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Tech & media news
Technology, film, TV, media and book news 2010 - 2012.
News for 2013
Collected by Lindy Hathaway, teacher librarian, Dickson College, ACT.
Blog also available here:
14 Dec 2012
1.2 trillion searches in 146 languages. What did the world search for in 2012? Yesterday Google Zeitgeist revealed the top searches.
Watch the video and see world results:
Select a country and see what they searched for.
Explore the world map:
Yes Gangnam Style is right up there, as are Lance Armstrong, Lara Bingle, Toyota, The Voice, XXXX beer and Sydney Swans.
12 Dec 2012
Human Rights Day was 10 December and the Australian Human Rights Commission presented its awards in 10 categories, including those below. Great to see Ian Thorpe recognised, and also the excellent online news & issues resource
and TV’s informative
Human Rights Medal Winner 2012
“Fighting for better services for Indigenous children in remote communities across Australia has delivered the prestigious Human Rights Medal for 2012 to Ian Thorpe OAM. For over a decade, Ian has worked as a passionate advocate for Indigenous people with his Fountain for Youth charity, which works with twenty-one remote communities in the Northern Territory.” He began this charity in 2000 when he was only 18 years old. He is also Co-Patron of Close the Gap campaign.
Thorpe’s recent autobiography This is me: the autobiography reveals how he has coped with depression and would be a valuable addition to high school collections.
Print and Online Media Award
Professor Sharon Pickering and The Conversation Academic Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers series
– Series of 14 articles published in The Conversation between June and August 2012 (details below).
Saving lives at sea
: The Conversation’s asylum seeker expert panel makes its findings and states what it believes to be a fair, humane and workable policy approach. Includes links to the award-winning articles - good authoritative resources for social science & “issues” courses:
Asylum seekers & Aust:
Infographic displaying global populations of refugees from 1975-2010
. Using UNHCR data, every population the UNHCR has counted over 35 years is charted on this spinning globe, highlighting where refugees settled, and where they came from:
Global refugee facts
All asylum seeker links
Literature (non-fiction) Award
The People Smuggler
by Robin de Crespigny – Penguin Australia, May 2012.
“The story of one man’s epic struggle to find a safe place in the world. When Ali Al Jenabi flees Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, he is forced to leave his family behind in Iraq. What follows is an incredible international odyssey through the shadow world of fake passports, crowded camps and illegal border crossings, living every day with excruciating uncertainty about what the next will bring….Eventually he must confront what he has been forced to become.”
Age of Uncertainty
– Network Ten - Produced by Hamish MacDonald and Sam Clark – Screened over April and May 2012.
The Human Rights Day Oration was delivered by James Spigelman, Chairman of the ABC and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW: ‘Where do we draw the line between hate speech and free speech?’ (audio & transcript):
Some more resources ….useful for sociology, geography, popular culture…
If Australia was a street of 100 households, what would it look like and who would live there? What about employment, religion, education, births, deaths and marriages? All these stats and more are included in this animation:
Aust. St explained:
Julia and the “mummy” bloggers
It was another morning tea this week for Julia Gillard and 25 the country’s most influential female bloggers, whose sites reach 2.5 million people (similar sites were important in the Obama campaign).
“Sites represented included:
Eden Riley (Sydney Writers’ Centre award Best Aust. Blog 2012); Mrs Woog (Woogsworld); Nicole Avery (tips for organising the chaos of family life); the writer of My Mummy Daze (juggling motherhood and a family business); the mother of four boys, one with special needs, who writes allconsuming .com.au; Fairfax's EssentialBaby (largest online parenting site in Aust.); iVillage (Mia Freedman –Mamamia -has the local licence); Women's Agenda (created by Crikey journalist Angela Priestley); Kidspot (News Ltd site that aims to simplify parenting and offer mothers a place to talk to each other); and the Fairfax site Daily Life.”
Australia's Best Blogger
at the 2012 Sydney Writers Centre Blog Awards. Her blog is called Edenland. She writes of spirit, redemption, addiction, and truth. Eden has been blogging for five years and has been named as a Voice of the Year at America's largest social media conference for women, BlogHer.
CNET: the 100 biggest tech stories of 2012
Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask….iPad mini, Windows 8, Apple maps, MakerBot, Instagram, Google Glass, Zuckerberg, Assange..…
CNET: the 10 best & most influential tech products of 2012
Galaxy S3 (best device); iPhone 5; Google Nexus 7; iPad Mini; Motorola Razr; Windows 8; Microsoft Surface; the MakerBot 3D Replicator (3D printer that prints whatever you design – toys, jewellery, models etc).
7 Dec 2012
Lots of end-of-year roundups & lists appearing…
Yahoo Australia Year in Review 2012
Viral videos, most clicked stories, entertainment, sport etc
Includes Top Searches of 2012:
1. London Olympics 2. Kim Kardashian 3. Apple 4. Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson 5. Earthquakes 6. US presidential election 7. Hurricane Sandy 8. Israel & Palestine 9. Brownlow Medal 10. End of the world.
Most searched M & F celebrities
: Kim Kardashian and Brad Pitt.
Most searched countries
: Aust, then Iran, China, Thailand…
Most searched movies
: Avengers, Hunger Games, Twilight Saga…
The most asked questions in Australia in 2012 according to Google search suggestions
Includes: Why is my internet so slow? and What is Gangnam style?
The top 12 trends in Australia 2012
Book: Umm…50 shades of grey; Ingredient: quinoa; Pop group: One Direction; Technology: from digital to real world; Word/Symbol: # …..
Gangnam Style: the most viewed YouTube video ever
900,073,389 + viewers can’t be wrong; now outranks Justin Bieber’s Baby.
Top 25 YouTube videos ever
: Not surprisingly, they are all popular songs - except for Charlie bit my finger.
Time magazine’s top 10 everything 2012
For the true list-lover…..55 wide-ranging lists – arts & entertainment, pop culture, social media, health, science etc. US focus but hey.
Time magazine’s 50 best websites 2012
Not really mainstream sites; some are interesting, others are rather obscure.
50 best websites includes:
Like Pinterest for education. Users collect web resources and share their knowledge by creating Learnist boards — which can include text, videos, essays, games and audio clips that answer questions and expound on topics. A good tool for the flipped classroom. iOS app available.
Examples of education-focused Learnist boards:
A BBC Learnist board:
Founded by game theorist Ian Bogost. “Games communicate differently than other media; they not only deliver messages, but also simulate experiences”. The website has free “advergames” – games specifically built for “persuasion, instruction and activism”. Includes Killer flu (how the flu virus spreads), Fatworld (obesity’s relationship to socioeconomics), Windfall (building wind farms).
The interactive, social and easy way to learn how to code.
Learn new words and play games to improve your vocabulary.
Presents the top 15 trending YouTube clips and lots of other good videos. Comment-free with a focus on HD. Yes, very easy to fill in time here...
Science fiction – supercut of over 100 sci fi films:
Quirky - A history of western music in 16 genres:
More than falling dominoes - This too shall pass by OK Go:
Further up yonder: a message from the International Space Station:
21 Nov 2012
Interesting news sites
Here are some interesting sites that present or aggregate news – useful for senior students, global relations & journalism classes and for news items in many curriculum areas.
Informative multisource news in a user friendly format. Different news sources and different media are provided for news items – select and compare them. Read news in categories – science, politics etc; add your own categories; save items to read later; share stories; choose local news. A good resource to compare world perspectives on a particular news item.
News items are ranked for credibility & personalised (with accounts). Mobile apps available.
Discover what’s happening around the world. Displays headlines on one side and a Google Map on the other which shows various news publishers of that headline. Zoom in and see who is publishing or search a location and see what’s happening there. Use the Mapfilter to search for specific kinds of news eg. tech news. Use the Search Cloud to see what the world is reading & writing about. Add your own sources. Includes a language filter.
BBC Live World Map
Worldwide - most popular stories now. Use left-hand menu to read news from world regions.
Multisource video news from around the world. 2 to 3 minute video clips of news items are read, amalgamating information from various global sources. The source of the information is credited as the item is read. Sources include Xinhua, Al Jazeera, New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, Human Rights Watch....Mobile apps available.
Museum of news and journalism in Washington, DC. Choose a location and read the headlines of selected newspapers from that country or region.
Collects outstanding new and classic non fiction articles of substantial length - proving that internet users do have the patience & attention spans to read in-depth materials. The site can also be browsed by categories eg. science, war, politics, arts & culture, editor's picks etc Search the archive for topics, authors, time periods, publishers, tags. iPad app available.
"The best long-form stories on the web". Explore topics; new articles posted daily.
100 articles that every journalist should read about journalism
A useful resource for those interested in journalism; a 2011 project by students of La Trobe Uni. with global contributions.
Summly app for iPhones
Provides summaries of news stories & other text; swipe to see full article. 17 year old British developer Nick D’Aloisio: "We can really become the de-facto format for news on mobile. People are not scrolling through 1,000-word articles - they want snack-sized information."
Great resources on Aust's own portal.
Easy to select news stories - choose a tab for text, video, audio or photos.
News in 90 seconds
Top stories of the day
- listen live:
Links to other ABC news programs - Big Ideas, 7.30, Foreign Correspondent, Four Corners etc
Links to other parts of the ABC website - Environment, Science, Health, Technology...
Part of ABC International, broadcasting to 46 countries across Asia & the Pacific.
Aust. Network News
: National and global.
, Australia Network's flagship current affairs program - videos of news items range from 4 mins to 10 mins.
Learning English video programs
for a range of levels - includes Passport to English, English Bites, Living English...
ABC Radio Australia
Radio programs from the ABC broadcast locally and to Asia/Pacific; news items; videos.
ABC Radio Australia: Learn English online
Learn topical Aust. English in context. Courses are offered with narration in Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Khmer; download audio and text lessons for free.
9 Nov 2012
Total solar eclipse in Aust. Wed. 14 Nov 2012 (Cairns region)
The eclipse will begin 5.45am (Cairns Qld time) and finish 7.40am. Totality (when the moon completely covers the sun) will last about 2 minutes, starting at 6.38am.
In Canberra: Partial solar eclipse starts 7.10am. Maximum eclipse 8.04am. Ends 9.03am. 62% of the sun's width will be covered.
Good animation of Canberra view & info about future Canberra solar eclipses:
Several stars and planets will be visible during totality (near Cairns). There are an average 2.4 solar eclipses each year around the world. The next solar eclipse (an annular eclipse - moon is smaller and silhouetted against sun) will also pass over Aust. next year on 10 May 2013 - but we will have to wait until 23 July 2028 for the next total solar eclipse, which will pass over a large part of Aust. including Sydney.
Guide to the 2012 total solar eclipse
- Clear & interesting info & pics; safety tips:
How often do solar eclipses occur?
- Good article; map with years:
NASA solar eclipse website:
Nov 2012 eclipse:
NASA eclipse website:
Paul Floyd’s astronomy and space website:
Some interesting science resources:
100 useful websites for science teachers
A US focus but a comprehensive list for different levels.
Amazing amounts of science! Latest research and findings - news, articles, videos, images, books. Click a topic and see all the resources on that topic. “ScienceDaily is best known for showcasing the top science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations. These stories are selected from among dozens of press releases and other materials submitted to ScienceDaily every day, and then edited to ensure high quality and relevance”.
Includes strange science news:
Scirus: the search engine for scientific information only
“Scirus is the most comprehensive scientific research tool on the web. With over 545 million scientific items indexed at last count, it allows researchers to search for not only journal content but also scientists' homepages, courseware, pre-print server material, patents and institutional repository and website information.” (from the home page).The home page has a link to the latest scientific news from New Scientist. Not all articles found on Scirus will be full text.
Ptable: An excellent interactive Table of Elements
iPAd app also available. Click on the element to reveal photos, videos, info.
Lots of good resources here – Explore by topic, In depth features, Quizzes and games.
Ask an expert
- Email your questions:
News in science:
- Browse by topic or date:
- Intriguing science facts and trivia:
Cutting edge research and info from Aust.’s top scientific organisation.
Discoveries and innovations by CSIRO scientists and engineers.
Achievements by impact area
(eg. environment; farming; health):
News @ CSIRO
- Quick news & updates:
CSIRO Publishing - excellent resources:
- High quality science and nature images. Includes access to CSIRO's database of film and video productions. "Every image held at the scienceimage site is supplied with a short caption, scientific notes, source and copyright information. This level of detail and dedication to scientific accuracy helps to make scienceimage one of the most valuable resources for scientific images online."
24 Oct 2012
Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012
Jane Hart’s Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies website has interesting info on trends, technology and tools. She recently compiled this year’s Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 (6th annual survey), as voted for by 582 learning professionals worldwide. “A learning tool is a tool to create or deliver learning content/solutions for others, or a tool for your own personal or professional learning”.
The Slideshare presentation has good descriptions of each tool.
The top 3 are the same as last year. Here are the top 15: 1. Twitter 2. YouTube 3. Google Docs/Drive 4. Google Search 5. WordPress 6. Dropbox 7. Skype 8. PowerPoint 9. Facebook 10. Wikipedia 11. Moodle 12. Evernote 13. Slideshare 14. Prezi 15. Blogger/Blogspot
Best of breed tools 2012
(tools by category eg. content curation, ed. tools, note taking tools)
Directory of learning and performance tools
(over 2000 tools in categories)
Short analysis 2012
Winners and losers 2012
19 Oct 2012
Great films coming up!
If you’ve been to the movies lately you may have seen some exciting previews for some great films that support many curriculum areas. Can’t wait to see Life of Pi, Les Mis, The hobbit…
Life of Pi
(opens 1 Jan 2013)
Based on one of the best books EVER. Directed in 3D by Ang Lee. Stars Suraj Sharma. “An inspiring and visually stunning tale of faith, hope and discovery” (R. Perez). Previews look awesome….tiger power J
(opens 26 Dec 2012)
Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s speech). Stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Anne Hathaway as Fantine, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter as the innkeepers. All songs were recorded live on set. Boublil and Schonberg have composed a new song just for Hugh Jackman J
Clips and info:
The hobbit: an unexpected journey
(opens 26 Dec 2012)
Directed by Peter Jackson. Now in 3 parts! Is that more…or less…hobbit for your money? Apparently there was a lot of extra material in Tolkien’s appendices. Stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug, Stephen Fry as an unsavoury town leader , Billy Connolly as a dwarf warrior and Dame Edna as the Great Goblin. Or should that be Barry Humphries?
Part 1: An unexpected journey (2012) Pt 2: The desolation of Smaug (Dec 2013) Pt 3: There and back again (mid 2014).
The great Gatsby
(now due to open mid 2013)
Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Stars Leonardo Di Caprio. Rumour says it will have an ultra-modern soundtrack, a bit of Luhrmann’s signature style – possibilities include Lady Gaga, Prince, Kanye West, Jay-Z…
On the road
Directed by Walter Salles (The motorcycle diaries). Stars Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart. Based on the book by Jack Kerouac (his manuscript was typed on a 120 foot roll of paper). Should be good for senior students of American literature and the postwar Beat Generation.
(ABC 1 Nov at 8.30pm; 6 x 60 min.)
Stars Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair (director of The Sapphires), Jimi Bani (Mabo), Leah Purcell. A rich and diverse series of 6 stories about 6 indigenous families living in Redfern, Sydney, whose lives are changed by extraordinary events. Directors include Rachel Perkins, Wayne Blair, Leah Purcell. This is the first drama project developed by the ABC Indigenous Dept, with more programs to come from indigenous writers, filmmakers and actors.
Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Khoa Do (brother of Anh Do). 4 part mini-series about 25 year Vietnamese-Australian Van Nguyen, who was convicted of drug trafficking and executed in Singapore in 2005 after a 3 year legal battle. The series has been described as compelling, inspiring and thought-provoking.
Directed by Gavin Hood. Based on the scifi books Ender’s game and Ender’s shadow by Orson Scott Card. Stars Asa Butterfied (from Hugo) Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley. An unusually gifted youth is sent to a military space school to prepare for an alien invasion.
Oz the Great and Powerful
Directed in 3D by Sam Raimi. Stars James Franco, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis. Prequel to The Wizard of Oz. A small-time conniving Kansas circus magician gets blown to Oz (yes by a twister), where he meets several witches, gets involved in the problems of Oz and transforms himself into a better man.
Based on the book by Gustave Flaubert. Directed by Sophie Barthes. Stars Mia Wasikowska. The film, set in the present, will attempt to explore more youthful and contemporary themes as it depicts the life of the doctor’s wife who seeks excitement and status outside the bonds of marriage.
Coming up soon: Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: the dark world (2013), Man of Steel (2013) (a misunderstood Superman), Captain America 2 (2014), 300: rise of an empire (2014) (prequel to 300, Xerxes and Themistocles battle it out; based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller).
Lots to look forward to!
19 Oct 2012
Catalyst special edition: Born to be wired (ABC 18/10/12)
Interesting program on Catalyst last week - available online.
Investigates how the digital revolution is changing us. Is digital technology changing the way we think, act and feel? Are our brains being rewired fundamentally? Is fast information like fast food? Can virtual experiences through avatars affect our behaviour & memories?
Extended interviews on the Catalyst website: Susan Greenfield’s concerns about digital technology, psychiatrist’s concerns about narcissism, how the internet changes the brain and many other interesting links from Catalyst/ABC archives and elsewhere.
25 Sept 2012
Google, censorship & Assange
Interesting issues to discuss with senior students – censorship, freedom of speech, power, control, governments, corporations, global relations, ethics, religious animosity, tolerance…..
The controversial video
The innocence of Muslims
will stay on YouTube but Google has restricted access to it in 5 countries – India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Libya, Egypt. Google says this is consistent with its principles. Google operates in over 100 countries and handles the majority of search queries worldwide. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Does Google have too much power to influence the course of world events?
What Google isn’t telling us about the video it banned in 5 countries
– Bianca Bosker
Some interesting points are raised:
“Would the video have been removed if it was an article?Would the video have been removed if it had sparked violence by pro-democracy protesters?Does banning the video reward violence? Is this a lesson that controversial content can be snuffed out if enough people are injured, enough buildings are burned and government officials ask nicely enough?When does Google listen to violence, and when does it ignore it? Is all violence created equal? Does Google get to decide when other countries are “ready” for free speech?”
Eva Galperin: Google’s move sets a dangerous precedent. “While their goal of trying to tamp down violence may have been sincere, the decision was misguided and opens the door for more censorship in the future.”
Jillian York: “By placing itself in the role of arbiter, Google is now vulnerable to demands from a variety of parties and will have to explain why it sees censorship as the right solution in some cases but not in others.”
Will Russia ban YouTube?
Innocence of Muslims
film could get the whole site blacklisted under a new law.
Another interesting resource for discussing censorship – should appeal to high school students:
Underground: the Julian Assange story
(90 minute telemovie; Channel 10; October)
The previews look great (great promo song) and the reviews are excellent. It has been invited to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by Robert Connolly (Balibo). Stars Alex Williams, Rachel Griffiths and Anthony LaPaglia. The intriguing backstory of Assange’s early life – his gypsy lifestyle and mistrust of authority during his teenage days as a hacker. Assange is portayed as a flawed hero, railing against the establishment.
25 Sept 2012
A river of books in Melbourne
Luzinterruptus, the anonymous art group who highlights the beauty of public spaces using only light and creativity, turned Federation Square into a river of 10 000 books donated by public libraries. They created a similar installation in New York – Literature vs Traffic.
Great Melb. photos:
A great place to get some bargains with proceeds to a very worthwhile organisation..….we will be buying some up-to-date non fiction for our library.
Lifeline Spring Bookfair 2012
Books, magazines, games, jigsaws, comics, maps, records, CDs and DVDs. Includes large of science fiction and fantasy specials, from $2.
Friday 21 September – 10am-6pm
Saturday 22 September – 10am-5pm
Sunday 23 September – 10am-4pm
Budawang BuildingExhibition ParkFlemington Road, Mitchell
15 Sept 2012
ALA Best Free Reference Sites 2012
This list came out round about July…. a bit of a US slant but includes some interesting & useful sites; the list comes out annually.
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) announced the Best Free Reference Web Sites for 2012 to recognize outstanding reference sites on the web.
Best free reference web sites combined index 1999 – 2012:
This year’s list has 26 sites; here are some interesting ones:
Provides free access online to the materials used in the majority of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.
Google Art Project
Links to more than 1000 works of art at 17 major art museums around the world. Virtually explore the museum and click on artworks to view them; many have extra information and links.
Encyclopedia of Earth
A free, online encyclopedia about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. Nearly 7,000 articles are reviewed and written by “scholars, professionals, educators, practitioners and other experts who collaborate and review each other’s work.” The intended audience is the general public. Articles contain links and a list of further resources. A good alternative to Wikipedia for environmental topics.
Encyclopedia of Life
“Global access to knowledge about life on Earth.” Begun in 2007 with a vision of providing global access to knowledge about life on Earth. People and organizations around the world contribute. Search boxes are located on almost every page of the encyclopedia.
Guides for APA & MLA styles.
Over 10,000 newspapers from all over the world, most of them possible to translate to and from many languages with one click.
Access data from the World Bank; search for countries and time period. World Development Indicators (WDI) provides data on education, the environment, health, and poverty. Global Development Finance (GDF) provides statistics about the economic and financial health of countries. Results are presented in a useful report that can be exported.
An open database of declassified FBI records. Includes many documents related to civil rights, gangsters, popular culture and violent crime. Even includes dossiers on Steve Jobs and The Monkees!
Forvo: All the words in the world. Pronounced.
Audio playback clips of word pronunciations by native speakers in over 280 languages. Launched in 2008 and now contains over 1,250,000 pronunciations of nearly 1,200,000 words, including idioms. Forvo’s goal is to include all words in all languages but does limit entries to those that can be found in a dictionary. Includes Google map of the language & accents. Features a different language daily. The website can be viewed in different languages.
The Khan Academy
Over 2600 videos (10 mins each), practice exercises and assessments for K-12 maths (algebra, geometry, statistics, calculus and more), science (biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, etc.) finance, history and the humanities (art history). Create accounts in Google and Facebook to save and track progress.
The Holocaust – Yad Vashem
In-depth information. Includes testimonies, personal letters & diaries.
The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database
Emory University provides an accessible database of 35,000 slaving voyages involving 10 million Africans. Includes lesson plans.
Common Sense Media
Provides ratings and detailed information for parents about the suitability of all types of media for children (movies, books, games, websites, apps, music, and TV). US site but could also be useful for Aust.
13 Sept 2012
R U OK? Day
“R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’
By regularly reaching out to one another and having open and honest conversations, we can all help build a more connected community and reduce our country’s high suicide rate.
More than 2,200 Australians suicide each year and men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females (ABS 2012). For each person that takes their life, another 30 people attempt to end their own life (SANE Australia).”
Many video resources – youth, well-known Australians and others:
Other excellent mental health websites:
7 Sept 2012
The Apple Volume Purchase Program is now available in Australia
It makes it easier to put apps on multiple iPads and other Apple iOS devices (iPod Touch, iPhone). Good news – many apps may cost 50% less.
Macworld 5 Sept 2012: Apple has launched its Volume Purchase Program (VPP) in Australia today, allowing educational institutions to bulk-buy apps for 50 percent less than individual iOS App Store pricing. The program is open to primary and secondary schools, universities and colleges, and allows Apple devices to be used as teaching tools in classrooms and courses. Apple said the program “allows educational institutions to purchase iOS apps in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, administrators and employees. Through the VPP, participating developers can provide their apps for 50 percent off App Store prices in quantities of 20 or more.”
The program requires institutions to appoint a Program Manager and a Program Facilitator to create a unique Apple ID for the program, and oversee and purchase (via credit card) the necessary apps. The apps are bought through a Program Education Store, separate to the traditional iOS App Store, which provides individual codes that can be emailed to students or employees to redeem on their own iOS devices, or placed on an internal website for the recipients to download”
5 Sept 2012
Today is Indigenous Literacy Day – Wed 5 Sept.
Many schools raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, which donates books and funds literacy programs in remote indigenous communities. $340 000 has been donated so far in 2012 with 85 000 books supplied to 230 remote indigenous communities. Some children’s books are also translated into indigenous languages. It is a very successful and worthwhile program.
The highly acclaimed film continues its success at the box office, the soundtrack is #1, the weekly free podcast on iTunes is popular as is the iPhone app where Jessica Mauboy helps you sing like a diva!
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:
PDF of the book:
Updated chronology of indigenous film and TV 1970 - 2012:
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 (part of NLA’s Pandora).
Books and reviews about indigenous culture - art, autobiography, children’s, novels, history, sport, teaching resources etc:
Films dealing with indigenous issues - indigenous and non indigenous directors. Includes synopsis of each:
Based in Broome; publishes works which have major Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or South Sea Islander involvement (indigenous author, editor or illustrator). Browse categories - new releases, children's, social history, biography etc
Based in Alice Springs; a rich catalogue of publications celebrating Central Australian language, art, culture and biographies. All publications represent an authentic indigenous perspective. Includes fiction, children's, biography, art, land and culture, Aboriginal languages.
Aboriginal Studies Press
Australia’s leading publisher of indigenous studies - the publishing arm of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), the world’s premier research and collecting institute of Australian indigenous studies. Publish up to ten new titles annually and choose outstanding writing that promotes an understanding of Australian indigenous cultures.
Little red yellow black book: an introduction to indigenous Australia
- Bruce Pascoe & AIATSIS (ASP, Canberra, 2008)
Best-selling guide to indigenous history and contemporary culture.
Online teaching resources and links:
ABC indigenous portal
Excellent links to news, TV programs, online videos, arts reviews, community stories.
30 August 2012
Refugees in Australia
Many schools are probably recording the
Go back to where you came
from TV series.
Lots of teaching resources available here, including video clips after each episode & factsheets:
have developed an interesting infographic that helps explains where asylum seekers come from and why:
Factsheet on global refugee statistics:
From GetUp!: “Dr. Martin Luther King once said that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ History shows us that policy and laws become more just when a tipping point of hearts and minds is opened, and the differences we’ve used to justify denying the humanity of another no longer seem that vast. That’s where sharing stories & culture are so important”.
National Anti-Racism Strategy
Launched on 23 August and developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission & the government. It aims to raise awareness of racism and the harm it causes, and empower individuals and communities to take action against it. It will focus on 5 key priority areas over the next 3 years: schools/higher ed, media, govt services, workplaces & the internet. The first step is the public awareness campaign Racism. It stops with me.
29 August 2012
Buying books online
We always have a look at Booko first to find the best price and usually find Book Depository is the cheapest, also AbeBooks & Fishpond. Amazon bought out Book Depository last year. With reduced budgets we have to make our $ go further and look for online savings. Sad but necessary.
Interesting to read the article by author & editor Duncan Lay (“Death of the bookshop?” Sunday Telegraph 5/8/12 – not available freely online anymore). He has seen many bookstores close down and recommends that we buy any eReader except the Kindle! Don’t give Amazon the monopoly on ebooks.
In the same article, Jon Page (great name – president of the Australian Bookseller Assoc and bookshop owner) stated that Amazon is the biggest threat to bookstores. They sell books at a loss to grab market share and to avoid paying sales tax; they also charge for including books on their recommended lists and “customers who bought this…” lists. If publishers don’t pay Amazon then their books are not easily discoverable. He said Australian authors are never on Amazon’s front page. Page believes ebooks are not the threat but Amazon & Kindle are.
To compete more with online sales, Australian publishers dropped the recommended retail price of books last year by around 7%.
Dymocks managing director Steven Cox said the company had benefited from the Borders/A & R collapse – they opened 8 new stores in 2011 with several more this year. He is less concerned with Amazon and believes bookstores offer service and expertise, but he believes that import laws must change in order to compete with online retailers. The lack of parallel imports inhibits the ability to deliver books on time and at a good price.
In June 2012, the Speed to Market Initiative was introduced (agreed to by Aust. Society of Authors, Printing Industries Assoc, Aust. Literary Agents Assoc, Aust. Publishers Assoc & Aust. Booksellers Assoc). Publishers, in exchange for the government’s blocking of parallel imports, will ensure local versions of overseas titles are brought out within 14 days.
And self-published ebooks? Out of an average 400 new ebooks available on Amazon each month, more than half are free or less than $2. Authors have the chance to write and sell, but if the quality isn’t there then few people will buy.
Lots to consider!
22 August 2012
Happy Book Week!
The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced the winners. Books in the Older Readers category are very suitable for colleges. We have the winner of this category -
The dead I know
(Scot Gardner) and 2 Honour Books -
The dream of the thylacine
(Margaret Wild) and The happiest refugee (Anh Do). The picture books are used by students in Children’s Literature classes; parents might be interested in the list if you have young children. Students are having fun with the Trivia Quiz this week with prizes for each correct answer to the 10 daily questions. We are also photographing students reading – books, magazines, computer screens, phones….! and we will display the photos in the library.
Children’s Book Council of Australia
Looking for reading suggestions? So many books, so little time J
Dymocks’ 101 best books 2012
Try a book from this list, as voted by 15 000 Aust. readers.
The largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world - a great place to find out about excellent books, popular books, genres, quizzes and quotations.
The best 100 opening lines from books
Click on the book covers to reveal the lines from excellent books, old and new.
100 best closing lines from books:
100 best films based on books:
Literary Awards Australia
Award-winning books - gateway to 300 Aust, US, British, Canadian, NZ & Irish awards. Currently being updated.
Prime Minister’s Literary Awards
Winners and shortlist for 2012.
Australian Independent Bookseller
Weekly Top 10 bestsellers; book news, Indie Awards chosen annually. This year's Indie Award: All that I am by Anna Funder (also won the Miles Franklin Award).
National Year of Reading
More links about reading:
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation
This term the library is fundraising for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. The ILF helps to raise literacy levels in remote indigenous communities by donating books and supporting community literacy projects. Over 60 000 books have been donated to over 200 areas in the last few years and some stories have been translated into indigenous languages. Students who donate 50 cents choose a chocolate and help raise funds for this valuable program. The Indigenous EOC committee will also hold a small morning tea in Sept (on an alternate morning tea week).
15 August 2012
New film and TV shows
The new 8 part series begins Wed 15 Aug 2012 at 8.30, Ch. 10. Stars Claudia Karvan and Susie Porter.The 1979 coming-of-age novel by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey about two teenage girls growing up near Cronulla has been expanded to offer a wider look at Australian society and issues in the lives of the parents. There is also more of a young male perspective. The first episode was released in full on Channel 10’s Facebook page as a preview, showing the increasing importance of social media for creating social buzz. The series appears to be of a much higher quality than the awful 1981 film by Bruce Beresford and thankfully the girls’ ages have been increased from 13 to 16 ish! Lette and Carey were consultants.
Kath and Kimderella
At last…more Kath, Kim , Kel and Sharon. A ritzy fairytale of love, lust and revolution as the girls head overseas. Great for comedy, satire and bad clothes. Oh and Trude and Prue. Thankfully bananas are no longer $14/kg. Opens 6 Sept.Trailer:
Chill the cardonnay! Kath and Kim: the souvenir editions will also air soon on Ch. 7 – favourite episodes with new introductions and extra footage.
Lots of great dance shows on now or soon:
Everybody dance now; I will survive
Drama, airs Aug/Sept on Ch. 7. Glee for grown-ups – the saga of a Broadway musical in the making. Characters vie to be included in a musical about Marilyn Monroe. Stars Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston. Has already aired on pay TV – great for fans of musicals.
10 August 2012
Olympic Games London
Olympic rings and inequalities
Artist Gustavo Sousa uses the Olympic rings to show discrepancies between participating regions – population, military expenditure, obesity, HIV, carbon emissions etc. He says: “The rings represent healthy competition and union, but we know the world isn’t perfect.” Scroll down to the the 1:36 min. video to see how the rings change. No mention of where the statistics come from, but interesting nonetheless. Hope the IOC doesn’t mind the use of the rings!!
20 fun Olympic memes
Have a laugh (language warning). Look in Google images for more Olympic memes….or Facebook or Twitter.
Faster and faster
An interesting little interactive to show how fast we have become over time in 100m sprint and other events at the Olympics.
The Olympics in Lego
Watch events brick by brick:
Medal tallies through time
Cool visual of the medal tallies for each of the modern Olympics. Use the slider to find a year.
How badly would Usain Bolt destroy the best sprinter of 1896?
(other sports too)
Usain Bolt inspires “bolting” and internet meme
You’ve seen the pose – now do it and post it online! More impressive than planking.
Create memes easily
Meme: “an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. (Term coined by Richard Dawkins in The selfish gene – 1976).
2 August 2012
Time-explorable Google Earth
Google have created a new tool for observing the changing Earth, which enables users to view time-lapse videos of how certain areas of the world have evolved over the years. You can go to a point on the globe and move back and forth in time. Time-explorable Earth is available now on Chrome and Safari.
Google worked with experts at the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics institute.
The online tool contains more than 13 years’ worth of satellite data, compiled by the Landsat satellites operated by the USGS. The satellites provide images of deforestation, urban sprawl, land use, agricultural patterns, changing seas etc Examples here eg. Amazon deforestation, drying of Aral Sea:
The value of games and gaming
Game-based learning has appeared as an important emerging technology in recent K-12 Horizon Reports (2010, 2011, 2012) – with a 2 to 3 year time to adoption. Schools have had success with the gamification of learning, using World of Warcraft and Minecraft to deliver curriculum:
Jane McGonigal – games designer and evangelist
You have probably seen her 2010 TedTalk Gaming can make a better world – viewed by over 2 million:
Her 2011 book
Reality is broken: why games make us better and how they can change the world
looks at gaming through the prism of positive psychology. Gamers tap into traits such as optimism, resilience and learning from failure – very useful when you face tough challenges. Games can provide solutions to real world problems (eg. her World without oil game).
She has recently developed SuperBetter – an online self-help game that helps users deal with personal challenges. Points and medals are awarded in the pursuit of recovery – an “epic win”.
Watch her TedTalk posted last week:
The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.
She explains how games can boost resilience, happiness and mood and even lead to a longer healthier life. A bit gimmicky but interesting and entertaining with some quick ideas for the classroom about boosting your physical, mental, social and emotional resilience (eg. experience 3 positive emotions for every negative emotion in your daily life).
15 June 2012
Trivia: What literary character has had more film and TV portrayals than any other literary character?
This character has been depicted on the big and small screen a total of 254 times.
Clue: It's not Hamlet. Alas, poor Hamlet has appeared only 206 times!
Find the answer here:
Apple announces iOS 6
(due around Sept. onwards)
Some interesting new features include enhanced Facebook for the iPad - users will be able to post photos & videos directly into Facebook.
iOS 6 Maps app (beta)
Apple announced that it is creating a 3D map of the world in competition with Google. Did they really need to do this? Google Maps & Google Earth are pretty awesome. Already Apple has a fleet of planes & helicopters flying over major cities – you can run, but you can’t hide…and all that aviation fuel….sigh. You will see 3D maps, standard maps & satellite views.
It will also provide turn by turn navigation for iPhones and use anonymous real time data from iPhone users to get traffic data. We’ll probably get this in Australia a while after the US.
iOS 6 Maps:
New Siri features in iOS 6
Your voiced personal assistant will now be available on the iPad (new version) when iOS 6 is released. Hold down the Home button & up pops Siri. Speak to Siri and it will launch an app for you. Siri will also give you info - initially it will be just be sports, movies & restaurants but eventually who knows!
VoiceOver: the read aloud feature for current iPads on iOS 5
Users of iPads running iOS 5 can currently access VoiceOver which reads selected text to you. Hold your finger over any selected text and you will get the options box. One of those options will be the read aloud feature. You must turn the feature on: Settings – General – Accessibility – VoiceOver - On. Some iBooks come “enhanced” with a read aloud feature.
15 great iPad books
For young readers, judged on exceptional use of animation. The site also links to other app review sites.
Teach twice: “publishing stories from around the world in order to create learning and to fund education in the country from which the story came”
Their first story is now available: My precious name – a story from Uganda.
(ABC Thurs 8 pm)
Hosted by Andrew G., this looks like an interesting show for photography teachers & students. Each week 3 photographers are given a photographic task to complete and they are then judged on their work.
12 June 2012
If you missed this excellent & powerful film directed by Rachel Perkins, it is available on iView, along with other good Mabo resources. The performances of Jimi Bani and Deborah Mailman were exceptional. It will be a very useful resource for high schools – history, human rights, indigenous perspectives, legal studies, biography…
Watch Mabo film:
Other Mabo videos:
Timeline of Native Title:
Rachel Perkins directing episodes of Redfern Now
The 6 part ABC series from Perkins’ Blackfella Films (Mabo, First Australians) has begun filming with 4 directors (Perkins, Wayne Blair, Leah Purcell, Catriona McKenzie). It tells the story of 6 inner city households whose lives are changed by a seemingly insignificant incident. Cast includes Deborah Mailman, Jimi Bani, Miranda Tapsell. The series is co-written by indigenous writers and UK scriptwriter Jimmy McGovern.
If you haven’t yet seen Bran Nue Dae (2010), directed by Rachel Perkins, it’s wonderful – a very entertaining, coming-of-age, road movie, comedy, musical about a young Aboriginal man and his return home. Rated PG and very suitable for high schools. She has also directed a “prequel” to her First Australians series, which only started from 1788. The prequel documents the first contact between Cook and Aboriginal people at Botany Bay, NSW. The film can be seen in the Discovery Centre at Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell.
Looking forward to seeing The Sapphires (directed by Wayne Blair) when it opens in August!
8 June 2012
Some good resources for literature & “fiction to film” classes and just good entertainment!
Once upon a time TV series
(7.30 Tuesdays, Prime)
This fantasy drama series is a great reworking of the Snow White tale – full of intrigue, sorcery, love, suspense and the usual battles between good and evil, with great visual effects & good performances. A woman who works as a bail bonds officer is taken by a young boy to the town of Storybooke, where uncanny parallels exist between the townsfolk and the world of fairy tales. Could the fairytale characters be trapped in time in Storybrooke? The backstories are intriguing and mostly non-linear (from the creators of Lost!) – the characters’ traits and motivations could all be compared with characters from the traditional book versions of the tales.
The first series was 22 episodes – probably a few too many to show at school, but definitely worth watching a few from the start. Stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White (and her alter-ego schoolteacher in Storybrooke) and Robert Carlyle as the malevolent Rumplestiltskin/Mr Gold….well, anything with Robert Carlyle is going to be good!
Snow White and the huntsman
(opens 21 June)
Stars Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron (Queen) & Chris Hemsworth (huntsman). In this reimagining / Disney deconstruction of the Snow White tale, the huntsman who is forced to take Snow White into the woods to kill her becomes her mentor and protector, training her in the art of war as they try to vanquish the evil Queen. Visually spectacular, an awesome mirror, medieval battles and - for a while - 8 dwarves! Review:
(release date March 2014)
Another revisionist version of a fairy tale - this time Sleeping Beauty. Told from the point of view of the evil fairy godmother Maleficent, it is the backstory of why she cursed Aurora to a permanent sleep on her 16th birthday. Stars Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora and Angelina Jolie as Maleficent.
10 other upcoming fairy tale movies
Seems like a renaissance for the fairy tale genre. Includes: Hansel & Gretel: witch-hunters (Will Ferrell); Pan (Sean Bean); The little mermaid (director Joe Wright); Jack the giant killer (director Bryan Singer); Enchanted 2; Arabian Nights (Liam Hemsworth); Pinocchio (director Guillermo del Toro). Stories and themes that have stood the test of time!
Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien; Blade Runner). Stars Noomi Rapace (Dragon Tattoo) & Michael Fassbender. Sci fi / action / horror film set in the late 21st century. The crew of the spaceship Prometheus follow an ancient map to a distant world where they seek the origins of humanity – but find instead a threat that could wipe out the human race. Precedes the story of Alien, but is not directly connected to the series. The film has its own mythology and ideas.
And the most anticipated movie of the year?
The Dark Knight rises
(in cinemas 19 July)
Directed by Christopher Nolan – the last in his Batman trilogy. Sequel to Batman begins & The Dark Knight. Stars Christian Bale & Anne Hathaway. Nolan sees the film as an epic war movie or historical epic rather than another superhero blockbuster. Set 8 years after the last film, a new terrorist leader comes to Gotham and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.
27 May 2012
Reconciliation Week 27 May - 3 June: Let’s talk recognition
A great chance to celebrate, appreciate and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
National Indigenous Youth Parliament
The first National Indigenous Youth Parliament is on this week in Canberra and Steph Pollard (year 12) has been chosen as an ACT representative, along with 50 participants from all around Australia. The program develops youth-led advocacy & community leadership and includes debating bills written by teams. It marks the 50th anniversary of the Indigenous right to vote in federal elections.
NAIDOC & Reconciliation Week Assembly: 18 June
Guest performer is Owen Campbell, a local indigenous singer and guitarist who has reached the semi-finals of Australia’s got talent. The assembly falls 2 weeks before NAIDOC Week and after Reconciliation Week so it’s a celebration of both.
Info, resources & news about reconciliation
Animated video for Reconciliation Week (1 min.):
Online video competition: Shoot a 45 second video on a handheld device & win an ipad or lunch with chef Mark Olive. Choosea key action for reconciliation such as Change the future, Praise people, Look through different eyes... Entries close 21 June.
NAIDOC Week 1 - 8 July
This year's theme is Spirit of the Tent Embassy: 40 years on.
The Sapphires film gets standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival
Based on the play by Tony Briggs, the true story of an all-girl singing group from a remote Aboriginal community in Victoria who play for Australian troops in Vietnam. The feel-good musical comedy stars Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and Deborah Mailman; directed by Wayne Blair.
Mabo: Sunday 10 June ABC1, 8.30pm
Docudrama - the story of Eddie Koiki Mabo and his fight for justice and Native Title. Directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae; Radiance; The first Australians). Stars Jimi Bani & Deborah Mailman.The ABC website has good resources including teacher notes and activities for Years 7-12. Includes videos from the 480:Mabo series which celebrates 20 years since the Mabo decision.
Timeline of Native Title with short videos:
Amnesty International 2012 human rights report
Amnesty says that Australia continues to violate the rights of Indigenous people, and is driving them from their homelands through policies & inadequate funding.
Amnesty and Indigenous rights
In March, the Commonwealth Government committed long-term funds to support Homelands, but more is needed. Homelands are communities established so that Aboriginal people can maintain connection with their traditional, ancestral land. These communities have lower levels of social problems and significantly better health outcomes, and are home to around a third of the Aboriginal population of the Northern Territory.
21 May 2012
Facebook – now valued at $US104 billion
18/5/12: Shares were offered at $US38 each. The 8 year old company is now worth more than Amazon, Disney or McDonalds. Google is worth $200 billion, Apple $496 billion & Microsoft $246 billion. The sale of shares means more money to operate the data centres that hold all the status updates, photos etc shared by Facebook’s 900 million users.
And he just got married too!
Zuckerberg the musical
Watch this 4 min. musical tribute to Zucks and the 8 year history of FB, using great showtunes!
Interesting milestones in Facebook’s history….. was the best thing the “like” button?!
Why we like to brag on Facebook and Twitter
Harvard neuroscientists monitored brain activity using MRI and found that self-disclosure heightens brain activity in regions associated with reward and pleasure. People were even willing to forgo money to talk about themselves.
Tablets will rule the future personal computing landscape
Forrester Report 23/4/12: By 2016, they expect global tablet sales to reach 375 million units, compared to 56 million sales in 2011, with around 760 million tablets in use worldwide in 2016 (people keep tablets for around 3 years). The iPad will dominate. Tablets will be the conductor for PCs, devices and personal cloud services at work and at home. Analyst Frank Gillett attributes the growth in tablets to a longer battery life, easy information consumption and their ease of use for sharing and working in groups - all great reasons for schools to implement and support iPads! More content-creation apps will arrive, using gestures and voice input. However, Gillett says there will always be a place for powerful PCs with large displays - and some people will always prefer them.
Apps and mobile devices
Australians love their apps and mobile devices and have downloaded one billion apps since they became available in 2008: 700 million for iPhones; 64 million for iPads; 230 million for Androids. In March 2012, Australians downloaded 66 million apps – making us 5th in the world (per person) – behind Korea, Sweden, UK and Denmark. More than half of all Austns have a smartphone. More proof that schools need to support mobile technologies and BYOT!
18 May 2012
The secrets of the superbrands 3 part series (ABC1 Thurs 9.30pm) looks good. This week’s was on Technology.
Google’s Knowledge Graph
This is rolling out to Google.com from 16 May with various places getting it gradually.
Google is building a Knowledge Graph from all the searches that are sent to Google. It is a huge collection of people, places and things and how they are connected to one another. Watch the short video to see how Google is changing from an information engine to a knowledge engine. It will try to determine the exact result you require – the semantic web (eg. Mercury the planet, not the chemical element). When you search for a person, place or thing there will be a summary box to the right of your results with the most useful & interesting information for that topic, based on the questions other people have asked. It looks like it will help to clarify search results and make the results easier to review and explore.
Google Search Education
Google has revamped its search education pages. Includes search literacy lesson plans – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. Also has Live Trainings page with video tutorials about search literacy. You might not follow the lesson plans exactly as they are, but they could be good as a guide.
Need more space to store your files? Keep losing your USB stick? There’s definitely a good reason why Apple didn’t put a USB port on the iPad – will we really need them in the future? Use these free services for storing your documents, music, photos etc
Google Drive - 5GB free storage
Google’s cloud storage system launched on 24 April and now has millions of users. You must sign in to your Google account. You can share your files publically. Extra storage: 25GB: $2.49/month; 100GB: $4.99/month.
Microsoft Skydrive – 7GB free storage
You can create Word docs, PowerPoints, Excel spreadsheets and OneNote notebooks in the cloud with group editing and public sharing. Save an Office 2010 document in SkyDrive, and you can edit it online using Office Web Apps. You need a Windows Live ID. Use phone apps, iPad or web browser to access files.
Dropbox – 2GB free storage
Dropbox recently made sharing easier by adding a public link for every file. Use phone apps or PC & Macs to upload files.
iCloud – 5 GB free storage
iCloud syncs across iOS (iPhones, iPods, iPads) and Mac devices.
Sugarsync – 5GB free storage
For PCs/Macs and phone apps. Select the files that you want to synchronise across all devices and it will happen automatically when connected to the internet.
Compare storage services from Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive, Dropbox and Apple iCloud:
14 May 2012
Free TV and computer recycling services to start in Canberra
From Tuesday 15 May 2012, Canberra households and small businesses will be able to dispose of their unwanted television and computer products for free under the new National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. The ACT is the first jurisdiction ready to implement the new scheme.
People can drop off their old or unwanted televisions and computers at the Mugga Lane and Mitchell Transfer Stations which are open from 7.30 am to 5 pm, seven days a week.
Accepted items: TVs, computers, monitors, laptops, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cats?, hard drives.
Non accepted items: mobile phones, microwaves, video recorders, DVD players, radios/stereos.
The free e-waste recycling service is a permanent arrangement and residents will be able to access the scheme on an ongoing basis.
For more information about the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme in the ACT, including what items can and cannot be accepted visit
11 May 2012
Academic journals and Intellectual monopoly privileges
Over 11 000 researchers globally have pledged to withdraw their research articles from Elsevier journals, the world’s biggest journal publisher. Journals charge large amounts for online access to articles and research that has mostly been funded by taxpayers. Many people believe that publically funded research should be freely available in the public domain.
In some countries, government agencies now insist that government funded research articles must be available free of charge within 12 months of publication. In Australia, the National Health & Medical Research Council will change its rules later this year to ensure academic work that it funds is made freely available but the Aust. Research Council has been less supportive. The push for open access publishing has been dubbed “the academic spring” by many supporters.
3 May 2012: The great publishing swindle: the high price of academic knowledge
15 Feb 2012: Academics line up to boycott the world’s biggest journal publisher
Open access solutions
2 May 2012: Wiki founder to build open access site for UK research
“Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales will help the UK govt design a platform where all taxpayer-funded academic research will be freely available online – regardless of whether it is also published in a subscription-only journal….Leading members of Australia’s open access movement are less than optimistic that Aust. will follow suit”.
A report will be prepared this year in the UK that will chart a course for academic articles to be freely and openly available at or around the time of publication. The project will begin with a Gateway to Research website.
The Wellcome Trust, the world’s second largest non-govt funding body for medical research, is nearly ready to release its world-class open access journal called eLife, which will compete with prestigious journals such as Nature and Science.
ANU Digital Collections database: a free online repository of academic research
Members of the ANU share their research with the wider community - journal articles, conference papers, theses, book chapters, working papers and other scholarly communication. It also has digital photos from the uni collections.
ArXiv (pron. Archive)
An archive for online preprints of scientific papers in maths, physics, astronomy, computer science, biology, statistics & finance. Owned by Cornell University Library; began 1991. Although the articles are not peer reviewed (as they have not yet been printed in journals), moderators review submissions & there is also an endorsement system. Most works are later published in journals.
6 April 2012
Google graphical maths calculator – now in 3D & animated!
In December, Google added maths graphing functionality to its search results (as does WolframAlpha search engine). You type basic and complex math functions into the Google search box and Google creates the graphics – from basic charts to more complex graphs.
Now the graphical calculator is 3D and animated! (30 March). Search for the maths equations & see them animated in 3D. Works with Chrome & Firefox browsers.Video:
Australia Post Digital Mail
BoxComing in 2012 – a secure online mailbox that you can access anytime anywhere, on your favourite device. A free personal management app with 3 powerful functions – receive mail, pay bills and secure storage for documents. “Read and print your mail, set reminders, pay bills and store important documents such as tax records, a copy of your passport or anything else you would like to be able to securely access from anywhere”. The storage facility could be useful for teachers & students, especially in schools where Dropbox is not accessible. It also fits well with BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology).
Scootle tool: Open Explorer Builder
Interesting to see the various resources added to Scootle under “Find by Australian curriculum”. In some areas, the Open Explorer Builder tool is highlighted (eg. In Learning Paths – Cell division – Yrs 11 & 12). You can create an interactive multimedia project presentation or unit of work, alone or with others. Start with an image. Then add audio, other images, Flash video, link websites. Add captions or text. Publish your work as an Open Explorer. (Adobe AIR app must be installed first. Then download Open Explorer Builder. Files created are saved to local drives. Published versions can be saved as AIR apps to the desktop or as Flash objects for the web).
4 April 2012
Scootle is a resource for teachers to learn, teach and collaborate using digital curriculum resources from The Learning Federation.
You can browse by curriculum areas and year levels.
Who can access Scootle?
Anyone can use Scootle’s search and browse tools. Access to other features of the site is restricted to teachers and students in Australian schools. Login access is provided to teachers through their jurisdictions. For more details and contact information, go to
Teachers in ACT government schools can contact ACT DET Learning Technologies Section.
Australian Curriculum resources
Digital learning resources for the Australian Curriculum will be located in Scootle and can be accessed via the tab on the home page. Currently, these resources are for K to Year 10, but more will be added as the senior years are developed.
Resources for Years 11 & 12
You can choose year levels when searching for resources in subject areas. Science has quite a few resources for college years, English not so many. Some resources for younger years would be good for SIEC, Connect10 & ESL. All areas will build up over time!
Once you have your login, you can create Learning Paths and make a list of digital resources for your class to use. You can search other Learning Paths created & shared by other teachers. Students are given PINs to access Learning Paths.
Scootle – great for digital resources!
2 April 2012
Gmail accounts & iTunes
This year we bought 30 iPads to use with our introductory English classes. The ACT Dept of Ed requires each iPad to have its own iTunes account and each app must be bought individually for each iPad. Thus comes the challenge of creating 30 email addresses in order to set up 30 iTunes accounts.
Google only allows you to set up about 4 Gmail addresses at one time (I think you can set up more the next day). A solution is to set up one Gmail account. Then when you are using this Gmail address to set up an iTunes account (or other class account), just use use the + sign to create the other account names. You don't actually create these + accounts in Gmail, they just link back to your original account. Gmail ignores any letters & numbers after the + sign and sends any email messages back to the main account.
eg. Create Gmail account
. Your first iTunes account becomes
, your second iTunes account becomes
We soon found out that you couldn't complete the iTunes setup unless you provided credit card details or an iTunes card...that's our next step. And our very secure wireless network isn't kind to iPads... it keeps prompting for internet passwords etc
Released 7 March, Apple Configurator makes it easy for anyone to mass configure and deploy large numbers of iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches in a school, business or institution. Up to 30 at once can be set up & apps installed. Download the Configurator app from the Mac App Store. Very useful for schools where students do not have their own iPads, but use a class set. However, in Australia at present, you can only use Configurator to install free apps (we don't have the Volume Purchase Program for paid apps yet). It is also good for updating the iOS on multiple iPads.
The Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP)
Released in the US in July 2011...no news yet as to when it might come to Australia...would be great though. VPP allows schools to purchase iOS apps & books in volume (for iPads, iPod Touches, iPhones) and distribute them to students & teachers.
Free app from the Mac App Store; released Jan 2012. Make stunning multimedia interactive ebooks easily - only for the iPad. Write in it directly or import from Word or Pages. Add photos, movies, music, quizzes, diagrams etc. Add interactivity using widgets. Export your work in the .iBooks format, drag it into iTunes & sync it. Also, any PDF on the iPad can be sent and read in iBooks.
iBooks textbooks for iPad
In January, interactive textbooks from McGraw-Hill & Pearson (mainly science; created with iBooks Author) were available in Books in iTunes US for $14.99. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are also creating textbooks. None of these interactive textbooks are yet available in iTunes Australia. The price is right - perhaps we will get them soon after publisher negotiations?
iPad apps - useful sites
- A very comprehensive resource; many links re iPads; apps in subject areas.
- Informative site by Catholic Office, Parramatta, NSW. App toolkits for primary, secondary, special ed, subject areas.
- Many links to other sites with reviews & lists.
- Ed. apps review: a community effort to grade ed. apps.
14 March 2012
e inspired by the scale of things in our universe��you are but a speck
This is awesome (you might have seen the first one from 2010).
The scale of the universe 2 (2012)
by Cary & Michael Huang
An interactive tool - use
the scroll bar to zoom in on the smallest things in the universe (like quantum foam) & then zoom out to the edge of the universe. Compare the scale of things along the way. Click on each picture for more info.
Or watch it on YouTube:
The scale of the universe 1 (2010)
TED-Ed YouTube Channel: Lessons worth sharing
Launched 8 March. The channel will be a collection of short animated talks explaining various concepts (3 � 10 min; no talking heads). 12 animated videos are currently available & will be added to daily. From April, teachers can submit their best lessons (or suggest one) which will then be animated & existing TED content will also be remade.
The 2012 TED Prize winner: The City 2.0
This could be useful for Geography/SOSE/Design/Architecture classes. This year�s winner was awarded to a concept rather than an individual. People are encouraged to submit their ideas to The City 2.0 & �Dream me, build me, make me real�. The TED Prize will �create a platform to allow citizens anywhere to participate in the creation of their City 2.0. The platform will excite, connect and empower individuals and communities around the world through editorial content (video and text), a shareable project database, tools for local connection, and resources for executing ideas. The result will be an ever-expanding network of citizen-led experiments, with the ability to scale successes and learn lessons from failures�.
Encyclopaedia Britannica now available only online
After 244 years in print, Encyclopaedia Britannica will no longer publish its 32-volume book sets.
A new version is usually printed every two years, but the company has announced the 2010 set will be the last.
The online version has many more links & articles than the book edition and is available free online via eResources at the Libraries ACT website:
(you need a card & PIN).
8 March 2012
A review of the �new iPad� unveiled hours ago��.no, it wasn�t named iPad3�..CEO Tim Cook said more iPads were sold in the last quarter of 2011 than all global PC sales for that quarter�..the future is mobile.
Have a look at this intriguing 1 minute video of what could be possible�.well maybe for the iPad6�.(computer graphics by AatmaStudio):
Or their idea for the iPhone5:
If you are looking for some worthwhile educational apps for iPads, here is a useful iPad wiki by Kel Hathaway. The apps are in various categories with prices (ongoing list � all are tested).
Apps include these & others:
� good quality with educational value:
Kel�s Scoopit collects informative sites about iPads in education. Heaps of info!
The official Apple link to iPads in education:
iTunes U � a great source of free info:
Download the iTunes U app to get access to over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects. Hundreds of universities, colleges, and K-12 schools provide free content. More info:
Here are some useful educational web tools collected by Kel Hathaway:
7 March 2012
Some people asked for the websites on my Mod Day presentation � What�s new in ICT, Media & Popular Culture? Here is the link to the Powerpoint.
Corning Glass released their first video in Feb 2011 about the future of glass technologies in ICT, education, work & life and how glass will help shape our world. It�s had over 18 million views:
A day made of glass 2
5 min. video of Corning Glass� expanded vision for the future of glass technologies in ICT, education, work & life and how glass will help shape our world:
Info about the glass technology:
The Horizon Reports are issued annually by the New Media Consortium. They identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on global education.
10 mega-trends impacting learning: Horizon Project 10th Anniversary Report
1. The world of work is increasingly global & increasingly collaborative.
2. People expect to work, learn, socialize & play whenever and wherever they want to.
3. The internet is becoming a global mobile network.
4. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based & delivered over utility networks, facilitating the rapid growth of online videos & rich media.
5. Openness � concepts such as open content, open data & open resources, along with notions of transparency & easy access to data & information � is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world.
6. Legal notions of ownership & privacy lag behind the practices common in society.
7. Real challenges of access, efficiency & scale are redefining what we mean by quality & success.
8. The internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning & education, while refining our notion of literacy.
9. There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities & training.
10. Business models across the education ecosystem are changing.
& Judy O�Connell
The Horizon Report 2012 � Higher Education
The K-12 edition will be available later in the year.
1. People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
2. The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
3. The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured.
4. The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
5. Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
6. There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.
The areas of emerging technology to watch :
Time to adoption: One Year or Less
Time to adoption: Two to Three Years
Time to adoption: Four to Five Years
Internet of Things (all kinds of devices will be connected to the internet to receive/generate info)
23 February 2012
National Year of Reading: Love2Read
PM Julia Gillard launched the National Year of Reading on 14 February in Canberra and celebrations were held around Australia. You will see the Love2Read logo in many places during the year. Special events & many reading links are listed on the website as well as prominent ambassadors for reading such as Anh Do, Anita Heiss, Bryce Courtenay & Graham Base You can also join the Twitter feed and Facebook page.
Looking for a top book to read?
Try the shortlist of nominated �best books� for each state which have been selected as excellent portraits of the Australian experience � remote, regional, suburban and metropolitan.
The 8 winning titles include
by Craig Silvey,
Well done those men
by Barry Heard,
Listening to country
by Ros Moriarty,
Smoke and mirrors
by Kel Robertson (ACT). Winners:
secrets to happiness from the cultures of the world
(Lonely Planet 2012)
Looks at 55 inspirational practices, festivals and traditions around the world, exploring happiness through the themes of mind, body and spirit.
ncludes lessons on love, acceptance, achievement, wealth, work, generosity, family compromise, and death. Some examples � could be useful for Happy Hour discussions:
Proritise mental wellbeing over financial success: In Bhutan, happiness is more important than the country�s wealth. GNH = Gross National Happiness.
Free yourself from self-induced, self-limiting inhibitions: Karaoke like the Japanese!
Consider your words before someone takes them to heart: Next time you are angry, count to 3 & think of a gentler way of speaking.
Draw on humour & new experiences to get on with your life: An ironic, philosophical perspective can help.
Rid yourself of physical & mental clutter & get your life back under control: Sweep away the junk at home, work & in your relationships.
Exercise to produce endorphins & get a physical & mental workout: Your brain & body will get a boost.
Connect your whole being � mind, body & breath: Use your breath to control mind & body � as in yoga.
Allow yourself to luxuriate: Massages, baths, nice meals, sleep-ins�
Express yourself physically: Dance without a care or play sport.
Dress up to create beauty where you see none: Here�s where the 50 pairs of shoes comes in
Find the ultimate contentment in friends & family: Simple get-togethers & socialising.
Enjoy life now because you never know what�s ahead: Do something for yourself every day.
Moderate your life & be flexible: Consider which elements of your life may be out of balance & change them.
Release your inner child & play: Water fights!
Realise your interconnectedness with others: The African concept of �Ubuntu� (�I am only a person through other people�) recognises that no human exists in isolation. Everything one does affects others & the welfare of each is dependent upon the welfare of all. Cultivate empathy.
18 February 2012
Some great films
The fantastic flying books of Mr Morris Lessmore
Nominated this year at the Academy Awards: Best Animated Short Film�..an entrancing wordless film about �people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favour�.a poignant humorous allegory about the curative powers of story�. Award-winning illustrator William Joyce used miniatures, computer animation & 2D animation.
The Academy Awards take place 26 Feb. The list of 9 films nominated as Best Picture has some good films for Fiction to Film courses, Children�s Lit and other social issues courses:
� Silent film; the relationship between an older silent film star & a rising young actress as talkies take over.
� Family issues & land rights issues vs big business in Hawaii.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
� Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer. Directed by Stephen Daldry (
The hours; The reader
� all nominated for Best Director or Best Picture). A boy loses his father in 9/11 and discovers a key in a vase that inspires him to search New York for information, meeting many people along the way.
� Based on the Book by Kathryn Stockett. A young female journalist decides to write a controversial book from the point of view of black maids who worked for white families in 1960s USA.
� Based on the book The invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Directed by Martin Scorsese. A boy living alone in a Paris station tries to repair a broken mechanical man.
Midnight in Paris
� Written & directed by Woody Allen. A writer travels back in time to 1920s Paris and meets artists & authors of the day.
� Biographical drama. A manager of a baseball team uses a non-traditional approach to assemble a competitive team.
The Tree of Life
� Examines the origins & meaning of life using a man�s childhood memories mixed with imagery of the origins of the universe & life on Earth.
� Based on the book by Michael Morpurgo & the stage play � a moral epic that exposes the madness of war. A young man joins the army after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry in WW1; the extraordinary life of the horse is depicted as he moves through the war.
Brief summary of each film with photo:
At the movies with David & Margaret
Top 100 films from 2011: Viewers� Choice Poll
Here are the first 10:
1. Black swan 2. Midnight in Paris 3. True grit 4. Red dog 5. The guard 6. Drive 7. Harry Potter & the deathly hallows (Pt 2) 8. The tree of life 9. The ides of March 10. Bridesmaids
Some interesting upcoming films:
(in cinemas now). Three high school students get superpowers and have a lot of fun, until one starts to misuse his powers. Excellent for 15yrs + spec fiction.
World War Z:
Directed by Marc Forster; stars Brad Pitt (not as a zombie I hope). Based on the book by Max Brooks (son of Mel). An employee of the U.N. travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly zombie pandemic.
3D film based on the environmentally-themed book by Dr Seuss; release date March. Voice of Danny DeVito as the Lorax.
(release date Dec 2012): Film adaptation of the amazing musical. Stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe & Anne Hathaway. Can�t wait!
Freddie Mercury biopic:
Will probably start filming this year, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie. Awesome!
One for the money:
For fans of the Janet Evanovich books! The first film about Stephanie Plum the bail enforcement agent; starring Katherine Heigl, Jason O�Mara & Debbie Reynolds(as Grandma). Out soon!
The Dark Knight rises:
Directed by Christopher Nolan. Set 8 years after the events of the previous film. Former hero Batman returns to battle a terrorist.
And of course the highly anticipated 2 films
(to be released Dec 2012 & 2013). Directed by Peter Jackson; stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo. Also includes LOTR stars Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving. Already I feel like a second breakfast!
6 February 2012
Some English language trivia: Words of the Year
Macquarie Dictionary announces Word of the Year 2011
(1 Feb 2012)
And the winner is�
- chosen from the new words selected for inclusion in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online. Judges include poet Les Murray and David Astle (the Dictionary Guy on SBS�s Letters and Numbers).
� noun; a swimsuit designed for Muslim women, comprising leggings and a tunic top with a hood. [Trademark; BURQ(A) + (BIK)INI]
�Burqini seemed to be a very cute and successful coinage and what lay behind it was a fusion of culture, in an area of life which is so Australian� life on the beach.� - Susan Butler, Editor of Macquarie Dictionary.
Honourable mentions to:
- an economy characterised by areas of growth reflecting regions which are booming, and areas of decline reflecting regions which are less prosperous.
- the productivity of a cow in terms of the quality and quantity of its milk, assessed by udder shape and size, pedigree, genomic screening, etc.; used as a judging criterion in competitions.
� noun; an item made public by the government, usually in a media release, as good publicity for the government or as a distraction from bad publicity.
� Agriculture - dairyness
� Arts � beatboxing (hip-hop vocalisation that mimics a drum machine)
� Business - patchwork economy
� Colloquial � devo (short for devastated eg I was completely devo about the team�s loss)
� Communications - disaster porn (repeated coverage of disasters)
� Crops � superfruit (a fruit with exceptional qualities eg antioxidants)
� Environment � fracking (see below)
� Fashion - burqini
� Eating and Drinking - food porn (food presented in a visually stimulating way; or high fat food)
� General Interest � photobomb (to upstage the subject of a photo by appearing in it in a distracting way)� Health - food coma (lethargy from eating a large amount)
� Internet � planking (to lay out flat somewhere & then post the photo on the web)
� Politics - soy cap intelligentsia (comfortable middle class people with left-wing views that don�t affect their own lives)
� Social Interest - party house (a chosen venue for a party, with no constraints such as parents)
� Sport - stair climb (a race up the stairs of a skyscraper)
� Technology � jailbreak (to remove the restrictions that Apple places on their devices, in order to download apps from places other than the Apple store)
The Macquarie Dictionary People�s Choice Award
The clear winner was �
� noun; in oil and gas mining, a process by which fractures are made in rock by the application under pressure of chemically treated water mixed with sand to natural or man-made openings, in order to gain access to oil or gas supplies, considered by some to be associated with groundwater contamination; shortened form of fracturing.
American Dialect Society Word of the Year 2011
Winner: Occupy (verb, noun) - referring to the Occupy protest movement in many major cities. Also considered was FOMO � acronym for �Fear of Missing Out,� describing anxiety over being inundated by information on social media. Most creative? Mellencamp � a woman who has aged out of being a �cougar� (after John Cougar Mellencamp)!!
Global Language Monitor�s 12th Annual Survey of Global English (6 Dec 2011)
GLM conducts an annual global statistical survey of the English language via the monitoring of print & electronic media, including social media. Top word = Occupy; Top phrase = Arab Spring; Top name = Steve Jobs. Occupy was followed by deficit, fracking, drone, and non-veg.
Merrriam-Webster Word of the Year 2011
These were the most commonly searched words in 2011 in their online dictionary. 1. pragmatic 2. ambivalence 3. insidious 4. didactic 5. austerity 6. diversity 7. capitalism 8. socialism 9. vitriol 10. apr�s moi le deluge
16 December 2011
Some trivia and �best of� lists for the end of year and some inspirational videos for the holidays...
TEDTalks � 18 great ideas from 2011 that can help shape 2012
TED and the Huffington Post countdown 18 of the most powerful TEDTALK videos of 2011, with ideas that can help shape the world in 2012. Includes Less stuff, more happiness; Pay attention to nonviolence; The power of vulnerability and Google�s driverless car - still uses petrol though.
The 10 best TEDTalks of 2011 (according to ReadWriteWeb)
Includes How to spot a liar; How I became 100 artists and Try something new for 30 days.
Google�s top Australian searches for 2011
No real surprises. The top overall searches were for Facebook and YouTube. Jackie Chan was in the top 10 celebrities and red velvet cupcakes was the top food search. The most popular �What is?� search was What is love? The most popular travel destination was Hamilton Island; there were more searches for AFL than NRL and there were more searches for Toyota than Holden.
Google Zeitgeist 2011
3 minute video of the world in 2011 & other links:
Best of the iTunes & App store 2011
Apple Australia have released the best of the iTunes and App Store for 2011 - the bestsellers and also their top editorial choices.
Their top choices were Instagram (photosharing app for iPhone) and Snapseed (photo editing app for iPad) but the most popular free apps were Facebook, Viber and Words with friends. Angry birds was the top selling game. They liked Tiny wings and Real racing 2HD.
Bestselling song was Party rock anthem by LMFAO. Bestselling albums were 21 by Adele and Making mirrors by Gotye.
They liked Game of thrones & The slap; bestsellers were True blood & The big bang theory.
Bestsellers were Harry Potter & the deathly hallows Pt 2 and Inception.
They liked Caleb�s crossing by Geraldine Brooks and kids� book What body part is that? by Andy Griffiths. The top 5 bestsellers (bar one) were all by George R.R. Martin � A Game of thrones series. #3 went to Something borrowed by Emily Griffin. And the bestselling non fiction title was Walter Isaacson�s biography Steve Jobs.
Log in to your iTunes account & visit the App store to see the full Rewind 2011 list.
Results for iTunes USA:
15 December 2011
iPads in education
2 good sites, especially for teachers:
Info about getting iPads to project interactively:
An iPad will display all through a projector (or via an Apple TV) to a screen or IWB. You (currently) cannot operate the iPad interactively from the IWB because:
To make a computer interact with an IWB you load a set of drivers on your computers which makes the connection. At present no IWB manufacturer has drivers for an iPad. Also required is a physical connection through a USB cable which the iPad also does not have.
However, in the (near??) future this would be possible if the IWB manufacturer wrote a set of iPad drivers which allowed a connection either wirelessly or via bluetooth. This is not beyond the realms of current technology. First IWB company to do so is on a winner.
14 December 2011
YouTube for Schools
If your school doesn�t allow open access to YouTube, your school can now sign up for YouTube for Schools, announced on 11 Dec.
YouTube for Schools filters YouTube videos and only allows access to the thousands of educational videos from YouTube EDU, from groups such as TED, PBS, Khan Academy, Numberphile, various universities etc. Teachers can log in and watch any video, but students can only watch YouTube EDU videos (plus any videos their school has added). All video comments and related video suggestions are disabled. Teachers can create playlists � many are available at
Over 3 billion videos are viewed a day.
48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day.
70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US.
It�s strange when you think back to a time when we didn�t have access to all these online videos�and how cool are cat videos?
6 December 2011
ALA Best free reference websites 2011
Their 13th annual list - completed in June 2011. A bit of a US focus but includes some excellent sites:
Strange name but a great resource. Free images to use, even in commercial work. Remix and reuse, even without attribution!
Public Library of Science
Science and medicine research. All articles are open access.
Pros and cons of controversial issues. A great resource from an independent, non-profit group. Has a US focus but still very worthwhile. Has a Teachers� Corner and includes a Readers� Comments tab for each issue.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Evolves with new research and refereed contributions from experts.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
The International Union for Conservation of Nature provides this world standard database of threatened plants and animals.
An open, editable library catalogue building towards a web page for every book ever published. Many titles can be borrowed as ebooks.
Other ALA best websites for 2011 include Google Translate, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Wikileaks, WolframAlpha & Worldometers.
Previous lists back to 1999:
ALA recommended websites page
Highlights various lists produced by ALA. Good resources.
ALA great websites for kids
Listed in categories � Arts, Animals, Literature & languages, Sciences, Reference desk, History & biography, Maths, Social sciences.
AASL Top 25 websites for teaching and learning 2011
These free sites �foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration�. Includes Zooburst, PicLits, Kerpoof, Myths and legends, Dipity, iEARN, Khan Academy, Geocube�.
Their 2010 list:
25 November 2011
Top tools for learning 2011
Jane Hart�s Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) recently posted the Top Tools for Learning 2011 (their 5th annual survey). Contributions came from over 500 learning professionals worldwide.
Here�s the top 20: Twitter; YouTube; Google Docs; Skype; WordPress; Dropbox; Prezi; Moodle; Slideshare; Glogster; Wikipedia; Blogger; Diigo; Facebook; Google Search; Google Reader; Evernote; Jing; Powerpoint; Gmail.
New to the list in 2011 are: iPad and apps (44); Kindle (82); Khan Academy (74); Scoopit (33); Storify (69); Paper.li (90); ReadItLater (90); Knol (63)�.Interesting to see how the ratings will change next year.
Click here for a clear and simple slideshow of the Top 100:
Top tools in categories:
Tools directory � all kinds of learning tools � something for everyone!:
What�s on ABC TV in 2012?
Some good TV coming up next year�
Miss Fisher�s murder mysteries
- Kerry Greenwood�s glamorous 1920s detective Phryne Fisher.
� the land rights battle of Eddie Koiki Mabo. Stars Jimi Bani and Deborah Mailman.
� Aust�s first indigenous primetime drama series.
� Andrew Denton returns to host this word-based game show; �whitewater rafting for the brain�.
Shaun Micallef is as mad as hell
� offbeat take on the news of the world.
� Andrew Gunsberg series with photographic challenges.
� John Clarke�s 3 part series.
Australia on trial
� history series.
Australia: a time traveller�s guide
� spectacular doco with Richard Smith.
� a 26 part children�s sci fi series, a joint Aust-Canadian production that will screen on ABC3 late in 2012. A group of teenage resistance fighters are armed with cutting-edge technology and funded by a mysterious young billionaire.
� sketch comedy show on ABC3 for children aged 10-15 yrs. The regular cast of teens create this funny and unpredictable show, which was written by comedy writers and performers.
18 November 2011
This excellent US site has free downloadable & customizable digital textbooks for science, maths, technology and engineering for years K to 12, including some student workbooks (most books seem to be high school level). Includes easy video tutorial for customizing books and chapters. You can also add your own content to the book. More info:
�CK-12 Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to reduce the cost of textbook materials for the K-12 market both in the US and worldwide. Using an open-content, web-based collaborative model termed the "FlexBook," CK-12 intends to pioneer the generation and distribution of high quality educational content that will serve both as core text as well as provide an adaptive environment for learning through the FlexBook Platform�. Most of the books have been approved in various US states.
An interesting kind of encylopedia/search engine. Type in an indexed term � people, places, things - and Qwiki will generate an information experience describing it. Aims to deliver information in a natural, more human way � via storytelling instead of search. Covers a wide variety of reference topics
Also has an iPad app � a key piece of their original vision. You can share and embed content. Launched Jan 2011; currently in alpha; has some big funding.
The home page has a News Summary and Top Stories. Type a term into the search box (eg New Zealand). Choose from the dropdown choices. The information will be read to you (female American voice � ok; a bit mechanical) while you are presented with images, videos, animations and the written text. Click an image to see more information & source. Related Qwikis are listed below the one you are watching. Soon, any person will be able to create Qwikis and submit content to improve any Qwiki.
The voice & text and other content makes this a very interesting tool � especially for students who might not want to read a lot of information. The images and video content make research interesting and more interactive.More info:
11 November 2011.....11.11.11
QR (Quick Response) codes are everywhere now. They are another type of barcode and they are useful � they link you to extra information and save you from tediously typing URLs into your smartphone or iPod Touch. You can store the information and read it now or later. Smartphone users open their QR reader app and it scans the code and delivers the information to you. It might be a web link with lots of information, a YouTube video or just some text to read.
QR code generators
There are lots of free QR code generators. Teachers and students can make their own QR codes to use in lessons, tasks and presentations. QR codes can be placed on information posters, Glogsters, scientific models, on signs near artworks and photos, on book covers, points of interest�
The excellent URL shortener Bitly allows you to shorten, share, track and analyse your URL links. It also creates QR codes for these links. Copy the URL into the box on the home page and click �Shorten� . Underneath your shortened URL, click �Info page�. You will see the QR code that has been generated for this shortened URL. You will also see analytics for the URL eg. who has clicked on the link (countries) and when; how it was shared (Twitter etc).
Google has a URL shortener & QR code creator. Copy in the URL, click �Shorten� and then click �Details� to access the QR code (you have to be logged into your iGoogle account to get the QR code).
Copy in a URL, text, phone number or SMS and click �Generate�. Then you can save the code, embed it, print it, etc.
Email your QR code.
Officially launched in Sept 2011, it uses QR codes to deliver Wikipedia articles to users in their preferred language (usually the language on their phone). Used in various museums etc mainly in the US, UK and Spain. Paste a Wikipedia URL into the box to create a language-detecting QR code. Put the code wherever you want it to be read (eg. on an exhibit or poster). People can use the QR reader app on their smartphones to scan the code and be directed to the Wikipedia article.
37 examples of using QR codes (fun)
QR codes � solutions for maths problems
Primary students use QR codes to get to websites easily�.cute!
QR code Info from Chris Smith (Shamblesguru)
1 November 2011.....1.11.11.......7 billion people on Earth
The world's population will hit 7 billion round about 4.48 am on 1 November 2011 in Australia. The 7 billionth person will most probably be born in India.
Worldometer live stats website:
Where do you fit into the 7 billion?
Type in your birthday, country & gender:
How many more?
Interesting short video:
UN Population Fund website with counter:
According to National Geographic, the "most typical" human face is a 28 year old Han Chinese male, and 9 million fit that description. By 2030 China will lose its top population status and the "most typical" human face will be Indian.
National Geographic has had a year long focus on population issues:
And even though there are 7 billion of us, we are all individuals :)
25 October 2010
Steve Jobs' biography
The authorised biography written by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson was released 24 Oct. Seems to be an honest portrayal written after 40 interviews with Jobs and over 100 interviews with others. Some surprising facts here:
And the Jobs biopic?
Rights to the Steve Jobs biography have been sold to Sony. The film should be just as intriguing as The Social Network and may indeed be written by that film's screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Who will play Jobs??
First Australian newspaper to charge for digital content
The Australian will be the first general Aust. newspaper to launch subscriptions for digital content in 3 months time ($2.95 pw for online, iPad, mobile). It will follow the "freemium" model, with some content free but charging for premium content. Other daily papers will follow next year, though probably not the Fairfax news websites. Will readers want to pay for information they previously got for free?
The 7pm Project becomes The Project
The Channel 10 infotainment show that draws its content and comedy from recent news stories will be extended to one hour from 31 October. It will replace George Negus at 6.30 and run till 7.30 & is the top weeknight news service for 16-39 year olds. Hosted by Carrie Bickmore & Charlie Pickering, it's informative and fun and the format appeals to high school students - useful for current affairs, popular culture, media & journalism. Our Media class were part of the audience a few months ago and loved it.
The bridge by Jane Higgins
Winner of the Text Prize for young adult and children's writing 2010; has been described as the Tomorrow series meets Hunger Games. In post-apocalyptic 2199, the city is divided by the bridge. Cityside must be kept safe from the hostiles of Southside. Nik's school is bombed by hostiles and he goes on the run with Fyffe, with the security corporation after them. When they cross the bridge they start to ask questions no one else will ask and find out how difficult it is to tell right from wrong, and fact from fiction and propaganda - especially in the face of war.
Thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. Stars Kate Winslet & Matt Damon. A deadly disease breaks out and an international team of doctors is contracted to deal with the outbreak. The film portrays a very realistic public health & scientific response to a pandemic & examines personal motives, professional conduct, crowd psychology, loss of social order and the benefits of collaboration. 4 stars from Margaret and 4 and a half from David!
The new David Attenborough 7 part series examines the Arctic & Antarctic ecosystems; the final episode looks at the threat of global warming and its devastating effects. Begins 30 Sept WIN TV.
To be or not to be
Anonymous opens 3 Nov, directed by Roland Emmerich; starring Vanessa Redgrave as Elizabeth I and Rafe Spall as Shakespeare. Was Shakespeare an illiterate fraud? The citizens of Stratford-upon-Avon are protesting!
15 September 2011
YouTube Creative Commons
YouTube allows users to mark their videos with a Creative Commons CC BY license [attribution - reuse allowed]. These videos are then accessible to other YouTube users for use in their own videos via the YouTube Video Editor
. The goal is to make it easy for users to identify videos they can share, edit & remix, as long as they attribute the source of the original clip. YouTube is teaming up with other organisations to create a library of 10 000 CC videos for others to experiment with.
Google�s official YouTube channel
Some cool & useful stuff here. Includes videos about Google+ project; Talks at Google (guest speakers); 15 second search tip series. Many useful videos have been uploaded by Google users. And if you missed out on the awesome Freddie Mercury Google Doodle to celebrate his 65th birthday on 2 Sept, it�s here:
.�Don�t stop me now.�
The electric guitar pioneer Les Paul playable guitar Google Doodle of 2 June had 740 million visitors & possibly $268 million in lost productivity! It now has a permanent home here:
Google Search Education Evangelism
Aimed at high school to adults. Includes basic and master lesson plans and Powerpoints for teaching search. All lessons are under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike license so you can change & adapt them. Also has access to webinars.
SBS On Demand
This month SBS launched their On Demand free video service � full episodes, feature length films, clips & live streaming. It has over 90% of their current prime time content as well as previously screened titles. Some have expiry dates for watching them. You can set up an account and make a favourites playlist, subscribe to a series, receive notifications about new videos, videos about to expire etc.
New national free-to-air indigenous TV channel
Last week the federal government announced a proposal for this new channel. SBS and the National Indigenous TV network (NITV) will work together to launch this channel, dedicated to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander content. Up till now, NITV has been confined to pay TV, making it unavailable to most remote viewers. Senator Conroy said the new channel�s aim would be to increase the amount & quality of original indigenous content on free-to-air TV.
The hamster wheel: the return of The Chaser
The comedy team will return later this year on ABC1 in a satirical news analysis show. They will examine �the contemporary media landscape, where everyone from journalists to political fixers is perpetually at risk of spinning out of control�. The 8 x 30 min. episodes begin production this week.
The future is mobile
"40% of the world's population will have access to the Internet by 2015, according to a new forecast released this week by market research firm IDC<
>. But the way they access it is shifting drastically, particularly in the US, western Europe, and Japan, as media tablets and smartphones begin to take the place of the traditional PC�this will make the internet a very different place�. For schools�1-to-1 learning will skyrocket; teaching & learning for K-12 will fundamentally change due to mobile technologies.
7 September 2011
Indigenous Literacy Day
Many schools supported Indigenous Literacy Day on Wed 7 Sept by raising funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Some participated in the Great Book Swap & others held other activities. The ILF provides books for remote indigenous communities; schools can hold fundraising events at any time. Over 70 000 books have been sent to over 260 communities during the past 2 years. The ILF also supports community identified literacy projects such as writing books in Alternative English Languages (AEL) & writing workshops are conducted with ambassadors such as Andy Griffiths. Some popular titles have been translated into indigenous languages (eg. Yanumarra parltjatjirratja mularrpa=The very hungry caterpillar). Book Buzz early childhood book packs are also distributed to toddlers & preschoolers, to introduce them to books & reading.
At Parliament House in Canberra, the Governor General Quentin Bryce spoke about the great work of the ILF, as did author Kate Grenville. There was some great singing, dancing, reading & music from visiting schools. Schools then presented symbolic books they had made that represented their fundraising efforts. It was a very enjoyable time!
Interesting info about literacy in remote indigenous communities and the variety of languages spoken:
24 August 2011
50 greatest books of all time?
This list was compiled by studying 43 other lists plus articles from critics, authors & experts. Links to the other lists as well (eg. Guardian, Globe, Man Booker, Harvard Book Store, Pulitzer...)
100 incredibly useful YouTube channels for teachers
This is a great list�.a lot of US content but lots of amazing links eg. CitizenTube, United Nations, Witness (human rights), Periodic table of videos, Science magazine, Edutopia, Khan Academy, National Geographic�..
Time magazine's 50 best websites 2011
An interesting list with some good links including:
art history; many pictures; videos of experts talking about works; browse by artist, theme, medium.
blogs & videos covering all topics about our world - arts, science, history, business etc. One post: "There is a 20% chance that we're all part of an elaborate computer simulation from the future".
Great info about new developments in all fields.
The one-man university started by Salman Khan in 2006. Thousnads of free lessons aimed at students in highly visual 10 minute video chunks. Mainly maths & science, but other subjetcs also. He now has funding form Google & the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
11 August 2011
Happy 30th birthday to mobile phone calls in Australia - 9/8/11
The Telecom call was made in Melbourne in 1981 on an in-car phone that weighed 14kg & was 45cm long & cost $5000. The network covered the greater Melb. area�.now we are heading for the Telstra 4G network with higher data speeds & better video quality. Trials have started.
Facebook to have an executive in Aust. this week
Mia Garlick, a senior bureaucrat from Stephen Conroy�s Dept of Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy, will have responsibility for Aust. operations & will hopefully be able to act quickly on complaints about Facebook postings & cyberbullying.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers Aust. Entertainment & Media Outlook 2011-2015
The report on Australia�s media & entertainment industry was issued 1/8/11. The fastest moving sector is the gamer market (9.5% growth by 2015), with gamers using consoles, phones, tablets & social media. Australians will own 5.5 million tablet devices by 2015. Empowered consumers often expect content for free � what incentives can be offered to encourage consumers to pay? Subscription TV revenue will grow by 5.1%. Films will grow by 4%. The internet as an industry will see a slowing of growth (7.4% by 2015). Newspapers will remain stagnant (0.1% growth). Consumer magazines & recorded music will be the only sectors to shrink. Live entertainment will see growth. And as for the book industry�..despite the closure of many A&R stores & Borders, the report predicts the industry will recover with annualised growth of 2.5% over the next 5 years.
Andrew Denton�s company Zapruder�s Other Films is looking at legal action over a pilot British TV program with the same format as The Gruen Transfer. Meanwhile, the BBC has aired a satirical series about preparations for the London Olympics, that is very similar to John Clarke�s The Games. The concept had been pitched to the BBC by Clarke in 2008.
Scarecrow and the army of thieves � Matthew Reilly
Available in October; the 4th book in the series starring Scarecrow, the heroic guy who was introduced in Ice station.
Inheritance - Christopher Paolini
Available 8/11/11. Book 4 & the conclusion to the series that began with Eragon. Can Eragon & his dragon topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia?
Yay for Canberra�s Mia Wasikowska in the new film directed by Cary Fukunaga, based on the book by Charlotte Bronte. Also starring Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Some say she is the best Jane ever J Opens 11 August.
Batavia by Peter FitzSimons: the miniseries.
Screentime (makers of Underbelly & Cloudstreet) will make the 6 part series based on the 1629 Dutch shipwreck & the battle of good vs evil. FitzSimons describes the tale as an �adults-only version of Lord of the flies meets Nightmare on Elm Street�.
The white mouse � directed by Bruce Beresford
New bio-pic about the life of war heroine Nancy Wake, the highest decorated woman of WW2. Begins filming end of 2012.
9 August 2011
Some good films coming up...
Political thriller directed by Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The day after tomorrow). Stars Rhys Ifans & Vanessa Redgrave. Aust. release Nov 2011. Was Shakespeare a fraud? Was Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, the true author of Shakespeare�s plays? Did Oxford have an affair with Queen Elizabeth and was it all about who would succeed Elizabeth? Alas, poor Shakespeare�sounds intriguing�
Hunger Games: the movie
Directed by Gary Ross. Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson. In the ruins of North America, a boy & a girl from each district are forced to compete in the Hunger Games, where only one person will survive. This exceptionally popular �cross-over� book will be released as a film in March 2012 (USA).
The greatest movie ever sold
Morgan Spurlock�s (Supersize me) new film looks at the huge amounts of product placement in movies � and his film was entirely paid for through product placement & marketing deals. Contributions from Noam Chomsky, Quentin Tarantino, Ralph Nader but not McDonald�s hehe. Apparently even Jules Verne sold naming rights to the shipping companies in Around the world in 80 days!
Comedy-drama directed by Jodie Foster. Stars Mel Gibson & Jodie Foster. A troubled executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating. A study of delusion, depression and personal redemption.
Based on the book Red dog by Louis de Bernieres (Captain Corelli�s mandolin). Stars Rachel Taylor. Based on the true story of the Red Dog who united a remote mining community while searching for his master in the Australian outback. 4 and a half stars from David & 4 stars from Margaret!
No more New inventors or Art nation and Spicks & specks finishes in Nov. L
Wikipedia: Rate This Page
Wikipedia is now crowdsourcing article evaluation � Rate This Page appears at the end of some pages. Use the 5 stars to give ratings. Categories are: Trustworthy? Objective? Complete? Well written? It now appears on over 100 000 Wikipedia pages.
Why it could be a bad idea:
Wikimedia Foundation targets for 2015
4 out of 5 Wikipedia editors are male and 4 out of 5 are from the Global North. The Wikimedia Foundation would like to change this. It aims to:
�Increase the total number of people served to 1 billion.
Increase the number of Wikipedia articles we offer to 50 million.
Ensure information is high quality by increasing the percentage of material reviewed to be of high or very high quality by 25 %.
Encourage readers to become contributors by increasing the number of total editors per month who made >5 edits to 200,000.
Support healthy diversity in the editing community by doubling the percentage of female editors to 25 percent and increasing the percentage of Global South editors to 37 percent.�
Check out the graphs of numbers of articles & editors here. Interesting to see a plateau effect .�
15 June 2011
Happy birthday .au
Last week Australia celebrated 25 years since the
domain name came into being.There are now 2.09 million .au domain names and these websites are accessed more than 650 million times each day.
Australia has 10.4 million active internet users � the highest rate per capita in the world(ABS). Mobile wireless broadband users account for another 4.2 million users.Meanwhile, a successful trial was held of IPv6 on World IPv6 Day on 8 June by over 1000 websites & ISPs. Web addresses on IPv4 run out this year & IPv6 allows for huge growth of the web.
According to Tony Keusgen (Google Aust.):
Australia has the world�s highest per capita use of mobile phones.By 2013: More internet searches will be done on smartphones than desktop computers.(Dec 2010: Just 12% of Google searches were made on a mobile device in Aust.).
Now used by 700 million worldwide. By next year it will probably have 1 billion users, with huge growth in South America & Indonesia.There are 10.3 million active Facebook users in Australia(53% female) & we spend longer hours on Facebook than any other country (Paul Borrud, Facebook Aust.).The concept of �social search� is the next big thing in the search engine market � discovering content via your friends.
Statcounter is an interesting site for info:
Microsoft Internet Explorer = used by 45% of computers worldwide; Mozilla Firefox used by 30%; Google Chrome used by 18% & rising.
% of online searches
; Microsoft Bing
Apple and iCloud
On 6 June Apple announced its cloud service - iCloud, which will start later in 2011. Users can store 5GB of files such as music, photos, videos, iBooks, email, apps & documents in iCloud & automatically sync wirelessly between multiple devices such as iPhones, iPads, iPods, Macs & PCs. Music purchased in iTunes is automatically downloaded to any registered device (US only at first). The new iOS 5 will also be released with Twitter integration so every app can access Twitter easily.
Text vs voice
The use of telephones (landlines, mobiles and smartphones) to make or receive phone calls is trending rapidly downwards, both at home and at work. Indeed, according to Nielsen the market research firm, text is likely to surpass voice within the next 36 months�. Text is becoming so dominant that the ways in which it is now delivered encourages an instant response rather than thoughtful questioning, analysis or reflection� (Richard Watson).
Nintendo announced its new Wii U game console last week, to be marketed in 2012.
It has a new tablet controller with a touchscreen & HD graphics
The controller allows a player to continue a gaming session by displaying the game even when the television is off. Seems to be a lot more complex than the original Wii & aimed at bringing true gamers back to the Wii.
Fairfax newspapers The Age & SMH now have iPad apps, as does The Australian. Soon they will all have some kind of paywall & charge for some content on their websites, though there will still be some free content.
Yay for Wikipedia the cultural phenomenon!
Ten years old in Jan 2011; 18 million entries; 279 languages; among the top 10 most popular websites. Now Wikipedia is trying to earn a spot on one of the world heritage lists of UNESCO � the first time a digital entity has tried. It is aiming for the World Heritage List or perhaps the Intangible Cultural Heritage List. There is also the Memory of the World Register. Wikipedia must now find a country to sponsor its nomination � possibly Germany (2nd biggest Wikipedia collection after English).
How green is your internet?
Informative short video by Hungry Beast (ABC). Every second of online video produces 0.2 grams of carbon dioxide. With 2 billion YouTube videos watched each day, at a conservative 10 seconds each, that�s 4000 tonnes of CO2 produced each day. The 44 million computer servers in the world produce 2 % of earth�s carbon emissions.
Congrats to NLA Trove!
The National Library�s free online search service has won the top honour at the 2011 Aust. Govt ICT Awards. Trove is the winner of the 2011 Excellence in eGovernment Award plus the Service Delivery Category Award. Trove is a great place to look for resources � books, websites, images, music, video & many full text free online journals etc. It searches through the databases of over 1000 libraries in Aust.
Finally�.get ready for Angry Birds � the shoes, the hoodie, the stationery, the boardgame, the mugs, homewares, mobile accessories & possibly a film. Soon to be launched as a Facebook game too. Squawk!
25 May 2011
Good things for �Fiction to film� courses & some great musical theatre coming up:
on Showcase (F
excellent�.especially for those who love the book. Others may find it harder to follow. Directed by Matthew Saville (
We can be heroes; Noise
) & co-written by Tim Winton.
Life of Pi
is being filmed in India, directed by Ang Lee (
Crouching tiger, hidden dragon; Brokeback Mountain)
. Release date is Dec 2012 & it might be in 3D. Stars Suraj Sharma as young Pi, Irrfan Khan as grown-up Pi & Tobey Maguire as the reporter.
Based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Yann Martel, it is the magical adventure story about Pi Patel, who is shipwrecked on a boat with a variety of animals. The line between reality & fantasy is blurred & keeps you thinking.
The great Gatsby
directed by Baz Luhrmann, will be shot in Sydney & released in 2012. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchanan, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, Isla Fisher as Tom�s mistress & Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The film will be in 3D�.people are wondering why�as someone said, what will Baz do next? A musical??
On the road
Directed by Walter Salles (
The motorcycle diaries)
the first film version of
iconic beat generation road trip book
Stars Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortenson. To be released late 2011.
Magic beyond words: the J.K.Rowling story
An unauthorised TV biopic about the author; directed by Paul Kaufman; stars Poppy Montgomery.
NBC TV series from the executive producers of
A police officer finds out he is a member of the elite hunters, the Grimms, who try to stop the proliferation of supernatural creatures in the world. All cases have a storybook connection, but not always happily ever after.
The walking dead
Very popular US series, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman (2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series). The story follows a group trying to survive in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. No deals yet with Aust. TV, though fans want to see it. The graphic novels can be gruesome, but are very popular with Years 11 & 12.
The wizard of Oz
Various versions are coming up.
Oz, the great & powerful
- to be directed by Sam Raimi & produced by Walt Disney Pictures; the story of the wizard's arrival in Oz. Stars James Franco.
� a sequel to be directed by Drew Barrymore.
The witches of Oz
� set in modern day New York, where Dorothy is a children�s author with repressed memories! A CGI film directed by John Boorman is also planned.
Strictly ballroom: the musical
The world premiere of the stage show, based on Baz Luhrmann�s film, will be in Sydney in Sept 2013, beating NY & London. Can�t wait!
The Addams family: the musical
Opens in Sydney March 2013. The family is thrown into turmoil when Wednesday falls in love with a boy from a normal family.
5 May 2011
- the new film directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son; director of sci fi film
). Stars Jake Gyllenhaal. A thrilling & brilliant mind-twister....a man relives the past over & over, helping the government to catch a terrorist. Quantum physics + popcorn = yes!
8 April 2011
Reading levels in Google:
Use the left hand menu of your Google search results page.
Click at the end of the list on
More search tools.
When you look at your results they will now be labelled as Basic, Intermediate or Advanced reading level.
25 March 2011
Booko is a very useful Australian site that aims to compare book & DVD prices from various suppliers. It seaches through sites such as Book Depository, Amazon, Fishpond, AbeBooks, QBD, Dymocks....Then you can order from the site that you choose. Very cool!
11 March 2011
World statistics updated in real time.....intriguing! Find population statistics; society & media; government; environment; food; energy; health.
28 Feb 2011
The lost thing
- Short animated film by Shaun Tan. Congratulations to Australian artist Shaun Tan for winning the Best Animated Short Film award at the Academy Awards 2011. Based on his picture book, the book is set in a dystopian near-future. A boy finds a strange creature on a beach & tries to find out who owns it or where it belongs - but nobody seems to care. A wondeful allegorical story!
10 Feb 2011
Word of the Year
Probably we�ve all googled ourselves. Macquarie Dictionary
Word of the Year 2010
from the new words selected for inclusion in the annual update of the Macquarie Dictionary Online.
: (noun) a person with the same name as oneself, whose online references are mixed with one�s own among search results for one�s name.
That is, their name shows up when you google yourself�.as opposed to a doppelganger, who looks like your twin.
onourable mention to:
: (noun) a plastic horn, up to one metre in length, which emits a loud buzzing sound; commonly played in South Africa by fans at soccer games
[? Zulu vuvu to make a noise]
People�s Choice Award
A documentary film or TV show featuring footage of accidents or violence; or a film that gives damaging information about government bodies, industries etc, often presented in such a way as to magnify the inherent shock value of the facts.
Some other category winners:
(never being absent from work, even when sick)
Eating & drinking: screwage (corkage for screwtops)
Health: binge listening
(too much loud music or too much of one artist)
Internet: camel case (lower case, mixed with upper case - as in iPod)
Technology: pocket-dial (ever sat on your mobile phone?)
Environment: flying cane toad (a bird pest eg. pigeons, seagulls, mynahs)
American Dialect Society 2010 Word of the Year = app
app : (noun) an abbreviated form of application, a software program for a computer or phone operating system.
Most Useful: nom (Onomatopoetic form connoting eating, esp. pleasurably. Can be used as an interjection or noun to refer to delicious food.)
Most Creative: prehab (Preemptive enrolment in a rehab facility to prevent relapse of an abuse problem.)
Most Unnecessary: refudiate (Blend of refute and repudiate used by Sarah Palin on Twitter.)
Most Likely to Succeed: trend (Verb: to exhibit a burst of online buzz.)
Fan Words: gleek (A fan of the TV show �Glee� [Glee + geek])
Merriam-Webster 2010 WOTY = austerity.
It was the most frequently looked up word online.
Google tip for finding word definitions:
Type def followed by the word and your top links will be to online dictionaries.
Eg. def chaos or def erroneous (You can also type: define chaos).
As of May 2011, you can now choose "Dictionary" in the left hand menu of Google & use it to find dictionary word meanings.
Top YouTube videos for 2010 announced
In 2010, 13 million hours of video were uploaded to YouTube (35 hours of video each minute). By mid-November, the site's playback count hit 700 billion.
Watch the top 10 and see what was popular each month....includes Old Spice guy & annoying fruit.
50 top YouTube videos (compiled by
in 2010 to celebrate 5 years of YouTube)
Google Zeitgeist 2010 � Australia
Top Australian Google searches for 2010:
7. real estate
10. white pages
4. world cup 2010
7. event cinemas
Fastest Rising People
1. andy irons
2. justin bieber
3. julia gillard
4. lara bingle
5. katy perry
6. kim kardashian
7. jessica watson
8. andrew bolt
9. kevin rudd
Google Zeitgeist 2010: Year in Review (USA) (2 mins)
Filter Google results by reading level
Recently Google added an advanced search feature that sorts search results by reading level. Click on the Advanced Search link when you do your search and choose to sort by reading level. You can choose to annotate all results with reading levels, or ask Google to show basic, intermediate or advanced results. A good tool for teachers with different age groups & language abilities.
As of May 2011, you can now choose "Reading level" in the left hand menu of Google.
bookstore has opened
See what it
like....access books stored in the cloud and read them on whatever
device you choose!
Currently, only US customers can purchase books (eg. new releases), but we can still download millions of free titles.
3 Dec 2010
Kinect to the future
You�ve probably seen the ads for Kinect, the slim box with cameras etc that connects to the Microsoft XBox360 gaming system.
Kinect is a gesture-based interface that reads your gestures, facial expressions and voice and relays the information to the screen. You don�t have to touch anything or hold a controller. 2.5 million units have been sold since 4 Nov and lots of creative geeks are hacking the Kinect technology to develop new programs. Technology of the future will be based on similar gesture-based interfaces (think Minority Report).
�Kinect represents the shape of things to come. It is a transformative change in the user experience�. a new and dramatically natural way to interact -- not just with TV, not just with computers -- but with every machine that we will conceive of in the future�. (James McQuivey)
Cool stuff from MIT Media Lab�..
Kinect hacks lets you control a web browser and Windows 7 using only The Force (ie gestures)
More Kinect hacks at
Embedded SIMs and the Internet of Things
The �Internet of Things� is a vision of the future where nearly all objects are web-enabled � not just phones, computers & TVs.
The GSM Assoc (worldwide mobile communications industry) is exploring the use of embedded SIMs to bring mobile broadband to devices such as cameras, MP3 players, GPS navigation devices and ebook readers, as well as smart meters. Embedded SIMs will be non-removable chips, more deeply integrated into the device itself and able to be activated remotely.
Newsy provides short videos of global news from multiple sources. You'll find CNN next to Al Jazeera, the BBC next to ABC (US). It covers major newspapers, news magazines as well as top blogs from around the world. There�s an iPad app for Newsy.
Google News (US) now has a section titled "most shared" on its home page, that seems to track activity on social networks such as Twitter�.after all, Twitter is somewhat of a rival in the dissemination of current news! It is near the bottom right corner & covers the past 24 hours, week & month. Not sure if it will be put on the Aust. site.
Global internet trends
Sandvine's Fall 2010 report looks at internet usage in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Some global trends: Real-time entertainment (videos) dominates data consumption on both mobile and fixed networks worldwide - about 43% of total internet traffic. Social networking makes up a significant and growing percentage of mobile Internet traffic. Web browsing is on the decline everywhere, except in Europe - the only part of the world that also saw a decline in P2P (peer to peer filesharing) traffic.
Growing up digital, wired for distraction
(New York Times, 21 Nov 2010) Interesting article, good points for & against too much technology
22 Nov 2010
Lots of recent innovations in the Google / Facebook / Apple / YouTube world��.
The new search enhancement that shows results as you type in the search box. People read faster than they type: you get instant feedback & can adapt your search.
Launched last week; shows previews of search result pages. A magnifying glass icon is positioned to the right of every search result � click it for a mini-preview of the webpage. Key feature: Google will highlight the section of the page where the search term occurs.
Google smartbooks (Google Chromebooks)
Coming soon. Cheap (less than $300), light computers running Google�s Chrome OS. No hard drives, boot up in seconds, batteries last days. No local storage of documents � all stored in the cloud. Based on its Chrome web browser; will stay connected to the web. What�s needed: a Chrome App Store (The Australian, 9/11/10).
Facebook email addresses (@facebook.com) & Microsoft Office Web Apps:
Hmmm�..Facebook & Microsoft vs Google?? 500 million users will get Facebook email addresses and also a new inbox system. All your communications with one friend will be listed on one page (email, instant messages, live chat). You will be able to email people outside of Facebook, even though email is a very small part of how youth stay in touch.
Facebook will no longer be just for witty status updates and funny photos�.
Users will soon be able to attach files via Microsoft Office Web Apps. Share your Word, Excel & PPTs when you send messages.
Apple & iTunes
This week�finally�The Beatles are available from iTunes! All 13 albums would cost about $130. Still not on iTunes: AC/DC.
But what�s with the mysterious server farm in Maiden, North Carolina? It is rumoured to be Apple�s push into cloud computing, whereby music, movies, photos, calendars and other files currently stored on Mac hard drives would instead reside on Apple's remote servers �in the cloud�. All your iTunes music will be stored in the cloud and be accessible via any computer, for listening or download.
The new MacBook Air, which Jobs described as the shape of notebook computers to come, has a small storage capacity (64 GB+), suggesting that in the future Apple may expect users to store their files in the cloud, rather than on their hard drives.
Rumoured to be opening soonish�. Like iTunes but cloud-based. You could download music or put it in a cloud storage locker (maybe for $25 p.a.) or possibly share playlists with friends.
YouTube live streaming
In Sept, live streaming was tested and will no doubt develop further. Users just need a webcam to upload their live feed. Bon Jovi were streamed live to their YouTube channel on 10 Nov. Hmmm �.how is this different to live TV? Well I guess anyone can participate�..tune in at 11pm to see us bungee off the bridge! etc
Rupert Murdoch & newspaper iPad Apps
News Corporation is on the frontline of the battle to make people pay for online news. Some of their overseas online newspapers already have a paywall around them (eg Times). On 19 Nov in Australia, Murdoch�s News Limited launched iPad apps (not free) for the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun. Two other apps for the Courier-Mail and the Advertiser will follow in December. Paywalls will probably follow for their newspaper websites. Lucky there�s lots of other free news via Google News!
The social network
The social network
(rated M) opens in Australia on 28 Oct - a drama about the founding of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg (and others!). Based on the nonfiction book
The accidental billionaires
by Ben Mezrich. Director: David Fincher
(The curious case of Benjamin Button; Fight Club; Panic room
). Starring: Jesse Eisenberg - who doesn't have a Facebook page :) and Justin Timberlake (as the guy who invented Napster).
The film opened a few weeks ago in the US and has been well received by critics, if not Zuckerberg himself. Reviews:
"A rare and vital film that nails the concerns of privileged post-adolescence in the first few years of the 21st century, and, more universally, draws out eternal themes of truth, subjectivity and envy with an effortless elegance." - C. Bray.
"A timeless story of friendship and betrayal which illustrates how our appetite for more can become insatiable, regardless of the consequences." - G. Young.
The film seems to divide generations. Older viewers see Zuckerberg as unethical & tragic; younger viewers perceive him to be like a rock star & a genius.
Zuckerberg recently announced (on Oprah) a donation of $100 million (in Facebook stock) to the Newark school system in New Jersey. He is on the Forbes billionaire list (worth $2 billion in 2009).
A celebration of the most creative YouTube videos
On 21 Oct
, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and YouTube unveiled the
winners of their massive video contest, YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video. There were 23,000 submissions from 91 countries
a shortlist of 125 videos. Awesome!
View the top 25:
Find entries here on YouTube:
ABC on YouTube
The ABC has recently set up ABC channels on YouTube (Comedy / Entertainment / Documentaries) where you can watch selected programs previously screened on TV� ��.from Gruen Transfer to Aunty Jack to Summer Heights High. Usually it is not the full series, just selected full programs. Sometimes it includes clips as well. Programs will be added each week. Another step in the direction of TV online and �on demand� and a good complementary resource for ABC iView and other downloadable programs on their website.
But WHY oh WHY did they bother uploading (or even making) The Librarians?? It�s just NOT FUNNY. But it sooo could have been�.
Other ABC channels include Beached Az and Countdown!
Can�t wait for Chris Lilley�s next mockumentary after Summer Heights High etc. The 12 part series Angry boys considers the position of males in the 21st century and has been funded by the ABC, HBO from the USA and the BBC. It is currently in post production and will be screened in 2011.
An interesting piece from Wired.com, 8 Nov 2010:
The most popular way to read an e-book is��
��According to the recent Forrester survey (US), it is the humble laptop (35%), then the Kindle (32%), iPhone (15%), Sony e-reader (12%), netbooks (10%). The Barnes & Noble Nook tied with the iPad at 9%.
Not sure of sample size. Interestingly, only 7 percent of U.S. online adults currently read e-books (of course this will grow). But they buy a lot � and nearly $US 1 billion worth will be purchased by the end of this year. So�.e-books are up there with sales of digital music & online video. Half the respondents had borrowed a book from someone in the last 6 mths. 38% said they checked a book out of a library�.yay! An equal number said they had bought a book from a chain store. Their prediction: Amazon�s Kindle store will be the most used eBook store, even on the iPad or any other platform open to its Kindle apps. Guess Amazon�s got a lot of stock! Certainly, Apple�s Aust. iBookstore just doesn�t have enough titles yet (delayed deals with publishers?).
And what of Google Editions? The web-based bookstore was meant to launch mid-year�.but no news yet (problems with publishers?). It will not need any special device/reader or software. It seems you will purchase a title and read it on computers, smartphones, iPads etc � anything with internet access. You will log into your Book Search account to read the book and it will remain on your electronic bookshelf, so you can come back and access it whenever you want. It seems the books will be stored in various file formats.
The New York Times will begin reporting the best selling e-books in new fiction and non-fiction lists early next year.
Well�at least no one is predicting the demise of books � as in fiction & non fiction! We will always want to read something � no matter what format it comes in�.and that�s a good thing :)
The Age TV
The Age newspaper launched a TV website on 4 Oct 2010. Over 200 programs have been added so far. The programs have been sourced globally � some have been screened on ABC. The �channels� include lifestyle, comedy, docos, food, interview, science, music, travel � Another useful resource! Soon we won�t need DVDs at all.
Open Culture: the best free cultural & educational media on the web
Links to cultural & educational subjects � history, physics, psychology, business, maths, media�
Audio & podcasts: Music, audio books, news, foreign language courses, science, technology, travel, ideas & culture �
Intelligent video: the top cultural & educational video sites
Smarter YouTube videos
225+ quality films that you can watch online. Classics, international, film noir, documentaries, indies�
Educational content from universities & colleges.
Speeches, talks, lectures, interviews, uni courses � many themes eg. poverty, global warming, Afghanistan, stem cells�.
A free internet TV channel delivering interviews, debates, conversations and public lectures about Australia's key political, social and cultural issues.
Part of The Monthly magazine (Aust. politics, society & culture)
Catalogued & searchable
Watch or download as video or audio (through iTunes)
Many themes covered � Wired for war by P.W. Singer; How the internet is rewiring our brains � Nicholas Carr; Cory Doctorow on copyright, corporations and creativity.
Google Earth with overlays.....check out BBC Dimensions at
Type in "Canberra" and compare the size of the Eastern Pacific garbage patch if it floated over us. Results
Lots of other comparisons of things compared to Canberra eg. if Great Wall of China started here. Results
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