Virtual Teacher Newsletter  29TH JULY 2006  No. 129 – CHANGE OR DIE




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo

4. New Printables -  Text Types

5. Technical Stuff - G4 & Netscape 6.1 & Blender

6. Web Site Focus - Outer Space

7. Better Bookweek Links

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


  1. WELCOME EVERYONE. Welcome back. I went to

Canberra over the holidays, fantastic.  I saw G for George at the

War Memorial’s new exhibition, splendid, amazing, a huge

immersive display with sound and pictures.  The other standout

was old parliament house, the guides were brilliant, everyone

with their own personal spin on the old building, nothing scripted

and boring, and the café was also great.  Check out the new

virtual Canberra site below. Change is imperative in our schools
we need to rethink, reassess, and innovate constantly if we
are to meet the needs of our students.  Challenge your thinking
with Summerhill, successful thinking models like those used at Apple.

How hard is change for you? Read about how hard it really is

at the fastcompany website – you will be surprised. Maybe you will

look at change in a whole new way.

Have a great fortnight



Remember Neill’s famous quote:

“ I would rather Summerhill produced a happy street sweeper

than a neurotic prime minister.”


There may be bullying at Summerhill, but I have not seen it. It

may be that the older kids set themselves up as kings over their

 juniors, but I do not perceive a hint of it. What I do see is

children of eight jumping unexpectedly on the back of

fifteen-year-old boys, and being carried round with perfect

good humour; younger kids upset by some sudden reverse

being comforted by an arm round their shoulder from an older

kid; kids sitting in odd corners talking eagerly about the matter

of the moment, with entire disregard for whether their

interlocutors are their own age, or younger or older by a year,

three years, or six years ... It would be stupid to suggest that

they do not all have their own special friends, but I do not think

any of them have any special enemies


Steve Jobs's turnaround at Apple shows the impact of reframing

and telling a new narrative that's simple, positive, and emotional. 

When he returned to the company after a long exile, he recast its

image among employees and customers alike from a marginalized

player vanquished in the battle for market share to the home

of a small but enviable elite: the creative innovators who dared

to "Think different.”

What about a life and death situation?

Your own life or death. What if a well-informed, trusted authority

figure said you had to make difficult and enduring changes

in the way you think and act? If you didn't, your time would end

soon -- a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when

change really mattered? When it mattered most?



Images over 100 years old are in the public domain. Here are a few

sites with some great imagery, copyright free.



This is a fantastic new site.



Free Online resources

Store Links to your Bookmarks online


Worksheet Wizard


Animation students link up with professionals for modern-day

An altogether different model, built on

student creativity and consistent critiques. The goal isn't simply

to get the work finished but, rather, to get it right.




Principals have the right and the responsibility to say, as

Michael Fullan suggests effective leaders today should, “In this

building, we are going to squeeze every bit of value we can

out of our investment in digital technology, so from here

on out we are all — including me — going make use of

technology as an accelerator to improve our effectiveness

 in supporting kids in their learning.”


Download the "Suggestions for a Principal Who is New

to the MLTI" document



Literacy in the Digital Age document from enGauge

Use it at a staff meeting and discuss its implications.



How does your school principal meet this challenge?  What are

some examples of great practises in schools?  How does you

school encourage changes in technology and pedagogy? 


This forum is about the great ideas currently being used

in schools to facilitate change and how great executives

particularly principals, support them.


If you have a great story send it in to inspire us all.


Does it Matter? It sure does.
Send you responses in as usual, I’M SURE A LOT OF YOU
7b Your Responses


Hi Cathy,

Yes the subject certainly is a biggy, but it's in our teenage years

that the problems manifest very significantly.  Children are

inherent NATURAL learners from their first day of birth.  The

 troubled teenage years reflect a culmination of years of

unnatural learning or simply learning wrong.  Our major 

obsession with testing has made the whole system cock-eyed. 

Take away the tests & exams & view each child as an individual

& can you imagine how different things could be??


Sherree Chambers

(Gold Coast)


Hi Cathy,

I agree with the issues raised regarding the relevance of high

school teaching strategies in relation to teenagers. My son left

school at the end of year 10 because he felt it was not relevant

to him. He could not get the stimulation he needed and was

forced into subjects that were a waist of time and not relevant

to his interests or future direction.

Luckily he was offered a computer technician's position full time

and is loving it (apart from missing his holidays!). Not every

teenager is so lucky.

There seems to be a gap between the TAFE system,

Universities and secondary schools, where teenagers are

left in the cold if there interests are not

academic in the traditional sense or hands on such as trades.

Many areas like computing are not well covered in the TAFE

system and you can't access university courses at that age

without VCE. Why should we force our kids to be

trapped in a form of education which is not meeting their

needs - especially if they are talented in one area?

We must find a way to encourage individualism in the high

school system or we are doomed to creating a huge population of disconnected adults in the future.





Over the Hedge Experience

Take the kids to the movie – explore the website, talk about

animation, characters, storyline – great.


Printing techniques





The teacher who needs to use the English Curriculum system in Beijing will find lots of information at:


You can obtain (free, if you're a teacher in the U.K. - don't know

if they charge others) from the DFES (Department for Education

and Skills) publications like "The National Numeracy Strategy –

More Numeracy Lessons".


Thanks for your newsletter, Cathy.


Angela Fuller, England


10.  NEXT ISSUE -  Alternative schools and educational

Philosophies, and what can be used within the current

educational system.  Please send in any great ideas you

have to share.

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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