Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 94  24th July 2004 - MANIFESTO




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo ­ Panama Canal

4. New Printables -  Beginning Digital Portfolios

5. Technical Stuff ­ AVAST & Blogs

6. Web Site Focus ­ Data Loggers and Probes

7. Email from Subscribe

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


WELCOME EVERYONE.   A number of folk have written to me

with newsletter withdrawal symptoms.  I have been busy doing some

seminars ­ fantastic, and giving inservice at schools, and setting

up a network during the last 4 weeks so have been flat out. 

This is the work I love, so it did get priority.  I love it because

schools that incorporate technology well, WILL change education.

The limitations of the pencil and paper tyranny of the last 50 years

will give way to a better more equitable more enjoyable more

effective learning environment.  The results are in, using

computers increases everything, including, in some  cases

house prices around technology rich schools.



Workplace and classroom cultures are real, powerful and they

can work wonders. I have just written a Manifesto of core Values

­ to set the tone of the room, to get the Œteamı working together,

to make sure that when I am working I actually enjoy the team

I am working with. This has proven really successful. It is not a

list of rules, but proactive in creating a great working environment. 

Here is one version.  Set up one for your classroom, your

school, make them places you want to be ­ you can make

the change. Make it specific, make it personal, make it original,

donıt use cliché.


³A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team

of B and C players.² Steve Jobs


Core Value number 1 ­ ³We tell the truth.² Itıs an absolute

core value, we are just not interested in slimeballs, politicians

and liars, if your into this your outa here, you are immediately

persona non grata.

2. Weıre here to win. To continually do better and beat OUR

 last performance. We donıt accept anything else but constant

improvement.  Our class is the best, we are smart and we work

hard. We value attention to detail, and precise knowledge,

logic and reason. We donıt let things languish. We solve the

problem and we donıt catastrophize.

3. We do whatıs right for ourselves and the class

Individual initiative will be acknowledged and rewarded. Everyone

needs to work toward improving their individual performance

and the groups performance, itıs your job to think about what

you can do and improve it.  Go, be proactive, and make it happen.

4. We set goals to improve, be more efficient, less wastage

of time and equipment, improve performance, and personal

relationships because the alternative is rotten, to be an aimless

 floater, with no goals, no objectives, who says:- What?

Who am I? Why am I here?

5. Quality is job number one. Quality classroom environment

and quality work. Itıs the most important thing we do. We do

the best we can.  Our Class needs to be a friendly place that

folk enjoy coming to and feel welcome. We believe in quality

work, no work leaves our desk, that isnıt a great work.


³In every job that must be done there is an element of fun,

you find the fun and SNAP the jobs a game.² Mary Poppins


Values in NSW public schools

A Ministerial Statement

by Hon Andrew Refshauge, MP,

Deputy Premier

Minister for Education and Training and

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

March 2004

Supported by the Federation of Parents and Citizensı Associations

of NSW, NSW Teachers Federation, Primary Principalsı Association,

Secondary Principalsı Council and Public Education Council.


The core values are:


Being consistently honest and trustworthy.


Striving for the highest personal achievement in all aspects

of schooling and individual and community action, work and

life-long learning.


Having regard for yourself and others, lawful and just

authority and diversity within Australian society and accepting

the right of others to hold different or opposing views.


Being accountable for your individual and communityıs

actions towards yourself, others and the environment.


Working together to achieve common goals, providing

support to others and engaging in peaceful resolution of



Being a proactive and productive individual and group

member, having pride in and contributing to the social and

economic wealth of the community and the nation.


Concern for the wellbeing of yourself and others,

demonstrating empathy and acting with compassion.


Being committed to the principles of social justice and

opposing prejudice, dishonesty and injustice.


Accepting and promoting the rights, freedoms and

responsibilities of being an Australian citizen


3. WWWinfo

This is a seriously terrific site. I watched the  series the ŒSeven

Wonders of the Industrial Worldı recently on ABC ­ Hereıs site

that deals with one of them - The Panama Canal, transit,

Operation, Live Images, History. WOW


4. NEW PRINTABLES - Digital Portfolio Beginning

Digital Portfolios are what folk have if they use computers. 

If you use a computer and save your work you have a

digital portfolio



avast! Virus Cleaner - free virus & worm removal tool

avast! Virus Cleaner is available free for every user.

This tool will help you remove selected worm infections

from your computer.


Educational uses of blogging

Hangleton Junior School in Hove.

Simply Science at

Site updates at


6. WEBSITE FOCUS ­ Using Data Loggers and Probes

Innovative Ideas for Teaching Science

One of the really big buzzes from the Apple 1 to 1 conferences

was the hands on lab with Laptops and probes of various types.

Using a variety of sensors that plug into the computer where

measurements are recorded, graphed and interpreted was quite

amazing,  Using these gadgets you can get immediate feedback

and data analysis ­ so cool.  One of the most amazing results

was the ball thrown into the air, speed and height were measured simultaneously.  For the first time I could see graphically

represented, the spot where the height was at a maximum and

the speed was at zero ­ just brilliant.  This is serious science,

kids can make things happen, and it is 100 times more fun.

Maths sensors, science sensors, chemistry, biology, earth

science, physics etc.

Data  Logger Pro


7. kia ora (greetings) Cathy


Thanks you for your recent newsletter. Seymour Papert is an

inspirational speaker and his assertion that (via your notes):


"what should be included in the curriculum has some

how been taken off the agenda, because we are so busy

trying to teach the curriculum that we are not discussing the

really important questions of what should be IN the

curriculum. And this is really where the discussion should be."


 . . .is indeed the main point and we must always ensure that the point

about what we do always remains the main point and we are not distracted by

red herrings


Or in the words from a recent article:


"In summing up, it is clear that unless this vision is put in place we will

spend the next 20 years talking about "red herrings" such as assessment

schemes, team work, computers as tools, effective leadership models etc;

which are all good and well but unless there is a vision for all this to sit

within it amounts to nothing more than busy work with little or no real

purpose. " 


But against this backdrop there are tens of thousands of teachers so busy

that they never have time to come up from below decks to check that those

frantically rowing the boat have someone on board that has a map and has the

capability to steer the ship and navigate around the icebergs and stop off

and enjoy the occasional white sandy beaches. Teachers are excellent rowers,

have good training and experience as rowers, encourage each other to row

well; we even reward the better rowers BUT we simply going around in

circles; great rowers going nowhere taking their passengers nowhere because

there is no one on the ship that understands how to read a map, how to

navigate and where they actually want to go to. That is why  education is

globally going nowhere.


However not all is lost: Like you I believe that technology has the

potential to allow our frantically rowing teachers to spend some time on

deck, get some sun and ask the big questions BUT this is an opportunity that

is only just beginning to emerge; the technology up until now was simply not

up to it (too expensive, unreliable with most used as an expensive set of

textas to colour in low level thematic work). Saying technology is the

answer is not good enough; there has to be a plan and the plan has to be

sustainable. Ministry of Education here in NZ are about to adopt the plan

and it will propel this country to a point where our teachers here will be

able to have the luxury of time on deck. So what is the plan  . . . Read the

article if interested.


Like you we write a newsletter each month and it goes out to thousands of

teachers (nine years of newsletters and almost 10 000 education web site

reviews later). We have archived some of the newsletters and web site

reviews at

The article that provides a framework for the plan described above is at

but read these two articles first

(the first section) and

More archives will be added in the next few weeks.


The latest newsletter deals with wireless technology and its role

in the grand scheme of things.


Apologies for the long e-mail. The newsletter and web site reviews are free

and we do not advertise products or services within it. I have the luxury of

not teaching or being employed by anyone and spend a lot of time on deck

contemplating how we can manage our way to a sustainable education system.

We tend to do two year focus blocks 2000-2002 theme was creating a thinking


 (these are my lecture notes for conferences etc rather than essays so follow links under gadget on LHS of screen). Our latest project has been to create Knowledge Networks (integrated intranets/extranets) that will allow schools to purchase cost effective environments to deliver what we have described above. V2 of the Knowledge NET will be completed by the development team in about 5 weeks time. We can provide you with a userID and password to play with version 1 if you are interested.  The 2005-2006 plan is to build the dream here in NZ

and then export the results globally; quite a modest plan really! 


Anyway I had better let you get back to work. We appreciate your newsletter

and the work you do; quite stunning really as I presume you are teaching

full time as well as doing this!  Cheers


ka kite ano (farewell)

Mark Treadwell


Knowledge Networks (intranet & extranet solutions)

Teachers@work (web site reviews and ICT advice)

i-Learnt (Mark Treadwell's online notes)




Fascinating look inside the Computer. about technology and the internet. itıs interactive and very informative.



A great range of free toy templates that can be cut out and glued,

gift baskets, spinners, gazebos, pop up cards ­ great range.

In a Victorian style.


Art Principles Animated

Creating a composition is one of the most exciting and challenging

aspects facing an artist. How do you use art principles like

balance, contrast, movement, and proportion to compose a

powerful work of art?

By now perhaps you have seen that many things in the world are changing in a variety of time scales. But have you considered all of the changes that are occuring in a single place? From microseconds to thousands of years, here is your chance to observe a place in time. My kids loved this.


Color, Contrast & Dimension in News Design

The Poynter Institute, a school for journalists, future journalists and teachers of journalists, has created an online tutorial to help designers with the complexities of color and its use in print and online. Imbedded in the tutorial are page design exercises, which let the learner experiment with the use of color in magazines, newspapers, and websites. This tutorial would be a great addition to journalism and web-design classes. Jounalism teachers will also want to check out Poynter's High school Journalism Guide at




your comments are very welcome.

though the reference to 'magic' may be lost on those not at the


...especially when referring to the magic is gone now the national

curriculum is in place...

the newsletter is well received each fortnight, it sends to quite a list...

best regards


this too on a G4 powerbook!!

arn't they just the to explain this to anyone else...


Hi Cathy

Great job I enjoy getting the newsletters and wish I had more time

to do it ALL.


and keep up the good work!



Hi Cathy,

A teacher at the school where I work has just set up for teachers to share

resources. I wondered if you wanted to add this to your next

newsletter. The site is set up in subject areas along with a

discussion forum.


Paul (first-year-out teacher)


Take a look and let me know what you think...



just wondering if you have lesson plans, etc..

for preschool level?   4 year olds.



Can anyone suggest, there are lots of links on VT ­ including

³Ants on an Apple² ­ just use the search engine on the site.

ŒAnts² Preschool² etc


Hi Cathy,

My name is Marco. I teach year 9 Consolidation

and Year 11 Foundation Maths. I am struggling

to get my kids interested in Maths so I am wondering if there is any good software that I can use to get my year 9s more excited about Maths.

Theyıre just not made for pen and paper and bookwork. Help!



I will cover some of these sites next newsletter ­ please write in with your suggestions and weıll make a feast of it.


Dear Cathy,

I haven't received a newsletter since June. My internet was down

for a few days during the holidays, so could I have missed one?

 Hope not. Hope to get one soon!.

Many thanks

Rosi Hardy

hope you enjoy this one.


 10. NEXT ISSUE ­ Letıs take a reall look at Maths next time

­ send in your ideas and websites ­ this has got to be one of

the best areas to use computers. 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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