Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 123 - JULY 21 2007 - BABYLON 5




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  PROOF TECHNIQUES

5. Technical Stuff - BABYLON 5

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. Tim and I had a fabulous time at
Distance Ed, Stanmore Public School, last week, working with
the staff on presentation skills and working with Video.
Julie mentioned, below, in the readers' comments section,
about low moral and enthusiasm for teaching, video, photography
and new technology are great ways to bring enthusiasm
back into the classroom, students learn more efficiently, are
more motivated and a lot of boring rubbish can be sidestepped.

The majority of the story telling, this current generation sees, is
through video, not reading. So our students need to understand
it, they also find hugely motivating and so will you. Teaching and
learning can be fun and joyous again. Have a good fortnight.



"Our task is to provide an education for the kind of

kids we have... Not the kind of kids we used to have...

Or want to have... Or the kids that exist in our dreams."

Mary Kay Utech


Ask yourself the secret of YOUR success. Listen to your answer,

and practice it.

Richard Bach


The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.

Richard Bach


3. WWWinfo - UTUBE

There is a lot of material on this site that, well, needs to be filtered
for school use. But I have to say, most of your teenage students
arte already watching it. And, it is quite a phenomena.  With the Prime
Minister of Australia announcing some new initiatives,

on Climate Change just recently - yes that old chestnut, this type of media
seems to have gained a certain legitimacy, or coming of age
 as a communication tool

I wouldn't recommend all the content, but there are some real
diamonds amongst the stones.


Methods of getting people to believe you. I am not telling
you which ones I have used.


I loved the Babylon 5 series, a brilliant superbly written story,
it brought many exciting innovations to science fiction television. 
Computer-generated effects, five-year story arcs, and elaborate
mythology made this series stand apart from what came
before and point the next generation of sci-fi/fantasy series in
bold new directions. This show, realized creator J. Michael
Straczynski's vision of creating a five-season novel for television.

Its' stories proved that one person can make a difference,
that the choices we make (right or wrong, good or bad) have
far-reaching consequences, and that humanity is far greater
and nobler than given credit for being.

These are great lessons for any student to learn and discuss.


At this site you can see storyboards, special effects and lots of details
about the shooting of the series.

Special Effects Video Babylon 5


GC Society - Society of Digital Artists

The CG Society is for creative digital artists. This is anyone that uses computers to tell a visual story. There is an Annual Membership fee
of $29.95. However access is free to most of the site. For budding
digital artists in your class this is a great site, just let them loose here.

Digital Kids Club



USS Kitty Hawk was in Sydney a shot time ago. This huge ship,
the last conventionally powered aircraft carrier, is to be
decommissioned shortly. It is amazing, the website is great. 
In essence the Kitty Hawk, based in Japan, acts and operates
like a small city. The information on the web site is worth reviewing.
Information for sailors, about Japan, is comprehensive. and gives
a sneak peek into the lives of the men and women on this
floating city. Lots of links and information, the photo archive
is worth a visit as is the News link.



What do you think?  Here's Sue's view


Hi Cathy,

I have been using the new on-line report format this week and
have found it surprisingly easy and user friendly for the small
school. I LOVE the little smiley face who applauds me when I
get something done. I find the drop down comment starters
great to use. I know the dept does not always get things right
but it does not always get them wrong either.


However, a teacher from a bigger school positively snarled at
me when I said that thought it was good, and I have heard of
a number of schools who are not using it. Maybe some
colleagues with larger classes would like to give me a more
descriptive explanation. I know thirty reports take longer than
five, but they always have. Which parts of the report are
particularly difficult to do in bulk? Is it much slower than
hand written ones? (Certainly not for me as I have always
had to redo them.) Are there other glitches that occur in
big schools?


Sue Piggott


What do you think? Does it Matter? It sure does.

Send in your thoughts



On the Lenovo issue, does this mean that Apple schools
will receive more pressure to replace their macs with PC's?
Teachers using Apple unite! I would like to know how many
of us there are and if there is a support group for iclassrooms?


Sue Piggott




Pictures of Photos of Lost Cities

Also Great shots of people animals and more


Few students are motivated to write for an audience of one --
their teacher. By providing a wider yet protected audience, turns students into multimedia authors for a global
community and allows peers to think and learn together.



Enchanted Learning: Earth's Seasons

For elementary students, Enchanted Learning defines the terms
solstice and equinox, and explains why we have four seasons.
To complete the topic, there are variety of printable worksheets
including an Earth's Seasons Quiz, a Seasons Word Pieces
Puzzle, and a Label Me! Four Seasons Printout. Related topics,
such as the Seasons Theme Pages (chock full of craft ideas) and The Planets, are just a click away.


Liverpool Museums: Sunbeams & Sundials

With illustrations and animations, this online exhibit from the
Liverpool Museums explains how the tilt of the Earth's axis
causes the Earth's four seasons, and how a sundial works.
Don't miss the SunTracker, an applet that illustrates the sun's
path on any day, in any location. Along the way there are quiz
questions to answer, experiments to try and a sundial to make,
so there's plenty to do. Words marked in red are glossary words.
Click on them to see their meaning.

NASA's KSNN: Why Are There Seasons?

The Earth spins on a tilted axis about once every 24 hours
to create what we know as day and night. This axis is an invisible
line through the centre of the Earth. The northern point is the
North Pole and the southern point is the South Pole. Best
clicks at the Kids Science News Network (KSNN) site for grades
K-2, are the activities page (two classroom projects about seasons)
and an animated video about why the weather changes from
one season to the next.



Hi Cathy

Funny you should mention TED I discovered it a couple of weeks ago

after 3 tips on the same day to watch Sir Ken Robinson - excellent

Does Education Kill Creativity?


There is a link in my blog (edublogs offline at the moment)

You will also like The Book (same blog) if you haven't already seen it.





The poemhunter link opened up a window I would rather not have
opened. Just thought you would like to know.

There are some adds on this site - but it is a great

site for poetry.  I didn't find any of the content to tricky.


Hi Cathy

I love your newsletter and look forward to the content and how
many new sites I can check out.

I had a look at

recommended by Gary Bass but found

that you have to have an invite to use it.
Can Gary shed some more light or send an invitation to join?


Vicki McCarthy

IT Manager

Port Noarlunga Primary School

South Australia


Hi Cathy,

I’ve just been appointed ICT coordinator for our primary school
in Ballarat. I want to integrate ICT into the curriculum, getting
the students involved as much as possible. To this end I would
love the students to be able to publish work on the internet or
else make up a school intranet. But I want the students to
use the web editor themselves, even kids in the junior grades.
Is there a good one that’s kid friendly?

Some leads I have are Web Blender

 or Coffee Cup

 or Hot Dog Junior

 and finally Web Dwarf

Other schools must be doing this. What do you use and would you recommend it?

I saw a demonstration of a teacher-created story-publishing
software called “2create a story” published by 2 Simple Software
based in Geelong
This appeared very child-friendly (and thus teacher-friendly).
Has anyone used it or can recommend it?

Love the newsletter,

Calvin Tromp

Black Hill Primary

What do you all think - if you have had any experience with
these programs please write in. Quite frankly, I just use whatever
web editor is already loaded on the machines to start with.  Most
programs, even word, allow you convert to html, even if it
isn't great. I like to use GoLive even for primary, and the macromedia
products like flash are also easier to use than they used to be.
Student pick up these quicker than we do, and there are plenty
of tutorials with the programs as well as online.  I always believe
in sticking to professional programs rather than buying something
designed specifically for schools.  In addition to this there are
a lot of online sites for web building.  Blogging is also another quick


Hi Kathy

As I browsed through the budget I couldn't help but notice that
the government does not have a plan of action to entice people
back to the teaching profession or to keep current teachers! 
As for performance based incentives and rewards - can this
really be fairly implemented?  No doubt some teachers are
better than others but none of us choose all our students and
very often we are required to teach courses that are not our
first preferences. How can the government assess the
performance of every teacher in every school across Australia? 
It just doesn't sound reasonable to me. Teachers are leaving in
droves yet nothing is done to improve pay or conditions.
Most of the student teachers who visit our school are females,
we've probably had three males in the last 8 years.


Teachers currently in the profession must do everything
they can to improve the lot of tomorrow's teachers.  My son
began a teaching degree in 2005 and without any exceptions
each time I told a teaching colleague of his choice their
response was unenthusiastic and far from encouraging,
this was not because my son would make a poor teacher
it was because they saw no future for him. Friends not in
teaching smiled blankly and asked, "Why would he do that?" 
It would appear that he worked this out for himself because
after completing and passing his first year he changed
courses, stating that teaching just didn't cut it in the
long term.  What a pity.



Julie Pienaar

What do you all think about this one.  I believe teaching is one of
the most important jobs one can do, but I think there is
to much rubbish in the job. To much paperwork, testing
etc, taking the focus away from the most important task.
Teacher's and students should have more fun, and concentrate
on job of  guiding and developing our children into great adults.


Our free website targets people who are interested in learning
foreign languages, such as Spanish, German or English (ESL).
During the past year we have added many features to
Vocabulix, such as audio pronunciation and lessons with visuals.

Presently we are welcoming 40,000 users monthly.

Mark Guggenheim


Zurich, Switzerland


10.  NEXT ISSUE -  Your comments on the new Online reporting
program and also love some feedback on the Babylon 5 site.




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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