Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 149 - YIPEEEE




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables - THE FABLE
5. Technical Stuff - FREE WIKIS

6. Web Site Focus - PODCASTING


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips



It's Science week this week, if you miss it, don't worry, just get
involved in Science week at a more convenient time, somewhere
else in the world, like Ireland. I love the Internet. When I first started
out with it, I wondered how it fitted in to teaching, then came webquests,
and now there are so many ways it's amazing, podcasting is brilliant,
and all aimed at user generated content. I know I do harp, and
collaborative learning, and through this, we generate student
engagement, obviously.  Students have always thought they knew
it all, and know they can actually prove it.  I say, go for it, and
release me from the mind numbing boredom of preparing
content. YIPEEEE.



The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and

industry, "Thus far and no farther." -Ludwig van Beethoven, composer



If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence
everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be
contented to take their own and

depart. -Socrates (469?-399 B.C.)


If you want something really important to be done you must
not merely satisfy the reason, you must move the heart also.
-Mahatma Gandhi



The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other

ages you've been. -Madeleine L'Engle, writer (1918- )


One thousand thank-yous. Wikispaces is an absolutely
fantastic educational resource for schools. Best I have seen.

- Huw Derwentsmith


Your Wikispaces site is great. My class has created information
pages, choose-your-own-adventure stories, sports pages,
book reviews and many more pages. They find the format easy
to use and I am impressed by the security feature available
where I can see who has edited each page."

- Toby Peck


Wikispaces has been a fantastic environment to allow us to
collaborate and share learning. The ease of posting and
editing, adding images and videos has allowed us to do many
things without having to spend hours upon hours on tech issues.
And now the use of the discussion areas for discussing and
evaluating each other's work has added a new dimension
to student creativity.

- Reuven Werber


3. WWWinfo - FAIRFAX Archives  - great resource

Small payment is involved for sections of this resource -
this can represent great value.

World's Largest Newspaper Archive

Again this is a subscription service - so small payment required.


Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something
heroic to meet the problems of "a new world".
So they organised a school.


5. TECHNICAL STUFF           
Wiki is giving away 100,000 free K-12 Plus wikis. That
includes all the features and benefits that normally cost $50/year
- for free. No fine print, no usage limits, no advertising, no catches.

I hope that you'll try a wiki at your school.

You can never be too powerful or too thins.

The new Macs are out, Watch Steve Jobs - this guy is a great



'No longer are we just consumers of information, we are
creators, producers, developers, and collaborators. The Internet
has found its second act, and boy, is it exciting.'

Podcasting - there's  no excuse now - here are all the resources
you will need, let me know who's podcasting and what you are
doing with it.

Podcasting in Education

Tony Vincent's Podcasting

Finding Podcasts

Subscribe to Podcasts

Kidcasts - Dan has some books and some great ideas at
this site. Listen to the interview with Bernie Dodge. Yeh!
the webquest guy.
The definitive step-by-step guide on how to podcast without
breaking the bank.
Podcasts Rubric - What makes a good one
How to Publish your podcast



What's happening out there, what are you doing. This is another
version of user generated content, and collaborative learning.

Is this a threat to teaching as we know it, are you scared about
loosing control? Is this an evil threat to undermine the very
fabric of education?

What do you think? Please share your thoughts.

Does it Matter? It sure does.




Bernie Dodge's original site

Secondary Teacher Technology Toolbox

Storyline - Stories read online by SAG members - love this,
also includes suggested activities.

National Science Week August 18th - 26th 2007


Science Week Ireland 11th - 18th November 2007

Festival of Science York 9-15 September 2007




In response to Sue Piggott

I too have been concerned about the massive switch to Lenovo

 in NSW. Logistically it will be more than a nightmare. My last

school was in Met South west and we had switched over to IBM.

That was just in our area. They had enormous logistical issues

just delivering to one district. Duplicate that to the whole state

and well, just start imagining. Now for pressure? Apparently the

switch to Lenovo was made primarily because they were able to

guarantee hardware consistency for a longer period of time

due to the fact that they allegedly manufacture their own systems

and interface cards. So it will be easier for the dept to create 'images'

of the OS and have them be current for a longer period of time.

This is in contrast to other manufacturers who assembly in

Aus but source their parts from a variety of manufacturers

and in batches. So comparing that scenario to macs - the mac

has a very stable architecture and its reputation for completeness

and total compatibility is legendary. I don't forsee any official pressure,

other than personal bias or ignorance. I've come into a PC school

and have managed to get one mac. So far two teachers have

gone out and bought one after seeing what it could do.!!

Keep up the good work cathy



I guess my question here is - WHY? Why when you have a bullet

proof option like a Mac - do you choose something else? Why

when you have an almost virus free solution do you choose

something else? Why do you spend so much money on 'images'

when they slow the machines down? Why re-invent the wheel

with images - do you really think you know more than the folk

who build the machines? Why do you opt for an option to spend

money on maintenance, instead of initially outlaying a bit more

and reducing the overall cost of providing working computer

solutions to students?


Hi Cathy

I've just read the contributions from Pete Reiter and Lyn.  I too

believe teaching is a worthwhile and rewarding profession.  I was a

mature age Bachelor of Teaching student who studied part-time and worked

full-time. When I finally graduated I decided not to take up the

profession after all.  With a family to support I just wasn't prepared

to go so far backwards financially.  I realise that my income would

improve with a few years teaching under my belt but in the meantime . .

.  It's disappointing that a somewhat junior Australian Public Servant

(APS) doing clerical work could earn as much as and sometimes more than

a new teacher is disturbing when you consider that the APS employee my

be 18 or 19 years old without a tertiary education.

It just seems that too many people still seem to think that all lesson

preparation is done during class time and that teachers get so many

holidays and then take even more time off when the have a

'pupil-free-day'.  This is nowhere near the truth.

When I did my practicums I met so many disillusioned teachers and on one

occasion actually comforted an experienced teacher who was in tears.

She was exhausted. She tried to be the teacher the Department and the

community expected she should be but she'd been running-on-empty for too

long. Yet she was so knowledgeable - her advice to me on teaching issues

was invaluable and her skill with the students was amazing.  How could

it have happened? And how many others have chosen a different career in

the end because of a lack of respect and remuneration for the teaching


Cathy, I enjoy your newsletter and found it very helpful when I was

studying.  I still like to receive VT it helps to keep me in touch with

the world of education.  Thank you. Regards Vicki.


Dear Cathy,

This issue was indeed splendid and your writing about the 'SPLENDID TRUTH'

really gave me a boost. I work with the Quality Framework and one of

the most neglected areas is giving students control over their own

learning with regard to content. I don't think this means giving them

the camera and saying 'Make a movie.' I have to do a lot of learning

about how movies are made and what makes a good movie and share

that with them as they gradually increase in skill and take over.

My K-4 students have been using the digital camera heavily lately. They

took photos of their giant bugs to create a digital story, they took photos

of individual landscapes they are going to paint. At least once during the year

they choose their own topic and presentation method and I just guide the process.

They came to me with great excitement saying "Hey we could make a slide

fashion show or make a movie using the dress up clothes," and I will facilitate

this, focussing on the outcomes I want to highlight.

If anyone would like to discuss what we do please feel free to contact me.

(Note to self....get that website finished!)

Teachers have many reasons for not using technology, but one of the main

blockers would be fear of losing their control of content, especially in

high school. No longer the sage on the stage. My students and I learn

together and it is just great fun.

Thanks to Jill Reading for her response, that site looks great.

Of course I could not get youtube at school.

I would love to share some good sites with you but I never find

much time to browse. I get all my good sites from Virtual Teacher

and, and I'm lucky if I look at half of them,

but the one on Teachertube knocked me out,

Thanks again for the forum,

Sue Piggott

Drinane Public School


Hi Cathy,


A teacher from a neighbouring school passed on an excellent
 scope and sequence for ICT from Crown Street Primary School. 
She thinks she found the scope and sequence in Virtual Teacher
and thought that the school was in Victoria……..

I would like to use the scope and sequence but would like
permission as I will share it with other teachers in NW. Tasmania.


Can you assist?

Regards David


David Thorp

Support Teacher in ICT

Learning Services (NW)

Reece High

Hi David,

I wrote this years ago

Scope and sequence is at
under programming documents.  Sharing is what it is there for.




10.  NEXT ISSUE - VT'S 150TH ISSUE - send me some amazing stuff to celebrate.




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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