Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No.83 ­ HAVE A MERRY ONE November 30th 2003




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  SIGN FOR EVERY SCHOOL

5. Technical Stuff -  EVIL HTML EMAILS

6. Web Site Focus ­ AURORO BOREALIS

7. PD for the HOLS - PHOTOSHOP

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. I have spent a  bit of time at the

Randwick Childrenıs Hospital lately.  Not the best Sunday

Afternoon activity, but the staff at this hospital are fantastic.

I have never had an experience like this in any organization before.

Whatever your reason for being in a hospital, itıs tricky,

emotional, emotional children, uncertainty, fear, all the

things that can make for poor social relations.  NOT HERE.

They were brilliant.  The printable in this newsletter comes from

RCH, a sign suitable for all schools.  This will be the last newsletter from VT this year.  Next newsletter will be beginning of February 2004.

Have a fantastic Holiday, relax and enjoy, and perhaps take a look at a few of the free PD programs on the web. Have a Merry one.



"Light a Fire" movie


codswallop (KODZ-wol-uhp) noun


[Of unknown origin. According to a popular story, a fellow

named Hiram Codd came up with the design of a soft-drink

bottle with a marble in its neck to keep the fizz. Wallop

was slang for beer and those who preferred alcohalic

drinks dismissively referred to the soft-drink as Codd's Wallop.

This story is unproven.]


"The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing

is in running." ~~ Simone Weil, French philosopher and activist


3. WWWinfo

Nothing is quite a spectacular on the Internet for

Christmas as as jsmagic.  The Emissary is a spectacular animated gif representation, everyone will love.  Younger children will enjoy the spectacle. Older students can use the images to create teir own versions. The clipart here is free, so long as source is acknowledged. Most images can be dragged directly into powerpoint, so students can develop their own stories and ideas using this clipart collection. Show it using I digital projector if you have one. Click in active image area to progress.

Scenes from the Nativity



In caring for  our children we also care for our staff.

Bad language and threatening behaviour is unacceptable. 

Any person acting in an inappropriate manner will be asked

to leave the premises. 

Sign and Randwick Children's Hospital.



Evil HTML Emails - VT is sent in plain text, how are you

sending your emails.

A really bad Idea



ICTPD is moving its online content to Moodle for 2004.

Moodle is available for testing and provides free PD for you

until the end of Feb 2004.

Check ICTPD Free on the left. You will need to set up a

New Account on the next screen and know the enrolment key . 

If you don't have an enrolment key , you can email .


ICT activities,

World Events for Students


6. WEBSITE FOCUS ­ Aurora Borealis

So itıs the downhill run to Christmas.  Why not focus on something

A bit different this year.  The Aurora Borealis might just be the ticket.

These totally amazing sites, are inspirational for art, writing,

Photography, science and even mathematics.

JSMAGIC - brilliant


How to film the Aurora

Aurora Borealis forcasts

Causes of Aurora, folklore etc.

What causes the northern lights?  When are they most visible? 

What creates the different colors?  What do the auroras look

like from space? Lesson Guide

Top Story from NASA

This site will show you what auroras look like on Earth and from

space, explain how they are created, and show you where they

can be found.


7. PD for the HOLS - PHOTOSHOP

Take some time to our the latest greatest techniques in

Photoshop at:-

Russell Brownıs(no relation) Mini Online Videos are inspiring

Adobe Resources for Educators


Tech Tutorials

Also Check out these sites:-

These should keep you busy for awhile.



Strategies for Reading Comprehension including BLMs.


Australian Canned Food

Comprehensive ­ Cute Graphics ­ Easy to navigate.


Discover the many ways that women have influenced and

enhanced the practice of medicine. The individuals featured

here provide an intriguing glimpse of the broader community

of women doctors who are making a difference. The National

Library of Medicine is pleased to present this exhibition honoring

the lives and accomplishments of these women in the hope

of inspiring a new generation of medical pioneers.



Hereıs an offer from MathsPOWER. I am reviewing this program

for years K-3 at the moment and so far I am very impressed

­ more on that later.  MathsPOWER

Has an offer for some more adventurous folk that you may like

to try.  Here is some more info about it, if you are intending to take

them up on this generous offer please let me know as I would like

to follow your progressŠŠŠŠ



All people involved in the production and development of the

program have an education background except for three

programmers who are IT qualified.


I am at liberty to tell you that the primary program has been

written and developed by my wife, Felicity Tannous. Felicity is a

qualified primary teacher. I think you will be even more impressed

with our primary program.We currently have programs available

for Kindy and Year 1, Year 1-2, Year 2-3 with Year 3-4 due for

completion within the next 4 weeks. Years 4-5,5-6 and 6-7 will all

be available by February.


We have incorporated extensive revision into each program so,

for example, the Year 1-2 programme is actually a Year 2 program

with extensive revision from Year 1 etc.


The really big news is the project that we are launching at the end of

November. We have been working on this program for almost six

months and the recent media hype about difficult HSC exams

prompted us to contact a number of students who had been

using our programs.


We asked these students if the exams had presented any

concerns for them. Without fail, the response from these students

was quite the contrary to the newspaper headlines.

Remembering that many of these students only took our

program because they were struggling (in some cases less

than 6 months ago). The students told us that they felt they were

well prepared for the exams as a result of using our programs.


This was confirmed by the Head of maths at St Clair high

school in western Sydney. Mr Joe Assad confirmed that the

students who had been using our program to revise and

reinforce the work from school were quite confident that they

had done well in the exams.


I have attached some details on what we are calling the

MathsPOWER Challenge.


Very briefly, We are going to allow just 10 families from each

school across Australia the opportunty to get our programs for

just $275 for high school students and $225 for pinfants or

primary school students.


If a family has more than 2 children at school then that

family will pay a maximum of $495 to receive all the revision

work required to re-learn concepts from the past as well as

all the work they will need for the next 1-2 years.


Currently our clients are paying up to $1000 for the whole

high school program and $1200 for the primary program.


We will be sending the family their needs based on the

childrern's school reports or other information provided

by the parents.


This will be a web-based project with all family registrations

to be effected via our web site


So if the teachers who receive your newsletter are aware

of this project then they may inform families with students

who may need some extra help at a very affordable price.


Our experience tells us that most families cannot afford to

spend $30-40 per session for tutoring help. Our program

may be the answer.


Let me know or call me for any other information

you may need.





Hi Cathy,

Just a little bit of additional information regarding Project Gutenberg:

If anyone is interested in contributing books a great way to do this is through Distributed Proofreaders at

If anyone has a large amount of server space available (In Australia) we are looking to create a Distributed Proofreaders in Australia site and I'd be interested to hear from anyone willing to donate some server space for this great cause!



10.  NEXT ISSUE ­ Early February ­ Although would still like

to hear about great Holidays destinations over the break ­

so send them along.

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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