Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 135 – BLUETOOTH 11th November 2006




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  ADRIAN BRUCE

5. Technical Stuff - The New Sony HD Camera DCR-SR40


6. Web Site Focus - BLUETOOTH

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. Wow what a response to the last
newsletter the most I have ever had, 52 responses about
the DET image, a number about the Climate Change issues.

GREAT. Just image if this sort of debate could be setup in our
classrooms. Instead of teaching information, we setup forums like
this. Climate change does and will happen, let’s get all the info
we can and debate it, discuss it, look at all the viewpoints with our
students, let’s never accept the potted version, the cliché, the current
trendy causal view, let’s set our students up to think about their,

own viewpoint, to research and find their own information, and come to
their own conclusions.  THANKYOU, TO ALL THOSE WHO
CONTRIBUTED. I hope you continue to disagree, correct and
inform me as well as all the readers of VT with your wonderfully colourful



In years to come a child may come up to you and
thankyou for all the great worksheets you gave.  NOT

Adrian Bruce


No matter what they try to tell you title pages are


Adrian Bruce


These are real answers given by children.    

Q: Name the four seasons.  
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour  
A: Keep it in the cow.      

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.  
A: Premature death.
Q: What is the fibula?  
A: A small lie.      
Q: What does "varicose" mean?  
A: Nearby.      
Q: What does the word "benign" mean?'  
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight



MappedUp is an application that tracks a large number of
RSS news sources and displays their latest items on a world
map, geographically and in real-time.


Dear Cathy and Charlie,

Occasionally a teacher rides in on a white steed to advocate
for the children. (That would be me) So now I'm attempting to
inlist your help to get these posters into every school in
Australia and perhaps the world.

Check them out to see if this is truely a worthy cause for your newsletter :)
My personal favs are:


Please assist in this crusade if you deem it noble. hehehehehe

Adrian Bruce




The New Sony HD Camera DCR-SR40


In the last news letter I reviewed this camera, complaining
that the non-standard MPEG2 encoding was a stupid move.
I thought the problem had been solved by upgrading
Quicktime to a version that could read MPEG2 encoding for the MAC
It seemed to work, files could be dragged onto the desktop,
all seemed right with the world, EXCEPT the video had no sound.
So here we have an acquisition device that cannot be used simply
with any current editing program. Not iMovie, not Final Cut Pro/Express,
not anything I can find, except their proprietary  PC only software.
There is a simplistic software version for the Mac, but guess what,
you have to buy it!

I do not want to learn a new piece of software for each new
device I buy, if acquisition devices don’t work with existing acquisition
software they should not be on the market.  This is a most
ridiculous piece of nonsense from SONY as it forces you into
their limited post production workflow solution. In a world
where digital data acquisition and editing are replacing tape for
speed and reliability, this represents a myopic and backward
solution and Sony should recall all cameras until they are
brought into line with current trends in digital workflow practices.
Sony needs to provide software solutions for importing
footage with sound in standard  industry formats that don’t
require additional expense because you want to work with Mac.

This Camera is NOT recommended unless you enjoy
the complex challenge of ‘the workaround’ to get a simple
result, data recorders where supposed to make it simpler not
harder. Stay with a tape based format until they get it right.

My score is 0/10,239035915,339271297,00.htm
Does anyone have a great hard drive Video Camera for
under $1,000 that I could trial and recommend to VT readers -
that DOES deliver video footage compatible with iMovie,
Final Cut Pro and other major video editing software, without
a complex workaround

I'll review it here and send it out to my many subscribers.



I had a lot of fun this week with my new bluetooth phone.  Decided to
upgrade after my trusty 6 year old phone died.  This is how it works:-

1. Take the movie or photo using your phone.

2. Enable the Blue tooth device- just switch it on, on the phone
3. Enable the bluetooth on your computer – on new Macs there
is a symbol for bluetooth on the top right. Set to discovery and
any devices.

4. Go to your menu, and find your photo or video, press options,

choose send, via bluetooth and hit OK.

5. You will see the device downloading onto your computer.

6. Import video footage into iMovie or MovieMaker , and edit.

You can add voice over here and all the usual effects. iMovie
is just magic to use.

7. Or import the photos into anything you like including iPhoto,

for a quick Ken Burns effect slideshow with Garage band Music.

So simple so easy. The videos are great for the web, and OK

to view in class.  This means that you can quickly record excursions
activities and performances from your phone, or any children’s

or parents’ phones and use the footage or photos.


Stay tuned for more MacBook ideas over the next few newsletters.


Through discussion and identification of the problems, things
can be improved.  What are your suggestions for DET, how can
we get a better deal with our computers, internet and email,

List the 5 things in order of preference you would like to see happen.
If you are in other states or international subscribers do the same.
Send the list to me and also to your local Education Departments,
Ministers and officials.  I went to$$/welcome.htm

and tried to connect to the contact link on the DET site
and received page NOT FOUND.
So maybe that’s the first thing to sort out.

Send your list to …..
John Howard
Minister for Education, Science and Training
Julie Bishop,
Morris Iemma
Minister for Education and Training NSW

Carmel Tebbutt
Shadow Minister for Eucation

Brad Hazzard

Does it Matter? It sure DOES. Occasionally a teacher rides
in on a white steed(Adrian Bruce) and makes a difference.


7B. Last Newsletter  - THE DET IMAGE MUST DIE
Here are your thoughts…….
Hi Cathy,

Thank you for all your wonderful information and inspiration.
The topic about the DET’s image being a burden to bare is very true.
Not only is it slow to function but many other glitches, from unstable
programs to log on and off problems, make it very difficult to sustain
interest and allow a full lesson to be delivered within a planned
timeframe. Our DET, IT support person does a great job but the
demands from so many problems and so many schools keep him
snowed under. It is interesting to note that the more barriers the
DET put up the more aggressive students are towards finding
ways to get around the problems. With the DET’s track record
so far I am not looking forward to the implementation of the
eLearning accounts in a fortnight’s time. I can see the bugs
crawling from under every keystroke already.

Liked the podcasting site in Arizona from Carolyn Rutter –
great potential.

Keep the info highway flowing Cathy, its greatly appreciated.


Bill Purkiss


Hi Cathy,

Love and appreciate your newsletter each fortnight!

It is not just macs that are having problems with the portal.
I currently have 15 pc's in my lab and although I can connect
to the staff portal, students can't log on and/or can't reach the
internet. For every 'internet' lesson I have planned this term, I now
have to go through and have a back-up non-internet lesson.
I wanted to teach stage 3 how to evaluate websites tomorrow,
 but just in case I will print off at home all the front pages of
websites I want to cover onto overhead transparencies.
On Tuesday, I wanted the computer club to learn how to
update our school website - apart from me having to log on -
haven't quite worked out an alternative to this one yet.
On Wednesday, I want stage 2 to access the First Fleet
database on the internet - obviously I will have to copy
this onto the server for them to be able to access the
information. And please don't get me started on the
Department's A-E reporting templates!


It's not just you!


All the best

Lisa Belfield


This is a small selection of responses only.  Most requested
not to be published – Are These Folk Scared of Reprisals
for Speaking Out?  What sort of system are we running.

Surely the best way forward is an open forum to sort out the
problems and get it right.

Here is a selection from the rest.

1. Poor and intermittent internet connections, including DET site
down, DET site unavailable at this time, please try again later.

34  replies included this.

2. DET image reduces program efficiencies in PCs for MovieMaker,
lots of pointer spinning occurs and program crashes.
12 responses

3. Frustrations with loading on cd based software. 23 replies.

4. Frustrations with burning CDs. 9 replies

5. Frustrations with using flash drives. 4 replies.

6. Mac DET image causes slowness in, Imovie, Photobooth
blacks out and needs to be rebooted often after each photo.

Can’t connect to internet, or slow to connect to internet.

16 replies.

7. DET image for both Mac and PC are out of date often 2 or 3
upgrades out of date requiring substantial time to upgrade before
the machine is even used. 8 responses.

In all I received 52 responses to this section, many respondents
had multiple complaints.


I road tested side by side the new MacBook loaded with the
DET image, and one loaded without.  Without the DET image
PhotoBooth worked beautifully, internet connection
was fast and easy to connect.
Program booting and opening were faster, far fewer spinning
pointers. In all the DET image loaded computer made computing
a pain, the clean machine was a delight, a joy to use.


I will be removing DET images from all our machines,
suggest you do the same.




Dear Cathy,

Yes I agree teaching is an art. However, I have always said that
teaching is a science AND art. There are many things in the
world of 'the arts' that are based on science, and vice versa.
(I am defining an art loosely as being intuitive and creative and
a science as being logical and evidence-based.) Unfortunately
in education today it is the latter which seems to be valued the
most, but it is interesting to note that a recent trend I have read
about in the U.S is to re-introduce creative, right brain thinkers
into business.

We timetable in a scientific way. We use logic, hypotheses and
research, in addition to multi-tasking, responding and caring.
We use psychology as well as creativity when dealing with students
and their learning. We teach in sequence, and assess against
benchmarks as well as responding flexibly to individuals and situations.


I have just read an excellent piece of research by Bill Louden on
the most effective practices in teaching literacy K-4. It is strongly
scientific in its research method, but supports the view that there
is more to teaching literacy than implementing the right 'strategies.'


Is the 'art' of teaching opposed to the 'science'? I don't think so.
I think the best teachers find a balance.


Sue Piggott

Relieving Quality Teaching Consultant: Literacy K-12

Bourke School Education Office





a new proscope is out..a higher resolution model uses all the lenses

from the previous model.


Check out the proscope podcasts...


We have
under development - and will be looking for

some good pics to post up later on..



Hi Cathy,

Love your work! Thanks for keeping me in the loop!! Yes,
I have received 2 copies of your newsletter - this time and last.
Sorry but could not let you know last time, as my dinosaur of a
microsoft PC was letting me down. Now I have a fantastic
Macbook and it is truly awesome! I totally agree with all that
you wrote re the wonders of using this little beauty - and the
huge potential they have for our students. My school has just
taken delivery of 17 Macbooks, so I was particularly interested
in your comments about how that went for you. I will (again)
pass on your newsletter to the IT coordinator at my site as I'm
sure she'd be interested too!


Thanks again for all of your hard work - you are amazing
and I think I have gotten something that I can use/implement
immediately, from every one of your newsletters. You are amazing!



Petra (S.A. classroom Teacher)


Dear Cathy

"Who knew that so many blowhards are out there pontificating from
complete ignorance?"


Good question Cathy. And if you were to ponder on the answer, you might like

to consider just who the blowhards are. Perhaps you had Lord May of Oxford

in mind, the President of the Royal Society, who, according to the Royal

Society's website, gave "a stark warning about the realities of climate

change in last year's President's Address"?


How much do you really know about the "Junk Science" movement? It's

something I've been interested in since my school days in the early

seventies. My interest was one of the many reasons I chose to read Physics

and Philosophy at Bristol to try to get a proper foundation for a further

study of science. And why later, after working as a consulting engineer, I

decided to take up teaching physics. One starting point for anyone

interested in looking critically at the "Junk Science" movement is to look

at the recent arguments put forward by George Monbiot in his The Denial

Industry (The Guardian, 29 Sept 06).


It has never been possible to keep up with content at least since the

invention of the printing press. What's important is the ability to think

well: critically, rigorously and imaginatively. The best way to learn to do

anything well is to start with the basics and then build from there. So to

learn to think well, do what an educated Western person has usually done:

start with Euclidean geometry, classical Latin and Greek. Then learn logical

theory, differential and integral calculus. Once one has mastered logical

theory, elementary and intermediate calculus then one can start to wrestle

properly with Newtonian mechanics, classical statistical theory and proper

database design. On the other hand, a good knowledge of classical Latin and

Greek literature provides the basis for a proper study of the humanities.


Apart from maybe also learning classical Hebrew and Arabic (to get to grips

with the Old Testament and the Koran), most of the other stuff we consume in

the West is either a useful skill (like learning to drive a car or apply

First Aid in an emergency) or is just so much candyfloss that leads simply

to intellectual obesity.


Yours sincerely

Christopher G Colenso-Dunne


Dear Cathy,

The meaning of your recent posting on global warming was not
clear to me. Who are the "blowhards" you mention. I went to the
Royal Society website and found this call for reducing the causes
of climate change:
It seems that the Royal Society recognizes that some of the
activities of people contribute to climate change. Are they the
blowhards you refer to in your posting?  Or are you maligning
the folks at who go to great lengths to make
the case that global warming cannot be caused by CO2 emissions?
  I can't tell who the blowhards are here.  What I do know is that
operators of greenhouses often mitigate the uncontrolled collection
of energy in the greenhouse because they know that trapping too
much energy inside is not good for the living things growing there.
I know also that the surface of Venus is hotter than the surface of
Mercury--the planet closest to the Sun--because the Venusian
CO2-rich atmosphere traps heat and the Moon-like vacuum of
Mercury's atmosphere cannot. The Royal Society calls for taking
action to stop climate change, says global
warming is junk science, and all you say is that the message of
An Inconvenient Truth is commercially and/or politically motivated.
You don't seem to be advocating for open minded inquiry into a very
serious, highly contentious issue of science and public policy,
but for your preferred position.

Wayne Chubin, first grade teacher



I am concerned by what I read in your last newsletter re climate change and

global warming.  You quoted the Royal Society and seemed to be suggesting

that their position is that global warming is not happening or that we

should not be concerned about it.  I went to the Royal Society's website and

read an article published by them called "A guide to facts and fictions

about climate change".  The paragraph below is taken directly from the intro

to this article.


"This document examines twelve misleading arguments (presented in bold

typeface) put forward by the opponents of urgent action on climate change

and highlights the scientific evidence that exposes their flaws. It has been

prepared by a group led by Sir David Wallace FRS, Treasurer of the Royal

Society, and Sir John Houghton FRS, former chair of Working Group I of the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This document has been

endorsed by the Council of the Royal Society, and draws primarily on

scientific papers published in leading peer-reviewed journals and the work

of authoritative scientific organisations, such as the IPCC and the United

States National Academy of Sciences."


I have not read the complete document yet, but it certainly does not seem to

be suggesting that we should not be worrying about climate change and

atmospheric CO2.  Quite the reverse in fact.


If you use this link

to get to the Royal Society's Web Site you can download a copy of the full

report to read for yourself.  I am very concerned by your editorial as I

worry that some people may read it and take it as "more evidence" that we do

not have a problem.  The Royal Society certainly does not support that view.


I am left wondering why you are quoting all these figures and opinions from

the "Junk Science" website.

Wendy Forsyth



Hi Cathy

I could not believe you favourably comment on "Junk Science" -
are you aware who runs it and his credentials.  I look forward to your reply.





The point is there is climate change.  Global Warming Hype al la
Al Gore is political.


Climate change needs to be put into perspective and examined over millions
of years rather than the just last 100 or so years. Here’s a few
sites to get you started.

Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

A Medieval Warm Period Hotter than now

CSIRO – Climate Change and Climate Variability in the last 120 million Years

NESDIS National Geophysical Data Center


United State Environmental Protection Agency

Peteet, D. 1995.     Global Younger Dryas? Quaternary Intl. 28 , 93-104.




Steven J. Milloy is the publisher of, an adjunct scholar
at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and a columnist
for and the New York Sun. Milloy was also a member of the
judging panel for the 2004 American Association for the Advancement
of Science (AAAS) Journalism Awards: Online Category.


Mr. Milloy has appeared on local, national and international
television and radio including: ABC's World News Tonight and
Good Morning America; CNN's Crossfire and Talk Back Live;
CNNfn; CNN International's Insight; MSNBC's News with Brian
Williams; Fox News Channel's Fox Report, Fox and Friends,
The O'Reilly Factor, and Special Report with Brit Hume;
National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation and the G. Gordon Liddy Show.


Mr. Milloy holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the Johns
Hopkins University, a Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics
from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and
Public Health, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore,
and a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center.
He has testified on risk assessment and Superfund before the
U.S. Congress; and has lectured before numerous organizations.


Hi Cathy

I am getting two copies, both addressed to the same email...

Not a problem for me, just to let you know..
Sounds like your DET in NSW is very similar to Vic DE&T...


The image for the teacher rollout is still 10.3

Though the OS has now been sent to all DE&T schools and it
has comic life for everyone!!!

Now that is innovative..especially when used with keynote and
garageband Podcasting with cartoons...

The newsletter is always well received and I bounce excerpts all over the

place. Many thanks for your efforts.


Best regards


Double VT should be sorted out now. Thanks for the info on the new
ProScope – looks a knock out – and look at that I works with both
operating systems – what a great looking tool.



Thank you for sites re hatching chicks....... they were great.  
We have an incubator and eggs set up in our classes now.....
the kids are delighted.  allyson


Hi Cathy,

I had a quick look at the site & have a couple of comments:

My 4yr old is a dab hand on the computer but we found this a little

cumbersome, having to go thru typing her name EACH time she
wanted to move

on to a new set of maths problems.  We got around the "answer this series of

questions before you get the problems" by simply ignoring it & going

straight into the games. And re the games; after a single question the WHOLE

PAGE refreshed (very distracting). Why couldn't just the box displaying the

problems refresh?  Also, in many games the numbers were written in red

against a blue background.  These are the hardest of all colours to read!

But I am always interested in having access to a maths resource like this

for my kids so it's great to see. (NB: My comments on the phonics aspect

would take up too much room!)



Gold Coast


Very cool free download.

Well worth the look!


I guess the moto should be thieve the best bits from whatever
you can find, to make your kids journey that bit richer. 
Although I'm not a fan of printable worksheets, even they can
have a role in the classroom.
 offers a range of worksheets and in the right classroom with
the right kids, for the right purpose they could be useful. 
I'd prefer the more hands on approach promoted by Sue fine, 
software that is more interactive, or something that can be
tailored to your own kids, ( this one doesn't even let you
adjust the sheet to suit your kids).  



I strongly disagree with your statement about Publisher being
'rubbish!'  I find it's great for banners, brochures, posters and

v poulos


Hi Cathy,

Love the newsletter and recommend it whenever I have an opportunity :)

Just wondering though, why do you feel so strongly that Publisher is

"rubbish"? I've heard that criticism from a few teachers and I really

don't get it. In the wrong hands I tend to agree with you - like any

program that uses wizards it can fall into the trap of churning out

generic products with overuse of gaudy Word/Clip Art.


If however you get kids to start with a blank page and a clear purpose it

can be a wonderfully creative desktop publishing program. I wouldn't even

compare it to Word as it does completely different things.


Here's an example of a tutorial from my site that hopefully shows that

Publisher can be used in a creative & meaningful way.


Best wishes,

Brad Edwards

ICT Coordinator

Year 7 Classroom Teacher

Learning & Teaching with the Internet Coach

North Haven Schools, South Australia


Glad to hear you are using this program in such a creative way
The map activity looks fantastic. The problem with publisher is
1. It introduces a unique interface and methodology that is not
repeated in other programs students are likely to encounter in the
future, in other words, they have to learn how to work in Publisher
and that is the only program that runs like this.
2. If you try to print from Publisher using professional devices
it is diabolical.
3. Publisher is not stable – using files on different computers
will result in different formatting, pdfing these files gives unpredictable
results, saving for the web gives unpredictable results, and the
resultant html is bulky and often just doesn’t work.

So I guess I find it an insular program which doesn’t allow
printing, sharing, and re-use options in a flexible manner.
I have spent hours trying to transform great looking publisher
documents into other formats for publication and display
and it has been diabolical.
Hi Cathy,

In response to what someone said about activiities to do in
Word in this week's issue... I just finished making a 'Shape Story'
where we used only the drawing tools to create a 10 frame 'story'
about a shape.  Took forever, but it was a great activity.  You can
alter it to suit students and have tools that they *must* use at least
once somewhere in their story (ie: 3D shape, scribble tool etc).
  We weren't allowed to use Clipart which made it all the more challenging.

I've attached a copy of the story I did if you're interested.


Fellow Mac computer lover,

Sharon Kloester

Melbourne, Aus.


Popped it up for everyone to see it’s fantastic

Thanks for the contribution


10.  NEXT ISSUE -  More about MacBook.

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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