Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 59  October 18th 2002 – AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo 4 year Olds Shoot Great Pictures

4. New Printables -  Excel  Age in years and Months

5. Technical Stuff – Handwriting Plus K-6

6. Web Site Focus – Real Life Maths

7. Digital Movies

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips



1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo

4. New Printables -  Inspiration Digital Portfolios

5. Technical Stuff –  Free Downloads

6. Web Site Focus – Digital Photography 2

7. Excel Formulas

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE I have been considering for a time

the lack of wonder hope and enthusiasm in many pupils today

and the preoccupation our society seems to have with, child

welfare, bullying, retirement, insurance, etc.  We seem to be

spending more and more time and energy on protection,

insurance and education against every conceivable negative

possibility.  Where is the education and time for the wonderful,

the marvelous, for considering the all the fantastic possibilities,

for thinking and doing what we really enjoy. For every lesson on

bullying and anti-smoking, on drugs and child protection, twice

as much time should be dedicated to lessons on the wonderful

things, the marvelous ideas, spending time and energy considering

what is really important to us and what we love to do; and doing it.




Using Our Strengths To Cultivate Happiness

In his new book, Authentic Happiness, psychologist Martin

Seligman says that the field of psychology has placed too

much emphasis on relieving people's miseries, as opposed

to building up the strengths, such as humor, originality and

generosity, which can make us happier people.


"In the path of our happiness shall we find the learning for which

we have chosen this lifetime."

ILLUSIONS - The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah - Richard Bach


As a new school Principal, Mr. Mitchell was checking over

his school on the first day.  Passing the stockroom, he was

startled to see the door wide open and teachers bustling in

and out, carrying off books and supplies in preparation for

the arrival of students the next day.


The school where he had been a Principal the previous year

had used a check-out system only slightly less elaborate

than that at Fort Knox.


Cautiously, he asked the school's long time Custodian, "Do

you think it's wise to keep the stock room unlocked and to

let the teachers take things without requisitions?"


The Custodian looked at him gravely.  "We trust them with

the children, don't we?"


"Few people realize that Shakespeare once studied law. The

original working title of KING LEAR was actually, Estate

Planning: A Trouble-Shooting Guide for the Wealthy Land

Owner." -Brenda Pontiff



New research shows that, contrary to popular belief, children as young as four years old show a remarkable aptitude for photography and are perfectly capable of framing a portrait shot



The new Inspiration 7 is a true INSPIRATION.  the program is

magnificent and is suitable for middle to upper primary users

right through High School, and onto Tertiary as well as Teachers

programming.  Here is a start point for the development of a digital

portfolio using this tool.  Take a look, this promises to be a time

saver for teachers in the digital portfolio stakes.



Graphics manipulation freeware next term.

Photoplus -

has layers, opacity, cropping and most of the other features

one would need for making webpage graphics and digital

compositing. Gimp which is also free and you can get it from

Free Tools

There is a photo manipulation program, a drawing program and a 3D

animation program. They are free.


Frontpage tutorials


Conference Listings From the SchoolDaily

9th National Conference of the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented


Date : Sunday, 20 October 2002

Venue : Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia

15th Biennial World Conference for Gifted Education

Date : Friday, 01 August 2003

Venue : Convention  Centre, Adelaide, Australia


2002 ASCD Teaching & Learning Conference: Instructional and Leadership Practices That Work

Date : Friday, 11 October 2002

Venue : Hyatt Regency Superdome, New Orleans, USA


VETnetwork Australia National Conference 2002 - 'Enterprising People and Partnerships: vocational education and careers for a changing world'

Date : Wednesday, 23 October 2002

Venue : Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia


Our Children of the Future 3

Date : Thursday, 01 May 2003

Venue : Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia


Hi Cathy

Thought you may find this of interest for your newsletter.

Absorb Mathematics Online  (FREE)

Crocodile Clips has just started a special offer for Absorb Mathematics. This would be most suitable for High School years 7 -10.

Anyone can use the full course live on their website by simply logging in. 


The license is strictly only for using the files from their website, not

for downloading in any way, the media based program is available from Edsoft.  The link to the page on the Crocodile Clips website, is,

 - the registration is linked  from there. 

Linda Zugai

Edsoft Pty Ltd>


6. WEBSITE FOCUS -Digital Photography Part 2

Making your Own Movie with IMovie

So you’ve fiddled around a bit with your new digital camera and

with IMovie, now for some serious filmmaking.  Although many folk

like to just go out and shoot, planning is essential to good video

making. And saves a lot of time.  Think about the intended audience,

the message, the ‘hook’ for the video.


To start with set the parameters, I suggest a 3 minute movie. 

Choose a topic you are familiar with, want to explore.

  1. Then WRITE a script. Check out the sample shooting script pages and also tips at this site:-
  2. Make a Story board. Here is a template that might help

  1. Start the camera rolling, count to 3 in your head before beginning the

          action, leave the camera rolling for 3 secs after action has finished.

  1. Close-ups(CU) and extreme close-ups(ECU) are excellent visuals for videos. They also provide good cutaways if there is a problem.
  2. Avoid panning and zooming in, they should be used rarely for a specific purpose.
  3. Use the bubble on your tripod to level your camera, shoot as much as possible using the tripod.
  4. Camera sound may not be too clear, due to background noise, distance from the camera or soft voices. A Voice over or, dubbing over the top of the images in editing can often solve this problem. Another solution is to use a ‘broom’ microphone – plug a microphone into your camera, tape it with strong tape – ‘gaffer’ tape to a broom handle, and have a ‘broom operator’ position it as close as possible to the actors – without it appearing in shot.


Enough for now – go forth and enjoy.


7. EXCEL - Formulas

Formulas ( )

"Excel is often used tomanage employee time records: number of

hours worked, meal breaks, regular and overtime pay and so on.

This web page examines a number of related formulas for a simple daily timekeeping record."


( ) "This workbook makes

it easy for an employee to track his or her daily work hours. The employee

simply enters the times, and the formulas calculate the hours. It even tracks

overtime hours on a weekly basis (set up as 40 hours, but easily modified).

Free Download You can get a copy of this file (which is unprotected, and

also includes access to the VBA source code)."

Or, contact:



Kids' Health from the BBC - Once again a very informative site from this mob.

Covers the functions of different parts of the body with a brief guide, also covers aspects of looking after your body including smoking drinking and drugs, excercise and healthy diet.


Paper Airplanes



Top toppo site - get into Giggle Poetry.  Great way to start the term

with a crazy peom from this one. Fantastic Resource




Dear Cathy,

I thought I'd see what you could offer me in the way of sites for Self-esteem activities....any suggestions?


Deb H.

Deb H.


Children need opportunities to do well, and to evaluate themselves

so that they KNOW they are doing well.

Here’s a couple of sites on VT that might help. Give up  on the

Self Esteem lessons – it can’t be taught, it comes from accomplishment.

Evaluation what Good is IT.




I use quite a few programs from this site, it certainly would be worth

putting the address in the newsletter.


Daniel Drury

 The Pricelessware List reflects the programs favored by members

of the newsgroup <>alt.comp.freeware ; it is

not an exhaustive list of the best available Freeware. Most of the

listings are well-known programs, but there are some hard-to-find

goodies to be discovered. Although most categories will list only 1

or 2 selections, a few will list 3-4 programs.


Some of the detailed information for each program includes special

notations. These indicate a specific issue with the program. It could

be that the program is a LIGHT version, that the program requires

registration before download or that the program suggested is the

last Freeware version available.


The list is reviewed regularly for updated versions. New programs

are sometimes added during the year. The list as a whole is

reviewed once a year.


Hi Cathy

My school is looking at revamping its Daily Fitness Program K-6.

I was wondering if you, or anyone else, had any resource suggestions.

Ron Adams


Here is a useful site full of links.

Most fitness programs I have been involved in have been for 20 mins a

day - all teachers and extra folk(like ESL, willing parents, etc) take a

group.  The children rotate through the activities, each teacher then

only prepares one activity(or series of activities around a similar theme)

which may last for the term.  Some very cool activities I have seen are:-

Jump Rope with music.

Tai Chi and Yoga(Teacher's interest area)

Jive Dance Steps

and of course Aerobics to very cool music


I'll put your request in the nest newsletter.




Hi Cathy!

I am a first year Education student at Edith Cowan University, I am

currently completing the first ICT Unit for my course and part of the

requirement is to develop a webpage..about the unit and ICT topic

in general.  I was hoping that you would give your permission for

me to 'borrow' your virtual teacher logo on your directory page and

link to your website.  ( I will of course send in the URL of the

finished product once it is up!).  I subscribe to your newsletter and

have found it excellent for preparing my lessons and doing my

assignments and I want everyone at Uni to subscribe as well,

so what better way to get some advertising going!

Let me know its OK!




Permission granted.





Hi Cathy,

I'm not a teacher, although I am married to one and I administer computing

resources for a large primary school. I've been spreading the word amongst

my teaching collegues about your newsletter and website and links to both

appear high on the list in the "Resources for Teachers" page on our local

intranet site.


I just wanted to comment on your article on Video editing.  Windows XP now

includes video editing software (Movie Maker) as part of the operating

system.  We've been using it with Year 6 and 7 students.  The former

produced their own 30sec commercials, the later edited their own "The Panel"

style interview show as followup to a school trip to Canberra and the snow

fields.  The point that I wanted to make is that Movie Maker is as easy to

use as iMovie and as it is part of the OS is technically free. Also, the

cost of buying a PC are much cheaper than buying a Mac. This is one of the

reasons my school is moving from Macs to PCs.


Of course the issue is downloading video to hard disk. As you probably know

Firewire is not standard on PCs but a firewire card can be installed on a PC

for between $60 - $100.  At my school we have one firewire enabled PC.  From

this machine, videos are downloaded and transferred to a shared network

drive. Students can then access the material from there.


Enjoy your holidays and thanks for the great material.  I always look

forward receiving it and passing it on.


Susan Cokley


 Hi Cathy

Just wanted to add a few comments about digital video.  Yes,

Macs are great to use with iMovie.  However, it's just as easy,

in fact, almost more so, on a PC. Our school is a Mac school,

so we use iMovie, but at home, and at my previous school,

we use our PC for all digital video editing.

There is lots of cheap, easy to use software around that works

just as effectively as iMovie. You can compress your files within

the software, into mpeg format which makes them quite small in

file size. 

I'm not sure if you want to mention particular software packages,

but there are lots available. You will need a firewire card, and

most come with free software anyway, which is usually plenty to

get you started.



Sue Lemmer

Assistant Principal, Middle School

Mawson Lakes School


10.  NEXT ISSUE – Thanks for the PC input about digital editing. 

Macs are the industry standard professionally for editing and if you

have an option I would recommend them for editing over PCs. 

Next week digital portfolios with Inspiration 7.


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