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 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/

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

National Reconciliation Week

Some resources for all ages to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority (ACARA) and also for National Reconciliation Week.

 

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June

Reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. This year’s theme is Our History, Our Story, Our Future.  

http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/

Reconciliation Australia also links to:

Share Our Pride –  an insight into the history, lives and cultures of Australia’s First People.

Recognise – the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution and to ensure that it is free from racial discrimination.

http://www.shareourpride.org.au/

http://www.recognise.org.au/

 

Some useful videos for National Reconciliation Week:

 

What is National Reconciliation Week – NITV (4 min.): http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/explainer/what-national-reconciliation-week

2016 National Reconciliation Week (1 min.): http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/resources/nrw-60-second-video/

Who we are (8 min.) – follows the lives of 6 exceptional young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who share their stories about their families and communities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxPWd_0z3Ng

Journalist Stan Grant’s powerful speech about indigenous history in Australia (8 min.):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA3UsF8yyho

 

NITV

National Indigenous Television informs, educates and entertains its indigenous and non-indigenous audiences about the issues that matter the most to indigenous Australians. Great documentaries, news, personal accounts and perspectives.  Includes Songlines on Screen (stories of indigenous peoples’ connection to land); The point with Stan Grant (current affairs through the lens of indigenous people); Jarjums (children’s shows). http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/

20 inspiring black women who have changed Australia: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2015/03/06/20-inspiring-black-women-who-have-changed-australia

Colour theory season 3 – hosted by artist Tony Albert, starts 12 June. Explores the work of 5 indigenous contemporary artists. http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/05/24/tony-albert-new-host-colour-theory-season-3

Some indigenous works from Google Art Project: http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/2016/05/31/googles-art-project-brings-indigenous-talent-digital-world

 

SBS On Demand

A changing selection of films, documentaries and newsclips. Films with indigenous themes and issues include: Milpirri, The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Jedda, Clouded history, The fringe dwellers, Yolngu boy, Manganinnie, When the natives got restless, Toomelah, North of Capricorn. You can also search for “indigenous” and “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” programs.

http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/

 

Creative Spirits

“Learn about contemporary Aboriginal culture without agenda”. Many resources in many areas including history, arts, people, economy, law and justice, politics and media, spirituality. “Creative Spirits is an amazing collection of history and an inspiring representation of Aboriginal culture”—Michele Hetherington, Aboriginal woman from NSW.

www.creativespirits.info/

Teacher and student resources: books, movies, music, TV and radio, infographics…

http://www.creativespirits.info/resources/#axzz4AIKgaYmP

 

There are some excellent resources listed on the Reconciliation Australia site, including these below: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/resources/

 

Books

 

State of Reconciliation in Australia Report (2016) – Highlights what has been achieved under the 5 dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance and makes recommendations for the progress of reconciliation.

 

Talking to my country (2016) – Stan Grant. “An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity…. what it means to be Australian; the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an Aboriginal man and what racism really means in this country”.

 

Paddy’s road: life stories of Patrick Dodson (2003) – Kevin Keeffe. Explores “the life and political, cultural and spiritual beliefs of Australia’s first Aboriginal Catholic priest, land rights activist, Royal Commissioner and founder of Australia’s reconciliation movement. From the moment of colonisation in the Kimberley to the era of native title, from pearling to pastoralism, through missions and institutions, this Aboriginal family has survived an uncaring and intrusive state system”. Dodson is now a senator in WA.

 

Jandamarra (2013) – Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton. The epic and tragic story of Jandamarra, indigenous hero of the Kimberley. “To the settlers, he was an outlaw to be hunted. To the Bunuba, he was a courageous defender of his country. A unique insight into an extraordinary man and a dark but important part of Australia’s frontier history. Jandamarra is story for all Australians”.

 

Boomerang and bat: the story of the real First Eleven (2016) – Mark Greenwood and Terry Denton. The first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868 was a group of Aboriginal stockmen. Led by Johnny Mullagh, they wore caps embroidered with a boomerang and a bat and impressed crowds with their exceptional skill.

 

Stories for Simon (2015) – Lisa Miranda Sarzin. “When Simon unwraps a beautiful boomerang wrapped in an old newspaper, he learns of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. Who were the Stolen Generations and how can saying ‘sorry’ help? Through a new friendship and a magnificent collection of stories, Simon gains a deep appreciation of the past and a positive vision for the future”.

 

Books: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Recommended-reading_2016-NRW-update_FINAL.pdf

 

Films and TV

 

Cleverman – ABC 6 part series begins 2 June.  Directed by Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell with an 80 % indigenous cast. In the near future, society fears a minority group living among them, as one young man struggles with his own power and the responsibility to unite this divided world. The series fuses an Orwellian/sci-fi/ superhero world with Dreaming stories. Can’t wait to see this!

 

Ready for this (2016) – ABC3 teen drama  12 episodes. Follows 6 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenagers, all elite in their own field, who have come to Sydney to pursue their dreams, living at performance school Arcadia House and dealing with the challenges of growing up. From the producers of Dance Academy and Redfern Now.

 

Mugu kids – NITV. Hosted by indigenous actor, writer and director Jub Clerc. The program highlights a number of indigenous languages, including the Arrente language of Alice Springs and Hermannsburg, the Gumbaynggirr language of Nambucca on the coast of New South Wales, and the Gubbi Gubbi language from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Each episode covers a different topic, such as feelings, animals, dreaming and school.

 

Films and TV: http://www.reconciliation.org.au/nrw/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Recommended-viewing_2016-NRW-update_FINAL.pdf

 

Black Screen

Part of the National Film and Sound Archive – lends DVDs of contemporary indigenous films to individuals and organisations for use at screening events.

http://www.nfsa.gov.au/blackscreen/

http://www.nfsa.gov.au/blackscreen/blackscreen-dvds/

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

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

Station 11, Wolf by wolf and other good books

 

Good books abound…..

 

Station 11

What a great book by Emily St John Mandel – dystopian but different – winner of the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award and listed on many ‘best book’ lists. The novel follows the players in the Travelling Symphony, as they perform music and Shakespeare’s works in a world devastated by a flu virus, with few survivors. Their motto: “Survival is insufficient”. This haunting and compelling novel makes you appreciate what we have in our society and how beauty and art are vital for human existence. The backstories of the characters are intriguing and add to the emotional depth of this novel as their lives intertwine and play out.

 

“Visually stunning, dreamily atmospheric and impressively gripping….Station 11 is not so much about apocalypse as about memory and loss, nostalgia and yearning; the effort of art to deepen our fleeting impressions of the world and bolster our solitude.” – Guardian.

“Mandel’s message is that civilisation – and just as importantly, art – will endure as long as there is life. She tells us that when humanity’s back is against the wall, decency will emerge.” Independent.

“At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish.” –Neal Thompson.

 

Loved it – and fascinating to follow the development of the graphic novel “Station 11” within the novel. A film adaptation is in development. Recommended for Year 10 onwards.

http://www.emilymandel.com/stationeleven.html

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20170404-station-eleven

http://www.wordandfilm.com/2014/09/station-eleven-entertainment-time-crisis/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-pauline-lowry/you-should-read-station-e_b_5686596.html?ir=Australia

 

Wolf by wolf

YA novel by Ryan Graudin (female author). The novel has been compared to The book thief as well as The Hunger Games and is based on the premise: What if Germany had won World War 2? Set in an alternate Germany of 1956, it is the story of a young woman on a dangerous mission to kill Hitler. Experimented on at Auschwitz, Yael can now change her appearance at will – although she always leaves the 5 wolves tattooed on her arm to remind her of lost loved ones. Using her abilities, she transforms into Adele Wolfe, a famous long-distance motorbike rider.

Themes include history, love, loss, courage, heroism, hope, race, identity, community, human monstrosity and vengeance.

‘Ryan Graudin opens one of the darkest chapters in history and spins a what if
into an incredible tale of survival, identity, and purpose.’ – Victoria Schwab.

http://bit.ly/1MBJnmc

 

Amazon opens real bookstore

Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar bookstore has recently opened in Seattle (Amazon’s hometown). The store “integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.” (Offline indeed – what a term!). Amazon will use real people and also data from its website to decide which books to stock eg. customer ratings, sales, Goodreads ratings. All books will be presented face out with a sign for each with its Amazon rating and a customer review. The store will also sell Kindles. Amazon commands a market share of 30% of books sold in the US, however, the largest US chain, Barnes and Noble, has reported recent increases in core book sales. In 2015, ebook sales have fallen dramatically in the US. There are now more bookstores and some publishers are expanding their warehouses.

http://fortune.com/2015/11/03/amazon-bookstore/

http://fortune.com/2015/09/23/e-books-digital-publishing/

 

What would Mark Zuckerberg read?

This year the Facebook CEO decided he would read a book every 2 weeks……hmm maybe he’s not as addicted to Facebook as we thought he was 🙂 He believes that “books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.” He started A Year of Books book club in Facebook, where he discusses the books with other Facebookers. His selections focused on different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. The 20 books include: The three-body problem – by Cixin Liu (Chinese sci-fi novel– winner of the 2015 Hugo Award); The Muqaddimah – by Ibn Khaldun (Islamic history of the world from 1377); Sapiens – by Yuval Harari (history of humankind); The better angels of our nature – by Steven Pinker (why violence has declined).

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/mark-zuckerberg-book-recommendations-2015-10?r=US&IR=T#/#why-nations-fail-by-daren-acemolu-and-james-robinson-1

https://www.facebook.com/ayearofbooks/

 

Yes Zuckerberg is super rich but Bill Gates is still the richest person in the world ($84.7billion). Mark is number 16 ($47 billion), with Google guys Brin and Page at 17 and 18. Philanthropy is a high priority with Gates (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and also Zuckerberg. In 2014, Zuckerberg and wife Dr Priscilla Chan made a $120 million donation to improve education in the San Francisco Bay area, particularly for low-income students. In 2010 he donated $100 million to schools in Newark.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3325404/Mark-Zuckerberg-s-fortune-climbs-nearly-50bn-Facebook-founder-tops-list-richest-entrepreneurs-40-four-times-richer-nearest-challenger.html#ixzz3sTlFQGJ7

Victor Frankenstein

Science fiction horror film. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Stars James McEvoy as Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant Igor Strausman. The story is told from Igor’s perspective and shows his dark origins and his redemptive friendship with medical student Victor von Frankenstein. Working together on experiments to resurrect the dead, Igor witnesses Frankenstein’s journey to legendary status. Rated PG. Opens March 2016.

http://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/exclusive-interview-daniel-radcliffe-taks-busting-igors-hump-victor-frankenstein/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1976009/

http://www.slashfilm.com/daniel-radcliffe-victor-frankenstein-interview/

ICT and media news

Some ICT and media news – entertainment, social media, drones, Facebook and driverless cars…..

 

Media Consumer Survey 2015: Australian media and digital preferences

A snapshot of how Australians aged 14 to 68 years+ are consuming different media and entertainment, using technology and devices, interacting with social networks and responding to advertising. In 2015, using the internet has joined watching TV as our preferred source of entertainment. Low-cost monthly subscription services are increasingly popular (videos, music). And of course, our smartphones are our fave device.

 

Includes the renaissance of books, magazines and news! Preferred sources of entertainment: 60% watch TV on any device; 60% use the internet; 36% listen to music; 33% read books; 25% go to the movies; 24% play video games; 23% attend live performances; 17% read newspapers; 15% listen to the radio; 8% read magazines. 85% multitask while watching TV.

 

Our social selves – 80% have at least one social media account; 59% use social media daily; 51% say time spent interacting through social media is as valuable as time spent together; 9% use social media as the most frequent source of news (we are not willing to pay for online news).

Good short video: http://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/media-consumer-survey-2015.html

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/deloittes-media-consumer-survey-report-2015

 

Social media or face to face: is one better than the other?

Many say that time spent on social media is as valuable as time spent in person, but others say we need 3 to 5 significant, close relationships to stay healthy.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/social-media-or-face-to-face-is-one-better-than-the-other-20150827-gj8uwu.html

 

Selfie drones

Forget the selfie stick – soon a selfie drone will follow you and take a photo. Great for when you are snowboarding, surfing, riding a bike, dancing…. $150+

http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/internet-of-things-selfie-drone-could-be-the-next-big-thing/story-fnjwul0i-1227539297321

 

Drones build a bridge you can walk across

Watch the 3 little drones weave a bridge using spools of rope. Meanwhile, a Dutch 3D printing company will use a 3D printing robot to build a steel bridge over a canal in Amsterdam. Futurists predict these robots will one day create streets and buildings on their own, with remote programmers replacing construction workers.

http://mic.com/articles/125584/watch-these-three-drones-build-a-bridge-you-can-walk-across

 

Facebook drones will beam internet from the sky

Facebook has built a giant solar-powered drone for its Aquila program, which will be used to provide internet access to remote parts of the world. It will hover up to 27 000 metres and can stay in the air for 90 days. Lasers will be used to beam data to the drone from a land-based fibre line.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-31/facebook-drone-to-beam-internet-from-sky/6661756

 

Facebook looks beyond the “likes” button

Facebook knows that people want to show empathy with posts that they read. They don’t want to just add a “dislike” button so they are working on other buttons – what exactly is still a mystery.

http://www.computerworld.com/article/2984465/social-media/facebook-moves-beyond-the-like-button.html

Possible buttons? eg. that sucks; enough already; meh…:http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/hey-facebook-here-are-the-new-like-buttons-we-really-want-to-see-20150915-gjnke8.html

 

Green light for driverless cars in Australia

Driverless cars will be allowed on public roads under legislation to be introduced to South Australia’s parliament this week – from cars which have adaptive lane-keeping technology, to fully driverless vehicles. Google expects its first commercially available self-driving car to be ready by 2017.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/sa-gives-green-light-for-no-driver-vehicles-on-public-roads/story-fnw66tov-1227539319303

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

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

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

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