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/

Wootube maths tutorials and ICT news

Eddy Woo and Wootube maths tutorials

Head Teacher Mathematics at Cherrybrook High in Sydney, young and enthusiastic Mr Woo has been uploading his maths lesson videos to YouTube since 2012. He has attracted 4 million views and many grateful students. He featured on Australian Story this week – Channelling Mr Woo (iView until 24 May).

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-01/teacher-eddie-woo-changing-the-face-of-maths/8472522

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/australian-story/NC1701Q012S00

https://misterwootube.com/

 

Google moves to demote fake news

Following increasing incidents of fake news and other flaws, Google is updating its algorithms and demoting misleading and offensive content in its search results. Algorithms will prioritise more “authoritative” content eg. affiliation with a university or verified news site and the quality of sites that link to the site in question. Users can now use a feedback button to report offensive and false results, including offensive autocomplete results that appear as you type in the search box.

https://www.recode.net/2017/4/25/15415428/google-updating-search-flagging-fake-news

 

China is creating an online encyclopedia

Known as the ‘Chinese Encyclopedia’, the national encyclopedia will go online in 2018. Twenty thousand scholars from universities and research institutes will contribute articles in more than 100 disciplines with 300,000 entries of 1 000 words each. These will showcase China’s science and technology developments, promote historical and cultural heritage and strengthen the core values of socialism.  The goal isn’t to mimic Wikipedia, which is blocked in China (though internet giant Baidu has its own online encyclopedia). “We have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world. Our goal is not to catch up, but overtake” (Yang Muzhi, editor). China has the world’s largest internet population (720 million users) and some of the world’s most restrictive internet laws. The ‘Great Firewall of China’ is the world’s most most sophisticated censorship tool, blocking ‘unsavoury’ parts of the internet.

https://news.vice.com/story/china-is-recruiting-20000-people-to-write-its-own-wikipedia

 

Facebook ramps up its response to violent videos

Facebook will hire 3000 more people  to review violent videos and other posts (4 500 employees already identify questionable material for removal). Since introducing the live video feature Facebook Live in April 2016, many unacceptable videos have been uploaded. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook wants to respond quickly when someone needs help or when an unacceptable post needs taking down.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/facebook-hire-3000-review-videos-crime-suicide-47178911

 

Amazon is coming….look busy

‘The everything store – fast, vast and low-priced’ – it will shake up Australian retail. Amazon is the fastest company in history to hit $US100 billion in annual sales and leading businesses such as Harvey Norman, Myer and JB Hi-Fi could lose half their earnings to Amazon. Amazon will offer “extreme convenience” and goods could be delivered within an hour of ordering online. Amazon Marketplace, for third-party retailers, will launch this year. Amazon is currently searching for a huge logistics facility.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/fast-vast-and-lowpriced-amazon-to-shake-up-australian-retail/news-story/026ace527679086657bc156735863dc8

 

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

 

 

Good films and TV

Some good films and TV shows coming up – useful for various curriculum areas…

 

Jasper Jones

Based on the acclaimed novel by Craig Silvey. Directed by indigenous director Rachel Perkins; screenplay by Craig Silvey. Stars Levi Miller, Aaron McGrath, Toni Collette. A young boy and his friend try to solve the mysterious death of a young girl in their country town. Opens 2 March.

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/jasper-jones-is-a-classic-in-the-making/news-story/4aac912ce1d385d382591e9de55ee9c6

Review: https://dailyreview.com.au/jasper-jones-movie-review/55573/

 

Wake in fright

Based on the book by Kenneth Cook. 2 part series to be directed by Kriv Stenders – a remake of the cult 1971 film, reimagined for new viewers. A young schoolteacher finds himself marooned in a small mining town where a dangerous series of events render him a broken and desperate man.

http://if.com.au/2016/09/08/article/Network-Ten-orders-Wake-In-Fright-mini-series/JJCSEPFVAR.html

 

Picnic at Hanging Rock

6 part adaptation based on the novel by Joan Lindsay. Cast: Natalie Dormer, Yael Stone, Samara Weaving. Still set in 1900, the story will give new forms to the iconic characters.

https://www.foxtel.com.au/got/whats-on/foxtel-insider/foxtel/picnic-at-hanging-rock/cast.html

 

ABC shows in 2017

Lots of great upcoming programs relevant to the curriculum: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2016/11/2017-upfronts-abc-highlights.html

 

ABC programs include:

 

Blue water empire

3 part series. Stars Jack Thompson, Damian Walshe-Howling and Aaron Fa’aoso. Combines drama with archival footage, digital effects and key interviews, to explore how Torres Strait Islanders have sustained their cultural heritage throughout the impact of 200 years of European settlement. The series starts in traditional times, through to the arrival of missionaries, pearling and WW2, to contemporary history and politics, resistance and racism.

http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2016/07/filming-to-begin-on-abc-docudrama-blue-water-empire.html

 

The warriors

Two young indigenous football players from the country are chosen to play in the big league in Melbourne, where their lives are turned upside down.

 

Bullied presented by Ian Thorpe and Cyberhate with Tara Moss

Airs as part of National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence Fri 17 March. Ian Thorpe helps schoolchildren handle real-life situations and provides mentorship for victims and perpetrators. Tara Moss investigates the effects of cyberhate.

 

My Year 12 life

14 students were given cameras to document their lives during Year 12 in 2016.

 

Cleverman

Series 2. Stars Hunter Lochard-Page. Inspired by Aboriginal Dreaming stories and superheroes from pop culture. Set in a futuristic Australia, the newly emerged hero seeks to harness his power and protect others, fighting injustice to the Hairies.

 

Davis Stratton’s stories of Australian cinema

3 parts. Charts the story of Australian cinema and its creators, via David’s personal reflections and interviews.

 

Art bites

New series of arts docos. Includes Shock art, The glass bedroom (Instagram artists), The wanderers (street artists).

 

Returning ABC shows

Anh’s brush with fame, Glitch, Cleverman, Stop laughing this is serious, You can’t ask that

 

iView, ABC News

All ABC channels are live streamed on iView. The ABC will double its commitment to digital-first content, with more than 200 hours made especially for iView. ABC News 24 is now ABC News.

 

The Oscars

Ceremony 26 Feb. There are some good films for various curriculum areas.

All nominees: http://oscar.go.com/nominees

 

Best picture nominees include:

 

Lion

Based on the book A long way home by Saroo Brierley. Directed by Garth Davies. Stars Dev Patel. Amazing and very moving biographical story of Saroo Brierley, who tries to find his birth family in India. Rated PG.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3741834/

 

Hidden figures

Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly. Directed by Theodore Melfi. Stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. True story about a team of African-American women mathematicians who played a vital role at NASA in the early years of the space program. Great for STEM, civil rights, sociology and gender studies. Rated PG.

Review: https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2017/feb/21/why-hidden-figures-should-win-the-best-picture-oscar

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/

 

Hacksaw Ridge

Directed by Mel Gibson. Stars Andrew Garfield. The true story of pacifist medic Desmond Doss, who was the only frontline American soldier in WW2  who did not carry a gun. Rated MA15+.

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

 

Arrival

Based on the novella Story of your life by Ted Chiang. Directed by  Denis Villeneuve. Stars Amy Adams. Thought-provoking, philosophical and enigmatic sci-fi that deals with time and how we perceive it. A linguist communicates with alien arrivals and makes decisions that will affect her life and those around her. If you knew the future, would you change it? Rated M.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2543164/

Review: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/arrival-review-dazzling-science-fiction-that-will-leave-you-spee/

 

La La land

Directed by Damien Chazelle. Stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Sweet and poignant musical about an actress and a musician who fall in love and chase their dreams. Rated M.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3783958/

 

Moonlight

Directed by Barry Jenkins. Stars Trevante Rhodes. Coming-of-age story of a young black man’s struggle to find himself whilst growing up in Miami – a timeless story of self-discovery and connection. Rated M.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/19/moonlight-review-five-star

 

Best animated film nominees

Kubo and the two strings; Moana; My life as a zucchini; The red turtle; Zootopia.

 

Foreign language film nominations

Includes Australia’s first nomination in this category for Tanna. Set in Vanuatu, a young couple’s plan to wed is thwarted by rival chiefs. Also includes A man called Ove (Sweden).

http://oscar.go.com/news/nominations/foreign-language-film-nominations-2017-oscars

 

Something for everyone!

Words of the Year and Google Translate

Interesting words and their reflection of society…..

 

Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year

Announced 25 January. The Committee’s Choice for 2016 Word of the Year is fake news. Honourable mentions go to enby and halal snack pack.

People’s Choice: Halal snack pack.

Fake news – disinformation and hoaxes published on websites for political purposes or to drive web traffic, with the incorrect information being passed along by social media.

Halal snack pack – hot chips, grated cheese, halal kebab meat, garlic sauce, bbq sauce and chilli sauce.

Enby – a person who identifies as neither male nor female.

Shortlist category winners: youlk; racebending; standing desk; shoefiti; fatberg; greige; rumbler alarm; patient navigator; filter bubble; alt-right; enby; bubble soccer; plyscraper.

Winners and finalists with definitions: https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/resources/view/word/of/the/year/

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-25/fake-news-named-2016-word-of-the-year/8211056

 

Other Words of the Year 2016

 

Oxford Dictionaries (UK and US)

Post-truth  – relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Other popular words: alt-right, glass cliff, hygge (Danish cosiness), chatbot (computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users), adulting (behaving like a responsible adult).

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-the-year/word-of-the-year-2016

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/nov/15/post-truth-named-word-of-the-year-by-oxford-dictionaries

 

Collins Dictionary

Brexit – withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Other popular words: hygge, mic drop, Trumpism, throw shade, sharenting (sharing your kids’ photos on social media), snowflake generation, dude food, Uberization, JOMO (joy of missing out).

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/word-lovers-blog/new/top-10-collins-words-of-the-year-2016,323,HCB.html

 

American Dialect Society

Dumpster fire – an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation. Other popular words: normalize, post-truth, woke (socially aware). Emoji of the Year: fire (exciting). Digital Word of the Year: @ (replying on Twitter).

http://www.americandialect.org/wp-content/uploads/2016-Word-of-the-Year-PRESS-RELEASE.pdf

 

Merriam-Webster

Surreal – marked by the intense irrationality of a dream. Other popular words: icon, deplorable, feckless, revenant.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/woty2016-top-looked-up-words-surreal

 

Global Language Monitor

Tracks global trends through Big Data analysis of Global English, with over 1.83 billion speakers. Number of words in the English language (1 Jan 2016 estimate): 1 035 877. Most understood word of the English language – OK. Top 40 words for the first 15 years of the 21st century and what they portend: 1. Web/internet 2. China 3. Selfie 4. 404 (internet failure) 5. 9/11

http://www.languagemonitor.com/trending-words/top-words-for-the-first-15-years-of-the-21st-century-the-trends-they-portend/

 

Google Translate

Google Translate now uses Neural Machine Translation Artificial Intelligence for translation tasks. This works on entire sentences at once, giving more context to work out the best translation. It is used for 8 of the most common language pairs and results in more natural translations with better syntax. Now 10 years old, Google Translate supports 103 languages and translates over 140 billion words every day. It also continues to rely on Translate Community, where speakers contribute and review translations.

https://translate.google.com.au/

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2114748-google-translate-ai-invents-its-own-language-to-translate-with/

https://blog.google/products/translate/found-translation-more-accurate-fluent-sentences-google-translate/

 

Vocabulary.com

Free fun way to learn over 13 000 words effectively – suitable for Grade 5 onwards. A games approach personalises learning experiences, asking questions to increase vocabulary. The online dictionary used is very user-friendly and easy to understand. Vocabulary lists are easily created and can be shared. Educator Edition also available. Available on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

https://www.vocabulary.com/

https://www.vocabulary.com/howitworks/

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

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