Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 154 December 2nd, 2007 - CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER !


1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo - VT Christmas

4. New Printables -  Christmas Stars

5. Technical Stuff - Ultra Slim Notebook

6. Web Site Focus - Alice in Wonderland

7. Cathy's Forum - Resilience

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. This week one of my good friends
had a tricky situation involving her son. A situation which was
unpleasant, unreasonable and out of her hands which was
frustrating as well as upsetting.  Her son was very upset and
couldn't understand. What do you do, what do you say to you
children when things are just not fair, tough and unpleasant?
You give them resilience. the ability to overcome adversity
by taking charge, by using empathy, through discussion.

Educating resilient students who can overcome adversity,
who have some idea of the thinking and steps to take when
life throws a spanner in their lives is important.

With the teenage years becoming more and more difficult
to navigate, resilience is the master plan to reduce teenage
suicide, dangerous behaviour, depression and drug abuse.
Resilience is important through the Christmas period,
notorious for it's emotional highs and lows. Do the test - read
some of the articles below, and let me know your thoughts.

Alice was a most resilient child, she began by falling down
a rabbit hole, and then was confounded by al manner of
disconcerting occurrences, like disembodied smiles, drug
embedded cookies and ridiculous hats. Spend some of
the silly last three weeks of term revisiting widely
fantastic tale of Alice in Wonderland.

Have a great fortnight. ciao Cathy
Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than
when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.
Laurens van der Post, explorer and writer (1906-1996)
Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'
--  Jedi Master Yoda

Quotes from Alice in Wonderland

The Mock Turtle:

We called him Tortoise because he taught us.


The Mock Turtle:

Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and

then the different branches of arithmetic -- Ambition,

Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.


Alice and the Caterpillar: 

Caterpillar: Who are YOU?

Alice: This was not an encouraging opening for a

conversation. I -- I hardly know, sir, just at present

-- at least I know who I was when I got up this morning,

but I think I must have been changed several times since then.


3. WWWinfo on Christmas

Christmas links from VT



Christmas links from VT

Christmas Stars



Apple Ultra Slim notebook on the Way



Writing under the pen name Lewis Carroll, Charles
Lutwidge Dodgson (1832 ˆ 1898) wrote two children's
books filled with nonsense and make-believe that have
been enjoyed around the world for more than a century:
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and its sequel
"Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There."
This rich Fantasy world is just the ticket for bit of pre-Christmas
fun, where nothing is impossible, and Alice certainly had to be resilient.,
especially after falling down a whole right at the start.

Alice in Wonderland: An Interactive Adventure

"Curiouser and curiouser the prose it did seem,
As day became night and the moon it did beam.
I huddled 'neath covers as white as the snow,
And my love for this tome did continue to grow."
Ruth Ann Zaroff shares her love of Alice with a terrific
collection of custom games and activities. Read her
"Ode on Alice," paint the roses red, watch the Cheshire cat
disappear, play chess with the Red Queen and more.
Get some advice from a caterpiller.

Feel Good Anyway: Alice in Wonderland

This fun animation was created to promote J. Otto Seibold's
"Alice in Wonderland " pop-up book. Each scene
has hidden hot spots and features, so be sure to mouse
around each one before clicking on the arrow that turns the
virtual pages. Can you make Alice grow, disappear the
Cheshire cat, or discover what Alice is thinking at
the Mad Hatter's tea party?

Lenny's Alice in Wonderland Site

Alice in Wonderland is a great nonsense story, but as it was
written for British readers of another century, it is necessary
to know the background of the story if you want to fully enjoy it.

Download the Whole Book

GradeSaver: Alice in Wonderland
The central theme of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' is
Alice's struggle to adapt to the rules of this new world;
metaphorically, it is Alice's struggle to adapt to the strange
rules and behaviours of adults." Although parts of this study
guide are available only to paying members, there is free
access to much of it. Visit for a short Lewis Carroll
biography, a character list, a discussion of major themes
(such as Growth into Adulthood, and Language/ Logic/Illogic),
and a chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis.


Resilient. A quality conveyed through feelings, thoughts, and
behaviors that facilitates the ability to overcome adversity.

What should teacher's be? For too long the concept has been
that we be role models for our students, I have never liked this idea.
I much prefer just being me, the presumption that I am inadequate
and must pretend to be something I am not is, well, offensive, and
kids pick pretenders very quickly.  Teacher's are human beings,
we all have our fantastic bits and our, well, were working on those
bits, bits.  AND this is absolutely the best model for our students.

We're not always right, we don't always know the best methods,
we don't always have the answers.  When dealing with problems,
mistakes and disasters, we can provide a resilient methodology,
that will provide a model for our students.

How we deal with adversity is not to deny it or punish it, but to
empathise, to discuss, to strength, taking responsibility, problem
solving, decision making, taking charge and taking action.
This is invaluable to our students, especially their teenage years
which seem to be becoming increasingly tricky with each

Do we spend enough time working with our students on
their problems, disasters, and mistakes, or are the just glossed
over in our efforts to get through the curriculum?

Research has shown that resilience is the most important
quality our students can have. Allowing them to
handle any challenge. Asked what was most important
in life kids, you might say happiness, health, success,
friendship, love, and a career they loved. You can’t give
kids these things, you can help them develop the trait
that is the key to attaining them: resilience

What is more important, curriculum content or the resilence?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts. Does it Matter?
It sure does.

Take the resilience test

Risk, Resilience and Futurists

Changing the lives of our kids.

Why We Must Stop Fixing Our Children




Science Daily

The New Virtual Reality Human-Interface Engineers Create
Virtual-Reality Experience by Letting Users Walk in Rotating Sphere

Visible Proof - Forensic views of the body - Video of actual autopsies
quite amazing but not for the faint hearted.


Hi Cathy

 Thanks for VT153...i did begin to wonder what you were up to!

I put it down to the holiday effect..and maybe a better offer.

Did you see the Apple ultra sub notebook is expected in january?

Stay tuned for january at MacWorld in SF.

Latest thing 'down here' is a virtual interactive whiteboard device - CAPAX 

Sits on the data projector, connected to computer by USB, connected to the

screen by radio...can walk up to any wall(!) which acts as an interactive

whiteboard and can step back ( up to 10 metres) and control the screen from

the back of the room, or hall...

Around $800 works with any projector and any computer

Makes the $2000 for IWB, plus installation seem very expensive!!



Vested interest declaration, we (Connecting Point) sell the

things....available from Cider House (a melbourne Mac solutions company)

Thanks for the comments Gary. I knew the projector was the way to go
portable and more realistic in price and application, I still want
to see non text book use of this media.

Hi Cathy,

I look forward to receiving your newsletter each fortnight. 

This term, I have been trying to find a gif animator which
is free and works on Mac OS X.

There are plenty of trial versions for Windows, but none
that I can find for Mac.

Have you or any other VT readers any ideas for me? 

I have started my kids working on a

simple xmas gif art of their own using graphics tablets,
saved all the pics, but have not found an animator
program to put it all together.

I would appreciate any help you could give me.



Can anyone help?

Hello Cathy

Thanks for the very informative VT newsletter. It's really helpful

with so many things.

Just wondering if any of your readers have had trouble with losing

their voice and what they did about it. I've been teaching for about

25 years now, and I recently caught a virus which has affected my

voice to the point I have resigned from my job. (This is not a

sympathy getter.) Is this a regular occurrence amongst teachers? What

advice can be given to other teachers to protect this valuable skill

of communication?


Henry Tung

Yes, I think we all get this from time to time, I found camomile tea
helpful, and also reducing the amount of teacher talk, particularly
at volume.  I find getting the students to take over some of the
regular instructional chat just fantastic.


10.  NEXT ISSUE - What are you all doing for Christmas and the
holidays - I'm still trying to decide - any great ideas out there?


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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