ICT and media news

RUOK? survey reveals Aussies spend more time with screens than quality time with family and friends

We spend an average of 46 hours of our weekly downtime looking at TVs and devices, compared to 6 hours engaging with family and friends. About half of all Australians spend 2 hours or less weekly connecting with those who matter to them. Obstacles include distance, being too tired, being busy, housework and long work hours. Finding time in busy schedules is crucial. Strong and caring connections provide a safety net to help people cope with challenging times.

https://www.ruok.org.au/new-survey-reveals-aussies-spend-more-time-with-screens-than-quality-time-with-family-and-friends

 

Deloitte Media Consumer Survey 2016

Their 5th edition- more than 2000 Australians aged 14 to 69 were surveyed. The survey provides a snapshot of how consumers are interacting with media, entertainment and technologies. Results include:

 

* Huge influence of social media – the #1 digital destination; 84% are on a social network

*61% use social media every day; 84% of younger millennials use it every day

*Most used social media sites: 1.  Facebook (92%) 2. Instagram (28%) 3. Twitter (24%) 4. (All equal) Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+ (18%)

*18% use social media sites as their most frequently used source of news (14% online papers; 6% print newspapers); many younger people use social media as their primary source of news

*Word of mouth is still the main influence on purchase decisions, followed by recommendations on social media (which has surpassed the influence of TV advertising)

*TV viewing, on any device, is the most preferred entertainment activity (62% rate it in top 3)

*Using the internet for social or personal interests is almost as popular as TV (60% rate it in top 3)

*Millennials prefer using the internet as their top source of entertainment; watching TV is the most popular with other generations

*Live programming is the most used method for consuming TV (42% of viewing time)

*Watching streamed programming is increasing (22% pay for a subscription)

*Millennials lead the uptake of streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Presto

*Almost everyone likes to binge-watch (74% millennials; 50% others)

* 88% multitask while watching TV

*66% own tablet devices

*86% of households own a smartphone and a laptop; 85% own a TV

*67% rank smartphones in their top 3 devices

*Social media apps are the most popular with millennials; banking apps are also popular with younger people; older people like weather apps!

*10% intend to buy a Virtual Reality headset next year

*21% own a fitness band and 11% own a smartwatch

*Millennials (age 14 to 32) lead the way in engaging with the digital media universe

 

Preferred entertainment activities of all respondents – including books!

  1. Watching TV (any device) 2. Using the internet 3. Listening to music (any device) 4. Going to the movies 5. Reading books 6. Playing video games 7. Attending live performances 8. Reading newspapers (print or online) 9. Listening to the radio (any device/format) 10. Reading magazines (print or online)

*Reading books (in any format) is rated by 25% of people as a top 3 entertainment activity

*Reading books (in any format) decreased in popularity by 8% compared to 2015, despite gains for the past 4 years.

*Reading books and playing video games are almost equal in popularity as a top 3 entertainment activity (25% for books; 24% for video games)

*Movie-going increased in popularity by 5% over the past year

*Aside from using the internet and watching TV, millennials also favour listening to music, going to the movies and playing video games

*Aside from watching TV and using the internet, boomers and matures also like reading newspapers and books

 

Good short video and infographic: http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/media-consumer-survey-2016.html

The report: http://bit.ly/2cV9Ml2

Summary: http://which-50.com/social-dominates-digital-reshapes-media-habits/

Happy Book Week!

Literature quizzes

25 fun bookish quizzes: http://bookriot.com/2013/04/10/25-fun-bookish-quizzes/

http://www.triviaplaza.com/literature-general-quizzes/

http://www.funtrivia.com/quizzes/literature/

Great opening lines: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/30-great-opening-lines-in-literature/

53 best opening sentences: https://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahgalo/it-was-a-queer-sultry-summer?utm_term=.drxY61B0Y#.ldmRaDLjR

100 best closing lines: http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/the-best-100-closing-lines-from-books

 

Better Reading

Australia’s largest annual celebration  of books and reading, encouraging everyone to pick up a book and read.

The first Top 100 list was launched in 2015:

http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/better-reading-presents-australias-top-100-books/

Vote for your favourite book in 2016  and go in the draw to win Australia’s top 100 books. Entries close 31 Aug; top 100 announced 9 Sept. Titles can be fiction or non fiction from around the world.

Top 50 kids’ books: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/better-reading-presents-australias-top-50-kids-books/

 

Dymocks Top 101 2016

  1. The book thief 2. To kill a mockingbird 3. Pride and prejudice

https://www.dymocks.com.au/top-101?gclid=CP2-s6XO3M4CFQwnvQodv8gNiA

 

Miles Franklin Award announced 26 Aug

Australia’s most prestigious literary prize is awarded to “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases”.

http://theconversation.cmail2.com/t/ViewEmail/r/8D3A20714D85AF372540EF23F30FEDED/E047E5910EF91B07D8E2A916412CAE5B

Book lists and awards

Literary awards around the world – there are lots!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_awards

Reading suggestions and awards: http://www.betterreading.com.au/book_list/

 

Goodreads

The world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations (owned by Amazon). Lists, quizzes, trivia, quotes…

https://www.goodreads.com/

Goodreads Choice Awards: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2015

 

New York Times Bestsellers

Truly madly deeply by Liane Moriarty at #4.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/

 

After something new to read? Try these…

 

All these perfect strangers by Aoife Clifford

Psychological thriller (Aust. author) with an unreliable narrator. Within 6 months of Pen starting university, three of her friends are dead and only Pen knows the reason why. “A novel of disquieting intimacy and controlled suspense” – Gary Disher.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27838280-all-these-perfect-strangers

 

Ancillary justice by Ann Leckie

Award-winning sci-fi novel, the first in a space opera trilogy. The only novel to win the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Breq is the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery. As the artificial consciousness of the starship, she seeks revenge on the ruler of her civilisation.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333324-ancillary-justice

 

The trap by Melanie Raabe

Psychological thriller. “I know who killed my sister. I wrote this book for him”. Twelve years after the murder, Linda sees her sister’s killer on TV as a well-known journalist. She sets a trap for him by writing a thriller about an unsolved murder of a young woman.

https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/the-trap

Go books and reading!

 

 

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

Libraries, bookshops and makerspaces

The bookshop that bans mobile phones and tablets

London bookshop Libreria has declared itself a “digital detox zone”, banning customers from using mobile phones and tablets within the store. It is attempting to “immerse the visitor in the visceral joys of reading and the pleasure of physical books, as well as to reawaken the art of real-life conversation, debates and talks, a sense of conviviality and a taste of the unexpected”. Visitors can take photos, but if they are caught texting, phoning, using the internet or social media, they are politely requested to stop. Most people are happy to oblige. Libreria’s founders believe “we have reached a ‘cultural tipping point’ with book lovers rebelling against the ‘digital deluge’.” Other London bookshops are following suit. Libreria groups books according to loose themes rather than genre eg. the sea and the sky. Guest curators have also made selections eg. Jeanette Winterson.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160324-could-this-be-your-new-favourite-bookshop

 

Why the internet hasn’t killed the library (yet) – Donald Barclay, Deputy University Librarian, Uni of California, Merced.

Most reference questions in US academic libraries are now via email or web chat. Over 400 academic libraries provide 24/7 reference services as members of OCLC’s 24/7 Reference Cooperative. Circulation and in-person reference transaction numbers have decreased markedly, but there has been a steady increase in the number of people setting foot in academic libraries. These libraries have been reinventing themselves and converting printed book space to space for students to study, collaborate, learn and even socialise! Libraries offer consultation services and spaces for research, writing, analysing data, graphic design, presentation practice, digital media preparation, makerspaces, music practice, funding opportunities etc Some spaces are open 24/7 and many have relaxed food and drink rules (!)

https://theconversation.com/has-the-library-outlived-its-usefulness-in-the-age-of-internet-youd-be-surprised-58198

 

Create knowledge and other stuff at your library!

The availability of makerspaces in many US public libraries has had many benefits. Libraries are now “places where people can not only consume knowledge, but create new knowledge” (Miguel Figueroa, ALA). 3D printers have allowed many people to create prototypes, models and parts far more cheaply at their library than through commercial manufacturing.

The Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago set up their Maker Lab to support 21st century learning, as a trial in 2013. It was very popular and current sessions are usually fully booked in advance. 68% of participants are women; 55% are 26-45 year olds; 70% visited the lab to try something new. Pop-up labs visit some neighbourhoods. 3D printing, the Laser Cutter and the Vinyl Cutter are all popular. Non-digital craft programs are also offered.

http://www.cplfoundation.org/site/DocServer/Maker_Lab_White_Paper_2015_web.pdf?docID=681

http://www.chipublib.org/maker-lab/

https://psmag.com/libraries-are-the-future-of-manufacturing-in-the-united-states-5509c61ac87f#.qk9t4rw6v

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/03/everyone-is-a-maker/473286/

Long but interesting: Will makerspaces last? Do they help their members earn a real living or to learn more than a smattering of skills?: https://placesjournal.org/article/makerspace-towards-a-new-civic-infrastructure/?gclid=CjwKEAjwyPW5BRCC3JaM7qfW_FwSJACM3jz9-nMuaAiFaYD46C0nOojQ9fFuvs37reC2tsLTlPOGwBoCi1fw_wcB

 

Tablets out, imagination in: the schools that shun technology

In Silicon Valley, California, the Waldorf School of the Peninsula does not use technology in the classroom but employees of the tech giants still send their children there. Innovative thinking skills and creativity are emphasised. At the London Acorn school, the internet is banned for everyone under 16 years – at home and at school. Computers are used only with those over 14 years. “The problem with instant information is that the ease with which you can get from A to B and find the answers doesn’t reflect real life” (Sarah Thorne, principal)

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2015/dec/02/schools-that-ban-tablets-traditional-education-silicon-valley-london

 

Kansas City Library, Missouri

How awesome…the façade of the parking garage of the Central Library is made of 8 metre tall book spines – the “Community Bookshelf”. The community voted on the 22 titles to be displayed, including Lord of the rings, Fahrenheit 451, Catch-22, A tale of two cities, Charlotte’s web, To kill a mockingbird, The invisible man, Romeo and Juliet….

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/kansas-city-library-s-giant-bookshelf

http://www.kclibrary.org/community-bookshelf

ICT, robots and binge-watching

Are we being too quick to embrace technology in education?

Neil Selwyn: “Many recently developed forms of education seem to benefit those who are already well-resourced and well-educated. The participation and completion rates of many MOOCs tend to be skewed towards college-educated, high-income young males… Emerging technologies have much to offer but there will be consequences – what forms of education do we really want?” Excellent discussion by Brett Clarke in the Comments: Governments have poured too much money into devices and student-computer ratios instead of investing money into the professional development of school leaders and teachers. Teachers need skills in pedagogical practice and creating learning environments that are enhanced by technology.

Listen to the program: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/are-we-being-too-quick-to-embrace-technology-in-education/7211366

 

Australia will have to face the consequences of its education gap

According to the Fairfax-Lateral Economics Wellbeing Index, each degree or higher trade qualification is worth almost $1 million in wellbeing for the community. Employment in high-skill industries has grown more quickly – low-skill workers face growing competition from new migrants, offshoring and even robots. The growing educational-cultural divide will cause problems – the best predictor of support for Trump has been the absence of a college degree.

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/australia-will-have-to-face-the-consequences-of-its-education-gap-20160405-gnyrq6.html

 

Can handwriting make you smarter?

Researchers at Princeton and UCLA found that students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes – and more type. Those who write their notes appear to learn better, retain information longer and grasp new ideas more readily. Handwriting encodes the information more deeply in memory – longhand notes were more organised and students thought more about what they were going to write. Students who type can take more notes but they are verbatim and this seems to undermine learning – they forget what they have typed after 24 hours.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/can-handwriting-make-you-smarter-1459784659

 

Lower case for internet and web!

The 2016 Stylebook of Associated Press (AP) will advise that from 1 June “internet” and “web” should be in lower case and no longer capitalised. Some people aren’t happy…they like Internet! Thanks AP – in 2010 they ruled “web site” would become “website” and in 2011, “e-mail” became “email”.

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/146708/20160404/the-ap-stylebook-will-lowercase-internet-starting-june-1-and-the-web-reacts.htm

 

Google: don’t be evil?

Google is one of the US’s largest providers of edtech in K-12 schools. However, Google does track student data – but not to target them for advertising or to get personal details. It tracks students signed into Google Apps for Education when they use Search, YouTube, Blogger and Maps and uses the data “to develop and improve Google products” (Sue Molinari, a Google VP).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2016/02/16/google-says-it-tracks-personal-student-data-but-not-for-advertising/

 

Robot tutors

The L2TOR Project (pronounced el-tutor) uses social robot tutors in 4 European cities in the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey to help immigrant pre-schoolers learn the local language. The project is run by linguists and roboticists from European universities. Students work through a course under the watchful eye of a NAO robot. The robot explains learning intentions before the lesson, observes body language during the lesson and assists with problems. Researchers have found that social robots have marked benefits over screen-based tutoring and positive impacts on motivation.

http://www.l2tor.eu/

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/robot-teaching-machines-language-learning-l2tor/426639/

 

Amazon Inspire

Amazon Education is working on a new free platform that allows schools to upload, curate, share and discover open education resources (OER). Users can self-publish resources and add ratings and reviews. Metadata tags will be assigned to the resources via learning Registry. Schools could upload their entire digital library if it was open and freely available. Scheduled for release in mid 2016.

https://marketbrief.edweek.org/marketplace-k-12/amazon-education-to-launch-new-website-for-open-ed-resources/

 

Ahh holidays…and binge-watching

It was Collins Dictionary Word of the Year for 2015….but it’s not all good. The University of Texas found a strong connection between binge-watching, being depressed and lonely and having a self-regulation deficiency. A team from Zurich noted that binge-watchers want more material things and feel more anxious about life. The American Medical Association examined 25 years of research and found that people who watch a lot of TV have a weaker brain function. So binge if you must but beware!

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150129094341.htm?

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/is-netflix-really-making-you-sad-who-knows-but-lets-report-that-anyway-20160331-gnv7o9.html

http://asianjournal.com/news/study-binge-watching-tv-as-a-young-adult-could-lead-to-decline-in-brain-function/

 

ICT and book news

Laptops a scandalous waste of money?

Sydney Grammar School has banned students from bringing laptops to school. Principal John Vallance stated “We find that having laptops or iPads in the classroom inhibit conversation — it’s distracting”. He believes in the benefits of a good teacher and a motivating group of classmates. Students will still have access to computers in labs and can use laptops for homework. Students must handwrite assignments until Year 10.

http://www.crn.com.au/News/417477,sydney-school-bans-laptops-labels-them-scandalous-waste-of-money.aspx#ixzz44XjzXPSb

 

Minecraft: the video game that builds kids’ brain cells

With 100 million users, Minecraft helps kids learn in an open-ended, game-based environment – programming, science, maths, architecture, engineering, art, languages and history. It fosters skills of creativity, curiosity, exploration and teamwork. Common Sense Media gives Minecraft a top “learning” score. WesterosCraft, built by hundreds of contributors over 3 years, could be the most elaborate Minecraft mod so far, recreating the Game of Thrones realm. The future? Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset can overlay Minecraft blocks in real-world surroundings.

Good article with videos: http://www.cnet.com/special-reports/minecraft/mindcraft-helping-students-learn

 

Cognitive computing and IBM’s supercomputer Watson

Last year IBM made 19 of Watson’s cognitive services available to the public, including natural language processing. The first Australian Watson Client Experience Centre was opened in Melbourne in October 2015. Australian firm MediaConnect is now using Watson to analyse the writing interests of Australian journalists by entering up to 50 000 stories a day from online news sources into the supercomputer. Watson then analyses the data and presents a taxonomy of journalists and the topics that interest them. This will help automate the delivery of media releases to journalists – bots will select information to be sent to each journalist based on their interests.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/personal-technology/mediaconnect-tech-conference-nbn-stem-and-watts-what/news-story/583436bba2a6822eb7f3f0e6f38aaddd

https://developer.ibm.com/watson/

 

Google and Facebook – should they pay old media for content?

Google and Facebook have made fortunes from advertising by not paying for content, accelerating the decline of old media, who cannot make enough money from advertising and sales to be profitable. Google and Facebook will make $4 to $5 billion from ads this year in Australia (35-40% of the total pool of ad revenue). Even popular digital publishers such as Buzzfeed and Daily Mail Online are concerned about how to raise enough revenue. The European Union is examining whether services such as Google News should pay to display article snippets. Why should newspaper publishers have to provide content for free?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/opinion/google-facebook-need-to-pay-old-media-for-content/news-story/1c39a0dac14b816a4b5c5ef88ca8340d

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/digital/google-news-rejects-paying-publishers-for-content/news-story/68c6cfd511b265f65eff494416e0d95f

 

Music streaming tops revenue charts in US

For the first time, streaming is the top money-maker for the recorded music business in the US. Paid subscriptions to streaming services (eg. Spotify) narrowly beat revenue from digital downloads (eg.iTunes). CD sales and digital download revenue decreased. Sales of vinyl increased by nearly a third, reaching 1988 levels before CDs emerged. Japan and Germany (world’s 2nd and 3rd largest music markets) are CD strongholds. Spotify has 30 million paying subscribers across 58 countries.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2016/3/23/technology/streaming-tops-revenue-charts

 

Google Android most popular

Google’s Android operating system was used by roughly 54 percent of mobile devices sold in Australia in December, placing it ahead of Apple iOS at 38 percent. Rumours also persist that Google will merge Chrome and Android operating systems in 2017.
http://www.crn.com.au/News/414388,bonza-google-adds-aussie-twang-to-voice-search.aspx

http://www.crn.com.au/News/411273,google-to-merge-chrome-and-android-say-reports.aspx

 

The Book Depository now in Australia

Amazon’s The Book Depository is entering the Australian market. 25 000 Australian titles will be added and delivery time will reduce to a few hours, via a delivery partner in Melbourne.  However, Tony Nash, CEO of Aust’s biggest online book retailer Booktopia, is not fazed and expects Booktopia sales to rise from $52 million a year ago to $80 million in 2016 after the acquisition of Bookworld in 2015. Australian online book sales have risen 15.5% a year. The number of print book sales is rising; ebooks have 20% of the market.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/amazon-steps-up-australian-book-sales-through-the-book-depository-20160201-gmitij.html

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/amazons-book-depository-stocking-up-on-australian-books-20160202-gmjlfl.html

 

Thriving societies produce great books: can Australia keep up?

What is Australia doing to protect its publishing industry? Should we allow parallel imports? Will cheaper books increase the amount of reading?

http://theconversation.com/friday-essay-thriving-societies-produce-great-books-can-australia-keep-up-54473

ICT news

Digital Australia Report 2016 (DA16)

The video game industry in Australia is worth over $1 billion a year and sales exceed movie box office receipts. The Australian games industry is growing and video games are being used widely in education, health and ageing. Bond University and IGEA (Interactive Games & Entertainment Assoc.) surveyed 3398 Australians of all ages. 68% of the population plays video games – mostly on PCs but phones and tablets have seen increased use for adults. Children play on all devices. Average age of video gamers is 33 years. 47% of video game players are female. 98% of homes with children have video games. 35% of children have played games for the school curriculum. 24% have used video games at work for training. 89% say video gaming can improve thinking skills. 61% think video games could fight dementia. 49% of people over 50 play – the fastest growing segment.

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

 

PlayStation Virtual Reality headset

PlayStation VR, Sony’s virtual reality headset  for the PlayStation 4, will arrive in October 2016 for $AU550. Attached to a comfortable padded headset, special curved lenses stretch and magnify a 5.7 inch screen across your field of vision. It will come with 50 games, immersing you in a 3D world of virtual reality. You will also need a PlayStation camera and motion controllers (wands). It will be cheaper than the other 2 VR headsets coming this year – Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-playstation-vr/?ftag=CAD1acfa04&bhid=23787909704659446143753669728655

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality were huge this year at TED in Vancouver and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with VR headsets now available with the latest mobile phones. Mark Zuckerberg: “VR is the next platform, where anyone can experience and share anything they want”.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/ted-virtual-augmented-reality-1.3453884

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/mwc-2016-virtual-reality-steals-the-show-in-barcelona-20160224-gn24fq.html

 

Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft (owned by Microsoft) is used in over 7000 classrooms in more than 40 countries. Microsoft recently acquired learning game MinecraftEdu from Finland, which has lessons for teachers using Minecraft with STEM, history, language and art. The new Minecraft Education Edition will be rolled out mid 2016 – free at first, then $5 pa per child.

http://education.minecraft.net/

 

Do games boost learning?

A 2013 French study of 27 000 Year 9 students found very little correlation between playing video games and cognitive/school tests. However, a new study from the Uni of Bristol found that progressive scoring systems in games deactivate the brain’s Default Mode Network and quieten down parts of the brain associated with unfocused mind-wandering. Students given a gamified quiz showed higher engagement and more goal-directed behaviour.

http://readwrite.com/2016/01/27/video-games-education-default-attention-mode/

 

Problem: Australia’s internet/broadband speed

In 2015, our download speed was ranked 49th in the world . By 2025, our broadband speed will be 75% of the world average, ranking 100th. The government’s Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network will struggle to accommodate all devices and their download requirements in the future (eg. 4K ultra HD video streaming).

http://theconversation.com/infographic-how-fast-is-the-nbn-54392

 

Social media and sleep

No surprise really…recent Uni of Pittsburgh studies of 19-32 yr olds found heavy use of social media was linked to sleep problems and a significantly greater risk of depression. A 2015 study of 11-17 yr olds found social media use was linked to diminished sleep quality, lower self-esteem and elevated levels of anxiety and depression.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sleep-newzzz/201601/tweeting-not-sleeping-balancing-sleep-and-social-media

Google Translate and Words of the Year

Google Translate: translating the entire internet

13 more languages were added on 17 Feb (Amharic, Corsican, Luxembourgish, Frisian, Scots Gaelic, Pashto…) – access for an extra 120 million people. 103 written languages are now covered – 99% of the total online population. Translations are improved over time by improving algorithms and systems and learning from translations via Translate Community (3 million people have contributed).

http://googletranslate.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/from-amharic-to-xhosa-introducing.html

 

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/

 

Macquarie Dictionary Words of the Year 2015

Announced Jan/Feb and chosen from new entries in the annual update of the online dictionary. Word of the Year: captain’s call (People’s Choice and also the Committee’s choice). Runners-up – keyboard warrior and wombat gate. Category favourites – slipstream fiction, abandoned porn, deso, lumbersexual, hoverboard, fitspiration, digital tattoo, dox, fancruft, fur baby, grandcare, slackpacking, selfie drone. Most searched words online in 2015 – chuffed, wellbeing, practice, practise, firsthand, licence, healthcare, onboard, longstanding, frontline.

https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/news/view/article/352/

https://media-macquarie-wspdigitalproduction-com.s3.amazonaws.com/media/hosted_files/Macquarie_Word_of_the_Year_2015_entries.pdf

https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/news/view/editor/article/337/

 

Other Words of the Year 2015

 

Global Language Monitor

These rankings are based on actual word usage throughout the English-speaking world (1.83 billion people). Words are analysed from the internet, blogs, the top 275 000 print and electronic global media and new social media sources.

Top word: microaggression. Phrase – migrant crisis. Name – Donald Trump. Other top words: climate changing, refugee, migrant, thug, trans, affluenza. Most understood word of the English language – OK. Number of words in the English language (1 Jan 2016 estimate): 1 035 877.

http://www.languagemonitor.com/category/word-of-the-year/

 

Collins Dictionary

Binge-watch. Other popular words: clean-eating, dadbod, ghosting, swipe, contactless, shaming, transgender.

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/word-lovers-blog/new/binge-watch-collins-word-of-the-year-2015,251,HCB.html

 

American Dialect Society

Singular they (gender neutral pronoun). Other popular words: ammosexual, ZFG, yaass. Most notable emoji – face with heart eyes.

http://www.americandialect.org/2015-word-of-the-year-is-singular-they

Yaass: excited affirmative statement – see Yaass cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGUn-rOl_9s

 

Merriam-Webster

Suffix -ism. Top words: socialism, fascism, racism, feminism.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/word-of-the-year-2015/-

 

Oxford University Press – (UK and US)

Face with tears of joy emoji.

http://blog.oup.com/2015/11/oxford-dictionaries-word-of-the-year-2015-emoji-face-tears-joy/ism

National Library now collecting everything

National Library makes digital history

On 17 Feb Thomas Keneally’s latest novel Napoleon’s last island became the first ebook to be collected by the NLA under Australia’s new legal deposit legislation. The novel tells the story of Napoleon’s exile on St Helena through the eyes of 13 year old Betsy.

New amendments to the Copyright Act allow the NLA to collect everything – ebooks, blogs, websites, social media etc The digital record will be protected in the same way as print. Publishers and authors can now upload ebooks, journals, magazines and newsletters through the NLA’s website. The collection of digital publications will be available later this year.

https://www.nla.gov.au/media-releases/2016/02/17/nla-make-digital-history-today

https://www.nla.gov.au/media-releases/2015/07/02/library-captures-the-internet

 

National Library Digital Classroom

Important cultural items from the Treasures Gallery are brought into the classroom, with teacher resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Through an inquiry approach, students analyse sources, develop historical skills and draw their own conclusions. Currently resources are available for Years 3 to 6 – more will be added. Resources include: Edward Koiki Mabo, First peoples, Communication, Designing the Sydney Opera House, A national identity.

https://www.nla.gov.au/digital-classroom