Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 70  May 3rd 2003 - WOW-WHAT A RESOURCE.




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  DATABASE ­ MOONS OF JUPITER

5. Technical Stuff ­ FREE ADOBE PDF

6. Web Site Focus - DATABASES


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


WELCOME EVERYONE.  Every now and then you read another

Article, survey or research project about the GREENHOUSE effect. 

I recently read about an international survey of schools and

students which researched their knowledge of the causes and

understanding of the GREENHOUSE.  It seems quite amazing

to me, that the only Œfactsı folk seem to be aware of are manmade.

But old mother nature has the last wordŠ..

So here it is in a nutshell- Global Warming the Greenhouse effect,

the whole geological truth. 


The climate on earth is not stable. It changes between Ice Age

and Greenhouse frequently. There was a glacial advance 8,000

years ago, and another between 5,800 and 4,900, since then

North America and Northern Europe have experienced 2 further

glacial advancing episodes, in 1300-400 BC and 1300-1920 AD,

yes, thatıs right, just recently. This means we are currently in a

greenhouse period, which will most probably continue to effect

climate for at least another 500 years. During the history of the

earth there have been many very rapid periods of warming, of

up to 7 degrees, in less than a century.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been changing rapidly, in

Geological terms, for the last 6,000 years and is slowly disintegrating.

Its collapse today would see a sea level rise of 6 metres. 

Supernova eruptions, solar flaring, sunspots, orbital wobbles,

meteorites, comets, life, mountain building, erosion, weathering,

sedimentation, continental drift, volcanoes, ocean currents,

tides and ice armadas can all cause dramatic effects on our

climate. Stopping them is pretty tough even for modern

man and thatıs the problem old mother nature is much more

pervasive than any man-made pollutants but people are still

being told that man is the villain here. Environmental responsibility

is worth while and necessary but it is only one small aspect affecting

our planets health and if we are to be good planetary citizens itıs

up to us to know all the facts and thatıs where the internet comes in.

You all have the power to research this or any concern and develop

a balanced understanding on each topic or issue, rather than rely

on some popularist bandwagon, usually motivated by political self

interest of one sort or the other. We need to teach our children

how to research information rather than accepting everything

they read as fact.


To start the ball rolling on this topic goto

or pick up a copy of Ian Plimerıs book

The Internet, WOW what a resource.



'The guts of teaching is simple - it is the relationship between a

teacher and a group of kids'

Howard Wilson


'Nothing has happened in education until it has happened to a

student.'             Joseph Carroll


'Intellectual activity anywhere is the same whether at the frontier

of knowledge or in a third grade classroom.'               Jerome Bruner


'The greatest unexplored territory in the world is the space

between the ears.'    Bill O'Brien CEO



'I set myself as the goal the maximum capacity that people have

- I settle for no less. I make myself a relentless architect of the

possibilities of human beings.'

Benjamen Zander Conductor Boston


'A school isn't good enough until it is good enough for our own

children. In fact it's not only that it must be good enough for our

own children but it must be the dream school we want for our


H Levin Stanford Prof of Economics


3. WWWinfo

Fair Trading - A students Guide to Consumer Rights - Great site

includes history and advice.

Never sign anything that you haven't read or understood - especially

if it has blank spaces. There's rarely a cooling-off period and if you

do cancel, you may be up for a hefty cancellation fee.

Renting Moving in Living there Your rights Renting contacts

Wheels Wheels contacts

Shopping and refunds Internet shopping Credit Managing your

credit card Credit contacts



Moons of Jupiter Database



Free pdf writer - Windows only.


QSITE 2003 State Conference ICTs by Design

Griffith University, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane -3 & 4 July 2003

June 30-July 2 Specialist Workshops

The program for the conference is coming along well with 3 days of

pre-conference workshops including multimedia, web building,

3D studio max,

online course building and ASP workshops.

Register via the web site


8th Early Childhood Convention

Sunday, 21 September 2003 - Thursday, 25 September 2003. A

premier early childhood event in New Zealand, held every four years,

the Convention will attract approximately 1200 practitioners,

researchers, academics, students, educators, government department

staff and officials and more. The convention includes three full days of professional program offering new research material and practical

professional development.


Hello Cathy

Could you put some of this in your next newsletter for me please?



Just a note to remind everyone that the SACK project activities get

underway when SA schools get back from holidays i.e. April 28.

Some activities are reserved for South Australian school while others are

available Australia wide.

You can see the activities for Term 2 at

Teachers who are interested in being kept informed of events are invited to

join the SACK2003 mailing list. See

Emails to this list will come only from the SACK project manager and will

be restricted to announcements about SACK project activities.

Participating teachers will be consulted for activities for Term 3.


All schools are invited to send introductions to

together with a picture of your class or your school.


To start the term off we have the Grocery Shopping List (for everyone) and

What/Where (SA schools only).

Those activities will happen for 5 weeks, but your class needs to check

What/Where each day and send their guesses in on the Friday of the week.

In the second half of the term there is SA Quiz (SA schools only) and Book

reviews (Australia wide)

There are now 3 travel buddies.

Sappy's schedule is just about full, but Drag'n Dropp has a number of spots

left for K-5 classes in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

We have a new travel buddy called Shirley Valentine Bear who can go on

short visits to other states.  Check it all out at


Kerrie Smith



A database is a collection of data arranged for ease and speed of

search and retrieval.   Simple databases can be set up in both Excel

and Access. Access more suited to business applications, and

High School Commerce students, I prefer using Excel as an

initial database program for students.  Excel is billed as a

spreadsheet program, but also has database features.  Using

Excel is straight forward and the interface has many features

similar to other Microsoft Office Programs.

It also has the advantage of being a spreadsheet as well, allowing

graphing and computations to be added after data collection.


I love Excel for its flexibility.

Database Functions in Excel include

1. Basic functions of sorting in both ascending and descending order.

(Data menu)

2. Form View is available (Data menu)

3. Searching using the find command (Edit Menu)


There  are many database collection activities that can be completed

at school, like, student details, leisure activities of students, canteen

food purchased during one week etc.  Above in "printables" section,

is a Database of the ŒMoons of Jupiterı for students to complete. 

The template can be saved in individual student folders and the

answers written directly onto the database.  The questions tackle

most of the features of databases including fields, records, sorting

and informational retrieval.


When you have finished with the database functions, draw a simple

bar graph of the Moons of Jupiter, this is a far better way to answer

question 8 on the template.



Spreadsheet downloads and other ICT downloads

Excel Tutorials;1051869906

Access Tutorials;1051869939

Databases 2 next newsletter.


7. WWWDrama

There are many great Drama sites on the Internet, they are very

comprehensive and cover all aspects of stage craft.  Just brilliant.

There are also sites where whole plays can be downloaded. 

I have included some of my favourites here.


The Reading Lady provides over 40 free reader's theatre scripts

to download in MS WORD or Adobe files. Stories include many

classic and recent children's books.


The Art & Science of Theatre

Covers all aspects of theatre, including history, the art of theatre,

and even theatre's effect on society. Includes a long list of reviewed

 links.  Great site, very comprehensive.


iHigh High School Internet Network's Drama Page

Includes tips and articles on a wide variety of theatre topics.

As well as some great links.


Electronic Text Archives and Plays online including full

versions of many plays. Last time I used this resource was

when my son was atempting to write a last minute essay on

Shakespeare and he had left the text at school, very handy.


Apple Quicktime movie trailers - make sure you download the

latest quicktime player




If you are into really amazing pictures of anatomy, these are the sites for you.  These images are not to be viewed while eating lunch. 

Human body sites

Human anatomy online ­ contains diagrams and good descriptive text.

also the visible human project

is a really interesting way to virtually explore the body

which can be done in 2d or 3d. Lots of related resources and information.


Webquests for senior students


Thesis builder - excellent site to get the ball rolling.

This Website will help you draft a clear thesis statement for your

persuasive essay. To use Thesis Builder, you'll need:

a topic opinions about the topic some reasons for your opinion and

why other people might disagree



I Published the letter below to Cheryl here because the email I

sent bounced back, often if you are having trouble with one email

service, it is a good idea to set up another one and ask for

responses to be sent to both.  This way you can see if the original

email address is working or not.


Hi Cathy

I look forward to receiving your newsletter regularly. I have been

away for a couple of weeks and on my return I have found that

no email has been forwarded to my account since 09/04/03. I am

just checking to see if you had forwarded VT Newsletter No. 69

as I am trying to trace the source of the problem in relation to me email.

With thanks

Cheryl Howse


Hi Cheryl,

Newsletter 69 was sent out on April 1tth 2003 it can be found at:-

Number 70 is due out this Friday.


Very disappointed that you only put American Sites there. At

Northern Beaches State High School, we have our own 3D

Virtual Tour that our Year 10 Information Technology Students

made. If you like, check it out - It's under the Virtual Tour Link

on the left menu. The students did it all!


MJ Raatz

The panoramas site is actually a site from Denmark, it covers




AUSTRALIA - NEW ZEALAND. I suggest you request they

also link to your site.

The one of the most recent panoramas, Week 16 2003, is of

Sydney Harbour and the Opera House and is fantastic.

If any others have any great sites it's best to send them in to

VT if you would like them to be reviewed here.


Hi Cathy!

I am a student secondary teacher (Southern Cross University,

Lismore) Do you have any hints relevant for HSIE at a secondary


Kind Regards,


Can anyone help Kristie ­ the question is pretty broad.


Hi Cathy

I have recently set up a new website for our Ipswich District

Teacher-Librarian Network on Education Queensland's Learning Place.

It has information about the Festival of Children's Literature in September

which includes an online chat component and a Writing competition

for adults. There are also a number of useful links to browse.

Jenny Stubbs


Thanks for letting me know looks like a great site.


Dear Cathy

Do you have past newsletters available, please? The last one

was "dropped off" my system! To avoid this happening again,

I've set up a "Virtual Teacher" folder in my Personal Filing Cabinet

so I can store all your valuable newsletters from now on.

Thanks for all your valuable info ­ am looking forward to learning

more advanced use of 'Access' databases in your next newsletters.


Gill    :-)


Hi Gill,

All past newsletters, all 69 can be sound at:-

However I usually use the google site search engine

on the directory page

I wont be covering more advanced databases using Access,

it would be a very lengthy newsletter if I did.  However Atomic

Learning has some excellent tutorials on Access.




Hi Cathy,

Thanx for listing my Symmetry Site on your newsletter

but I just thought I'd let you know that the last 2

virtual teacher newsletters have been sent straight to

my Bulk Mail box (Spam protection I think).

My guess is that the title looked a little like spam.


Anyway, now the holidays are on and I'm doing what

teachers do during holidays, I'm adding a heap of my

reading and maths resources to my website.

Check out the printable Reading and Maths games at

The stats show that heaps of people are downloading

them and I've received some really nice emails

thanking me for saving people time.




Hi Adrian,

Great site, lots of fantastic ideas I will put it in the next newsletter.

have a great holiday.


Hi Cathy


I'm a senior school librarian and find your site excellent. As well as

finding lots of useful stuff for myself I try to pass interesting things

on to other staff. I especially enjoy the mind candy.

A friend of mine who is a primary school teacher wants to do a unit of

work next term based on Charlotte's Web by E B White and I wondered if

you or your subscribers could help with lesson plans, ideas, related

activities, web quests etc.

Yours optimistically

Jan Nicholls



Hi Jan,

Here's some info to get started with:

Charlotte's web activities:,1156,2-14096-1,00.html

EB White biog

I'll also put this request in the next newsletter.




10. NEXT ISSUE -  We will cover Part 2 of databases,  Intranets

will need to go on hold till we finish with database.  More sites on

digital portfolios as well as a look at making your own Rubrics f

or evaluation.



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

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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