Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 144 May 12th 2007 CELEBRATE THE GREAT STUFF




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  GREAT STUFF

5. Technical Stuff - CNETTV

6. Web Site Focus - SHOOTING A VIDEO


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. Why are we here? What is the meaning
of life? All the big questions here on VT.
For the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer is 42.

For me, it is evolution. To keep going, to keep living,
to have and raise our children, to grow, evolve and
to continue.  Teacher's and parents are the most important
part of evolution.  How much was the importance of education
recognised by our federal budget? How does the Federal
government see education growing and evolving?

Not much as far as I can tell.

Congratulations Alexia - New AP at Crown St and a worthier
appointment there has never been made.
Not many responses to the forum last week, perhaps you all
wrote to the ministers. The best ideas about the future of
Education are going to come from, well, me, probably and the
readers of VT and people like us. So send in your ideas,
let's share the great ones.



As long as you're going to think anyway, you might as well
think BIG! - Donald Trump.


Not every sentence of every paragraph I've ever uttered
is perfectly crafted. Margaret Jackson, Qantas Chairman


An education isn't how much you have committed to memory,
or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate
between what you do know and what you don't."
Anatole France ( 1844 - 1924) French author


Top 20 Oxymoron List

20. Government Organization

19. Alone Together

18. Personal Computer

17. Silent Scream

16. Living Dead

15. Same Difference

14. Taped Live

13. Plastic Glasses

12. Tight Slacks

11. Peace Force

10. Pretty Ugly

9. Head Butt

8. Working Vacation

7. Tax Return

6. Virtual Reality

5. Dodge Ram

4. Work Party

3. Jumbo Shrimp

2. Healthy Tan

1. Microsoft Works



A register of people involved in the development of science,
technology, engineering and medicine in Australia, including
references to their archival materials and bibliographic resources.

Women in Bright Sparcs


Photocopy call the great things that are said about your class
grade, school, and enlarge them on your photocopier to A3.

Pin them to the walls around you room, in the corridors,
plaster them anywhere you can.  It's amazing what this does
for morale, and enthusiasm, on bad days, there is evidence
that great stuff has happened, on great days it just adds
to the greatness.  Read them occasionally point them out,

and encourage visitors, and your students to add to them.


5. TECHNICAL STUFF - New Gadgets

take a look at CNETTV

Adobe Keynote CS3 Suite


to your website.

1. Have a look at some video sites like

I Particularly like CNET's  buzz report

Edutopia has a number of videos that play online

You can also purchase some of these videos at Edutopia.
which would be worth reviewing.

The point of this is to see how these types of videos are put


2. A 3min video is a good length especially when starting
out. It they are longer this is not a problem, as you will see
from the above some of the Edutopia videos are much longer
than 3mins, the longer it is the longer it will take to edit and shoot.

But longer videos do play quite well on websites.


4. The main issue with producing a video is that it fulfil its purpose.

The video needs to have a Beginning Middle and End.

The video needs to have a focus  - what makes it worthy of
videotaping - what are we doing that is new here?

How do we show the feeling emotion of the experience
in 3 mins.

What do the participants think about it?
What are the main parts to the video - points to
show in the video ie for a lesson based on readers theatre.
Perhaps the main parts are:

a. children receive reading material.

b. working in groups.

c. working with teacher.

d. practicing

e. perform their readings???

If these questions can be answered before shooting it gives clear
focus to the video acquisition, and also to any titling that is required.


5. If the Video is to be used publicly, ie used on a website,
then video clearances will be needed from all participants.


6. Planning your video - discuss the above questions and
develop a shooting script. 

7. Shoot the video according to the shooting script.
The basic idea is to shoot an establishing shot - wide of the whole
scene, then to focus on specific aspects as per the shooting script.

Always get cutaways, which are usually close-ups.
I like children's faces, responses, close ups of books, children's
work.  This helps when editing.

Check out info on the arttool at:-

8. Voice overs can be recorded onto the video camera as well.

9. Using iMovie, or Final Cut Pro(my favourites), import the movie
to your computer.


10. Edit - use the help menu or online help - these resources are
great. In iMovie you can us 'Make a magic Movie to get a quick result.

11. Once you have edited your movie, in iMovie - choose file share
and select quicktime - I like to use the streaming option. In Finalcut
Pro - use the file export command.


12. Position this on your html page and upload.
Of course this is a simplified version of the process, we'll take a
close a look at editing next newsletter.

WEbsites for tutorials….????



Is now FREE to download. Another little bit of magic from Apple.
Check out the HD videos at this site too.

The Pro Version retails for around $45.00 is Amazing

Watch movies full screen? Save your favorite movie trailers on your

computer to watch over and over again? Create compelling slideshows complete with a soundtrack? Record video and share

it with friends and family? 
Massive Quality, Minimal Files

H.264 uses the latest innovations in video compression technology

to provide incredible video quality from the smallest amount of video data.



We have received the new Federal budget.

No great new ideas, no great enthusiasm.  I guess, really it's all

about money, but educational advances don't come from funding

allocation.  They come from great minds, great thinking and creative ideas,
these things abound in free open environments and are chocked
to death under the burden of excess paperwork, administration
and testing.

Hey guys, the great educational initiatives aren't going to
come from budget allocations, Education Ministers who ex
Ministers for Aging, advisory committees of non-teachers,
test fanatics, basic skills fanatics, uninformed parents,
and the STATUS QUO retention at all costs committee.

Where are the going to come from, me probably and the
readers of VT and people like us.


Mr Rudd's initiative, to allocate funding for trade development in schools,
already well catered for at technical colleges, is ill conceived.
There are some fantastic private sector-TAFE collaborations,
already in place, which mean students work and learn and earn
and have future employment prospects with mentor employers.
And they need mentors not peers to guide them.
We have seen Jamie's Kitchen, and the TAFE/apprenticeship
involvement work brilliantly. My own son is part of a TAFE/Doyles
apprenticeship scheme, which sees TAFE tailoring their courses
to suit employers. BRILLIANT. The students are mentored by these
organization, as well as educated. We don't need schools to become
defacto TAFEs.
I love students who are keen and enthusiastic, they are the best
reluctant starters, forced to complete their HSC, so we can
proclaim a 90% retention rate, is the worst possible scenario.
Isn't our brief to provide our students with vocational advise best
suited to each individual? And I know 90% going through to
the HSC is a waste of teacher time, student time, and basically
frustrating for everyone.


What do you think? Does it Matter? It sure does.
Send in your thoughts.

Education Budget

Bronwyn Bishop


Improving school outcomes




Channel One

The winner of several prestigious awards, Channel One has been broadcasting twelve-minute newscasts for teenagers into high schools and middle schools since 1990. Using video, news articles, quizzes, polls and games, the Channel One website is my pick of the day news site for teens. ChannelOne doesn't shy away from the tough stories (such as the war on terrorism) but it also likes to have fun, with a Student Life section with celebrity ("Name that Star") and life style ("Your Guide to the Prom") coverage.


New York Times Learning Network


With news, activities and lesson plans for grades three
through high-school, the New York Times Learning Network
really does have something for everyone. Best bets are the
news summaries, daily news quiz, and the twice-monthly
interactive crossword puzzle with educational Web links.
But don't even think about starting the puzzle until you've
finished your homework; it's very addictive. Other
don't-miss-them clicks are Word of the Day (with sample
usage from the newspaper) and On this Day (with a snapshot
of an historic New York Times front page.)


Online NewsHour: Extra for Students


From the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Extra for Students
is the place to visit for outstanding news features that take a
deeper look at current events (including immigration reform
and pet food safety.) To learn how other kids are reacting to
the news, visit the Newz Crewz section where your comments
are welcomed and posted. Teachers have a section all their
own with lesson plans organized by curriculum.


Australian Government Site

Prime Minister of Australia - includes interviews,

Media releases, video footage etc.



Hi Cathy,

An organization I think might be valuable to many teachers
is Freecycle.  This group's main aim is to reduce landfill
worldwide.  In doing this members of freecycle may
offer and receive items absolutely free of charge. 
Items can be anything that's legal and appropriate
for all ages. 

Many a treasure can be found for classroom use,
and it's a great way to recycle those unwanted items
we all have laying around.

Steph Gray


Nan Bergau,

Sending computers to schools is always a problem if
they are not sent responsibly. What about the operating
system (& key-board) set for the correct language?
The lack of training and back -up technical support is

also a problem.  What about printers? Will there be a
supply of paper? Do the schools have electricity- some don't?


If you want computers contact Crossroads International
in Hong Kong.

It is a great organization that collects things and sends
them responsibly to places in need.

Lorraine Kennedy

Australian International School Hong Kong



Is there a way that you can circulate this information to teachers in your newsletter? & place a link on your site?

RSVP. Thank you. Ann McLaughlin, Director


Regarding question about a source for donated computers:

They also help build websites.

Teachers are needed internationally! Education is the ticket
out of poverty.


NGOabroad is a unique service that matches your skills
with international humanitarian needs.

NGOabroad recently helped the following people transition into
international work: a Seattle teacher & sports coach;

a PhD in Chemistry, originally from Cameroon; an African
American attorney; an MBA from Ireland; a Congolese MD;

a hair cutter who will teach job skills; a nurse from Ontario;
a pharmacist from London; a tree pruner who then got his
PhD in Public Health x Horticulture to feed the people.
What are you doing with your talent? We need you!


 NGOabroad has 3 services:

1) exciting international volunteer programs

in democracy building; building a pioneering girls schools
in Africa, trauma counseling, vocational training, media,
youth & children, micro-finance, construction, refugees,
nursing & medical, & many more


2) custom fit international service opportunities that
are well suited to people who have something specific in
mind e.g. they have cultivated a particular skill or desire
& now want to make it a reality in international work;
great for families, retirees, disabilities, internships.


3) Career Consults that help people enter into or advance in

international humanitarian work. Your skills & experience
determine if you qualify.

Ann McLaughlin MSW brings 25 years counselling
experience to help: articulate your strengths; clarify
your goals; design strategies; write smart cover letters & resumes

Please see


If you are interested, read the entire website.

Then send an email to

1) Copy & paste your resume/CV into an email - do not attach.

2) Explain what you are looking for & what you can contribute.

3) State your skills in the subject line.


"NGOabroad is a fantastic service for anyone wanting to
work internationally, be it paid or volunteer work. I was
very impressed by Ann,  her honest optimism 
(no sugarcoating but no dire warnings) and her curiosity
about me and my goals are as well as her obvious
dedication. Ann's insight into and knowledge of the
world and non-profit organizations is invaluable.
I now have a much clearer idea of what opportunities
are out there for me and I have a real understanding

of where I can best contribute my skills."             
Simone Pfeiffer, Montreal


10.  NEXT ISSUE - Editing and your great ideas.
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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