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/

Teen reading habits and 21st century skills

Some interesting reads from Teacher magazine and elsewhere…..

 

Teacher magazine

Excellent online ACER publication with interesting articles and quick reads – Evidence + Insight + Action.

https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/

 

Infographic: Teen reading habits

Early findings from a study by Deakin and Murdoch Universities, exploring the recreational reading habits of Australian teenagers. 70% read at least weekly for pleasure; 50% read for at least 15 minutes daily; 63% preferred paper books or disliked reading on digital devices; 12% preferred ebooks.

https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/infographic-teen-reading-habits

 

Global education: 21st century skills

Charles Fadel, 21st Century Skills pioneer, delivered the 2017 Australian Learning Lecture – The New Success on 11 May. Young people are likely to have 17 jobs over 5 different careers in their lifetime. Skills needed: broad and deep education, versatility, entrepreneurship, robotics, wellness, creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, mindfulness, curiosity, courage, resilience, ethics, leadership, reflection, lifelong learning, growth mindsets. Fadel believes 4 dimensions of education are necessary: modernised knowledge, skills, character and meta learning. His 2015 book with Bernie Trilling: Four-dimensional education: the competencies learners need to succeed.

https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/global-education-21st-century-skills?utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_medium=bulletin&utm_content=May%2016%202017

 

Preparing young people for the future of work

Australia’s education system is not preparing students for twenty-first century success. Young Australians are studying for longer than ever before but are disengaged and struggling to find permanent jobs. Young people entering technology-rich, global, competitive job markets need different skill sets to what our education system has traditionally valued. Schools need to broaden learning objectives. The most crucial capabilities for the future include critical thinking, creativity, curiosity and communication skills. It is time Australia made changes to prioritise teaching, assessing and reporting capabilities” (Torii and O’Connell).

http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/reports/preparing-young-people-for-the-future-of-work/

 

Education Endowment  Foundation literature reviews

The EEF has conducted literature reviews on Digital Technology, Careers education, Literacy at the transition, English as an Additional Language, Education and neuroscience, Arts education, and Non-cognitive skills.

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/resources/publications/

 

Evidence for Learning

This independent Australian site helps to build, share and use evidence to improve learning in all schools. Find out about new Australian education approaches and  Australian and global evidence summaries of 34 education approaches. Sign up for the newsletter.

http://evidenceforlearning.org.au/

 

Spaced Learning

Evidence from neuroscience and psychology suggests information is more easily learnt and recalled when it is repeated multiple times and separated by periods of unrelated activity. Neuroscience literature supports the use of shorter spaces between learning (around 10 minutes) and cognitive psychology literature supports longer spaces (around 24 hours). The study found that the most effective approach to spaced learning combined both 24 hour and 10 minute spacing between curriculum content.

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/our-work/projects/spaced-learning/

 

Switched off students

Student disengagement is a major hidden issue – 40% of Australian students are regularly unproductive, bored and struggling to keep up with their peers. More students are fiddling with their phones, making snide comments and turning up late than are swearing at teachers or threatening classmates. Reasons include boredom, work too hard or not challenging enough, poor quality teaching and problems at home. An education system overhaul is required to deal with this. Recommendations include higher expectations for students; stronger teacher-student relationships based on mutual respect; encouraging active learning; encouragement; praise and not using ‘old-fashioned discipline’.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/05/almost-half-of-australian-school-students-bored-or-struggling-says-grattan-institute

Fake news and other media news

Fake news

Politicians and the media have created a post-truth world and young people are easily duped. A recent Stanford University study found 80% of middle-school pupils could not tell an online news story apart from a piece of advertising and uni students did little better. The research covered news literacy, as well as students’ ability to judge Facebook and Twitter feeds, comments left in readers’ forums on news sites, blog posts, photographs and other digital messages that shape public opinion. Young people need to be taught digital literacy and learn about source criticism and cognitive bias and learn to mistrust the voice that says something must be right.

https://ed.stanford.edu/news/stanford-researchers-find-students-have-trouble-judging-credibility-information-online

 

News Integrity Initiative – countering fake news

Announced 3 April. Facebook, Mozilla, the Walkley Foundation (Aust.), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and other tech leaders, non-profits and academics  have formed the $14 million consortium to counter fake news. The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism will administer the initiative and plans to make tools to help people be discerning about stories they read online and to increase trust in journalism around the world.

https://www.cnet.com/au/news/facebook-spearheads-14m-consortium-to-counter-fake-news/

 

Fake news, piracy and digital duopoly of Google and Facebook

“Google and Facebook, the 2 most powerful news publishers in human history, have created an ecosystem that is dysfunctional and socially destructive” (Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp). They do not distinguish between the fake and the real because they make a lot of money from both.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/fake-news-piracy-and-digital-duopoly-of-google-and-facebook/news-story/52784483d9650cdbf8624247a590c7f8

 

Google and Facebook should pay for content

Senator Nick Xenophon thinks news organisations, publishers and TV networks should be given the right to charge Facebook and Google a content fee for publishing their stories and videos. He believes protecting traditional media companies is a crucial part of safeguarding democracy and open debate.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/digital/xenophon-bid-to-charge-facebook-and-google-for-content/news-story/d5c5cdf7142b319ad7b8fd7c7bd9fc54

 

2016: the worst year for print

2016 saw decreased revenue from advertising for newspapers and magazines (so much advertising money goes to Google and Facebook). Readership in 2016: Sydney Morning Herald – decreased M-F and Sat; The Australian – increased M-F and decreased Sat; Aust. Geographic – 31% increase; Big Issue – 35.9% increase; New Scientist – 26.8% increase; Time – 18.2% increase; Rolling Stone – 11.5% increase; Frankie – 6.6% increase; Hyper – 6.9% increase.

https://mumbrella.com.au/2016-worst-year-yet-print-industry-new-smi-numbers-reveal-419898

http://www.roymorgan.com/industries/media/readership/newspaper-readership

http://www.roymorgan.com/industries/media/readership/magazine-readership

 

Newspapers – print or digital?

A University of London study reveals that online UK newspapers engage each visitor for less than 30 seconds per day, but readers of print newspapers engage for 40 minutes per day. Time spent reading print and online newspapers doesn’t vary much between countries. In Australia, Fairfax (The Age & SMH) was expected to switch weekday editions to digital only, but is continuing with daily papers ‘for some years yet’.

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/study-national-press-online-readers-average-30-seconds-per-day-versus-40-minutes-for-print/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/feb/22/fairfax-media-announces-half-year-profit-and-plan-to-keep-printing-newspapers

 

Digital news takes precedence at ABC

ABC News (the largest news organisation in Australia) is planning a major refocus away from TV and radio to concentrate on expanding its digital news output and this could affect the 7pm flagship news and other current affairs programs. The ABC has a declining and ageing audience for news and current affairs (the 7pm news has 82% of viewers aged over 50). Increasingly, younger viewers watch very little live TV and often don’t watch news programs. To reach younger viewers, the news division will increase production of digital videos and launch a mobile-first story-telling unit.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/digital-news-takes-precedence-at-abc/news-story/fc9f8cc6ced53f9dd5127ab3a6bb6cfa

 

Hilarious! Check this broken link and read comments from many well-known politicians eg. Trump: “Do you believe it? The Australian brought thousands of readers here and there’s nothing. Why? I will study this dumb broken link”. Someone had a lot of time on their hands J

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/fake-news-c hildren-of-the-internet-happy-to-live-a-lie/news-story/0045fccc 0724b8f8e1389202aef82c14

Interesting webcasts and ICT news

School Library Journal webcasts

Lots of good free archived webcasts here – Building a 21st century library; Hot new graphic novels coming soon; Pop literacy; Virtual reality and Augmented Reality….

You can also sign up for the following 3 webcasts in the Top Tech Trends Spring 2017 series (in association with ISTE) or access them later in the archives:

16 March: Information literacy in the age of fake news (now archived)
Critical thinking is more important than ever. Examines best practices for students to manage the digital firehose and considers perspective and bias.

20 April: 60 tools in 60 minutes
Explores the best applications and gear for your school or library, including must-have multimedia content, cool coding platforms, and top choices for your maker space.

18 May: Technology to aid the struggling reader
A resource-rich program with tips on how to leverage technology to help new and struggling readers. Learn about the best storytelling apps, digital sources of high-interest content for kids and teens, and more.

http://www.slj.com/category/webcasts/

 

Job hunting robots

Stephen Hawking , Elon Musk and Bill Gates are worried about our jobs.

Hawking: “The rise of Artificial Intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.”

Musk: “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot cannot do better than a human.” A universal basic income would allow the economy to continue as millions of workers are displaced by automation.

Gates: Governments should start taxing robot workers.

Meanwhile, Uber has bought a self-driving truck company and Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, is testing a store with no employees. And you can get a coffee made by a robot barista in San Francisco’s Café X!

https://www.good.is/articles/automation-elon-musk-bill-gates-jobs?utm_source=thedailygood&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailygood

http://abc7news.com/technology/robot-baristas-serve-coffee-at-san-franciscos-cafe-x/1728812/

 

Preparing for the future of work

Lots of skills and attitudes here that we try to develop and encourage in our students!

People skills will continue to be in high demand – machines have no empathy and emotional intelligence (EI) plays a role in everything. Critical thinking will be crucial and creative thinkers will add value and new perspectives. Adaptability and insight will be more important than talent. Digital and media literacy and predicting trends will be paramount. Virtual collaboration skills will be essential to communicate with teams located elsewhere. Upsetting the status quo can be an asset!

https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-prepare-yourself-for-the-automated-future-107ed5bc763#.bnlw1a486

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s robot butler Jarvis

Each year Zuckerberg creates a personal challenge for himself. For 2016, he wanted to develop a simple Artificial Intelligence to run his home – “Jarvis” (like in Iron Man). It took 100 hours. You can’t see Jarvis but you can hear him (voiced by Morgan Freeman!) and he is great at assisting with tasks. Zuckerberg controlled Jarvis from smartphones placed around the house and often used text (a Facebook Messenger bot that he built) rather than voice. Is it the future?

Fun videos – including wife Priscilla’s experience: https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/20/watch-mark-zuckerbergs-morgan-freeman-voiced-jarvis-ai-in-action/

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/innovation/mark-zuckerberg-shows-off-jarvis-ai-he-built-to-run-his-home-20161220-gtfgfq.html

His 2017 challenge – meeting and talking with someone from every state of the US: https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10103385178272401

 

70+ educational  iPad apps for the classroom

Useful categories: presentations, screencasting, video and audio creation, book creation, file storage, whiteboard, notetaking, mindmapping, speech to text…

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2017/01/70-educational-ipad-apps-for-teachers.html

 

Apple Park

The new Apple headquarters (aka the “spaceship”) opens soon in Cupertino, California, with 12 000 employees moving in from April. It will be one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world – run entirely on renewable energy and with walking & running paths for employees, an orchard, meadow and pond. Product launches will take place in the Steve Jobs Theatre on a hill.

http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/apple/52-facts-about-apples-spaceship-campus-february-drone-video-3489704/

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

Some interesting developments – artificial intelligence, robots taking our jobs, disengaged students, Generation Alpha, words of the year, great new films, TV and books….

Previous presentations about What’s New can also be found here.

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

 

 

ICT news

Ok it had to happen…your bot shopping experience is here! The Kmart Buddy bot will help you with suggestions this Xmas. Search for Buddy in Facebook Messenger. Specify what you want and Buddy presents web pages where you can buy the goods online.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/kmart-buddy-bot-can-it-do-your-christmas-shopping/news-story/9f0b135b5def79e6e6880b39b54dc53f

 

Digital Inclusion Index Report

Produced by Swinburne University of Technology and Telstra in August. The Australian Digital Inclusion Index measures the extent of digital inclusion in Australia – access, affordability and digital ability. No surprise – Australians are spending more time and doing more online. The highest-scoring state is ACT, followed by Victoria. Groups with high digital inclusion include those who speak other languages. Those with low levels of income, education and employment are less included. Indigenous Australians and people with disability have low but improving inclusion. The gender gap is narrow but there is a marked difference in attitudes towards learning new technology. Geography also plays a critical role – inclusion is higher in capital cities than country areas. Access and affordability can be barriers but a person’s digital ability (attitudes, skills, activities, safety concerns) also has a large impact. The Index will help inform and promote policy and programs to enhance digital inclusion in Australia.

http://www.swinburne.edu.au/news/latest-news/2016/08/swinburne-study-measures-australias-digital-divide.php

http://digitalinclusionindex.org.au/

http://digitalinclusionindex.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Australian-Digital-Inclusion-Index-2016.pdf

 

Born Digital 2016

Born Digital 2016, the National and State Libraries Australasia conference in August, explored the collection and preservation of digital content via video interviews with experts. Topics included Science and space; Indigenous voices; Digital lifestyles; Video games.

http://www.nsla.org.au/born-digital-2016

Why it’s important to preserve video games: http://www.nsla.org.au/news/borndigital2016-day-5-play

Truth and history with John Birmingham – libraries need to preserve digital content such as Facebook, blogs and tweets: http://www.nsla.org.au/news/borndigital2016-day-3-truth-and-history

 

The NBN GranTechie Report: the new wave of silver surfers

This Sept 2016 report shows that access to fast broadband, NBN and smart devices is redefining how older Australians are using the internet and debunks myths that they are not using technology to connect and learn. 72% of grandparents say the internet makes them feel more educated, more purposeful (66%) and more connected (85%). 93% go online every day; 79% use technology to stay connected with family and friends; 59% use the internet for online shopping; 72% couldn’t imagine life without the internet. And 49% of 18-34 year olds believe older generations are just as savvy as them when it comes to technology and the internet. Go Nan and Pop!

http://www.nbnco.com.au/content/dam/nbnco2/documents/The%20nbn%E2%84%A2%20GranTechies%20Report.pdf

https://startsat60.com/stories/tech/grantechies-rise-of-the-silver-surfer

Good books and reviews: https://startsat60.com/category/stories/entertain/books

 

Google Expeditions adds 50 new tours for schools

There are now over 400 virtual reality field trips, with over 100 lesson plans also available. Places include Machu Picchu, Antarctica, coral reefs, the International Space Station and a Viking settlement. Expeditions has been used by over 1 million students and is the app is available in 123 countries. Google Cardboard VR sets make the experience more immersive, but are not essential. Android and iOS.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/peter-cosgrove-launches-google-tour-of-government-house/news-story/560b2534672c74be7174c170ae587fb0

https://blog.google/topics/education/adding-50-new-tours-schools-google-expeditions/

https://support.google.com/edu/expeditions/answer/6335093?hl=en&ref_topic=6334250

 

Google Earth Timelapse

Google has updated Timelapse, their comprehensive picture of the Earth’s changing surface. First released 2013, it now includes 4 additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data from satellites, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. Watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, glaciers in Antarctica and a river in Tibet.

https://blog.google/products/earth/our-most-detailed-view-earth-across-space-and-time/

View Timelapse: https://earthengine.google.com/timelapse/

 

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Verbs

This infographic lists verbs used to facilitate technology in the classroom, from lower-order thinking skills (LOTS) to higher-order thinking skills (HOTS).

https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/blooms-digital-taxonomy-verbs

Bloom’s taxonomy and apps for the iPad: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2016/06/new-visual-on-blooms-digital-taxonomy.html

More Bloom’s and apps: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2016/11/new-blooms-digital-taxonomy-poster-for.html

 

Netflix shows can now be downloaded and watched offline

Rolled out worldwide last week. Enjoy an offline binge on your smartphones and tablets. Update your Netfix app and choose the downward arrow icon when browsing. Free.

https://www.wired.com/2016/11/netflix-offline-viewing/

 

18 best external storage devices for iPad and iPhone

Very useful when your device is full of photos and videos. Includes Verbatim iStore ‘n’ Go (USB at one end and a Lightning port at the other) and SanDisk Connect Wireless USB flash drive (copies photos automatically straight onto the device).

http://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/iphone/best-ways-get-more-storage-for-your-iphone-or-ipad-external-devices-3579792/

Lexar JumpDrive (USB and Lightning connectors): http://www.lexar.com/products/usb-flash-drives/Lexar-JumpDrive-M20i-USB-3-flash-drive.html

 

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

 

ICT news

Internet Trends Report 2016 by Mary Meeker

Her 21st annual report is over 200 slides and reveals:

Internet growth is slowing (3 billion users = 42% of world’s population); massive increase in voice commands – voice is the next big interface; in 5 years at least 50% of searches are going to be images or speech; messaging apps are rivalling the home screen as the main place for interaction; messaging is evolving with rich interactions – emoji, GIFs, videos, stickers; many online ads are ineffective; use of ad blockers is rising fast; privacy and security are ticking time bombs; user-generated videos and photos are redefining marketing; millennials don’t want to talk on the phone; smartphone growth is plateauing.

Global internet market leaders: 1. Apple 2. Google 3. Amazon 4. Facebook 5. Tencent (China)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2016/06/01/what-you-are-doing-online-and-other-top-findings-from-an-exhaustive-study-of-the-internet/?tid=a_inl

 

The 50 most influential gadgets of all time

A great list with interesting info including Apple Macintosh, Walkman, Victrola record player, Kodak Brownie camera, iPod, Philips VCR, Game Boy, TomTom, iPad, Kindle, Polaroid camera, Raspberry Pi, Segway, Fitbit, Wii, PlayStation….and the number 1? Apple iPhone – Apple dominates the list.

http://time.com/4309573/most-influential-gadgets/

http://time.com/4309573/most-influential-gadgets/

 

Google’s Magenta project

Magenta just wrote its first piece of music. This research project uses machine intelligence and algorithms for music and art generation. Machine learning has already been used extensively to understand content (eg. for speech recognition and for translation). Robots with rhythm?

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3077977/data-center-cloud/googles-magenta-project-just-wrote-its-first-piece-of-music-and-thankfully-its-not-great.html

 

Want to test-drive for Google?

In Phoenix, you can apply to test-drive Google’s self-driving car and earn $20 per hour for six to eight hours a day, 5 dpw on a 12-24 month contract. Drivers must have a bachelor’s degree, a typing speed of over 40 words per minute and a clean driving and criminal record. Testers will work in teams of 2, with one submitting detailed reports.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/google-driverless-car-driver-job/#:jR9_-At6fdrqCA

 

Your Google Account will help you find your phone

“Ok Google, show me my Google account”. Voice searches on Google have tripled in the past 2 years. Google is now adding a Find your phone feature – in a few steps, you can locate your phone, lock and call it, secure your account and leave a callback number on the screen. For Android and iOS.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/dont-panic-google-will-help-find-your-lost-phone-20160602-01370