Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No.88 ­ March26th 2004 ­  WIZARDS OF AAAHS!




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  Life on Mars

5. Technical Stuff ­ Courses from Kerry- EDNA

6. Web Site Focus - Maps

7. CD COVER Solutions

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. I don't think we have as yet begun

to realize the sort of freedoms use of technologies gives us as

teachers. Once this begins to impact on our minds it will totally

change the way we think about teaching. This newsletter is

designed to provide ideas to do just that. Take a look at The CD

Cover solutions, The Life on Mars PowerPoint, The Atomic Learning Opportunities and shake it up.



By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.


But words are things, a small drop of ink, / Falling like dew upon

a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps

millions, think.

-Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)


Interesting words:

  Long word 45 letters:

       pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (a kind of lung disease)

   Short words, 2 letters:

       aa (a kind of lava), os (bone, mouth), Rx (prescription)


Seymour Papert

³Another example: kids are learning to despise schools. They

are learning that the way schools do things is not the best way ­

and they have many other examples to learn from. Society is

changing, and the kids can see that, but the schools are not

changing, and the gap is growing perceptibly larger.


To save the schools, we have to break them. The current move

toward standardization is a last gasp, "the last twitch of the

dragon's tail" as the old system dies. It is natural, in such a

time, for the bureaucracy to close ranks, to centrally impose

something like standardization "instead of its direct opposite,

higher standards." We're losing the chance now to have better

learning, he argued, but not only that, because trying to be static

will lead only to decline.



Current FREE Tutorial Mac OS 10.3 Panther

Kidspiration FREE

MovieMaker 2 FREE Tutorials

Atomic Learning provides software training using a unique, just-in-time        approach. Our library of thousands of short tutorials on dozens of applications        are focused on answering the common questions teachers, students and anyone        else may have when learning software. We like to call them "atoms of        learning" and they are easy to access whenever and where ever you need        them. A subscription to Atomic Learning provides you access to all of the        tutorials and other valuable educational resources


4. NEW PRINTABLES ­ Life on Mars - The PowerPoint



Totally free EdNA Online workshops throughout Australia,

first ones in May in Canberra.

There are 2 90 minute workshops.

Workshop A is all about bringing people's understanding of

the EdNA website up to date.

Workshop B is about embedding EdNA tools and services in

your school website, your professional association website or

your own web pages.

Bookings can be made on the form at


Monday 24 May:

These workshops are all at the newly located (will be by then apparently) Teaching and learning Centre, in rooms MR3&4, Canberra

College, Stirling/Weston Campus, Fremantle Drive, Stirling

S17, Workshop A, 11.15-12.45

S18, Workshop B, 1.30 - 3 pm

S19, Workshop A, 3.30 - 5 pm


Wednesday 26 May

These workshops will all be at a location yet to be arranged by

Catholic Education's Learning Technologies & Library Services

Cangoul office, but I am expecting them to be in Canberra.

S20, Workshop A, 9.15-10.45

S21, Workshop B, 11.15 - 12.45

S22, Workshop A, 1.30 - 3 pm


I have an after school workshop arranged with a primary

school 3.15 - 5 pm for Tuesday 25 May, but nothing earlier in

that day, and would gladly take up any offers to visit etc. 

Similarly I am not doing anything in the evening of Monday,

Tuesday, or Wednesday and would be more than willing to

do professional association pd with any one interested.


Kerrie Smith

Schools Information Officer


Online resource for Microsoft Office users, includes tutorials, templates downloads and media gallery.



Some Great Map and Atlas Sites at:-


Just for Fun Map Game

Drag and drop the names of Middle Eastern countries into

their proper places on the map.


Online Map Creation

Construct your own map: choose coordinates for boundaries,

kind of projection, and types of data.


Maps That Teach

Learn the countries of different continents and their capitals with

these fun and educational map puzzle games.


Earth and Moon Viewer

Viewing the Earth: You can view either a map of the Earth showing the

day and night regions at this moment, or view the Earth from the Sun,

the Moon, the night side of the Earth, above any location on the

planet specified by latitude, longitude and altitude, from a

satellite in Earth orbit, or above various cities around the globe.

You can view maps of the moon, too.


National Geographic's Map Machine

Examine world themes, US themes, atlases, historical maps, flags and facts.


Zoom Into Maps! historic maps from the Library of Congress, help students

discover the stories that maps can tell us. Site introduces

historical maps from the American Memory collections. Categories

include: Exploration and Discovery, Migration and Settlement, Travel

and Transportation, Military, Pictorial Maps, Unusual Maps, and more.



Playing around with the CD Cover program, Whatever it is Roxio,

Nero, etc, they all provide options for producing labels and covers ­ with some great templates.

1. Goto Your CD Burning program, there will be an option to design

a CD cover and label for you CD.

2. Goto the format menu and select a background that suits(in some programs these backgrounds come up in the first selection window).

OR select an image, colour or pattern to fill the background.

3. Use a text box to insert the title and contents info.

4. Do the same for the Front, Back and Inlay for you CD.

5. Print it out ­ a sticky label is needed for the inlay ­ however as a design exercise non- sticky is just fine.


What else can you do with these???

These are great for storybook covers for Primary Schools.

Hint:- you can print them out do a percentage increase in size

to make them bigger about 120% is pretty good.

The Inlay is a great circle ­ insert the childıs photo and type

in the text box.





The Attack of the 50 Foot Chicken - Special effects and the

Wizards of Ahhhhs!

History of Special Efects and Some great examples.


The original Skyway in the Blue Mountains of NSW is being

replaced with a brand new cable car.

The SKYWAY will reopen November 2004.  Find out all about

this historic Blue Mountains Tourist Attraction at:-



Hi Cathy

Quick question.  Do you know of any sites online that are to

do with Possum Magic?  Possum Magic turns 21 on the 31st

of June and thought it might be nice to do something with the

kids (year 1/2).  Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.




Book Rap


Dear Cathy,

I have already emailed you but perhaps you didn't get it.  I am a very keen

reader of your newsletter and enjoy receiving it every fortnight.  Last year

you gave the web address to some excellent comments for writing reports.  I

looked this up and gained a great deal from it.  Unfortunately my computer

was stolen and with it the report comments.  Could you please send me a copy

of the website again.

With sincere thanks

Anne Munro


Hi Anne,

This newsletter had a number of sites with comments for report writing.

To find past articles and recommendations on the VT site just use the google search engine on the directory page - works very well and only searches VT.


I am a mature age 2nd year education student who regularly

receives your newsletter.  I just wanted to thankyou for your

wonderful project, which keeps me enthused and looking forward t

o the many more exciting resources you make available to educators. 

My only trouble is that I can get so absorbed in the materials you

provide that I forget the time, and find that I'm not doing my

assigned work from Uni!


Leisel Ward


Hi Leisel,

Thanks for that. Maybe this Newsletter should be an assignment

for UNI.  Or perhaps your UNI people should invite me to do a

guest lecture there.  At the moment I am working on a seminar

on Filmmaking - and how to make it actually work in the

classroom.  Called - 'the Attack of the 50 ft chicken and other

filmmaking stuff'.  No educational jargon here.  Stay tuned


10.  NEXT ISSUE ­  Iıd like to get some feedback on what is

happening in schools with digital video ­ let me know what

you are doing.

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


Delivered FREE to your e-mail box every fortnight.

Online Lesson Plans, Great Sites, Free Stuff, Tips, Time savers,

and templates.

Computer Solutions for Teachers. Subscribe today! It's

totally Free! Just type subscribe in the subject and send it to me.


Reach a growing audience of teachers,  by advertising in the

Virtual Teacher Newsletter or on the Virtual Teacher site.

For more information contact,

For information about inservice and training contact me at