Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 120  4th February 2006 – THINKERŐS HIGH




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo MET Art Timeline

4. New Printables SPIDER WEB

5. Technical Stuff – INTEL DUAL CORE CHIP

6. Web Site Focus - RAINFOREST MATHS


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


  1. WELCOME EVERYONE.  Welcome back.  Hope everyone

enjoyed their holidays. Besides spending a great deal of time

sleeping and reading, I love both. I have just finished

The Wisdom Paradox by Goldberg. Some great insights. One

I particularly loved is the idea of a ThinkerŐs high.  We have

often heard of the runners high, caused by physical exertion

and physical accomplishment, the ThinkerŐs high is caused by

mental exertion and mental accomplishment – brilliant.  I think

we can sell this to the kids.  It is actually measurable – chemicals

are released in the brain that give you a kind of mental euphoria.

 So this year – letŐs get the kids high on THINKING. I have

included some information about KMAN  – these guys teach

skateboarding and are great. My daughter has been working

as a coach there over the school holidays – what a great job. 

Take look at it – it just might provide some ideas for school

sport this year, different and highly motivating for most kids.




"If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would

ever get done."

~~ Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 - 1951) Austrian philosopher


The very essence of creativity is novelty, and hence we have

no standard by which to judge it. Carl Rogers - Psychologist


The quest for exploration, for novelty, for what ought to be,

goes hand in hand with the brooding dissatisfaction with

what is. Perfectly content people do not discover new lands,

do not circumnavigate the glob, and do not create revolutions

in science. If everything is hunky-dory, why bother.

The Wisdom Paradox – Goldberg pp 231


3. WWWinfo The Met's Timeline of Art History

New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art has an online art

history database that includes an extensive timeline depicting

artistic periods throughout history, examples of art, and

searchable indices. ItŐs fantastic, maps, images, easy to navigate,

details of specific periods – kids will love it.



Click on

The Spider Web

Also try out some of the other mind tools at this site.



Well itŐs finally happened Mac is now using the Intel chip. 

The dual core intel chip.

This moves Macs and Microsoft closer towards compatibility,

once they get universally compatible software, anything will be

possible. The new chip allows a leap forward in both speed

and a decrease in power use.



Dear Cathy,

Your newsletter continues to illuminate and inspire.

I always look forward to seeing what you will focus on next.

After making A Maths Dictionary for Kids I've been keeping

the right side of my brain occupied making Rainforest maths.

Thought you may like to take a look at:

Again great work with the newsletter and Merry Christmas!!


Jenny Eather


THIS IS AN AMAZING SITE – Jenny you are amazing. 

I hope you all go here and try this out and then write to

Jenny to let her know how splendid it is.  The site is geared

for K-7 and kids will just love using it, even bigger kids like

me, I never realised how much fun adding single digits could

be with frogs and brightly colour parrots. Let me know what

you think of Rainforest Maths – I just loved it.



The red pen goes high tech.

By Cheri Lucas

Envision this: A computer tells students that their latest

literary concoction doesn't connect ideas logically. At Warren

Central High School, in Indianapolis, English teacher Kathy

Paris doesn't have to imagine. She uses Criterion, a Web service

that scores essays and shoots feedback out to students within



Can an automated grading system score human articulation and

reason? The tool Paris uses compares student work to "training"

essays, or models of the class assignment, at each scoring

level. SAGrader,

software developed by Ed Brent, a sociology

professor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, works



His students type a sociology essay about community, for

example, into an input field on the assignment's Web site.

Moments after students click on the Submit button, SAGrader

assesses whether they have identified concepts such as urban

renewal or gentrification and have used appropriate examples.

Read more about essay-grading software in the December/January

issue of Edutopia magazine, the award-winning publication of The

George Lucas Educational Foundation, available online now.




Australian Museums and Galleries Online

This is an interesting website – it does take some time to find out

where all the good stuff is.  The Discovernet section is most

interesting. This site has been totally revamped – I imagine there

is more to add.


Frost Out Loud

This site includes thirty or so Frost poems, most of which include

both the text and an audio reading. My favourites, Mending a

Wall and the Road Not Taken, are there with readings by Frost

himself as well as a link to the analysis. "You may find that the

combination of the text and sound in this modern-day medium

enhances the experience of the poem even more; the text

supplements the sound and the sound enhances the text to

create a sum greater than the parts."



Hi Cathy

thanks for all the great resources this year. You're a legend!!!

have a great holiday and a joyous festive season.


Sharon Holmes


Hi Cathy

Love your site.

I have been interested in the field of neurological development

through exercise to build neural pathways or remove primitive

reflexes for awhile.

I have attached websites of Organisations with more information.

Learning Connections in Brisbane will come and train teachers

in your area.

The Extra lesson

Good Luck

Trish Ghirardello



Let me know what you think of these sites


Thanks so much Cathy,

The newsletter is always a great read... So much information, I am

always forwarding on snippets to a whole host of colleagues, and telling

them to check the site out :)

Have a great break, and I look forward to keeping up with you next year




Suzanne Arnott

Elisabeth Murdoch College

Photography and Multimedia Coordinator

Assistant Manager, Learning Technologies


Hi Cathy,

I greatly enjoy the newsletter--so many interesting items for

education. It is sad that we won't hear from you until Feb.2004(?????)

Happy New Year!

Patricia McGoldrick Goldberg

History Teacher

St. Mary's High School


I enjoy your site and read it regularly.  I do not have enough

time to fully explore every link, wish I did  Keep up the good work. 

I do tell my colleagues about the site.

 I am trying to end the email account rvickers@......

I would love to still get your newsletter at rcvickers@ÉÉ..

Have a Merry Christmas.

Ron Vickers

Great to have you on board Ron – I to am amazingly busy so

I have automated the subscriber system, to change your email

address simply unsubscribe and resubscribe using the new email.




Hi Cathy,

My name is Robert Cutter. I have written a number of programs

based on early Australian History.

Errol Callaghan (an ex-teacher from NSW) purchased my

FIRST FLEET DATABASE program and was impressed with

it and suggested I contact you regarding it.

You can, if interested, find details of this and other program

on my web site at:

 You may be interested in including the link in your newsletter

you send out to teachers.

Let me know if I can provide you with any more info.



Bob Cutter

185 Country Club Drive

Clifton Springs

Victoria    3222

This is a most interesting Database, I remember some folk

working on this way back – I guy named Peter I think – wonder

if itŐs the same program – looks very familiar.

There is also free database material on the convicts at-


Hello Cathy!

Enclosed is a current press release.

You can grab some lines from this for your online newsletter

or let me know

if you want me to send a concise paragraph!

Please include: Kman Skate School: where skating is safe,

healthy & fun!

Can you please CC me on your newsletter?

Many thanks,



Kman Skate School teaches skateboarding as a fun, healthy

activity for kids and families. The Kman Skate Park at The

Entertainment Quarter was designed and built to provide a

safe environment for skating novices as well as the more

advanced skater. The school has taught over 3000 kids and

adults how to skate since opening in April 2005.

Skateboarding improves balance, coordination and fitness

plus it's a great confidence booster for those new to the sport

or old school skaters needing a refresher. Beginner skaters

learn correct stance on a board, how to push, turn and ride

over small ramps. Intermediate to advanced skaters learn

more technical tricks such as ollies, board slides and

Ňdropping inÓ on ramps.

Skateboarding is the world's fastest growing sport and is

enjoyed by millions of skaters of all ages in every corner

of the world. Group and private lessons are available every

weekend, after school and mid-week for school & corporate

groups. Kman Skate Birthday Parties also available for

kids 5 years up. All equipment is provided, bookings essential.

Contact Kman Skate School on 0400 589 559 or go to

 for the latest program.


Hi Cathy,

I love your site.

I tute apprentices at TAFE and we see lots of problems

which we feel should have been fixed at Primary school

and Secondary School.

Apprentices with passing grades from secondary school

who are unable to add or subtract single digit numbers

in their head. They take out the mobile phone and start

using the calculator. The only problem is that they should

be doing thirty calculations a minute at this level. This

limits their ability to pass the practical aspects of their

trade training.

Some of them can barely read and we are expecting

them to fully comprehend a safety data sheet.

It appears that students are still being told that if they

aren't good enough to go to university, they can always

try a trade.

I believe there is a place for 'distance' or 'on line' learning

without going into the semantics of the terms, and recently

attended a conference where I heard that every student is

computer friendly, and this is the E generation. The example

given by the professor was his four year old grandchild,

who was able to use and manipulate information and

data on a website and on 'Poppy's' palmtop.

Sorry but this is simply not true.

Many of my students are not just computer illiterate.

They are not just uncomfortable with them. They are

afraid of the monster.

We do most theory assessment on computer because

it requires little teacher input and gives an immediate result.

I have seen grown men in the twenty to thirty age group

physically shaking at assessment time. It is a mixture of

lack of content knowledge and fear of the beast.

They choose to do a trade because they think that they

will be able to avoid computers. Sorry son but this is the

21st century and the beast is here to stay.

I am a 57 year old tradesman and do not have the fear

of the beast, mostly because my son took to them at a

very young age and was constantly cracking my passwords

and changing them. In retaliation, I had to crack his and

change them.

I also learnt that they are really quite difficult to break,

so I keep trying new things until I find something that eventually

does what I want it to.

This is a difficult concept to teach young adults still in avoidance.

However, since I have this off my chest, would you do

me a small favour.

On your web page, in the classroom section, you have spelt

'here' as 'hear' and 'they' is spelt 'rhey'. I cannot help it.

My eye keeps getting drawn to it.

This is one of the 'disadvantages' of being taught to spell

correctly by the yardstick method. (If we spelt a word incorrectly,

the yard ('meter' or is that'meter') stick was brought to bear on

the offending hand. If the teacher was feeling good, flat side

down, or if she was a little annoyed, onh the edge.)

But I can really spell now. We were taught to comprehend

the written word first, and then appreciation of the language

came a few years later.

Do you have a forum area for your subscribers? Perhaps

a link to a MSN web board or BLOG somewhere would

be fairly easy, although I must confess that even on our

own intranet, our teachers are more likely to criticise

someones efforts verbally than use the forum to rectify a

situation, you see, it is not only the students who are afraid

of the beast. Some of our teachers are either unwilling

or unable to retrieve their own email.

I do hope I haven't made any spelling errors, and if I have,

will you forgive me?

I also hope that  you will consider the computer illiterate.

They have their own story, and they also need our help,

consideration, and attention. The computer and the web

are simply tools which should be used well but wisely,

and certainly not without exception.

Still looking forward to your next newsletter.

Cheers for now,

Trevor Phipps.


Thanks Trevor –  thanks for sharing your thoughts and

your story, gives everyone something to think about.

I  fixed up the typos.  I think your idea of a

blog is great and I plan to get this sorted this year. I believe

that there is a lot to improve in our current education system

and there are a lot of great things already happening.  This

newsletter is about finding the best of them and broadcasting

as many as possible.


10.   NEXT ISSUE –More on the thinkerŐs high, please send

in any mini sagas you can find, and also those brain

gym exercises in the next newsletter. 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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