Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 51  June 7th 2002 – GETTING ATTENTION




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1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo -Maps

4. New Printables -  Cartridge Collection, FREE EMAIL, EDUTECH

6. Web Site Focus – National Geographic


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips



HEY! pay attention.

This is the REAL DEAL.

I don't just send VT to anyone, you know.

If you read VT you know how important computers are in education,

you know that you need to be a competent confident user yourself to

educate your students, you know that you need to keep up-to-date

with all the trends and changes in ICT.

In SHORT................................

You've got to be pretty COOL to receive this VT!

There you go a new beginning, a bit of hype, different from the usual

beginning, more importantly DID IT GET YOUR attention?? I guess I

am taking a leaf out of my own book.  Responding to some rather dreary biography/autobiography writing from some 5/6 classes; I regaled them

with a few of my expectations:-

"It is your responsibility to come to school an learn something new,

hopefully a number of "something news, everyday, to think, to be original,

to be inventive and creative.  What I don't expect is the same old material

everybody already knows, write something new about yourself or your

friend, reveal a secret fantasy, unveil a funny story, I don't need

you to write about things you consider private, just make your

biographies, autobiographies interesting, include things YOU

would like to read about, THAT ARE NEW.  Write your information

in a creative interesting novel fashion, get your audiences attention.

I guess a pep talk mid year is always a good thing to do.

SO000 did mine work - was it inventive enough to get you interested???



"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me

at kick boxing." -Emo Philips


Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.

- Albert Einstein


If you made the system foolproof you discover that everybody

has suddenly become geniuses.

Some great library humour at this site including the -

Announcing the New Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge

Device, Otherwise Known as the BOOK!


3. WWWinfo

Create a map - here's a great tool - introduces students to various

sorts of maps and mapping terminology - create any map you like,

it is downloadable.



As promised PowerPoint – here are a series of lessons to

get you started on PowerPoint, they are in .pdf format, so

download and print them out



Recycle your used printer and fax cartridges and toners, recycle

and reduce as well as make some money.

This is a great deal check out eff Harper’s

JKH Brokers

Cartridge Collection at:-


Microsoft Announces First XP Service Pack

Posted May 24, 2002 05:33 Pacific Time

Copyright 2002 InfoWorld Media Group Inc.


On Friday MICROSOFT announced it will release the beta

of its first service pack for Windows XP later this month that

contains a wide assortment of new bug fixes and features, as

well as the first changes that bring the operating system into

compliance with the government's consent decree.


Some of the technical fixes in the new OS update are patches

developed out of the company's ongoing Trustworthy Computing

Initiative and are intended to plug security holes in the product.

Microsoft will continue to add other security fixes to the beta

version right up until it ships, company officials said.

Read about it at:-


Free online mail;

For those who asked about reliable online mail sites, here are a few:-


Hi Cathy,

Please allow me to introduce myself as Ryan Percy, Event Manager for

Australia's largest learning technology exhibition for education & training

- Edutech.

Wanted to drop you a line to congratulate you on this great resource and

ask if you would like to be involved at Edutech in any way from Sunday 11

to Tuesday 13 August at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and see if you

could list it with the other events.  Would love to have you involved

through way of 'champion' presentation or demonstrations in Education

Online so to promote the work you do with Virtual Teacher so that many of

your subscribers can put a face to your name.

Not sure how much you know about the event, who's involved and what will be

happening, but I will give you a short run down.



We will have over 100 exhibitors, with household names (HP, Apple,

Microsoft, Edsoft, Corel, Macromedia, Electroboard, Computelec, Acer, WebCT

and Citrix) coming back and joining the eLearning providers (myinternet,

Impaq, NETg, The Gale Group) and software manufacturers (Dataworks, Eureka

M'media) all with the purpose of demonstrating how their learning

technologies can enhance teaching and learning outcomes in the curriculum.



The Victorian education & training community have really taken ownership of

Edutech that has seen VITTA, ICTEV, SLAV, IARTV, ASET, TEAV, ATOM,

Department of Education & Training, AIMIA, EdNA, RoboCup Junior, eLearning

Consortium, Innovation & Excellence Network and Australian Computer Society

(ICDL) all getting involved in the events activities.  As a result of this

support and involvement, we are now in a position (as one group) to lead

and promote ICT implementation in education & training.



Further to our exhibition, an Advisory Board of Victorian leading ICT

educators have put together a PD Program of 14 keynote presentations, 22

computer workshops, 48 'champion' presentations and unlimited demonstrat 

ions.  The theme of the program is "Developing & using digital content in

the curriculum" with an objective of demonstrating benchmark (but

'reality') implementation of ICT/LT practices in the curriculum.


We will have teachers teaching teachers in our 90 minute hands on workshops

and subject/professional associations and schools are inviting their

'champion' teachers to inform others of how they have implemented ICT in

their schools/institutions.


On recommendation from the Advisory Board, we are having a 'Super Sunday'

of free keynote presentations, competitions, prizes and entertainment in an

attempt to attract more 'migrant users' to attend what has traditionally

been a supposed decision maker/IT purchaser trade event.  With Di Fleming

kicking off the event with an inspirational address, it should be a

wonderful first day.


Further to this, we will have heaps of Flexible Learning Week activities

(TAFE Frontiers/TAFE VC) and Brian Thomas (RoboCup) doing free 3 hour

workshops daily with 75 lucky science/technology teachers with a grand

finale RoboCup teacher soccer competition to be held on Tuesday afternoon.



Probably the most exciting part of my job has been building 4 feature areas

and 2 computer labs that will see just under 80 notebooks being connected

to a wireless network for all visitors to just sit down and play with.


Kerrie Smith and Kate Dibben are coming over from EdNA to facilitate our

Education Online feature area, where any educator can sit down on 14 iMacs

and get some help finding digital content to put into their curriculum.

Jean Steiner from Edsoft will be bringing along all their software titles

and 7 major manufacturers to demonstrate and help visitors trial them and

ask questions on how they can use them in their curriculum.

HP (notebooks), Electroboard (SmartBoards), Ipex (videoconferencing),

Histar Invotek Group (wireless network) and Sebel (furniture) have provided

equipment to create The Reality Room where we will be in the position to

demonstrate all Intranet solutions live and a range of eLearning and

software applications.

TAFE Frontiers and TAFE VC have joined forces to create a VET Online

feature Internet Cafe exhibit to provide all the required information on

their products/services for the VET sector.  Their are also taking it one

step further by promoting Edutech to all RTO, TAFE, University, CAE and

ACFE educators, allowing these visitors to network with those from primary

& secondary education.


Must get back to work now, but please consider getting involved as you will

be more than welcomed.  I have attached a heap of information to give you a

first hand glimpse of the PD Program and event activities.

Warm regards,

Ryan Percy




Bob Carr's 1.3bil IT initiative

The new IT Initiative is great news. However the money needs

to be spent quite differently to past expenditure.  Write to Bob

Carr and tell him your thoughts – if a lots of folk give input maybe

we will get the best sort of IT possible.  Here are a few of my thoughts.


1. You need to employ educators who are both teachers and IT

literate, and who have a handle on the pulse of IT education.

2. The HELPLINE actually needs to provide help. Phone calls

made to this line need to be meet with a person who CAN answer

IT questions.

3. You need to set up a computer  'HIT' team for each region –

who can go to a school on a regular basis and fix computer problems

on site.  These folk could also fix other technology hardware languishing in

storerooms unused like overhead projectors, video cameras etc. 

The waste and down time for these things is huge and the

expenditure on new items to replace them is huge.  This would

save a great deal out of the schools annual budget; freeing money

up for other much needed resources.

4. Teachers need inservice training onsite in classes.  Current

Technology co-coordinators for regions are rarely seen in the

classrooms and often do not have teaching qualifications. 

Teachers need to be able to work with an IT expert to plan,

their program, to watch and develop classroom skills with computers. 

In the Short term a person per school should be available to that

school once a week.  This would lift IT skills immeasurably. 

(I have given seminars, advice, I write a newsletter, I troubleshoot,

but I have found the most effective method of getting IT kick-started

is to show teachers how to in their classroom with their kids)

5. The Internet connections to schools need to be improved and

become reliable.  The DET intranet needs to be removed from

direct Internet connections to schools so that schools are connected

directly to the Internet not via the intranet.

6. Schools need assistance with improving and setting up their

networking within the school.

7. The department needs to sign agreements with software

distributors across the board to reduce the cost of software to

schools. Programs like SchoolKit should be considered as

outright buys for all schools.

8. Replace Oasis – a DOS based program with an up-to-date

system run from windows with an interface that that is user friendly.


These are just a few points to be considered if the 1.3 Billion

is to be spent effectively in schools current spending has been

wasteful and inefficient as well as frustrating for teachers.  Just

purchasing additional hardware won’t work.



National Geographic Magazine


View Sites & Sounds, a multimedia special, and listen as Author Tom

Allen takes you back to the days leading up to the Normandy invasion.

Or, learn about public lands of the United States, and experience

breathtaking photos, games and activities


National Geographic - Beyond the movie site - right now it's

 Lord of the Rings and pearl Harbour - truly excellent


7. PowerPoint

This is a great site on its own – the direct link to the online

Powerpoint Tutorial is

There are lots of other tutorials on this page too.

Hi Cathy,

Loved your newsletter. Lots of good stuff there.

re Power point I have a couple of links to powerpoint

(one from Bryn Jones) on

Had a look at my site lately? We should swap links to further

our search rankings


Jenny Campbell

Teacher librarian/now web page designer

More on PowerPoint next newsletter.



Science Myths in K-6 textbooks


Maths Webquests



Cool Game Vector Beam Splitter - there are 28 levels - I'm up

to level 20. Let me know how you go.

Basic aim: use the tools provided to fire the laser beam at the light bulb.

The early levels are quite basic - if you get past level 22 you're doing

pretty darn well!

You can find 'Reflections' here:


Here's a great Kids site for preschoolers to year 2 - It has over

2,000Kids song lyrics with finger plays themes etc - a great resource.


Check this site for the Specific Gravity of  many more materials.

Grade Level: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, High School,

College, Adult/Professional

Content Area: History & Social Studies (Geography &

Cultures/General)[Dewey #900], Science (Life Science/Environmental

Studies), Arts (General)

Application Type: Resource, Lesson, Activity




A friend of mine is interested in obtaining email penfriends for

their class (something I have thought about also). Can you suggest

any sights to find other classes. My friend teaches year 6 and I teach year 2.

Thanks for the great info you put into your newsletters. I also have

a suggested site for you to look at it puts into perspective the

From Fiona,

 Hi Fiona, the best place for epals is

This is great site that allows you to monitor all incoming and outgoing emails.


HI Cathy,

It's Fiona here....

I can't send any as an they wouldn't work. 

MS Agents are the characters that like "help" windows etc.

If you search the net for them...their are heaps of characters... 

I use "peedy" a little bird. However there is Merlin, Santa, Plany, etc...

You actually teach the children a version of simple scripting....

You type it in the notes section of a power point...However you

must first download, an empty template...Narrator version....then

the voice and language of the character...The down side is it only

 works then on machines that have this info on it.  Networks okay. 

Doing them on laptops are easiest for portability...then we attach

them to the school's data projector or averkey to display on a TV. 

Kids love it!

Kind regards,

Fiona Cole.


Hi there!

Just thought you might like to add this link:

to your page; there's a quadratic equation quiz, amongst other things.

Have a look, and link to it if you like it!

Andrew McCafferty (UK)

Great site I have added it my maths page.


I don't know if it fits in with your stuff but here goes:

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute is conducting

a competition for NSW school students from K-8 to grow

crystals. Details can be found at



Thanks Sonia this is a wonderful idea, and the materials are

available to order – well done.


Daphne may find this list of links from Education World useful-

and these games and puzzle sites -

-this is a great site easy and simple to use

A search of ESL/EFL sites may also provide appropriate lessons and interactive games.

Another great way to use technology is simply to have

students publish their work electronically (word processor,

PowerPoint presentations, web pages, create e-books, etc).



Thanks  Sonia



It was really nice getting an online thank you for the interactive

websites I'd submitted.  Tell Daphne to check out the site listed

below.  After one signs up for a membership it's regularly

delivered to their mailbox.  I joined a while ago and have found

each issue is full of lessons and information.  Hoping this helps!  

Nancy S-G


Dear Cathy,

I emailed a request for any sites that list open-ended maths

activities for Stage 1 students (lower primary) a few weeks ago

and have been eagerly awaiting some news via your newsletter.

Perhaps my initial email didn't reach you. I know there are lots of

great links to maths educational sites through your site, but so far

I haven't found much on open-ended activities. Do you know of any

sites that may help?

PS. I think your newsletter is great and have encouraged lots of my

colleagues and friends to join. What an excellent way to share ideas

and expertise!

Thanks, Sonia.

Any Ideas for Sonia????


10.  NEXT ISSUE – More on PowerPoint.  Also a look at questioning

techniques and a look at teaching marketing skills. Have a good

long weekend.



-  - - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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