Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 122 March 4th 2006 - FORUM AWAY




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo - ABS

4. New Printables -  6 THINKING HATS

5. Technical Stuff – CORE DUO CHIP

6. Web Site Focus – THINKER’S HIGH


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. For a long time, I have been writing Virtual Teacher
with the intention of provoking education change, to improve and expand on
current practises and to make learning AND teaching more enjoyable and
productive for all involved.  I have decided to ramp this

up a bit, so have introduced CATHY'S FORUM. In each newsletter I will pose
questions/options designed to provoke, to develop breakthrough ideas, to
provide a springboard, something to make you stand-up and take notice, not
to sit down and just take it. There will be no perfect landings no definitive
answers but the FORUM is designed to deliver sharp pointed concepts that
hopefully will open up a whole new way of looking at particular aspects of
education or simply prod you into some long overdue reflection.


One bold idea can transform a class a school or even an education

system as large and unwieldy as the NSW Education Department.



Electricity is really just organized lightning.

George Carlin


When cheese gets it's picture taken, what does it say?

George Carlin


If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow

that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted?

George Carlin

What about Baristas? - decaffeinated


goodnight and goodluck murrow


3. WWWinfo ABS

Australian Bureau of Statistics Population

Watch really big numbers click over as more births increase

the population of Australia



Small thinking hats that can imported as graphics into Kidspiration,
Inspiration, Word, Kidpix etc.



Intel has just shifted from the Pentium M notebook chip to the

Core Duo which packs 2 processors into a single chip, it delivers

increased performance and slightly better battery performance. 

If you are about to buy a new laptop – unless it is a fantastic
deal for the run out model you should go for the Core Duo model.



How many people have contemplated the possibility of

a Thinker's High? I mentioned this a couple of newsletters ago.

How many people realise that there is such a thing as mental

exertion, that strenuous thinking is an activity in it's own right?

That pure thinking time is a worthwhile endeavour.  Some folk

crave mental challenge, others prefer a cozy mental comfort

zone, never stepping outside routine practised automatic

thinking.  They go through life on autopilate, you know these

people, same thing year in year out, 2004 same as 2005,

same as 2006.  In fact same year lived 40 times and then

they retire.  At the start of the year they are avoiding involvement

in any innovation, new idea or new initiative.  Make sure you are

not part of that mentally sluggish slice of humanity.  There is a

price for mental sluggishness, apart from finding life increasingly

boring and pointless, those who take delight in learning new

things, experimenting, taking on mental challenges, scaffold

their brains with powerful protective gear which ensures a rich

mental life well into old age.  Put simply if you don't use it you'll

loose it. And you'll begin to loose it at a surprisingly young age.

"The concept of lifelong mental fitness, with better odds for

keeping a sound mind for life is its reward, should become

part of popular culture. I believe it soon will."

The Wisdom Paradox E. Goldberg

Here's a site with some ideas to help you break out

of old patterns.

What if we:

could get whatever we want?

are a lot smarter than we realize?

could aim for the right career?

could shape our destiny?

could dream again, like we did as a kid?

could improve what we want when we want to?

Wouldn't that be unbelievable?

Astound yourself - become an effective speller in 10mins






Your chance to have your say on Educational issue


An article in the Saturday Sydney Morning Herald in the

Goodweekend magazine February 25, 2006 pp 32 -38, By Mark Dapin

reports on Homework. 

It's worth a read. The Eastern Fleurieu School in Adelaide

has taken a decision not to give homework to their year

7 and 8 students.  After a homework free trial students gained

the same or slightly higher test results. During the trial parents

were not informed of the homework free period.

Interestingly some parents still thought their children had

too little home work and others that their children had

too much. Motivated students will always continue to

work at home.


What do you think about homework?

Should students get homework?

Do you think a no homework trial is worth a go?

Do you think we should abolish homework?

Who finds marking homework a great fun and a life affirming activity?

Who thinks homework policy should be dictated by parents?

(aka the parents expect it)

What should students be doing after school?

Please write in with more questions, your thoughts and any solutions.





Next newsletter I will publish your answers.

Let’s get this Forum rolling with some grass roots input.

Does it Matter? It sure does.





Commonwealth Games Melbourne

Commonwealth Games Federation





Hi Cathy :-)


I have been receiving your newsletter for a couple of years

now and have been passing on some great websites to my

teaching colleagues, both high school and primary school. 

Thankyou very much for providing this great service. 

My husband is working as a teacher aide this year at one

of our local primary schools with a little boy who has severe

autism and a learning difficulty.  He adores Madagscar

(the movie and the animals in it) and my husband has

connected with him through this.


What I would like to know is, is there anybody out there

who knows of any websites that deal with autism or training

in it that my husband could look browse and use to adapt to

his approach with this student.  We would appreciate any help  :-)


Many thanks



Does anyone have any thoughts on this?


Dear Cathy


Thanks for all the great links to Maths and other websites.

We use Australian company Ideal Resources for some great

numeracy and cross-curricular software. All their software is

free to evaluate at their website

Works great with the interactive whiteboard!




What do you think of this site??


My child who is in year 6 is having trouble finding information

for her assignments.  Could you please help me with some

useful sites. She has to do an assignment on deserts and

when you ask Google some of the sites are not available.

I look forward from hearing from you soon.






This is tragic, kids of 6 shouldn’t be getting assignments. However

a great site for all this type of stuff is




Dear Cathy,

Hello from Zimbabwe.  Loved reading your newsletter, see

Lisa Hulley is also from Zim so thought I would write.


My son (10) has been seeing an Occupational Therapist

for a year for sequencing and visual perception problems. 

Mrs Foggin feels she has helped him as much as she can

but suggests some remedial English lessons.


I have called a couple of ladies in Harare, but they all

seem quite busy - look forward to receiving your ONline lessons

- any other suggestions???



Lara Lendrum



You may find something suitable here

Does anyone have any ideas??


10. NEXT ISSUE – Your answers to CATHY”S FORUM – send

them in I am ready for the stampede and a bit on

stop frame animation. 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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