Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 139 DR SEUSS 50TH BIRTHDAY




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  DR SEUSS

5. Technical Stuff - PODCASTS

6. Web Site Focus - DR SEUSS

7. Cathy's Forum - LETTER FROM ASIA

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE.  As mentioned last newsletter,
I received an email from Mr W.  It is an amazing read.  Makes me
think how lucky we are, makes me wonder if this is
happening elsewhere, makes me contemplate Meta-level values
teaching.  This isn't giving students a moral code to live by
but assisting them to develop their own by thinking, empathy and
working on how THEY feel. In short, developing a social conscience,
and an awareness of the group as well as the self. What are your
thoughts?  It is Dr Seuss's 50th this year - so celebrate - read
the Seuss books, you will be delighted - and you can start to tackle
of the meta-values reading them. I've finally found a proof to invalidate
multiple choice tests, even though it's a bit uncertain and fuzzy.

Please enjoy.





Thinking develops.  There are no certainties.  There are no
right or wrong answers. Multiple Choice testing is bankrupt
in the extreme, and diminishes the value we place on the human
brain, devalues our students greatest asset.

Thinking develops, it is not stagnant.

"When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. 
When people thought the Earth was spherical they were
wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is sperical is
just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is
wronger than both of them put together."


In 1927 Werner Heisenberg showed that there are limits to the
accuracy of the measurement of subatomic particles.  
We cannot accurately measure both the speed and position
of subatomic particles because the act of measuring them
disturbs the particles.  Only fuzzy values can be assigned
which means the description is based entirely on probabilities.

This means the universe it's self is built on uncertainties.
This has staggering implications.

It means if we cannot know about the properties of the
sub-atomic world with absolute certainty, then we cannot
know about anything with certainty,


It means - if we cannot define the universe at a
most fundamental level, then it must mean the universe
is constructed upon probabilities.  There can be no certainty,
no clear-cut definitions, no pure 'yeses' or 'nos',  NO MULTIPLE


"The essential ingredient in progressive thinking is imagination."
Michael White


I plan to live forever, so far so good. Anonymous

Why should truth be stranger than fiction? fiction after all
has to  make sense.

Mark Twain

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one
alive who is Youer than You. Dr Seuss
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.
Dr Seuss
above excerpts from "A Teaspoon and an Open Mind
- Michael White.


3. WWWinfo - World Wide Governments


Turns 50 printables




Review of the Science Channel Podcast

Professionally produced, as you'd expect,

this Science Channel podcast was very

interesting indeed. It was looking at a new

method of creating fuel, by compressing

waste products. Well, apparently it is not a

new method, but the one Nature has used

for eons. Fortunately, what is new about the

method is that you don't have to wait

millions of years to see the results, which is

just as well if you think about it. I have a

slight problem with this one: it was

interesting, and it was relevant to everyday

life in the sense that it's good to know that

there may be a solution to the problem of

the planet's diminishing fuel reserves. But

useful for me personally? Not sure.

Review of the This Week in Science Podcast


6. WEBSITE FOCUS -- The Cat in the Hat turns 50 Dr Seuss

READ Dr Seuss aloud on March 2, 2007 to celebrate.

What Is Project 236?


236 Words. 50 States. 1 Cause.

Did you know that Dr. Seuss used only 236 different words

to write THE CAT IN THE HAT?

In celebration of the Cat in the Hat's 50th Birthday,

Random House Children's Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises

are honoured to partner with First Book to launch a national

literacy initiative: Project 236.......


In the mid 1950s, many Americans were asking themselves:

Why can't Johnny read? In a Life magazine article, Pulitzer

Prize-winning author John Hersey maintained that American

children couldn't read because their classroom primers were

boring and 'antiseptic" and could not compete with cartoons,

comics, and other more fun and interesting stimuli, so he

challenged Theodor Geisel, a.k.a Dr. Seuss, to write a story‚

"first graders wouldn't be able to put down." And that's just

what Dr. Seuss did, using a vocabulary of only 236 words. In

1957, Random House published The Cat in the Hat and those

236 words revolutionized the way children learn to read.


Learning to read had never been so much fun.


On average, children in middle-income neighborhoods have

approximately 13 books per individual child. In contrast, for l

ow-income children, there is estimated to be 1 book for

every 300 children.*


*Dickinson, David K. and Susan B. Neuman, eds.

"The Knowledge Gap: Implications for Early Education."

Handbook of Early Literacy Research, volume 2.

New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2006, p. 31.


7. CATHY'S FORUM - “Virtues”, “Social Values”, “Meta-Level
Teaching Targets” A letter from A Subscriber - amazing -
What are your reactions?  Are their other international
subscribers with similar experiences?


Hello Cathy,

I receive your e-letter since about 1.5 years. Thanks a lot for

your hints, spreading new ideas, and motivation. During advent

our western culture provides cookies, candles, and concerts for

Christmas and the forthcoming New Year break. The cause

which triggered this letter off doesn't really fit to Christmas.

Anyway, I may initiate a new topic in your next year's

newsletters with my point which could be labelled

“Virtues”, “Social Values”, “Meta-Level Teaching Targets”,

or whatever professional word you find for it……….

………. I'm teaching ………. in China……. Please don't

publish my letter in full length ………..

Though my point is education I need to start with

background info. China's provincial economy is

dominated by corruption, bribing, including money,

pressure, violence, and prostitution. Private companies,

industry, administration, police, justice, politicians - all

economically active parties do it and need to take part,

because this is the common daily exercise. You can have

the best product but without bribing you wouldn't be

able to sell it…. Simple people in the street, workers,

and farmers actually suffer most by this kind of egoistic

exploration of whatever can bring money. Only sometimes

you can find cases at Radio Free Asia or in other sources.

Living in Australia, Europe, or North America,

we rarely think about 3rd world education problems.

As a matter of fact, some of China's students study

from 6:30 in the morning until 22 h at night but the

vast majority of today's one-child generation is trained

to have a convenient life. Most students see the only

 outcome of their university study in a final certificate.

They are used to learn by heart for an exam - and forget

80% after 1 week by the nature of our mind. Besides this,

they make contacts for subsequent useful relationships,

try to find a boy / girl friend, and have entertainment.

At our institute the common way of writing an final

exam is that after distribution of the test questions

the teacher sits in a corner, hiding himself while reading

a book. The students copy, exchange papers, or let

another student fill out their test paper. Chinese students

from other universities told me that they have the same

situation. If someone did not pass he usually “rectifies”

the test result at teacher's home. An internal report of

the education commission in Beijing, which I did never

see but a Chinese officer told me about it, stated that

about 78% of the teachers in whole China would accept

bribes to let students pass. The usual bribes are 200 Yuan

(about 25 US$ but you need to compare a shop

assistant's salary which is 600 Yuan/month) for a

male student and in many cases sex for females.

He also told me that the national education commission

intends to improve this situation.

At present I teach ………... From my ………. students …….

I sorted out 55percent who two times did all copy their
written homework from the same source student
(Isn't that cheeky?). Though I knew this phenomenon
from previous lectures I didn't want to accept it
anymore. I kept all copies, went into the secretary
office, and asked the other teachers. The only
reaction I've earned was smiling. Even the vice
dean did not give any sensible answer. I announced
 my decision to let the copy-students write an intermediate
test to enable fair assessment. The dean asked me
to drop the test and change my lecture so that it
becomes more pleasant for the students. Fortunately,
our institute leaders supported my intention and
I made a very simple test…….. This is the statistic:


Tomorrow I'm going to publish that 30 percent of students
cannot take part in my final exam. That is absolutely
unthinkable for my Chinese colleagues. Curiously
I' m waiting for the reaction.

I've written a text about the problem. Maybe you
also got the experience that sometimes writing
down clears up the own uncomfortable dizzy feelings.
For me personally, formulating, or drawing a picture
are ways to find back on my strong feet if problems
bother me to much. Finally I got the intuition to
share my problem with you and other teachers on the globe.
The following text might be something what you can
publish to start the new topic - if you agree. Of
course, you could take more out of my letter
 but nothing which can identify me and thus could
bring troubles. Please take it serious -I trust you.
I'm convinced that the topic is crucial for many
places in the world. We should name the problems
and make the consequence transparent. Those
who like improvement need support. My name is
irrelevant. Just name me Mr. W. from an east
Asian education institute.


Consequences of Copying

A student who copies what others need to work
hard for is a defrauder. Like a thief he takes what
other persons earn by hard true work. For that reason,
cheating is a crime. If only one student can successfully
pass his exam by cheating, why should all the others
study so hard? This one bad example teaches that
cheating is a convenient and easy way to come through.
By experience we know that especially the lower and
middle range students try to follow this negative example.


Educational institutes form the future society in form
of the next generation's conscience.

If a teacher doesn't actively stop and prevent copying,
he is co-responsible for the next generation's misdoing.
His former students will not carry necessary theory and skills
into industry, companies, and institutions but the knowledge
of quick success by copying, cheating, and bribing. A report
about the driving factors of economic development by
German economist  Axel Werwatz analyzes that,
“corruption prevents innovation because if a manager
can get orders by bribing -
why should he invest money in technology innovations?”.
Thus the future impact of copying students is an obstacle
to the constructive development of the society.


If a teacher let his students copy, as well as a manager
doesn't prevent bribing colleagues, or an administrative
officer accepts gifts instead of fair choice he/she harms
his/her country and the peaceful cooperation of all nations.
Teachers are responsible. We need the courage to be
inconvenient towards cheating students.




Dr Hugo Heyring - Museums of the the Mind

all about body language - studying micromotions of Human

There is a series of micro vidoes on this site. What a great

student project to film micro minutes of human actions

and then interpret them in terms of lifestyle, meaning,

diversity of human experience. This can be seen as a new

video artform, especially the samples on Fuzzy Dreamz


Cinematic Art Manifesto: what is performative cinema?


Performative cinema, brings about, or brings into being,
 the characters, action, and world that it describes.
Performative cinema, cinematic art, netfilms, netmovies,
interactive films, webmovies, digima, or time-based works,
all these terms reflects a hybrid connection between art,
film and the Internet, expressing the ever changing
continuum of the space we live in. Performative cinema
is a cinema of processes, a field where 'images of thought'
and 'art as a state of mind' might emerge. Furthermore,
cinematic ways of seeing the world have become the
basic means by which computer users access and
interact with all cultural data.


ITER is a joint international research and development
project that aims to demonstrate the scientific and
technical feasibility of fusion power.

A Fusion Energy Project Oded has worked on

Includes stills and animations of project aspects


Perfect Snow - There's no business

like snow business.

Make the perfect Snow, Slava's Snowshow Clowns thought
paper cut into oblongs 40 by 15mm were the best, what size
do you think will work the best?



Try different sizes - video tape the results and test you snow

against an audience.





Again I am amazed by the content of your newsletters;
I have never read one that has not left me thinking deeply. 
Thank you greatly for your efforts. 


I read the comments from Georgina about her work load
the expectations of the DET.  It is such a great shame that
we have Teachers that are dedicated to their profession
and are feeling totally unsupported and in fact actively

stymied in pursuing their chosen profession.  I wonder
how we recognise the enormous effort that such Teacher make. 


Maybe we could create a site that allows the profession
to be celebrated, instead of complaints about Teachers
and the profession from Politicians and Academics about
falling standards and a lack of accountability.  How about a

site that allows individuals to post positive stories about
the "Teacher That Had a Huge Impact on My Life". 
I personally had a number of Teachers from my time in
public school that changed my future and challenged me to

select different paths in life.  I am sure that there are
many many stories that could get this going, then we could
actually celebrate the profession.



David Linke

I agree David - this is what VT is designed to do - so send all
your great stories


Hi Cathy

Here is a URL to some really great free resources for art and
science teachers for you to share. Hope you find this of value.
Keep up the great work!

Go to
then click on education.


Greg Alchin


Some great resources - had trouble loading some, Anatomy of
a Photograph was great.

Thanks Greg



A suggestion for your feedback section of VT Newsletter. 
I feel the subject of Syllabus presentation, not content, is
overlooked or blandly accepted and it will create some interesting
comments.  I enjoy reading your newsletters and feel this topic will
make a positive contribution to some professional dialogue.


I am interested in how teachers use a syllabus to create a
teaching program.  We know that teachers of all different age
groups and subjects will use syllabus documents differently,
but how could syllabi be better presented, organised or packaged
to make the administrative task of copying and pasting into
programs more efficient.  What other tasks are routinely
completed but they are inefficient at the moment.


Please remove my name from appearing on any web
published or transmitted material, I prefer to remain anonymous.

Thank you


What do you think? What do you do? Most protocols seem to be
governed by whoever supervises programs.


10.  NEXT ISSUE - 


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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