Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 63  December  13th  2002 ­ WHO I AM MAKES A DIFFERENCE




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. 3. WWWinfo - Live Traffic Updates from the RTA

4. New Printables -

5. Technical Stuff ­  Apple/Calendar/Holiday Learning

6. Web Site Focus ­ Chinese New Year


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE.  I have attended several ŒSpeech

Nights¹ so far this year as both parent and guest.  The

overwhelming content of the addresses has been on IT.

The growth in this areas is exponential, government and

private school spending has been much greater than in any

other curriculum area and there is no end in sight. There is a

greater need than ever to continuously upgrade and update

computer knowledge in schools at both the individual level and

whole school level.  More inservice time needs to be invested into

IT for 2003.  Interestingly some schools are going further,

they are looking at the change in teaching that is occurring.


Delivery of educational multiple level courses for students is

expanding beyond the school walls.  It is going world-wide.

Online modules, learning environments, webquests are out

there. Some are poor in quality and reflect simply the conversion

of paper based programs to the net, but there are many that

are brilliant, thought provoking, exciting to use, especially when

explored by peers and teachers together. They excite, they

take students beyond the classroom walls, they allow students

to tinker, to test, and they make synapses twitch in all sorts of

useful ways.


Our role as teachers in this environment will change, change for

the better.  We will become facilitators, guides, learners, researchers,

counselors and true mentors, and we will have the time to do this

because of the abundance of quality multi-level programs available online.

The one thing that won't change is the need for high quality teaching,

whatever it's permutation. This brave new educational world will be

very exciting, very challenging and much more fun. I can't wait..........



To follow, a story I like a lot, with a dedication - unusual for VT - to

John G.; a Gentleman and a Friend.




A teacher in New York decided to honour each of her seniors

in high school by telling them the difference they each made.

She called each student to the front of the class, one at a time.

First she told each of them how they had made a difference to

her and the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue

ribbon imprinted with gold letters, which read,

"Who I Am Makes a Difference."


Afterwards the teacher decided to do a class project to see

what kind of impact recognition would have on a community.

She gave each of the students three more ribbons and

instructed them to go out and spread this acknowledgment

ceremony. Then they were to follow up on the results, see

who honoured whom and report back to the class in about

a week.


One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a

nearby company and honoured him for helping him with his

career planning. He gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his

shirt. Then he gave him two extra ribbons and said, "We're

doing a class project on recognition, and we'd like you to

go out find somebody to honour, give them a blue ribbon,

then give them the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge

a third person to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going.

Then please report back to me and tell me what happened."


Later that day the junior executive went in to see his boss,

who had been noted, by the way, as being kind of a grouchy

fellow. He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply

admired him for being a creative genius. The boss seemed

very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would

accept the gift of the blue ribbon and would he give him

permission to put it on him. His surprised boss said,

"Well, sure." The junior executive took the blue ribbon and

placed it right on his boss's jacket above his heart. As he

gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, "Would you do me

a favour? Would you take this extra ribbon and pass it

on by honouring somebody else? The young boy who

first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in school and

we want to keep this recognition ceremony going and find

out how it affects people."


That night the boss came home to his 14-year-old son and

sat him down. He said, "The most incredible thing happened

to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior executives

came in and told me he admired me and gave me a blue ribbon

 for being a creative genius. Imagine. He thinks I'm a creative

genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says:

"Who I Am Makes a Difference, on my jacket above my heart.

He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody

else to honour. As I was driving home tonight, I started

thinking about whom I would honour with this ribbon and I

thought about you. I want to honour you. My days are really

hectic and when I come home I don't pay a lot of attention to

you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough

grades in school and for your bedroom being a mess, but

somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let

you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your

mother, you are the most important person in my life. You're a

great kid and I love you!"


The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn't stop

crying. His whole body shook. He looked up at his father and

said through his tears, "Dad, earlier tonight I sat in my room

and wrote a letter to you and Mom explaining why I had killed

myself and asking you to forgive me. I was going to commit

suicide tonight after you were asleep. I just didn't think that

you cared at all. The letter is upstairs. I don't think I need it

after all." His father walked upstairs and found a heartfelt

letter full of anguish and pain. The envelope was addressed,

"Mom and Dad." The boss went back to work a changed man.

He was no longer a grouch but made sure to let all his employees

know that they made a difference. The junior executive helped

several other young people with career planning and never

forgot to let them know that they made a difference in his life...

one being the boss's son. And the young boy and his classmates

learned a valuable lesson. Who you are DOES make difference.

If you have anyone who means a lot to you, I encourage

you to send him or her this message and let them know.

You never know what kind of difference a little

encouragement can make to a person.


Remember that! I give you a blue ribbon, John G.





3. WWWinfo - Live Traffic Updates from the RTA


4. NEW PRINTABLES - Not printable  - but put it up on your

digital projector and enjoy. Perfect for that tired afternoon

before the end of fourth term - show this.

Great Little Santa Story with animations online full screen



Apple website info Education - Especially for Australia


Conferences and Inservices for 2003


School Dates For Australia


Download the Calendar in Excel or as a doc for 2003 - including

all the years celebrations


Upgrade your computer skills over the holidays online at:-

12 months subscription for an individual course is around

$20.00, and this includes,  accredited testing. for both training

and testing in PC skills. The training material, written to ICDL specifications,

covers seven major modules including word processing, spreadsheets,

presentations, the Internet, plus more. The testing section allows you

to automatically assess your current computer skills. ICDL -

International Computer Driving License.

Software Tutorials


6. WEBSITE FOCUS ­Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year's Day is February 1, 2003. It is Year 4701 by Chinese


For those interested in astrology, it is the year of the Goat (sheep, ram).

Great set of links including printables ,they are excellent, activities, classroom resources and animations.


Cards and Greetings

Chinese New Calendar

The Chinese Calendar

Mathematics and History of the Chinese Calendar

General Links page



Here¹s another great site sent by Nancy.  It is a fantastic site ­ great interface and quite addictive.

Cathy, I've been 'playing' on this site for an hour, and it's great.

Perhaps it might help other teachers with proofreading skills.  Best to

you,  Nancy



HOT SITES wants you to experience the excitement of contemporary

science and technology through online and offline interactivity with

science and technology centers worldwide. Science is exciting, and it's

for everyone! That's why TryScience and over 400 science centers

worldwide invite you to investigate, discover, and try science yourself.

TryScience is brought to you through a partnership between IBM

Corporation, the New York Hall of Science (NYHOS), the Association of

Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), and science centers worldwide. New

interactive content is added regularly to these areas: Adventure

(thematic interactive experiences), Experiments, Field Trips(interactive

science center features, Curious?(polls and activities based on a hot

topic question), and Live Cams.


Astronomy for Kids


Zooweb ­ Great site ­ visit an Australian Zoo over the holidays,

plan for an excursion next year, all the info you need is here.



Hi Cathy,,

I'm sure you'll get lots of replies from people closer to Northam,

but I'm in Harvey .W.A. and am happy for Rosemary to contact

me for info. if she'd like to! Thanks for the great newsletters.



Hi Rosemary,

Perhaps Wendy can help you further.




Hi Cathy,

Can you recommend any particularly good sites for NZ/Aussy

relieving teachers.  Printable sheets are very useful at a variety of levels. 

Thanks for your help. 

Glenda Begg


Hi Glenda,

Check out the VT site for this info:-




Hi Cathy, many thanks for your fantastic site: I work as an advisor to teachers

of ESL students and pass on your newsletter and websites regularly - they love

it as much as I do.  Next year (2003) I am being redeployed to a school as a

classroom teacher and am keen to stay on your mailing list. I hope I will be still able to receive the newsletter at my new address and will definitely start contributing when I have a REAL teaching job again.

Cheers and a happy Christmas,


Lesley Boyd

ESL Teaching & Assessment

Curriculum Services Branch

Tamar House Darwin


Hi Lesley,

I'd love more contributions.  When you are ready to change

email addresses you can unsubscribe

and subscribe again.

Thanks for the positive words.  Have a great Christmas




Cathy, thanks for the hard work and dedication on the newsletter.  It is

great to look forward to receiving it.  Happy Holidays to one and all.

Terrie Rust


Dear Cathy,

Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I very

much appreciate all the work that goes into producing these


John Fairlamb


10.  NEXT ISSUE - Will be January 31st 2003.  Have a

fantastic holiday season. Have as much fun as possible,

figure out what things you enjoy and do them as often

as you can.  A Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season to all,

Give YOURSELF the Blue Ribbon, you all MAKE A DIFFERENCE.




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