Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 124 2ND APRIL 2006 - COMPUTERS FOR TEACHERS




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy



5. Technical Stuff – WINDOWS ON MAC

6. Web Site Focus – WHO ARE WE


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips

There are now 8882 subscribers to VT

1. WELCOME EVERYONE. In the 21st Century teachers really
don’t need to own a computer, they can get by perfectly well
using school computers in their breaks or after school,
when they can explore online resources, learn new software
programs and develop lesson plans. Of course they can.
What do you think, happy to just wing it on the school computers
again this year? Do you need a computer to do your job effectively?
Read Cathy’s forum and send in your comments
I meet the most wonderful web services person,
Cathy O'Riordan on Thursday, thoroughly enjoyed the training,
and I’m looking forward to the opportunities for chat, forums
and email.   With this team everything seemed amazingly easy.
It’s great to have such exceptional folk available for training from
Get your staff to fill in the check list – New Printables
right now and again at the end of the year – a great assessment
tool for staff development.



Small minds discuss persons. Average minds discuss events.
Great minds discuss ideas. Really great minds discuss

If you ask mathematicians what they do, you always
get the same answer. They think. They think about difficult
and unusual problems. They do not think about ordinary
problems: they just write down the answers. M. Egrafov
Mathematics Magazine, v. 65 no. 5, December 1992.


Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, 

I assure you that mine are greater.

Einstein, Albert (1879-1955)


Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children. 

Walt Disney


If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only

because they do not realize how complicated life is.


Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer should be
replaced by a computer.






I’ve just been given the position of Curriculum IT Coordinator
in a staff with relatively low interest in IT.  Before I start trying
to set up PD, I’d like to do a survey of teacher’s skills and
interests to develop a ground level. I’ve found Skills Matrix
for teachers and students and have seen a questionnaire
before but cannot locate it on government sites etc. If you
have anything that may help with this process – I’d be grateful.
Leone Elford
Here is the staff use of Technology attached as well as a
checklist - hope this helps you out.
Windows on Mac Well, they did it:
INTEL MAC runs windows XP!!
But why would you??? Even if you could...
Regards gary
My thoughts exactly.
6. WEBSITE FOCUS - WHO ARE WE? Australians

We are all boat people

Australian Identity Weblinks - Famous Australians

Living in Communities, Multicultural Australia

Clickable Worksheets

Australian Likes and Dislikes

Virtual Teacher Australian Links



Should Teachers be given computers or be given subsidised

The Victorian Education Department has a $8 per pay...per
fortnight computer subsidy deal for teachers.

Choose either IBM or Mac, insurance cover is provided as well
as a disk image including MS-Office and virus software. Every
teacher has the option both primary AND secondary

TAFE has a similar arrangement. (thanks Gary)

So why aren’t all the states doing it? Does it Matter? It sure does.



From last newsletter:-
“NSW Teachers plan to boycott the Year 10 computer test
(Sunday Telegraph March 12, Sunday Herald March 12, pp19).
The comment most interesting was that “generally there were
not enough FUNCTIONING computers” in schools for students
to site the test.
So there are 2 issues here:
1. Sitting Computer Tests - to test computer skills!&$#%*?
2. Computer Maintenance, is this driving you nuts too?”

There was absolutely no response to this question.
I received an avalanche in response to HOMEWORK. This topic
nothing. So I guess you all have no problems at all with computer
maintenance and all your computers are working beautifully?

Here’s my story….
If a computer is not working, or not working properly in NSW a teacher
1. To diagnose the problem and specifically determine if the problem is software or hardware related (tricky) – requires troubleshooting for 15-30mins
2. Write down the make model and serial number of the machine - 5mins
3. Phone the HELP desk 15-20mins on hold, 15–20mins explaining the problem to someone who really doesn’t understand much about computers.
4. Your problem is then given a job number.
5. Your problem is then referred, possibly to the manufacturer, possibly
to a number of different folk, many of whom don’t actually want your
problem so they refer it on or back to the HELP desk. You may
receive calls usually during lesson times, for clarification 5-15mins
6. After 1 week nothing. 1 week of computer down time.
7. After 2 weeks still nothing. 2 weeks of computer down time.
8. After 3 weeks you ring back again, wondering why your computer
is still not working properly.  You discover that the HELP desk is working on your problem, that your problem has a history, and that the HELP desk can
tell you the entire history of your problem in great detail(historical documentation of this integrity is usually only afforded the truly great
moments of our time). You are told that somehow it is your problem,
that your problem hasn’t been fixed. Your problem has
been referred to a lot of people, none of whom thought
it was their problem so they have decided to refer it back to you.
Well you knew this anyway didn’t you – you’re the one with the computer
that doesn’t work.  30mins 3 weeks of computer down time and counting.

Last week I had a fantastic Technician arrive from my region
he was great. Managed to fix everything.

In the real world – if you have a computer problem- you ring up
a technician and they attend your business and fix your computer
problem. You don’t spend your lunch break diagnosing and explaining
your problems and your problems don’t get history the get fixed.

MY RECOMMENDATION. Disband the help line. Invest the money in
more technicians for each region. Let schools deal direct with the

Morris Iemma
Minister for Education and Training NSW
Carmel Tebbutt
Shadow Minister for Eucation
Brad Hazzard
COREY Green on story writing.
How to Write a Story
Maths sites

Jimloy Maths Website
Maths Formulas for volume
Contains Practice and explanations in maths 6-12

Hi Cathy,

Always look forward to the newsletter, especially as I now only
teach casually so it keeps me more up to date. Re the autism
links, not totally relevant but something I believe EVERY
teacher should read is Mark Haddon's book "The curious
incident of the dog in the nightime". The book is written from
the perspective of a fifteen year old boy with Asperger's
Syndrome, and is one of the best books I have ever read.

Again, thanks heaps,



Hi Cathy

You certainly are controversial in this newsletter! Had a real
chuckle when you gave instructions to write to Howard.
A true inspiration!



Hi Cathy,

I was put onto you website today by one of your very happy
subscribers who suggested it may be a good way to let people
know about Bloomsmath.  A differentiated mathematics program
which uses Bloom’s Taxonomy to extend students laterally
while freeing up teachers to spend time with students who
require individual support.  I was hoping you may be able to
check out the website and let me know how I can let more
teachers know about this fantastic way to make maths fun
for their students.  Thank You


Rachel McCann

B.Teach; B Ed. (Hons); M.Ed (Special Ed.)


What do you think?


My son needs to do research on floral emblems of each state
and territories could you please send me some information
regarding what i have requested he is in year 3 thankyou so much.


Try this


Dear Cathy

Would be so grateful if you could send me the newsletter with all the

Mozart ideas again - our Music teacher interested.

Kind regards

Judy Lancaster


Archives are at

Mozart is at


10.  NEXT ISSUE - 10.  NEXT ISSUE – Send in your responses

to CATHY’S FORUM. What happens elsewhere in the world?

Do teachers get free or subsidised computers?

Easter is upon us so VT will take a short break over the holidays.

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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