Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 106  March 30th 2005 ­ GOD DEBONO & ME




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo Career Guidance

4. New Printables -  Six Thinking Hats

5. Technical Stuff ­ SteadyCam Stagecast



8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


  1. WELCOME EVERYONE This week I gave a fantastic lesson

on DeBono, the White Hat. We used a background and added

WHITE HAT- INFORMATION to the picture.  The students comments

­ We are making our own worlds.  Can I make another world? I can

decide how many trolls go under the bridge, itıs 17. This was a

kindergarten, working on KidPics, using thinking tools, integrating

with maths and literacy ­phew.  Great stuff, great time, great

learning.  Check out the stagecast demo offer from Edsoft,

this program is a knockout, talk about creating your own worlds

what power.  The Captain Cook info from the NLA is  fantastic,

this is the way databases should be used ­ user friendly easy

and amazing.  Check out the steadycam instructions you wont

believe it ­ give it to some smart students as a building project.

Please enjoy.



Some LatinŠ

Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit - To boldly go where no

 man has gone before (Star Trek)

Age. Fac ut gaudeam - Go ahead. Make my day!

(Arnold Schwarzenegger)

Amantes sunt amentes - Lovers are lunatics

(My son)

Amicule, deliciae, num is sum qui mentiar tibi? ­

 Baby, sweetheart, would I lie to you? (CHARLES AND EDDIE)

Annus horribilis - A horrible year (The Queen)

Annus mirabilis - A wonderful year (not the Queen)

Aquila non captat muscas - The eagle doesn't capture flies

(don't sweat the small things) (Richard Carlson)

Appareo Decet Nihil Munditia? - Is It Not Nifty?

(Cleaner circa 2005)

Te capiam, cunicule sceleste! - I'll get you, you wascally wabbit!

(Yo Samedy Sam)

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas - Thank you for

not smoking (circa 2004)

Tu, rattus turpis! - You dirty rat! (James Cagney)


I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy

 is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking

 at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is

what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.

 Dr. Seuss ­ Curtsey Greg Alchin



I like this site - helps you think about making choices - don't miss the

 'The Magical Genie Personnel Officer'

some others are................



and al the other hatsŠ



Calculate your students Chronological Age


Securing your personal computer plays a crucial role in protecting

our nationıs Internet infrastructure.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a public-private

partnership focused on promoting cyber security and safe

behavior online.



Make a steadycam for a digital video camera for around $20.

Make it with your class at school, all the instructions are here.


 Hi All,

Just thought you might like to know that Edsoft has just been

appointed today as the Australian Distributor for Stagecast.


If you weren't aware of this title, Stagecast is an excellent

cross platform tool suitable for Yr 4 - 10 for developing

simulations and games completely visually, without a

programming language. Students can make their characters

using pictures they import or draw yourself. Students then

apply 'rules' to characters to make them interact. That said

it uses  JAVA at the lower level to seamlessly and invisibly

do the programming routines. Stagecast is easy to use,

yet powerful enough to create sophisticated 2D games.

Students can then distribute their games as stand

alone sims or can be embedded in web pages. The

open nature of Stagecast allows students to demonstrate their knowledge/understanding of any curriculum area in

quite a deep manner through developing games and simulations.


Useful Links on using games as a cross curricula tool


(Can download a demo here) If you experienced problems downloading copies of StageCast from the developers site. visit site

and click on  Resources in the menu frame you can download the software there,


Marc Prensky - Digital Game-Based Learning

Lloyd P. Rieber, Professor, Instructional Technology

Student developed projects

I think it is a brilliant product I hope you do too.

Hope this of value.


Greg Alchin


Hi All,

Hope this helps


Greg Alchin


This program looks great SO far ­ Iım loving the demo.

Has anyone else used it??



Cook, James, 1728-1 ph 779.. Journal of the H.M.S.

Endeavour, 1768-1771 [manuscript].

This is another fantastic resource fom the national Library.

Years ago I read the entire journal  to a year 3 class ­

they loved it. We plotted the journey each day according to

the journal entries - a great learning experience.  Unfortunately

the script is tricky to read on the screen, but it is still amazing to think that

this resource is available online at the click of a mouse.

A transcription is available of the journal at:-

as well as journals of Banks, Parkinson and Hawkesworth

Maps from the Voyage are at:

Amazingly the South Sea Companion provides details in

alphabetical order of an amazing range of things including

the people o board the endeavour


South Seas ­ Voyaging and Cross-Cultural encounter

in the Pacific is a central index


Also view the images, and maps from this voyage, these

images are amazing and really put this voyage into it's

historical perspective - incredible to have all this online.

Online Pacific Database Listing




(or more correctly ŒGod Debono and Iı)



Where I am coming from, whatıs my purpose?

Is pretty simpleŠ.  I love to learn new things, find out,

discover, invent? 


I like to share them with everyone else, and spread

the thrill. 

These are the most exciting motivating things I believe you

can do in your life.



Thinking is absolutely essential in every area of education

and life. 


We need as much information as we can get, we need to

think about how to get it, where to look for it. We need to

think about the best possible use for it. We need to think

to set up possible ways of putting information together. 

The traditional notion that information is sufficient is

old-fashioned and dangerous.


There is only one being who cannot think- and cannot

have a sense of humour. 


That is of course GOD.


ŒThinking involves moving from one state of knowledge

to a better one.  Since God has perfect knowledge,

He is always there already. So thinking is not only

superfluous but impossible.  Nor can God have a sense

of humour since there can be no surprises when the punch

lines have always been known.²(De Bonoıs Thinking

Course ­ Edward De Bono  1982 MICA UK)


It is only our lack of complete information that makes

it necessary for us to think.


So if your not GOD ­  you need some thinking tools. 




Hands up all those who are not GOD,


So we all need some thinking tools ­ thank God for

De Bono, he has quite a range.


PMI, CAF, APC, EBS, ADI, OVP etc, and of course

the Six thinking Hats.

Download the Thinking Hats above

and get some great Thinking Tools , Check out the DeBono

sites on the Internet and get some DeBono books to read.




Lesson Notes  for Parents and Teachers

Mathematics, is the study of abstraction. The first abstraction

was probably that of numbers, whole positive numbers.

The realization that two apples and two pears do have something

in common, namely that they fill the hands of exactly one person, was a breakthrough in human thought. Following this the interactions of

numbers, for example addition, were abstracted.

In the end, many mathematicians work for purely aesthetic

reasons, viewing mathematics more as an art ('pure mathematics')

rather than for its practical application ('applied mathematics');

this is the same kind of motivation as poets and

philosophers may experience, and no more explicable.

Absurd Math is an interactive mathematical problem

solving game series.

Interactive Mathematics



Hi Cathy

Thanks for your fantastic articles.  I have a year 5 class and

I am looking for info on student motivation, if anyone has

anything to suggest I'd be happy to read it. Thanks

Julie Pienaar


This is an incredibly broad topic, I donıt know where to begin

Take a look at webquests

Look at the last news letter under number 7. EQ EQ SQ

Project based Learning ­ use the google tool on the VT site

to find more ­ does anyone else have specific ideas to add.


Relaxation rooms


Perhaps Toni would be interested in the following link:




Hi Cathy,

Any idea where I could get Aboriginal clipart, free or

otherwise? I teach Aboriginal adults and would love to give

them some relevant clipart for making their community posters

on the computer. Clips of people and page borders would be

really useful but I haven't been able to find any.Any tips would

be much appreciated.


Maggie Herten



Hi Maggie,

Some places to start.  Some images are available from websites

- appropriate permissions would need to be gained.  You may

wish to write to these folk and ask them - please let me know

if you have any success - I will also ask readers of VT in the

next newsletter.


Thanks Cathy!

No luck yet but maybe others will have suggestions.

By the way, thanks for your newsletters. I look forward to them even though I teach adults. I still pick up useful tidbits that make it worthwhile.


Maggie Herten


Hi Cathy,

My name is Allison and I am a pre-service teacher studying

at Deakin uni in Melbourne.  We are currently required to

produce a maths portfolio for our primary maths subject by

the end of semester.  One section of this folio is a research

section, where we are to include text readings, journal articles

 and web information that is relevant to primary maths education. 

This is the section I am having the most trouble with as I don't

know where to look.  Do you have any suggestions? 

The readings need to be relevant to primary maths education

and we need to be able to justify why we have included them.

Thanking you in advance,

Allison Easther


The VT link has everything you need -


Book Review - Managing ICT By Terry Freeman

I've just re-published this as an ebook

and I was wondering if I could quote from your review on

my website and in newsletter please? Would appreciate

it very much also if you would be able to mention this

relaunch -- it's doing well already.


I'll be mentioning your newsletter in my next issue

(due out in the next few days) also.


Also, I've recently launched a premium subscription service.


Terry Freedman, Independent ICT Consultant

For latest issue of Computers in Classrooms, visit

Terry Freedman's blog is at


Thanks so much for finding that site for me.

Makes me think - awesome really

Warm regards




My name is Chris Hutchison and I am a teacher at Elanora

State School on the Gold Coast.  As a technology teacher

for 2 years my biggest challenge was to create our school

Intranet while also teaching 40 lessons per week and keeping

242 computers ( + printers, switches, server etc) up and

running at the same time. 


The above information is so that you know I know my way

 around the shop.  I thought if Meredith needed any help with

her Frontpage lessons I would be willing to help. 


I have found NO books that have given me the information

necessary and am self taught.  The program I use is not the

latest but the one before which differs very little to the current program.


Chris Hutchison


Thanks for this Chris,  This is just what it's all about - assisting

other folk - if you are self taught - i imagine you were also

given generous assistance along the way like me.



Hi there Cathy, I really like the yellow hat download.

Are other hats

available too?



Hi Jacira,

All six hats will be available for download shortly - current

hats are available at

just scroll down the page to templates




I'm wondering why schools shouldn't consider anything less than having a DVD

player and a CD burner? Why would every computer in a school need these

things? Do all computers in a classroom have to be used for Internet access?


Saying that many programs can't be used on them implies that all schools

should be using THE most up-to-date software on THE most up-to-date

technology. This is like saying that last year's encylopaedia's are not

acceptable, or that a text book written two years ago is worthless.


Maths has not changed, reading has not changed, nor has spelling in the fast

time that technology has - there is plenty of older software that runs on

older computers that is highly worthwhile in the classroom. You may not be

getting great IT outcomes from their use, but the subject material contained

in them is still relevant.


As if schools can afford to update computers to the cutting edge every time

something new comes up, anyway.


I understand the issue you make about time wasting on maintenance, but how

can time be wasted on computer usage? If a cheap (or free) computer is in

your school and it is being used, where's the waste of time? Surely it is

better to have another, if slightly older, computer in your classroom than

none at all; if only for using that good quality, older software that has

worked well for years.


I hope that the people who subscribe to your list and who read this have the

computer knowledge enough to make their own judgements on this issue.


I don't believe that every time a child uses a computer that they have to be

learning something new about computers, or gaining some new IT skill. It

would be ideal if they could, but not always practical.


At my school we have some laptops that are into their sixth year of use -

and boy have they been used! They still run Word, Powerpoint, Internet

Explorer and all of the Government Published CD-ROM material, as well as the

Tasmanian Ed Dept. produced OpenIT programs. We even use 'Crossing the

Mountains' and 'Maths Circus' (both of which will run on anything that still



While I'm on the topic, are you aware of the Tas Ed Dept WebCT programs that

were created a few years ago (about 5)? They can be found on the Internet at


There are some great online units in there...

That's probably enough from me, then.


Deon Scanlon


Hi Deon,

I totally agree with you older computers are great in schools.  they can be used for simple programs and do not need be attached to the network. Every school I know has a large number of older computers, and they are put to this sort of use - great.



when you are buying additional computers for a school buy new ones with current industry standard specs a the moment this is P4 + 512ram.


1. it takes about an hour to install and set up and configure a computer.

2. new software and the internet often won't run on older computers

3. new computers require less maintenance

4. new computers are under warranty so cost less to maintain

5. newer computers are more reliable and less frustrating to use.

6. all schools have plenty of older computers, in various stages of decline - these should be used for simpler programs until they no longer work.

7. the new computers will one day be 6 years old and it is important to have continuous upgrading in schools, so that schools offer the opportunity for students to work on the most up-to-date technology.

8. when our students are adults even the new equipment they are working on will seem positively antiquated.


Buying older computers is the problem, using existing older computers is not.  Older computers cost money to set-up and will become non functional sooner, and will cost more time in ongoing maintenance.


I would disagree also - maths, reading and spelling have all changed and should change a great deal more.  Methods of teaching them have altered and diversified as has syllabus content, witness the continuous rollout of new syllabus documents.  The 'content' particularly in maths has increased exponentially, and selecting the material we believe 'core' to the subject has, well, become more subjective and unfortunately, is still heavily and inappropriately largely arithmetic.


Government schools are allocated a computer budget, this should be spent on new computers. Yes they can afford them.


The website looks interesting, thanks for that shall check it out.


Hi Cathy


I have just joined Virtual Teacher and think it is an awesome website. I hope to use it with my class----even though I am at a NZ school.


This term I am doing a unit on De Bono's 6 Thinking HAts and wondered if you could send me a printable of the green,white,red and black hats. I have the printable of the blue and yellow from your newsletter.



Christine Jansen


Other hats are coming soon as well as award hats.


10.  NEXT ISSUE -  DeBono Thinking awards.

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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