Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No.89 ­ April 30th 2004 ­  GO ATOMIC




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy


4. New Printables -  MATHS

5. Technical Stuff ­ UNSW COMPUTER TEST

6. Web Site Focus ­ TONY VINSON REPORT


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1.    WELCOME EVERYONE. Go Atomic, take advantage of

Brynıs 10 day trial on Atomic Learning. This is a great site and covers

tutorials on almost everything, a great offer from VT and Atomic Learning.


I think I am taking a stand.  I think unless we start to get computers

working better in schools with the right software ­ up-to-date equipment

enough technical support and teacher tuition we are going to

frustrate ourselves back into the 19th century.


We are like the crew of the Enterprise trying

³To Boldy Go Where No One  Has Gone Before ²

in a Wright Brothers Plane.


Start with Brynıs offer, and from here on in, send in ideas

to improve the system,  your thoughts, your experience. 

I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, so be prepared

to hear more in subsequent newsletters.



Excerpts from test papers and essays submitted to science

and health teachers by junior high, high school, and college

students around the world.


"When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire."


"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water"


"Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water."


"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars."


"The body consists of three parts- the brainium, the borax

and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain,

the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable

cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u."


"The pistol of a flower is its only protections agenst insects."


"The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana."


"The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water

tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon,

and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."


"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."


"Equator: A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa."


"For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart stops."


"For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm

above the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees

of the nearest medical doctor."


"For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not

recovered, then kill it."


"To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."


3. WWWinfo ­ FREE ATOMIC Learning for 10 days

GET IT WHILE IT LASTS ­ These tutorials are great ­ donıt miss out on your chance to give them a thorough test.


Hi again Cathy,

It occurred to me that you might like to offer your newsletter subscribers a free trial of Atomic Learning. That would be good for both of us.

If you make the offer as follows:

Readers of Virtual Teacher can access the complete Atomic Learning Library free for 10 days.

Just send an email to Bryn Jones at and ask for a trial - mention that you heard about it from Virtual Teacher.

Include this link to info




Some Great Ideas from the Department on maths - downloadable pdfs

There are some interesting resources at this site downloadable as PDFs

Unfortunately the e-learning Highlight is:-

Šthe download of compute-A-graph

an antiquated program that runs with 256Ks under OS 9 on

Mac or on a similarly antiquated PC. Come on guys we need

the great stuff,  that works brilliantly with all the latest gear.

Our students ­ unless time travel evolves in the meantime

­ will enter the world in 2010-2020, not 1995. 



Not Technical Enough Stuff

The recent UNSW Computer test for Years 5&6, came as a bit of a surprise. 

Rather than being  a good test - all be it paper and pencil, of computer skills

it proved to be an antiquated test quite out of tune with current computer education

in NSW. Question 3 related to plugging and unplugging a computer, I have

stopped demonstrating how to set up computers to Primary aged students

as this encourages them to play with cables, and I believe compromises

safety in the classroom, particularly in light of OH&S concerns. The paper

also moved between Mac and Windows Operating systems, not offering both

in one questions but offering either or for questions (5.6,7 and 8 for instance). 

Although OS 10 for Mac has been around now for at least 2 years the images

related to earlier operating systems.  Questions 25 and 26 relate to the use

of an external 55.6K modem, something I haven't used in schools or personally

for at least 3 years. The use of a serial port is positively antiquated technology. 

There was also a heavy emphasis on programming using the old logo turtle

maths. Although hailed as a great program over 25 years ago, it is certainly

not mainstream in schools today.  Computer technology is taught as a tool,

using a programming language in primary schools is at best an interesting

diversion, certainly not essential to computer literacy.  The UNSW testers need

update their testing questions and bring them into the 21st century. 

Or better still don't test Computer skills at all.


Hello Fellow Primary & Secondary Teachers,

We wish to alert you to an upcoming online event beginning early

Term 2 entitled Ask an expert - 'Ask Dr Water'.


'Ask Dr. Water' is an online  question and answer activity for

students and their teachers who want to find out more about salinity, rivers and household water use beginning Monday 26th April 2004 and concluding Friday

30th April.


 We wish to encourage teachers and students to send in a question relating to the areas of salinity, rivers and household water use during this period and answers will be sent back by email.  Following the end of this

particular week, a FAQ page will be set up of the main points raised.

We hope that this online event may assist your teaching and learning in the area of Water-salinity, rivers and household water use.


Regards Raff Grasso.


Here is the link to 'Dr Water'

Submission Form:

Further information about Water


EdNA Online is running another program of free workshops commencing in May 2004. Each year EdNA Online's Information Officers run workshops in each state and territory to help the education and training community get the most out of the EdNA Online service. EdNA Online is a joint initiative of the state, territory and Australian governments for the education and training community.


WORKSHOP A: An Update of EdNA Online's Tools and Services

WORKSHOP B: Embedding services and resources from EdNA Online into your own website


Workshop participation is free to the education and training community. To find our where the workshops will be held, and to register, visit




Featured Resources

At 2:04 PM +0930 7/4/04, TheNetworker wrote:

Conferences in Australia

Conferences Overseas

Online conferences



In addition, scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities have been listed on the EdNA Online noticeboard Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants. Don't miss the application due dates - visit the noticeboard


To include an event or a scholarship/fellowship in the respective noticeboards, submit the information using the form at

- select the appropriate noticeboard and fill in the fields as displayed. Suggested notices are evaluated by the EdNA Online Information Officers and included in the noticeboards upon approval.



There are a number of new items on the national CBCA website that are relevant for events coming up soon:


1. The 2004 Shortlist will be on the national website at 12:00am EST on Tuesday 6 April. The link will be on the home page:


2. The Book Week Banner that is copyright free for you to put on any print or other resources you develop for Book Week is now available. See: it's a fabulous image that you can download.


3. There is now an illustration of the official Book Week poster so that you can see what the artwork will look like. See:

This page includes other information about Book Week and you can order a limited edition print of the poster separately if Brian Harrison-Lever's artwork appeals to you.


6. WEBSITE FOCUS - Tony Vinson

I meet Tony Vinson just recently ­ and was interested to re-visit

his report. Some very pertinent ideas , the quote below is from

a Country Teacher, the report is riddles with quotes from teachers

and is certainly worth re-reading.


Teachers are under pressure not to think of themselves as professional educators.  We are more and more interpreters of the written word from

above and required to respond to the pressures that arise from the

community. The system does not recognise the vocational

functions that we perform and for which we are not paid. 

We are educators.  We make a professional input at every

stage, from the curriculum to the building we work in.  We

should actually start taking the high ground and say these

are the things that, as professional educators, we insist on

having a strong say in and control of. The whole idea of

professional educators giving away the curriculum to a non-teacher

body is ludicrous.  We all sit here and complain, and I do too,

about the incredible pressures this situation puts on us as

professionals.  We are asked to try and teach someone else's

recipes that don't fit our particular students, our particular

communities. There is a continual mismatch because we

are trying to do something that our profession knows we

can't do properly.

A country teacher, Dubbo Hearing, August, 2001.


7. Mother's Day

Kids Domain never fails to come up with some great ideas for holiday celebrations check out their Mother's Day suggestions.

Kids Domain Mom Day Crafts

Motherıs Day ­ History,  crafts, and a poem.


Who came up with Motherıs Day and why?


Special things Kids Can do For Mum


DLTKıs Motherıs Day Crafts for Kids


Enchanted Learning Motherıs Day


Famous Mothers

Mother Teresa





Spinners ­ Post Primary mathematical Resources from the Canberra Mathematical society

Computer(ICTs),  Graphics, Calculators,  Other , Worksheets



Art Educator (ARTiculation)

The objectives of ARTiculation are to encourage you to look at a piece

of artwork and to understand what goes into the art making process. Over

fifty activities reinforce what has been learned in each section. Main

sections include Elements of Art, Principles of Design, and Art

Critiquing Process. Also contains a Timeline, Vocabulary Section, and

numerous lessons plans and worksheets (Activities) in the Resource

section. Requires Flash and Shockwave.


ILLUSIONS - Dynamic Optical Illusions

Where nothing is as it seems.

An intriguing selection of old, new and exclusive optical illusions.

Pictures are often enhanced via the use of 3D and through animation.


Anzac Day ­ Better lateŠŠ


Peter Macinnis' great photos of Anzac Images



Thankyou Cathy for the comments on my site.

I really hope school kids can get some use from the information I provide. I have had a few contact me direct re school projects on Glenrowan.

Keep up the great work with your newsletter, kind regards Dave White.>



just a feedback comment re: film making


having attempted previous versions on many different OS and platforms, iMovie is just the best thing!

so simple students can do the edit and construction without being blocked by technical difficulties.

students use a G4 iBook in class to produce a short story on an aspect of out local science habitat enclosure. needless to say we have seen steve irwin look alikes through  to sci fi monster from the deep 3 minute epics

enjoy the newsletter, look forward to the sunday post.




eltham high victoria


Hi Cathy,

Item no 7 with CD covers where do I go to get the information to create.  I

am very interested because my daughter is doing this course at high school and

some extra from outside activity would build up her knowledge and again experience.


I am a 4th year student in Education and I find the information that you provide

is excellent.

Well done keep it up.

Agnes Kami


Any CD Burning Program will have an option to create cd Covers,

if you computer has a CD burner it would have been supplied with

CD Burning Software like Nero, Roxio, or Easy CD.


Cathy,  Your map info is incredible!  I couldn't bookmark them all

fast enough.  Thanks again for keeping us all on the cutting edge

of curriculum offerings.  Warm regards, Nancy S-G


Hi Cathy,

I haven't been able to open the power point Life on Mars.

Has there been trouble?  I am just getting the message 'page can not be displayed'.

Thanks for any ideas/information.

Simone Mossop


Problem sorted.

You can now download Life on Mars ­ it is a large file.


10.  NEXT ISSUE ­ Will be VTıs 90th issue, I now have over

6,500 subscribers, cause for celebration, cause for something

special. 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