Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 76 August 9th  2003 ­  ENTHUSIASM



Newsletter Archives can be found at:-



1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo

4. New Printables -  Text Types

5. Technical Stuff - G4 & Netscape 6.1 & Blender

6. Web Site Focus - Outer Space

7. Better Bookweek Links

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. What a week.  I had some amazingly

great results from the UNSW Computer Test, one of my students

came first in the state followed by a disproportionately high level

of distinctions and credits from the rest.  As you would realise

from the newsletter I take a less than traditional approach to ICT;

it should be fun, it should make life easier, and should be hugely

motivating; and here it is, results in  spades for the approach.

As you probably also know I believe this should be true for

school in general, as well as ITC.  So I will be dining out on this

one for several weeks to come. For a long time I have felt that

Kids today have a tougher time than I did when I grew up.  There

is less time for fun, playing, enjoyment, and a great deal more

pressure and 'seriousness' at too young an age;  I am doing my

best to change all this in my little corner.  And the benefit? I

find it much more rewarding and enjoyable as well,

life sings with enthusiasm. 




By Samuel Ullman

Youth is not a time of life.  It's a state of mind. It's a temper

of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions,

a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for

adventure over love of ease.


Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People

grow old only by deserting their ideals.  Years wrinkle the skin,

but to give up enthusiasm, wrinkles the soul.


Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair - these bow the

head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.


Whether 60 or 16, there is in every being's heart the love of

wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and the starlike

things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the

unfailing childlike appetite for what-next, and the joy of the

game of living.


You are as young as your faith; as old as your doubt; as young

as your self-confidence; as old as your fear; as young as your

hope; as old as your despair.


So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer,

courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and

from the Infinite, so long are you young.


When the wires are all down, and all the central places of

your heart are covered with the snows of pessimism and the

ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old indeed,

and may God have mercy on your soul.  "Live every day of

your life as though you expect to live forever."


3. WWWinfo



4. NEW PRINTABLES Again from Adrian Bruce

A Design Process Poster

Great Job Adrian.



An Invitation to all Teachers

You are invited to attend a free demonstration of Inspiration 7.

Inspiration is an easy to use cross curricula software package that may be used for brainstorming, planning, concept mapping, diagrams, webs, outlining and visual learning in all subject areas.  As a powerful tool for visual learning Inspiration may be used to both record and evaluate learning over time. It is an invaluable tool for both teacher and student.


Version 7 has new features including

· Visually integrated notes.

· Enhanced hyperlinking

· Audio capabilities

· Multiple main ideas

· Template Wizard

· 50+ Templates

· HTML export options


This session will demonstrate how easy it is to use Inspiration, its many features and how it may be used in a school environment, as a learning tool for studentsı  as a teaching tool for teachers and as a planning tool for teachers and administrators.


Presenter:-    Linda Zugai, Edsoft

Venue:-          Daramalan College, Dickson (entry via Morphett Street)

Date:- Thursday 21st August

Time:- 4.15 ­ 5.30 pm,  Coffee and tea from 4.00 pm

RSVP by Tuesday 19th  August to: -

Linda Zugai


Thanks Linda ­ get along to this ­ Linda is great ­ Inspiration is great,

This is a win win seminar. See below for the research on Visual learning and Inspiration.


Attention Computer Coordinators, Teachers and Admin Staff

You are invited to attend a free demonstration of Adobe products, featuring Acrobat 6.0, Photoshop Elements and Photo Album.

See how easy it is to convert documents into the universally acceptable PDF file format, how to organize and structure PDF files for easy navigation, and how to turn them into a multimedia presentation.

Learn how you can teach your students to prepare images for print, e-mail, or posting on the Web, using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Automatically import photos from your camera, scanner, a CD, or your computer's hard drive, then easily assemble all your pictures in the photo well using Adobe Photoshop Album.

Adobe products are available for NSW Independent and Catholic schools from Edsoft at highly discounted rates.

Presenter:-    Alan Rosenfeld

Adobe Education Business Manager - Pacific

Instructions for Parking

Enter via Gate 2 or 3.

Parking at Gate 2 is the

closest to the venue.

The session will be given in the

Theatrette below the library.


Venue:-          The Hills Grammar School

43 Kenthurst Road


Date:-             Tuesday 12th August

Time:-            4.00 - 6.00 pm

Coffee and tea from 3.30pm

RSVP by Friday 8th August to: -


This is another great FREE seminar opportunity ­ your are

nuts to miss these. Adobe presentations have style and class

­ Alan is a great presenter ­ and will assist you with any

questions.  Elements is exactly the right program for schools

K-10 both in price and flexibility ­ for painless photo manipulations

and all the bells and whistles ­ this is the program to use.

Save yourself some time and energy coming up to speed with

yet another new program attend this lecture with Alan and let

him teach you.  Iım sure Alan wonıt mind if you RSVP on

Monday or Tuesday. 


On 13 August, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm Eastern Australian time,

I will be taking a Professional Development workshop for

Tasmanian English teachers, offering ideas for incorporating the

Internet in classroom activities.  The venue is Elizabeth College in



This is a warm invitation for any of you to log on at that particular

Time and join with us as cyberparticipants.;f=6;t=000015


In the meantime, you are very welcome to check out the link (above) to the discussion thread on the topic and contribute at your convenience.

If you register, you could add your ideas and links to your own pages or

your favourite sites in support of literacy learning.


My aim on the day is to get a few more people confident in accessing the professional development support of the web, even if they don't yet have the confidence to use it with classes.


Dr Sheila Gersh from New York has been in Tassie inspiring people in a

general way and I hope in this follow-up to show lots of good stuff to support reading and writing.


Please share your wisdom and experience.  If registering at Discover is too much trouble, I'm more than happy to take advice/feedback via e-mail.

Look forward to hearing from you soon,




Roslyn Teirney


Edsoft is launching a new web site and we would like to give students the opportunity to exhibit their art/multimedia work.


To prospective contributors:-

This is a virtual space where students and schools can join together in sharing their art and multimedia creations with others.

We would love to receive your contributions, and hear your suggestions and comments on what you would like to see on this site. We accept work from students all around the world.

This is a free service we provide to the school community, and work displayed is not for sale.


Your submission must meet the following criteria:

1. The work you submit should be distinctive. We will consider 2D images, photos, multimedia creations, homepages or websites for display.

2. The work you submit must be original (no plagiarized images, text, or other content). It is alright to use clip art that is royalty free, as source material for a work, provided it is edited and manipulated by the artist to depict another original idea and image.

3. Preference will be given to art that has been created using software tools distributed by Edsoft.

4. Work will not be displayed unless all details in the submission form have been provided in full.

5. Students and schools are encouraged to provide contact information so that people interested in their work can contact them directly.

6. If a website is submitted, it should function in most browsers (recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape) and on both the Windows and Mac OS platforms, and should download in a reasonable amount of time, even for low-bandwidth users. Edsoft will provide a link to the site from the Art Gallery.

7. No pornography will be accepted.

8. Edsoft reserves the right to accept or decline work for display. At our company's discretion, we may refuse submitted work or remove it from the Art Gallery at any time.


Work may be submitted via our new web site which should be available from mid August at


6. WEBSITE FOCUS -Construct 3D shapes and then take a slice at different angles to examine the different faces created. Online Activities



I use Inspiration/Kidspiration for Digital Portfolios as well as many

other things, it fills my FOUR E stamp of approval


The most important criteria for any computer software.



Using the "No Child Left Behind" criteria for scientifically based

research (SBR), 29 studies were identified and evaluated as SBR and

used as evidence for the instructional effectiveness of the use of

graphic organizers such as those students develop in Kidspiration and



The study, "Graphic Organizers: A Review of the Scientifically Based

Research," shows that using graphic organizers--concept maps, webs,

idea maps and more--improve performance across several content areas,

multiple grade levels, and different student populations.


*To review a detailed summary of the report, go to

*To request a full, 44-page report, contact


Summary of Research Review

IARE staff conducted an extensive search of academic databases to

locate research on the instructional effectiveness of the use of

graphic organizers. Using the definitions set forth by Section 9101 of

the "No Child Left Behind Act" (NCLB) of 2001, IARE selected 29

scientifically based research studies that applied rigorous,

systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid

knowledge relevant to education activities and programs. 


IARE conclusions from this review show that the use of graphic

organizers can help students in the following areas: 


*Reading comprehension. Use of graphic organizers is effective in

improving students’ reading comprehension.


*Student achievement. Students using graphic organizers show

achievement benefits across content areas and grade levels. Achievement

benefits are also seen with students with learning disabilities.


*Thinking and learning skills. The process of developing and using a

graphic organizer enhances skills such as developing and organizing

ideas, seeing relationships, and categorizing concepts.


*Retention. Use of graphic organizers aids students in retention and

recall of information.


*Cognitive learning theory. The use of graphic organizers supports

implementation of cognitive learning theories: dual coding theory,

schema theory, and cognitive load theory. 


To review a detailed summary of the report, go to To request a full, 44-page report,





the search for methods succeed in the future with exponentially

growing amount of information, graphic organizers are essential.

Visual learning, graphic organization, are non-linear, they engage

a larger percentage of students and they give power to the learner.




I have chosen only one site this fortnight.  It has been previously mentioned in this newsletter, this time the big push.  In line with the above study on Inspiration/Kidspiration, Visual Learning, and new directions in teaching, this site is a must.  It will take many days to explore it thoroughly, take the time and do it, it will inspire, it will surprise, it will amaze, but mostly it will demonstrate the importance of the GREAT TEACHER.  MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU- yes that George Lucas.


Envision the Future world of Public Education

Particularly check out the Video Gallery.



Hello Colleagues,

HI Cathy

There was a question in your questions section - there is an Ants ON

the Apple song on a linked website - However - there is also an Ants IN

the Apple phonics program - written by Lyn Meeks from Arcadia in Sydney

- phone number - 9653 1573?? She also has a CD - with a slightly

different song??


It's difficult when there are two programs / resources so similar in

name - you might need to check out exactly which is being asked for??

I'm not sure myself???



Thanks Gail


Dear Cathy

Our IT teacher has just shown me a copy of your excellent

newsletter, and I would very much like to be on your list. There

seems to be heaps of things I can use with my class. Thanks for

a great resource.

Judy Molan Gr 5/6 teacher


I Re Printer monitoring software

Gaia print charger does just that. You can monitor or even

charge like a phone card for printing. Info at

We use it and it works really well

Thanks Bruce


Dear Cathy

Thanks for the great newsletter. I only wish I had enough time to use all of the

great ideas. I have just received my new apple ibook (at last I'm back on the right

side of the fence after years of suffering under windows!!!)

I know you are a mac fan and I want to find virtual PC which will allow me to run

windows 98 on my mac. (Yes I know why would you want to?)  I have a couple of

favourite applications which I would like to use.

Any idea where I get it.


John Annable


Hi John,

Most of the current VPCs seem to run with later Windows OS

systems - try your luck by ringing a retailer direct.


Unit 8 -12 Mars Road, Lane Cove

02 9420-6832

Computers Now

222 Pacific Highway, North Sydney

02 9951-7979

Dynamic Web Training

02 9221-9550

Next Byte

Shop 5 - 350 Windsor Road, Baulkham Hills

02 9688-6066

PowerMedia Systems

51-53 Murray Street, Pyrmont

02 9518-9111

TSG Australia

90 Mount Street, North Sydney

02 9965-1888




10.   NEXT ISSUE ­ A lot of seminars and research

became important in this newsletter, exciting stuff, so I will cover

³more mathematics in the print department and 3D drawing programs,

next time. Adrian ­ wonderful stuff again.


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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