Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 66  February28th  ­ BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo Email Safety

4. New Printables ­ ICT Scope and Sequence

5. Technical Stuff ­  Email and ICT Seminars

6. Web Site Focus ­ Leonardo Da Vinci

7. Webquests

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips



"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch.",

If you look, you will find many evil Jabberwocks and nasty

Bandersnatches in this world out to get us, including the

dreaded frumious SPAM on our emails, offering all manner

of weirdo paraphernalia, from the scrofulous through to the

 illegal through to the, cockamamie.  Education Departments

are worried, and feel the need to set up secure and Œsafe¹

systems for students and teachers to use to PROTECT

them from the evils lurking in cyberspace. This is, as Nero

Wolf would say, ŒNincompoopery¹.  Students need to learn to

deal with the real world, special programs developed specifically

for school use, deprive them of learning life skills they WILL need. 

They need to see the dangers, problems, pitfalls and learn to

deal with them.  Every teenager has or will have an email

address, and it certainly won¹t include an .edu  extension.

Just as with child protection education, we need to give our

students the skills to navigate cyberspace successfully, and

use email responsibly, the skills to be aware of the pitfalls

and problems. DO Yahoo mail, DO Hotmail, and then talk

about misuse of emails, inform the students parents and

arm your students with the information they need to deal

with email and online technology effectively and appropriately.

Also a letter to parents about Email.



What makes a great teacher, the ability to:-

To have total control but to let go at the same time.


No matter what happens, there is always somebody around

who knew it would.


If you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.


Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that

something else is more important than fear.


Manager: "For a man with no experience, you are certainly

asking for a high salary."

Applicant: "Well, the work is much harder when you don't

know what you're doing!"


3. WWWinfo Internet and Email Safety



Scope and Sequence for ICT

Scope and sequence updated to include Databases


Year 1-7 Program for computers in learning



Messages to be monitored before going to schools

By Linda Doherty, Education Writer 17th Feb 2003

Students using email in NSW public schools will have Big Brother

Watching over them as the Carr Government evaluates how

the technology is used and how much extra work it requires of teachers.

This story was found at:


Bringing ŒIT¹ to Teachers - Free Road Train with a Difference.

This is an opportunity to talk directly to suppliers, attend software

demonstrations from Edsoft, robotics workshops from

Educational Experience and see the latest audio visual products

from TCP. Enjoy afternoon tea with our compliments,

receive a free showbag and be in the draw to win our major prize

of a Sanyo DVDSL20 DVD player, drawn after the final

session at Bathurst. These special IT sessions will include

presentations and displays from:-

LINDA ZUGAI - EDSOFT: The Primary Session will

include Max¹s Sandbox, Kidspiration, Clicker

4 and the latest product from Crick Software ClozePro*.

The Secondary session will include

Inspiration 7*, Stop Motion Pro* and the latest Absorb

Courseware for Physics, Chemistry and

Maths from Crocodile Clips. Those products marked

* have application to both Primary and

Secondary. More information about these products is

available from the Edsoft 2003 catalogue

or email Linda at


An introductory Robotics hands on workshop for Primary

& High School teachers.

Participants will learn how easy it is to use LEGO

Mindstorms for Schools and implement robotics in the

classroom. The session will also include an overview of

Robocup Junior Australia a National Robotics competition

for Primary & High School students. This competition gives

students an opportunity to design, build & program

robots to Dance. Rescue or play Soccer.

LINDA SOMERS - TCP: This is an opportunity to experience

and compare user-friendly data projectors, their features and


3.00-4.00PM Afternoon Tea

3.00-6.30PM Resources on Display

4.00-5.00PM Session 1 :Software demonstration - Primary Focus

:Robotics Workshop for Primary and Secondary Teachers

5.00-6.00PM Session 2 :Software demonstration ­ Primary &

Secondary Focus Robotics Workshop for Primary and Secondary Teachers









Hi Cathy,

Environment Victoria and Smogbusters are running a debating challenge for

high school students. The idea of the competition is to promote the use of

sustainable transport. If possible it would be great if the debating

challenge and our contact details could be mentioned in your newsletter.

Let me know if you have any queries.


Lisa Litchfield

For more information contact


Closing date for ATOM Award submissions Monday MARCH 12, 2003 9.00am 

New ATOM Award as the deadline is only two weeks away.

myinternet sponsors the Best Educational Website created by a teacher.

Those entries from teachers from a myinternet school have a discount of

$25.00 per entry. Usually entry fee is $55.00.

Further details:


EdNA Online has provided schools with a detailed online version of

the Australian Schools Calendar:


Got no money to buy Lego Technic or Robolab,try this:-

This is amazing.


Looking for software to support the digital forms part of

the new NSW K6 Art Syllabus try Dogwaffle.

It has similar tools to Corel's Painter and it is free.

Hint - right click on the brush tool for a heap more brushes.





This comprehensive site for fourth- through eighth-graders,

created by the Boston Museum of Science, brings Leonardo's work

alive through activities.  It is divided into four sections:

Inventor's Workshop (Leonardo's machines), Leonardo's

Perspective (Renaissance drawing techniques), What, Where, When?

(a brief bio) and Right to Left (his curious habit of writing in

reverse).  The online activities include three Shockwave lessons

in perspective and the opportunity to decipher one of da Vinci's

inventions.  Is it a drill, a crane, a wrecking ball? 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leonardo da Vinci

Martin Kausal's biographical site traces Leonardo's life from

his 1452 birth in a Anchiano farmhouse, just outside the town of

Vinci, to his death at age sixty-seven.  Be sure to mouse over

the photographs, as additional details will pop up when you do. 

Other highlights include an article  exploring  Mona Lisa's

mysterious smile, the possibility that Leonardo invented the

bicycle and two streaming videos.


Leonardo's Codex

The Codex Leicester, written between 1506 and 1510, "is a lively

record of Leonardo's thoughts. It embraces a wide variety of

topics, from astronomy to hydrodynamics, and includes Leonardo's

observations and theories related to rivers and seas; the

properties of water; rocks and fossils; air; and celestial

light. All of this is expressed in his signature mirror writing,

as well as in more than 300 pen-and-ink sketches, drawings, and

diagrams,  many of them illustrating imagined or real

experiments." On loan from Bill Gates, the Codex is on display

at the American Museum of Natural History, and at this website.


Mona Lisa Images for a Modern World

Is a  Mona Lisa teapot simply kitschy trash or is it art?  Take

a look around, and decide for yourself.  As an alternative to

reading the entire article, you can skip to the image gallery by

following the link to the Table o f Images.  The Teacher's Guide

offers dozens of great questions to stimulate discussion.

"Should great works of art be protected from commercial use and

ridicule? Why or why not? Does an advertisement ridicule a work

of art when that work is used to sell, say, suntan lotion?"


National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci

The Leonardo da Vinci  National Museum of Science and Technology

in Milan has a great companion website to its massive 15000

piece collection.  First stop is Leonardo's Gallery, with photos

of over a hundred  modern  models.  Next is Virtual Leonardo, a

three-dimensional exhibit where you can interact with the

models, and "walk" around the virtual museum.  A VRML (Virtual

Reality Modeling Language ) plug-in is required.  Other sections

include a brief biographical time line, and the story of a

bronze horse built in 1999 based on Leonardo's drawings.



The effectiveness and value of the webquest or online scaffolding

increases with improved access and faster computers.  Webquests

enable teachers to cater for individual needs and allow students to

work at their own pace. Here are some brilliant links to webquests

and info on constructing your own.

Make your own Rubric for use in the Classroom ­ excellent online

resource which makes life much easier.  Just select your outcomes

and a rating of 1 to 4 for each outcome will automatically  appear,

great time saver.




The Wonka Factory

Yes, the gratuitous references to the candies are here, but check

out this room: Knid Knockers, Oompas Rush and the Nerds

Ropes game! Invention trivia too.


Great OZ site. Games Brainteasers, Puzzles, reasoning and

spatial skills.


Parliament of Australia

Get an insiders view of the workings of Parliament from live

webcasts at this site.


International Year of Fresh Water  2003


Human Impact on Water Environments - Great Unit from

Pembroke Junior School


Water Conservation Unit - Fantastic - gathering information from

your local environment.


Easy Video Conferencing - set up a webcam for your school


There are some great links and ideas at the NSW Country Areas

Program Site

Here are a few for HSIE, well presented easy to use, all current.

Human Society and Its Environment

Stage 1 Links

Stage 2 Links

Stage 3




I love your newsletter!  I am certain that somewhere in the last

few years you must have touched upon the subject of helping

children put together a solar system kit.  My second-grade daughter

needs this for the middle of March at school.  Would you be so

kind as to guide me to web pages where I might find pointers on

how to do the solar system?  I'd appreciate it very much.

Toty Martin

Cleveland, Ohio



Hi Toty,

The best way to search VT is to use the google search engine on

the directory page.

There are quite a few resources on my science page:-

One of my favourites is

As to building one - I like the idea of balloons of different sizes

and papie mache, suspended on string like a mobile.  Alternatively

use differently sized polystyrene balls, coloured, and kebab skewers

stuck into something like a block of polystyrene.


Dear Cathy,

Thanks for such an informative and useful site. This year I have

been made responsible for Mathematics in our school. I have

had many requests for help and guidance from my fellow

colleagues in regards to integrating maths into technology.

Can you please help with any useful websites or the latest in

useful software that will support Mathematics K-6??? Thanks

again Sharon

If anyone else would like to see a sample page just let me

know and I will email  some out to you.  If you, if there is

enough interest I will start duplicating.


Hi Sharon,

You can do a google search of my site from the google search

engine on my directory page

One of my favourite games is

There are also some great sites listed on  my maths links page at:-

I have written a CD based book on multiplication tables as well

which I find rather fun to use - however I haven't found a

company to publish it yet.  But I may relook at it this year as I

have had considerable interest in it. And I believe multiplication

tables are one of the most difficult and crucial things to teach

in primary school.   I have attached one of the pages, it has

come interactive features - others like the sound effects are a

little harder to send via email.   The pages can be printed or

used online as you can see.  If I get enough interest I will

duplicate the CDs myself and sell them direct.


Hi Cathy,

I am just wondering whether you know of any great sites for

casual teachers to get resources/advice/worksheets etc..

I have just started teaching casually in Sydney and find it

hard to prepare last minute.  Is this something that just

comes in time? By the way your site has given me a great

starting point




Hi Maria,

The Armament of a good casual teacher.

1. A good book to read - Tashi,  Series of Unfortnate Events by

Lemony Snicket,  Something that you really like yourself and love

to read.  Most of the Dr Seuss material.

2. A great poem to learn  I like, The Gofongo, My Noisy Brother 

by Bruce Lansky

3. A great writing activity - one of my favourites is to choose

a word and use it as many times as you can in a story. 

Limit the time - say 10 min. Then stories are read to partners

or groups or class.

4. A group maths activity Like Euclid's Game( you can play it

on the blackboard then the students can play it at their tables in pairs)

5. A great art activity - particularly good are tessellations and

pattern making.  A still life is great - using the works of Margaret

Olley for a stimulus. (Simple, using pencils or crayons)

6. Some songs to sing and teach the children.  And some great

music to play and listen to or move to.

And that's your day.  No photocopying, no messy paints,

nothing out of control, but lots of fun.


Hi Cathy,

Regarding the query from Kym re the virtual classroom for

excluded students.   Steven Heppell at Ultralab (

in the UK has been running a  project for such students called

NotSchool.  ( " is

an on-line virtual  learning community of teenagers who find

 themselves outside of traditional  learning institutions in the

long term. It offers them a community of learners,  teachers,

and experts who share some innovative learning tools.  seeks to be a solution to returning some of

these teenagers to learning."

This started as a research project but has been so successful

that it is being  made more widely available across the UK.

Hope this helps


PS love what you're doing!


10.  NEXT ISSUE -  Easter sites and ideas, send in ideas or

sites that are fantastic.  I will also look at great speeches online

- for the extra-audio experience. Have a good fortnight.

Ciao  Cathy


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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