Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 68  March 28th, 2003 ­ SURPRISTY




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  2  SELF EVAULATION RUBRICS

5. Technical Stuff - Competitions

6. Web Site Focus ­ Laugh at Work Week

7. Drawing Cartoons

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. I'd like to see what is happening in

classrooms around the world.  If youıre on for it, send me a photo

of your classroom, about 100K attached to an email ­

Iıll publish a selection on the VT site,  it should be great to see

what is happening worldwide. I am still looking for a great

software library package, so if anyone has any thoughts,

send them in.  Donıt forget to celebrate laugh at work week

next week, this type of topic is usually a great stimulus for

students writing and speaking.



I saw the wonderful Midsummer Nightıs Dream performed

recently ­ I love the final speech by Puck:-

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber'd here

While these visions did appear.

Shakespeareıs - A Midsummer Night's Dream


"Walking on water and developing software from a specification

are easy if both are frozen." -- Edward V. Berard


PROGRAM - A magic spell cast over a computer allowing

it to turn one's input into error messages.


"If you give someone a program, you will frustrate them

for a day; if you teach them how to program, you will frustrate

them for a lifetime."


Computers do not solve problems, they execute solutions."

‹ Laurent Gasser.


 For the first time in a decade, something from Microsoft

shipped on time: Jennifer Katharine Gates, weighed

8 pounds 6 ounces when she was downloaded(born) on

Friday, April 26 at 6: 11pm. And there is one striking

similarity in Baby Gates and Daddy's products -- "Neither

can stand on its own two feet without a LOT

of third party support."



A lot of folk write to me requesting info on sites, and specific topic.

VT has a fantastic  search engine ŒGOOGLEı.  The GOOGLE

search engine searches only the VT site.  So just type in

your request and the results  will be delivered to you. 


(Centre top of directory page)

ARCHIVES all VT newsletters from Number 1 to number 68,

can be found at:-



Cathy, I guess your newsletter just gets me too excited

to read through fully before emailing suggestions. 

I liked your self-evaluation rubric and have saved it. 

The two I often use are attached

Best to you .. Nancy

The Rubrics are at:

under evaluation.  They are Microsoft document files so

can be easily printed. Thanks again Nancy.



The Macquarie Business Mathematics Competition is an

innovative, online mathematics competition for senior

secondary school students. Competition questions are

scenario-based and have a strong business focus


The Australian Mathematics Trust is a national non-profit

organisation which conducts mathematics competitions and mathematics enrichment activities. It is based on the

campus of the University of Canberra.


Edna Links page on Competitions


6. WEBSITE FOCUS - Laugh at Work Week

Dates: April 1, 2003 - April 7, 2003

³Laugh at Work² Week is observed April 1 to 7. Humor improves

productivity and eliminates stress. Keep the fun going all week long.

Laugh and a Half Lesson

There is a  Good source of jokes ­ the first site is interactive.



Great site simple to use. Step by step instructions with illustrations.


Chunky monkey - cartoon animals

Learn to Draw Cartoon Critters




The Endeavour  Simple outline - flash or quicktime. A

simple outline of James Cook's 1768 Voyage.


Bronze Age sites - Suitable for Senior ancient Histroy or Art

History Studies.  Covers Knossos and Mycenae

Great Intro to the Bronze age.


Australian Flags site


Comprehensive - great links

This page provides links for Visual Arts students, teachers

and anyone else interested in art.



Hi Cathy,

I've been receiving your Virtual Teacher newsletter for a little

while now. This time I have decided to respond to one of your


Section 3. WWWinfo SYMANTEC

I would suggest to readers that instead of going to the Hoaxes

page they go to a search page

It makes searching easier.  You just type in the name of the

virus you've been warned about and get a list of hits.  Just

like any other search engine.  Saves you scrolling through

the list and finds it for you nice and quick. May I also say

to readers that in general if you receive an email warning

you of a virus it will be a hoax.  If you have well meaning

friends who send you these warnings forward them on to

the Symantec site so they can check for themselves before

scaring everyone on their address book list.

I've stopped many of my friends from sending 'friendly'

warnings by sending them to the above URL.


RainDrop illusions WebDesign

This is a great suggestion, thanks Sjaani.


Hi, Cathy,

Your wonderful Virtual Teacher information arrives often, and I continue

to enjoy everything you share with the world.  Attached, please find

another terrific site to check out hoaxes.  I use it often and have

forwarded it to many friends.

Enjoy! ... Nancy


Thanks Nancy another great site.


Hi Cathy,

This year with the setting up of the lab, I find I'm on a steep, but

enjoyable, learning curve. As I read on your site before -  I learn

from the kids as much (or more) as they learn from me!!

Anyway, a desperate? Where can I find something (anything) 

that will teach me the basics of setting up a database to teach a

Stage 2 class. We will be using Microsoft Access. I've spent

time at the VT Directory but with no real luck.

Thanks again for all the help in the past



Hi Terrie,

You are right I haven't covered Databases - perhaps I should. 

I frankly don't think that Access should be used in primary school

- Excel Spreadsheets give a similar result and can be used in a

similar way to a database.  BUT as it is in the curriculum I guess

I should cover it - perhaps next newsletter.  At any rate it is pretty

simple there are some tutorials at:-

Remember this program is designed for business so there are

a lot of functions that are unnecessary for Primary school

especially for stage 2.  (I leave it til stage 3)

Select a simple database perhaps about the children

name DOB, favourite food, favourite movie, number of siblings,

favourite sport and use the form to enter the data.  Keep it very


I may cover a bit on this in the future - hope this helps for now.



I recently visited your site and was very impressed by the quality

and presentation of the content.  I would like to request a link

on your site to

I hope that you may find the material on our site to be of interest

to visitors to your site.

Best Regards,


This looks like a good site, basically a countries facts sites,

very easy to negotiate. Includes facts like population, flags,

maps and produce etc.  Well worth a look for Geography



17th March, 2003  21.40 hours

Dear Cathy,

Many thanks for your Newsletter.  I find it invaluable and

so do  some of the staff at school.  Please keep up the

great work. I've had a lot of trouble with my computer but

all is working very  well again now.  I had to completely

re-format my C-drive.   I doing this I lost the first edition of

Virtual Teacher for the year. 

Could you please email this to me?


Br. Damian Needham


Hi Damian.

All VT archives can be found at:-

VT 1 can be found at:-

Glad to hear your computer is again working, reformatting will

give it a new lease on life.



I am interested in creating panoramas from photographs.

Do you know which is the most economical (cheap) "stitcher" program?




Hi Daphne,

The best product for this that I have seen is Photoshop Elements

the stitching is brilliant easy and quick. Photoshop Elements is

around $169AUD however there maybe a cheaper educational price.

Depending on how long you want to use it, downloads has a few

programs that are free to try at:-


10.  NEXT ISSUE  I will take a look at databases, as Terrie has

requested . Please send in your classroom photos, I will publish a

representative sampling on the net  for all to see. Have a fantastic





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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