox controller and then voice commands and hand gestures. He can look around and through his creations by simply moving around in real space. HoloLens will probably be available in 2016, along with other Virtual Reality (VR) headsets – Sony’s Morpheus, Oculus Rift (owned by Facebook) and Valve.

Impressive 3 min. video – playing Minecraft with HoloLens: http://www.engadget.com/2015/06/15/microsoft-minecraft-hololens/

The possibilities of HoloLens – 2 min. video: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us

More info: http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/hololens-release-date-news-and-price

 

Minecraft in education: can we change the way we learn?

The global phenomenon Minecraft, begun in 2009, has been owned by Microsoft since Sept 2014. More than 70 million copies have been sold across all platforms. Microsoft is now creating an online portal for teachers. “Minecraft in education is students visiting an ancient civilization and creating a setting for a story. It is exploring math concepts using Minecraft blocks. It is practicing collaboration, problem solving, digital citizenship and leadership skills while designing experiments and demonstrating mastery. Minecraft in education is teachers inspired by their students to explore and create, and students motivated to learn.”

Short video: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/microsoft-launching-minecraft-program-for-teachers/0152049

http://education.minecraft.net (not fully running yet)

 

Minecon: the biggest Minecraft fan convention

10 000 players attended Minecon in London earlier in July. Whilst there are many younger players, the average age is 29. Guests included Stampy, a famous Minecraft YouTuber who now has Wonder Quest, an online animated Minecraft series, and Mindcrack, a community of online Minecraft players.

https://www.youtube.com/user/Wonderquest

http://www.engadget.com/2015/07/17/this-is-minecon-the-biggest-minecraft-fan-convention/

 

Google pledges $1 million to boost STEM in Aust.

Google will work with 3 Australian not-for-profits to inspire under-represented students to careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. Cash grants will deliver hands-on training and career programs. Aust. Indigenous Mentoring Experience will develop STEM content for Year 7 & 8 indigenous students; First Robotics Aust. will take robotics programs into 150 schools; Engineers Without Borders Aust. will give hands-on training to 5000 young people, focusing on young women.

Keep up with Google with their blog: http://google-au.blogspot.com.au/

 

Bond University Digital Australia report 2016 (DA16)

This report has been released annually since 2010 for the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association. Gaming is a massively popular activity for people of all ages and a growing industry. 68% of Australians play video games, with an average age of 33 years. 47% of gamers are female. Half of video game players are avid video game watchers as well. The International Defense of the Ancients 2 Championship (DotA2 – an online battle game) takes place next week in Seattle with many professional gamers and $22 million in prize money. Many will pay to watch the top players battle it out.

http://www.igea.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Digital-Australia-2016-DA16-Final.pdf

http://www.cnet.com/au/news/digital-australia-16-igea-pc-gaming-broadband-bottleneck/

 

Gamers on Twitch.tv and YouTube

People are more than willing to watch others play video games – and will even pay to do it. Twitch.tv (owned by Amazon) has 100 million visitors per month who watch others play video games online and “e-sports” (the big video game competitions). Sarah Pike has a full-time job as a gamer on Twitch.tv. Viewers pay $6.70 a month to watch her play games like Call of Duty – she keeps half of that. She also gets donations and tips. Fans even order home delivered meals for her when she’s playing. 9 million viewers a month watch Elliott Watkins play Team Fortress on YouTube. He gets between 60c and $1 for every 1000 views…..$108 000p.a.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/meet-the-online-gamers-making-big-money-just-by-letting-others-watch-them/story-fni0cx12-1227456740274

http://www.news.com.au/technology/home-entertainment/australians-play-video-games-for-15-hours-a-day-survey/story-e6frfrt9-1227459456488

 

Global Internet Report 2015

The second report by the Internet Society focuses on mobile networks and devices, because they “will be instrumental in bringing the next billion people online”(Brown). More than 90% of the world’s population is covered by at least one mobile network, with 3 billion internet users. The time spent using apps exceeds the time spent using browsers on mobile devices. 84% of tablets and 72% of mobile phones are Android. Tablet sales will exceed PC sales within a year. There is widespread concern about the mass sharing of personal data arising from location-sharing apps. Neutrality, copyright and low-cost access are also issues. Governments must ensure that enough spectrum is available nationally and internationally to support the growth of mobile usage. By 2019, 71% of the world’s population will be using mobile networks.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/global-report-finds-mobile-rules-the-internet-and-android-rules-mobile-20150722-gicler.html

ICT news

Pyne pushes for maths or science to be compulsory for Year 11 & 12

Education Minister Pyne will call for changes at an Education Council meeting on Friday. The government estimates that up to 75% of the areas with fastest-growing jobs will require STEM skills. There is a shortage of STEM teachers, particularly in rural areas. Meanwhile Labor plans to offer free access to certain degrees and the introduction of computer coding in primary and secondary schools. The Review of the Australian Curriculum in Aug 2014 recommended that coding not be compulsory in primary years, despite other countries introducing it, such as Britain, Vietnam, Israel, South Korea and Finland. The Aust. Curriculum: Digital Technologies awaits final endorsement.

http://www.afr.com/technology/apps/education/bill-shorten-is-right-to-push-computer-coding-in-schools-20150517-gh2vc4

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/christopher-pyne-pushes-for-maths-or-science-to-be-compulsory-for-year-11-and-12-students-20150525-gh9kjv.html

 

One million Micro Bit mini-computers for UK schools

In March the BBC announced it would give away 1 million Micro Bit mini-computers to all Year 7 students, as part of the Make it Digital initiative, aimed at improving the UK’s digital skills. The tiny programmable computer (like a Raspberry Pi) is used in computer coding, which is taught from the age of 5 in UK schools. Thirty years ago, PM Thatcher put BBC Micro Computers into schools and many students learned to code using them. The Micro Bit is a small wearable device with an LED display. It can connect and communicate with other Micro Bits and other devices including Arduino and Raspberry Pi. BBC Learning lessons and other online content from partners will support teachers and students.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/makeitdigital/micro-bit

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolreport/31854427

 

4D printing

The 4th dimension is time. 3D printed objects are designed to reshape themselves or self-assemble over time eg. medical devices or a printed pipe can sense the need to expand or contract; furniture and jewellery can change shape over time. Recently scientists developed a 3D implant to help 3 babies with their breathing. It changed shape over time as they grew and eventually dissolved when their airways grew.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/4d-printing-is-cooler-than-3d-printing-and-why-that-means-the-end-of-ikea-flatpacks-20150421-1mp2aj.html

http://www.livescience.com/50668-4d-implant-babies-breathing-problems.html

 

3D body scanners at Westfield

The mPort Body Scanner tracks more than 200 000 points across the body in 7 seconds. The measurements create a 3D avatar of the user’s body which can be synched with online retailers to help find the correct size clothes.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/hi-tech-three-dimensional-body-scanner-at-westfield-doncaster-helps-shoppers-find-their-perfect-fit/story-fngnvlxu-1227278322835

 

Would you rather have an implant?

A survey by Visa found 25% of Australians were “slightly interested” in having a commerce-oriented chip implanted in their skin, so they no longer had to use cash, credit cards, smartphones or smartwatches. They would just wave their hand over the payment terminal. 32% would be interested in paying with a smartwatch; 29% with a smart ring; 26% with smart glasses. Some people already have chips implanted and have had them for more than 10 years.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/implants-to-aid-payment-with-a-wave-of-the-hand/story-e6frgakx-1227368819195

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/human-microchipping-ive-got-you-under-my-skin-20140416-zqvho.html

 

Google developing new Operating System for Internet of Things (IoT)

26 billion devices are predicted to be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020 (900 million in 2009). IoT devices connect to the internet and allow users to receive data related to them on their smartphones or computers. Devices can also communicate to each other. Google hopes that device manufacturers will use their operating system – to be called Brillo, a version of Android designed for low power devices. A single operating system could be very useful – whilst you away on holidays, your rain gauge, running Brillo, could communicate with your watering system, also running Brillo. There are already other IoT operating systems around, so Google will be another competitor. And they will be very happy if they can find another way into your home to market to you. J

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/55128/20150524/hello-brillo-google-developing-new-os-internet-things.htm

http://www.eweek.com/cloud/slideshows/what-a-google-internet-of-things-os-would-mean-for-the-it-industry.html