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).





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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




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.



Wayback Machine, AI, YouTube Red and emojis

The Wayback Machine gets an update

An important part of the world’s cultural heritage now resides only on the web. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is used by millions to access 19 years of the web’s history – offering access to over 439 billion web captures including old web pages, video and images (1 billion pages captured each week). The Wayback Machine will soon be updated. When completed in 2017, it will have more higher quality webpages that are easier to find. “Taking the Wayback Machine to the next level will make the entire web more reliable, transparent and accessible for everyone.”

Update features: http://blog.archive.org/2015/10/21/grant-to-develop-the-next-generation-wayback-machine/


Google is letting Artificial Intelligence run search

Artificial intelligence (AI) is developing a prominent role in search. For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of search queries per second typed into Google have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain. RankBrain uses AI to embed vast amounts of written language into vectors that the the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words have similar meanings and filter the result accordingly. This helps Google deal with the 15% of queries a day which it has never seen before. Google aims to embed AI into every aspect of its business. Facebook uses AI to filter our newsfeeds and Microsoft is using AI to increase the capabilities of Bing.



YouTube Red

YouTube Red is a new $10 per month subscription service, starting in the US this week before going international. All ads are removed from all videos, everywhere you watch (however, this does not apply to paid content, such as paid channels or movie purchases). YouTube Red will be available for YouTube, YouTube Gaming apps, Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, gaming consoles. You can download YouTube videos to your phone or tablet and watch them for up to 30 days without a connection. You can also isten to videos on your phone when your screen is off (good for music). Subscribers will also get a free monthly Google Play Music subscription and access to members-only original shows and movies from top YouTubers. The YouTube Music app will start soon as a dedicated place to listen to music on YouTube.



Will you heart Facebook’s new emojis?

Facebook is adding 6 more symbols to help 1.5 billion Facebook users express themselves. Along with the Like button, we will be getting Yay, Angry, Haha, Wow, Sad and Love. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook did not want to add the negativity of a Dislike button. The new emojis are currently being tested in Ireland and Spain. Emojis originated in ancient Japan and Japanese cell phone makers were using them in texting apps in the 1990s. “e” means picture and “moji” means character.


Online viewing habits in Australia

Interesting data about our devices and viewing habits….


Australian Online Landscape Review (Nielsen Report: data for Jan 2015)

18 011 000 people online; 50+ age group = 33.5% of online Australians; 2-34 yr olds = 38.2%; users spent an average 36 hours online in January; 3.2 billion streams watched; 63% of daily browses came from portable devices (smartphones more than tablets).



Top sites in Australia (March 2015)

1.Google.com.au 2. Google.com 3. Facebook 4. YouTube 5. Yahoo 6. eBay 7. Wikipedia 8. Linkedin 9. Twitter 10. Live.com 11. Amazon 12. news.com.au 13. Paypal 14. Bing 15. Gumtree 16. Commbank 17. smh.com.au 18. abc.net.au 19. realestate.com.au 20. Reddit 21. Pinterest 22. Instagram 23. bom.gov.au 24. imdb.com 25. Westpac



Australian Multi-Screen Report Q3 2015 (Nielsen Report Dec 2014)

TV is still the centrepiece of viewing; Australians watch nearly 97 hrs per month of TV; internet is in 80% of homes; smartphones are the most common internet-connected devices in homes (91%) – tablets (60%); 74% of people aged 16+ own a smartphone; 45% of homes own tablets; 13.377 million watch some video on the internet each month (7h30m per month).



Australian e-Generation Report (Nielsen Report Feb 2015)

2-15 yr olds spend av. 11h12m online each week; 13-15 yr olds = 18.7 hrs/wk; children go online at an increasingly younger age due to tablets, apps and smartphones; younger children use tablets; teens have all devices; 9 in 10 homes own laptops; 6 in 10 have wifi; 7 in 10 own tablets.



Password reset

Web security firm SplashData analyses several million leaked passwords each year. Most popular in 2014 and 2013 was  ‘123456’ (in 2012, ‘password’ won). Other favourites; ‘qwerty’; ‘trustno1’; ‘letmein’; ‘abc123’. If ‘123456’ is too short, just add ‘78’. Eventually we’ll see the end of passwords. The Fujitsu Purse Wallet identifies the vein patterns on your hand and the Bionym Nymi wristband uses your heartbeat as a password.



Aussie Teens Online Report

ACMA (Aust. Communications and Media Authority) recently released a research snapshot: Aussie teens online (14-17 year olds).

Good infographic: http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/aussie-teens-online
Report summary: http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/engage-blogs/engage-blogs/Research-snapshots/Aussie-teens-online

• 69% of their mobile phones are smartphones.
• Mobile phones are increasingly used for online activities.
• 23% go online with a tablet; 74% with a laptop/computer; 56% with a smartphone.
• Wireless hotspots are increasingly used for internet access.
• 72% go online more than once a day.
• The top 5 internet domains visited (Dec 2013): Google (including Search, Chrome, Mail, Maps, Earth etc); Facebook; YouTube; Mi9 (including Skype, Xbox, ninemsn etc); Microsoft.
• 90% went online for entertainment activities – the most time spent online was at YouTube, then Facebook & Skype.
• Teenagers are not the dominant group in social media forums (other age groups outrank them) – they account for 7% of Australians who use social networking.
• Teens in Aust. and the US are moving away from Facebook (70% in 2012 to 58% 2013).
• Teens access a range of online forums – Wikipedia, WikiHow, Tumblr, Blogger, ninemsn Entertainment videos.

Not many surprises really….and 6 in 10 are going online for research and information! The internet is a natural and essential part of their (and our) lives….more support for BYOD.

Internet ethics?
You may have read about Facebook’s unethical experiment, where it secretly manipulated 700 000 users’ emotions via the Facebook news feed, in order to study “emotional contagion through social networks”. The researchers wanted to see if reading fewer positive posts made people less likely to post positive content (and the same for negative messages). They found that social networks can indeed propagate positive and negative feelings. And apparently we agreed to this “research” via the Data Use Policy when we signed up. A good article for discussion for psychology, sociology and legal studies classes.

Webby Award winners – the best of the web

Some good resources for media, art, photography, graphic design, popular culture, business studies, social sciences….

The 18th Annual Webby Awards
The Oscars of the online world have now been announced – chosen by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Categories include web, online film & video, interactive advertising & media, mobile & apps and social. A Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of Creative Commons and staunch advocate of the open, collaborative web.
All the winners & nominees: http://webbyawards.com/winners/2014

Winners include:
Education: Coursera
Health: WebMD
Science: Nautilus
Cultural institutions: The Second World War in 100 objects
Social media: Vine (create and share beautiful looping videos)
Social media campaign: The Melbourne remote control tourist (yay Australia!)
Public service and activism: The internet must go (John Wooley)
Experimental and innovation: D-Day: as it happens
Activism: change.org
Art: Artsy
Travel: Airbnb
Best online commercial: The epic split (Jean-Claude van Damme and the Volvo trucks)
Best use of video: The Serengeti lion (National Geographic)
Best photography and graphics: GoPro
Best use of photography: Graffiti General
Best use of animation: The art of noise
Best user experience: Medium (everyone’s stories and ideas)
Reality: Google+ same sex marriage

Wow….gazillions of resources on the interwebs….and we’ve had access for maybe 18 or so years in schools. Remember the days before the web…where to next?

ICT and popular culture news

Tis the season for lists!

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013

Always interesting to see the results of the survey by Jane Hart’s Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) – as voted by 500+ learning professionals from 48 countries. 1. Twitter 2. Google Drive/Docs 3. YouTube 4. Google Search 5. PowerPoint 6. Evernote 7. Dropbox 8. WordPress 9. Facebook 10. Google + Twitter retained #1 for the 5th year running. Pinterest jumped 14 places to #22. Coursera (MOOC platform) was a new addition at #38. http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/ Analysis: http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/analysis-2013/

Yahoo Year in Review 2013

Interesting videos and images from around the world: http://news.yahoo.com/year-in-review/

Top US searches: Miley Cyrus #1; computer game Minecraft was #4 (high also in Aust). Part exploratory adventure, part creative building tool, highly valued by gamers, teachers, architecture students…watch the YouTube documentary (1 hr 40m) about its development, founder Markus “Notch” Persson and its unorthodox success.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySRgVo1X_18

Facebook trends 2013

Most talked about topics worldwide: 1. Pope Francis 2. Election 3. Royal baby 4. Typhoon 5. Margaret Thatcher 6. Harlem Shake 7. Miley Cyrus 8. Boston Marathon 9. Tour de France 10. Nelson Mandela Short video: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/09/here-are-facebooks-most-talked-about-topics-for-2013/

For Australia – 9 million daily users: 1. Vote 2. Princess Kate 3. Cricket 4. Kevin Rudd 5. Grand Final 6. Election 7. GST  8. Lions 9. Tony Abbott 10. Big Brother. The most checked in location was the MCG. http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/528860/20131210/facebook-trends-2013-australia-topics.htm

Top Bing searches in Aust. 2013

Various categories – from quinoa to Miranda Kerr to royal baby to Sydney Swans… http://news.ninemsn.com.au/technology/2013/12/02/18/46/kerr-tops-most-binged-2013-list

Top 10 ads viewed on YouTube in Aust. http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/australia-s-most-popular-youtube-ads-in-2013

One minute on the internet today compared to 2012

The interwebs just keeps on getting bigger….75% increase in Google searches; 42% increase in Amazon revenue; 233% growth in YouTube video hours; 250% increase in Twitter tweets.


National Geographic shares maps via Google Maps Engine

Google Maps Engine is a public data program that lets organisations distribute maps to consumers via Google. National Geographic is now sharing 500 of their maps via the program for free. They will overlay the maps with interactive features such as articles and photos about environmental issues, expeditions and historic events.



Look – up in the sky! It’s your unmanned pizza delivery! The coming drone invasion will deliver everything from pizzas to Amazon products. In the US, Amazon aims for their drones to deliver within a 10 mile range and 30 minute time frame whilst the DomiCopter will deliver 2 Domino’s pizzas. The widespread use of drones has been approved by Congress, starting in 2015. There are of course, many associated privacy and surveillance issues. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-w-whitehead/amazon-dominos-and-big-br_b_4373867.html?ir=Technology

In Australia, a drone was (illegally) used during the NSW bushfires in October but may be used legally in the future. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/technology/drones-ready-to-fight-fires-if-allowed/story-e6frgakx-1226748464574

A textbook rental company will make deliveries by drone to customers in Sydney CBD, starting March 2014 – the first commercial use of drones in the world. The textbooks will be lowered on a cable to the customer. Short video: http://www.cnet.com.au/australian-textbook-delivery-care-of-drones-339345677.htm

“OK Google” voice search on Chrome web browser (desktop)

No need to type your search query. No need for a microphone either (currently needed in Chrome). Download the Google Voice Search Hotword plugin and say “OK Google, what is an ocelot?”. It will read out most answers. It can be used for searches, translations, reminders, setting calendar events and getting directions. The service is in beta and currently works only with google.com (not .au), but can still be downloaded in Australia. http://www.cnet.com.au/google-introduces-ok-google-voice-search-on-chrome-for-desktop-339346074.htm

Google barges

The 3 mystery barges being built in San Francisco by Google may be “interactive spaces where people learn about new technology”….or they might just be floating retail stores. They will eventually be docked in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and will be “curious and visually stunning” exhibition centres with fish fin sails. Gotta beat those cool Apple stores somehow… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/google-barge/

TED Books

TED Books are interesting short non fiction electronic books, produced once a month by TED Conferences. The books are less than 20 000 words – “long enough to unleash a powerful narrative, but short enough to be read in a single sitting.” Most can be read in less than an hour and are available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks. Price: $1.99 each. The TED Books app is free for the iPad and has audio, video and social features embedded into each book. For a yearly subscription of $14.99, you have access to the entire TED Books archive. http://www.ted.com/pages/tedbooks


ICT news and the online world

Some ICT news…useful for sociology, media studies, popular culture, business studies, psychology and BYOD schools….

 Australian Online Landscape Review Sept 2013

This Nielsen report found 16.4 million Australians were actively online in Sept 2013.

Top 10 brands in order: Google; Facebook; Mi9; YouTube; Microsoft; Yahoo!7; eBay; Wikipedia; Apple; ABC Online. More hours are devoted to Facebook per person than any other site and people spend longer on eBay than Wikipedia.

Online video streaming – top 10 brands in order: YouTube; Facebook; Mi9; VEVO (music videos); CollegeHumor Network; Yahoo!7; ABC Online; smh.com.au; news.com.au; Vube (video sharing contests). Men streamed 30.1% more videos than women and most streaming was done by 18-24 year olds.

41% of daily browsers came from a mobile device or tablet and 58% from a computer.



 Australian Multi Screen Report (Q2 2013)

This Nielsen report found 92% of all video viewing is on the TV set; 80% of homes have the internet; 33% of homes have tablets; 22% of homes have internet-connected TVs; 65% aged 16+ own a smartphone.


Australian tablet sales poised to eclipse desktop computers and laptops

Telsyte predicts tablet sales & use will eclipse PCs, Macs & laptops within 2 years. In the first half of 2013, Australians bought 2.3 million tablets – more than for the whole of 2012. Smartphone sales continue to rise, with 14 million users in Aust. By 2014 in Aust., more people will access the internet on smartphones than computers. Tablets will follow.


Most popular websites on the internet for 8 Nov 2013

Top 12 in order: Google; Facebook; YouTube; Yahoo; Baidu; Wikipedia; Qq; Linkedin; Windows Live; Twitter; Amazon; Blogger. Click on the entries for interesting info about the companies – website review, news, traffic graph, website worth.


Alexa top 500 sites on the web

Similar top 10 to above. Alexa ranks Bing at 19; eBay at 20; Pinterest at 26; Instagram at 40; imdb at 47.  http://www.alexa.com/topsites

Top 500 sites in Australia: http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries/AU. Linkedin is 8; Gumtree is 12; realestate.com.au is 18; Seek is 26; Pirate Bay is 33.

Search top sites by country: http://www.alexa.com/topsites/countries

9 ways video games can actually be good for you

Mothers of gamers – stop stressing! Play games, increase your brain size & stop aging!


Video games represent the most powerful (and potentially dangerous) era in storytelling

Video games are expressive &  formative and, relative to other forms of storytelling, allow for choice.



R U OK? Day – 12 Sept 2013

The R U OK? Foundation is dedicated to encouraging conversations to prevent suicide and promote mental health.

R U OK? Day is a national day of action and reminds people to regularly check in with family and friends and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ of anyone struggling with life.

How to ask R U OK? Follow the steps or use the 4 min. cartoon video or PPT or PDF: https://www.ruokday.com/resources-for-you/how-to-ask-r-u-ok/

More resources: https://www.ruokday.com/resources-for-you/r-u-ok-at-school/

Inspiring video stories: https://www.ruokday.com/video-stories/

Crisis support and hotlines: Lifeline, SANE, Beyondblue, ReachOut, Headspace and more.


Mental health organisations

Recent research has shown that young people are becoming less likely to call helplines, preferring online chat instead.



Online fact sheets, tips and forums to help 14-25 year olds manage tough times, including stories and online discussions.



Information and resources about depression and anxiety.

Black Dog Institute


Information about mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder; staying well techniques.



The National Youth Mental Health Foundation. Online chat and telephone support.


Indigenous Literacy Day – 4 Sept 2013

Today is Indigenous Literacy Day which promotes literacy in remote indigenous communities. The Indigenous Literacy Foundation raises funds for books and other literacy projects in these areas, with over 100 000 books supplied to 230 remote communities over the past 4 years. Many local schools have been fundraising. http://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/

Here are some useful resources for the ACARA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures Cross-Curriculum Priority:

Online Larrakia calendar: seasons according to the indigenous Larrakia people of the Darwin region

September for us means warmer weather and maybe hayfever – but for the Larrakia people, September brings the Dalirrgang season – the Build Up for the wet season, with mangrove fruit and magpie geese. This new interactive online calendar has colourful pictures, simple information and descriptive words read by Larrakia people. Interesting and informative and a great contrast to our seasons down south!

From CSIRO: “For the first time, detailed Aboriginal seasonal knowledge of the Darwin region has been converted into an interactive online educational resource, aligned to the Australian Curriculum: Science. Researcher Emma Woodward said many Aboriginal people are concerned about the loss of their knowledge, while at the same time there is strong demand from schools for more traditional ecological information. The observations of Aboriginal people have revealed relationships and links between plants, animals, water and climate that other people were not aware of.

The online Larrakia calendar shows seven seasons in an annual cycle of climatic and ecological understanding. The Larrakia calendar could also be used to monitor future environmental change.” http://www.larrakia.csiro.au/#/calendar/dalay

Teacher resources: http://www.larrakia.csiro.au/#/page/teacher-activity-area

ABC indigenous portal

Excellent links to news, TV programs, online videos, arts reviews, community stories.   http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/

The Indigenous Quarter (ABC TV)

Part of the ABC’s informative Quarters programs (approx 15 mins each month) – Technology, Culture, Health, Consumer, Arts, Environment, Finance, Food,  Rural, Weather. Videos remain online for several months. http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/programs/the-quarters/

The Indigenous Quarter monthly program reports on the latest indigenous news. This week – the Federal Government hands back 5000 hectares of land to traditional owners in the top end; historian Bill Gammage tells how Australia’s first inhabitants shaped the landscape.

27 Aug edition: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-27/the-indigenous-quarter-episode-9/4915918/?site=indigenous&topic=latest


More ABC videos about indigenous news and issues: http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/video/default.htm#pagemenu

NITV: National Indigenous TV

Channel 34 on digital TV; part of SBS. Interesting programs eg. NITV News, the Barefoot Sports Show, the Marngrook Footy Show, Yaarnz, Living Strong, Grounded, Volumz Music Program, Waabiny Time and Go Lingo – popular shows that send out positive messages about indigenous Australia and speak primarily to indigenous Australians.    http://www.nitv.org.au/

NITV is highly regarded for its quality documentaries. From 1 July, a series of mini documentaries has been shown weeknights at 6.30pm. Our Stories, Our Way, Everyday are 15 minute films by emerging filmmakers, showing a slice of life from their communities. Available on SBS on Demand. http://www.nitv.org.au/fx-program.cfm?pid=2A73F286-C86D-08A2-254373436727D643&pgid=2D8A8857-D894-63A6-008070BA52593BF0

Creative Spirits


This comprehensive website has excellent links for  indigenous culture and resources. It is curated by a non indigenous person who has received acclaim for the information provided.

Books and reviews about indigenous culture – art, autobiography, children’s, novels, history, sport, teaching resources etc:   http://www.creativespirits.info/resources/books

Films dealing with indigenous issues – indigenous and non indigenous directors. Includes synopsis of each: http://www.creativespirits.info/resources/movies/

The black list: film and TV projects since 1970 with indigenous Australians in key creative roles

Published in June 2010, Screen Australia’s comprehensive reference book The black list catalogued the work of 257 Indigenous Australians with credits since 1970 as producer, director, writer or director of photography. Includes details of the film and TV projects and availability.

Search the Find a Film database: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/prod_industry_indig.aspx

PDF of the book: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/documents/SA_publications/BlackList.pdf

Updated chronology of indigenous film and TV 1970 – 2012: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/getmedia/5af3d578-7a13-416c-b094-6739a1828e0c/BlackListChronology.pdf

New media may help save ancient languages

80% of Australia’s 150 remaining Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages are highly endangered. Experts recently met in Melbourne to discuss how to preserve these languages – eg. online indigenous language lessons; films; online stories written & spoken in indigenous languages; apps for indigenous languages…


Treasure trove of indigenous language documents discovered

200 documents in 100 indigenous languages from across Australia were recently unearthed at the NSW State Library, detailing early contact between Aboriginal people and European settlers. Indigenous services librarian Ronald Briggs: “…if you’re learning about language you’re also learning about culture and a lot of the other written documents that we’ve found are telling us about our cultures as they were practiced 100-150 years ago, it’s absolutely fantastic”. He will help indigenous communities access the material.