Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 104  March 12th 2005 ­ 7500th




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  BLUE HAT WHITE HAT

5. Technical Stuff ­ NEW MINI MAC

6. Web Site Focus ­ FILAMENTALITY


8. Great Sites - EASTER

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE and WELCOME to the 7,500th  subscriber

Œwcoat3ı, yes thatıs right, there are now 7.500 subscribers to VT. 

I am getting lots and lots of feedback ­ and loving it, so with so many subscribers, there must still be some great ideas out there waiting to be shared, so get to it and write in, letıs hear all 7,500 of them.

Iıve just had the most wonderful afternoon watching a black belt Ji Do Kwan test given by Master Oded Shrier at Rose Bay. It is amazing the mental and physical discipline required, as well as the philosophical basis for the school.  Oded is a brilliant teacher.



"Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you -- as if you haven't been told a million times already -- that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching."

­ Harlan Ellison


"Six Hats is a simple, yet powerful tool that can be learned rapidly and used immediately to achieve long-lasting results. Six Hats has helped our product development group to generate ideas quickly, evaluate them efficiently, and implement action plans effectively."

- Laura Donahue, Nestlé


There is not adequate theoretical recognition

that all which the school can do for pupils,

so far as their minds are concerned . . .

is to develop their ability to think.

John Dewey (Democracy and Education. 1916)


"If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking." - Lindon Baines Johnson





The White Hat

The Blue Hat

These are A4 printables of these 2 hats ­ students can colour

them in, they can be printed on coloured paper and sent home

in the newsletter. And if you very lucky you can find a local

plan printer ­ most instant printers like Kinkoıs will do it and

have them enlarge for wall display to about A1 size, some

will even use coloured paper for this.  The cost will be under

$10.00 ­ and magically you will have a great big hat poster.



The most affordable Mac yet at a mini price, and you donıt have to rearrange the furniture.

1.25GHz PowerPC G4


ATI Radeon 9200 with 32MB

DDR video memory

40GB Ultra ATA hard drive

Combo drive

DVI or VGA video output

AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth


Teacherıs Price is $719.40 AUD


The new Acrobat 7 has just been released ­ this product just gets better and better ­ take the tour, check it out at:-


Charles Stuart University (Bathurst) is providing free access to their

telescope for school students across Australia during the StarFest 2005

school astronomy week (March 10 - 18).

The specific page from which the manual can be downloaded is:


6. WEBSITE FOCUS  - Filamentality

Dear Cathy,

LOVE the newsletter.  Finally have the courage to contribute!  This has

probably already been discussed somewhere along the way, but it's new to me - I have found a fantastic website where you can create your own webquest/web hunt etc for free.  Here is the link:


I've been using it to set up a computer activity for my kids during literacy groups.  One group works on this while others are working on reading, writing etc.  I find it a great way to get more content knowledge across & control where they search & the information they're searching for, while they're practising reading (skimming, scanning, summarising etc).  You can search the page for previous hunts etc created by others and the site will host your creation for up to 12 months.  It's fantastic & I don't need any special software while at home on the weekend creating! Thanks for the newsletter - it's inspiring!



This site is indeed fantastic. Almost anything you want in terms of webquest topics, subject samplers, and scrapbooks is already available, you can also construct your own learning activities at this site - its quick and easy.  The great depth of already existing topics is amazing and the search engine for Filamentality, Knowledge network Explorer and Blue Webın are brilliant.


More importantly thanks  to Megan for sending this along and sharing the great stuff with everyone at VT. 


7. DEBONO - Six Thinking Hats


I have embarked on a program of teacher the Six Thinking hats ­ not a new technique but a terrific one.  Using ŒSix thinking Hatsı by Edward De Bono (1985, 1999 by MICA Management Resources) as a reference as well as many online references.


Thinking is the ultimate human resource. Thinking is a very important skill to learn.


Traditional thinking is based on the model of the argument or adversarial thinking. Each side takes a different position and then seeks to attack the other side. Each side seeks to prove that the other side is wrong. This is the type of thinking established by the Greek Gang of Three (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) two thousand four hundred years ago. It is an excellent form of thinking but it is not enough. "The front left wheel of a car is excellent, but it is not enough.


Adversarial thinking completely lacks a constructive, creative or design element.

Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats introduces a method of

'parallel thinking'.


One of the main problems with thinking is confusion.  We try to do too much at once.  Emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity all crowd in on us.  It is like juggling too many balls.


With 'parallel thinking' everyone is thinking in parallel, in the same direction. There is co-operative and coordinated thinking.


The Six thinking Hats, allow us to conduct our thinking as a conductor might lead an orchestra.


Much of the above text is composed from exerts from:-

Six Thinking Hats by Edward Debono - available from Amazon


Six thinking Hats and Some activities


Classroom Management and the six thinking hats - Canada


Lynda Curtin site Offers training for all ages


Six thinking Hats ­ Edward de Bono Site





Goto the How Stuff works site and search for Easter', this site

offers lots of info suitable for upper primary and High School students

Make a marshmallow Bunny at

Sitting Hen

Easter Word Puzzles

Pokemon Easter Egg Holders - do you believe it???

The children will love it!!!!

Try the Paper Bag Bunnies or the Amazing Transparent Easter

Eggs on this Page - to a happy tune of the Easter Hat Parade

or turn the sound off)

More Stories and Poems for Easter - including some

Christian Easter Downloads

Scrambled Eggs Anyone - shockwave game You will really love this one. ===========================================


Hi Cathy,

My ICT HOD would like to add to the Moodle stuff in your newsletter ;)

He really is the brains and the technical expertise behind this Moodle

stuff.  I'm the classroom 'manipulator' of the technology.

Cheers AndrewŠ..




Andrew Jones of Heatley SC forwarded your newsletter to me tonight.  I originally heard about Moodle from a visiting teacher who recently

returned from the UK.  The software itself was started by an Australian

and others can read about this at .


It is a course management package but I like to think of it as a virtual

learning environment and am encouraging teachers to embrace the concept

of virtual community.


For those interested in the technicalities of it,  the software is

written in PHP and requires a webserver and database to run.  My choice for our pilot was Red Hat Linux 9 running an Apache

webserver using a mySQL database.  Other combinations

are possible.


As Andrew said, it is a package with huge potential and a school

friendly price - zero.  I would encourage those interested to spend some time on the Moodle website.  Be prepared to lose some hours though ­ it is a comprehensive and versatile piece of software.



Mark Weste

Heatley Secondary College


Hi Cathy,

I have enjoyed your newsletter for many years.  Now it is time I put something back.  This year I am running a Year 10 course called Fit For Life. I am a Phys. Ed. teacher and it falls under the umbrella. It runs for one semester and I am trying to make it as interactive with the computer as I can.  By sheer luck I came across a website whose address is


Please note that there is NO www in front of it.  I have found some wonderful information on there for fitness and nutrition.  However I am sure that there is a lot of other information available.

keep up the good work

Anne Munro


Thanks Anne ­ Great Site


Dear Cathy

You have two links to Australiaıs Cultural Network (ACN) on your links page at

ACN became the Culture and Recreation Portal (CARP) several years ago, and until July last year anyone clicking on the old

link would have been redirected to the CARP articles index page.  However in July last year a graphic refresh was undertaken and the Œarticlesı became Œstoriesı. A redirection was put in place on the CARP articles index page, but not the ACN articles index page.  This means that from that time, your link to us has not been working.

I have now put a redirection in place to overcome this problem, but it we would appreciate it if you would change the name to The Culture and Recreation Portal and update the link to <>

Thank you very much for including CARP (ACN) in your list of links.  

Kind regards

Jacki Thomas

Digital Content Section

Australian Government Department of Communications,

Information Technology and the Arts


Any ideas where the site is that lets you go from a backyard until you are up in the galaxy and then down again?

I had it a few years ago and lost it - very interesting

Thanks for all your work on this great site.

Warm regards, Kath


Hi Kath,

Roland Harvey's book does just that.

My Place in Space'll ask about this site in the next news letter.

Does anyone have any ideas????


Hi Cathy


I've been reading your excellent news letter for several months now and it's a superb help for me  here at a Primary school in Colombia, South America where I teach.

I thought I'd write and mention that the latest version of iMovie that comes bundled in the new ilife 'O5  is built to work with HD video - so no need do shell out for Final Cut Pro etc - at least to start off with. I can't wait to work with it but the cost of HD cameras is still prohibitively expensive at least for my school.

Best Wishes,



Colegio Colombo Britanico,

Cali, Colombia.


Interestingly ­ you can capture direct to iMovie from the camera and bypass the tape altogether. iMovie will import direct to hard drive and in nice little already logged clips.


This on-line maths dictionary is great ­ lots of practical explanations and very interactive. We have included it on our Intranet:

Hope you find it useful

Cheryl Wells


Thanks Cheryl itıs a corker.


Hi Cathy, do you know many resources that you could direct me to for a unit of work Yr 5 level that I am developing on the topic of Pollution. Many thanks,



Distance Education Centre



Hi Jennifer,

Goto the directory page at VT

Use the site google search engine on the page, type in pollution.

This will bring up a number of links to references about pollution.  The series of lessons on Energy was most relevant.


The topic "pollution" is very broad.


I think it is also important to present a non political view of all areas of study including this one.


Currently the earth should be in the grips of an ice-age - based on its current orbit - however - since man has been busily polluting the environment for ages, we have managed to avoid this and we are currently going through a period of global warming.  An ice age would have been far more devastating in its impact.  Google up some references to this as well.


Many thanks Cathy for such a quick response. I have yet to investigate the websites you have sent but they will give me a great starting point.



10.  NEXT ISSUE ­ More de bono hats ­ so send in your great ideas particularly lesson plans.

Ciao Cathy


11. Code of the 'Netizens'

This Newsletter is not free, despite the misleading advertising

above. The Fee is now due. Each week you must help one

colleague on the Internet who has less knowledge than you.

Help that person even if you have to visit their classroom or

do a little research and get back to them. Trust me, this will

help a lot of people get their computer classrooms running better.

OK I'm trusting you!!!


12. TIPS

1. Double click on highlighted URLS to open in browser.

2. Send in your Questions, Questions will be published with

Answers, send in your Answers, if you have expertise to share.

3. Nominate a brilliant site for review and inclusion in this


4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in

this newsletter.

5. Make contact with other schools using fantastic programs.

6. Prepare and innovative article for this newsletter.

7. Tell 2 colleagues about this newsletter.


The opinions expressed here are purely those of the editor,

Cathy Brown. All other small print clauses apply. Such as:

Use at your own risk. Nothing in life is guaranteed. If it doesn't

work for you send me an email.

Editor: cathy brown


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