Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 94  7th August 2004 ­ FUTUROLOGY




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. The tyranny of the pencil and paper

has limited curriculum development for long enough.  Letıs say

the 2 Pıs, letıs say the 3Pıs, pencil, paper and photocopy have

led to a curriculum that lends itself to right and wrong answers,

answers that can be represented with little black marks on

paper ­ entirely devastating to mathematical and scientific learning.

We need something more dynamic, where you do things, see things,

and manipulate things.  Technology offers unparalleled opportunities

for kids to do things, to manipulate things, computers themselves

offer children an elementary model for how their own minds work.

The benefits of working with computers could also include a simple

and liberating new view of mistakes. "They're just bugs,"

Seymour Papert.

Computers rather than papers and pencils need to become

the dominant tools for education.



³Whatıs the problem? ŠŠ.. dyslexia,  the problem is that we

never evolved to read. Reading is an entirely artificial, new

skill and it is only in this century that most Westerners have

even had it. To read, we have to use a brain that was designed

for other things, to translate an arbitrary visual code into sounds,

co-ordinate eye movements and a whole lot more. The skill

employs all three major modalities ­ vision, audition and movement

­ and also involves speech areas. And this is why dyslexia is so p

revalent ­ because reading greatly taxes almost all our skills base.²

 A Brief History of Tomorrow ­ Jonathan Margolis


"New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can't be done.

2) It probably can be done, but it's not worth doing.

3) I knew it was a good idea all along!"

 - Arthur C. Clarke


I care a lot about the future. After all, it's where I'll be spending

the rest of my life.

 - Unknown


The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot

read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler


Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance

it accumulates in the form of inert facts. Henry B. Adams


In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned

find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that

no longer exists. Eric Hoffer


3. WWWinfo

Official Athens Olympics Site

More Olympics sites belowŠŠŠŠ..



What do we want education to look like in 2020, 2010.

We need to plan it now.

" The best way to predict the future is to invent it."

- Alan Kay


There is no question that we are experiencing a fierce

pace of change in an increasingly global economy. The

challenge for schools was stated quite clearly by Jack

Welch, the CEO of General Electric when he said, "If the

rate of change inside an institution is less than the rate of

change outside, the end is in sight."


Schools that ignore the trends shaping tomorrow will cease

to be relevant in the lives of their students, and will quickly

disappear. We must transform all formal institutions of

learning, from pre-K through college, to insure that we are

preparing students for their future, not for our past.²

Print this out and put it on the staffroom wall for discussion. 

Email me and let me know what you are thinking.



Jack Davis Live,

Author of the Award winning Photoshop WOW Book and the

soon to be released How to WOW Book on Photoshop for


Another great Adobe Free seminar, this oneıs in September.


Check out the  past Adobe roadshows and notes at

The Russell Brown Video Conference is particularly good.



I have been delving into the world of neurofeedback.  I would

love to look at using these types of programs in schools with

Autistic and ADD, ADHD students.  It sounds like it offers great

potential.  I have started a links site

I am keen to hear form anyone who is currently working in this

area, I am particularly interested in the sort of hardware and

software used as well as information on how these devices

work and results achieved.

Please give me some EMAILFEEDBACK on this one, I think

this could be a hugely important areas to investigate.


7. Athens Olympics Sites

IOC Olympics Site


ESPNıs Olympic Effort


BBC provides clear and comprehensive coverage


The ³Sydney Morning Heraldıs Website


Around the Rings ­ Independent news


ABC Olympics site



Great Maths Sites ­ Thanks everyone for sending in the sites

Some great stuff here.  There is a selection of my favourites at:-


Hi Cathy,

This is an excellent math site! Students can practise addition,

subtraction and multiplication as either one or two player(s)

and it even has the options of either 'three in a row' (easier)

or 'five in a row' (harder). My

students from Grades 3 to 10 all love it!

 and click on 1. Play a math game.


Alison James

Computer Specialist Teacher (1-10)

Toowoomba Christian College



The Maths Game is Fantastic, and the other links to Science and

maths are well worth exploring, go there use this site.


Hi Cathy,

Just read your info about MathsPOWER on your web site.

Don't know if you know but the team at MathsPOWER have

now put together K-6 programs. Just as brilliant, if not better...

kids get gifts posted to them for half year completion and full

year completion to add to motivation, same format as High

school. ie. short lesson & a worksheet but also has a few

added features specifically designed for Infants/Primary-getting

fantastic reviews. Thought you might want to add this info to

what's there. Keep up the Great work!




Dear Cathy,

Suggestion for pre-school lessons.The very first K-2

MathsPOWER program has about 25-30 lessons that are

great for 3-4yr olds.They have lessons and worksheets

and the program then continues on through the infants

grades. My 3 and a half year old is loving it and thriving.




Hi Cathy,

Here are some maths sites that I use.  I have others

but I think they originally came from your own site! 

They are all great by the way!


An idea that works well is to build the sites into your school

Intranet (if you are lucky enough to have one) or make yourself

a little website to use in your own classroom.  That way the

children have easy access to each site and it is easy to

remember what each offers.  I split up the games from

certain sites to make a link to particular games.  This works

particularly if you make sure each opens in a new window

so children are able to exit out of a site and get back to the

school site.  Microsoft FrontPage lets you do this when you

make a hyperlink.

This site has heaps (about 25) different games for all  primary

 grade levels

This includes a list of good web links

Cheers, Cheryl Wells

PS  Congratulations on your great newsletter.  I think I use ideas

and links from every one !



Integrating ICT is now online, from the Government of

Western Australia

With itıs links to notable websites, fact sheets, learning area

websites etc ­ youıll take a month to properly explore it.



Dear Cathy

I would like to say thank you very much for your newsletter. I really

appreciate it existing and the effort that must go into producing it.


By way of a little feedback...I almost feel inappropriate mentioning it;

it, however, is something that I think teachers need to model...

correct spelling. I acknowledge that the only real use for accurate

spelling is the written language and that effective communication

still occurs in the face of variations - however as teachers we

teach correct spelling as an element of our literacy programs/needs. 

While I understand that you have written it in accessible and

occasionally colloquial language, in number one of your core

values you wrote:

Core Value number 1 - "We tell the truth." It's 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.

It should read: if you're into this you're outa here.

It seems in keeping with your core values of quality and continual

improvement to mention this.


Keep up the fabulous job with the newsletter - it really is not

only appreciated but also actively used.




Yes Lisa I need a better editor. You're absolutely right.


Hi Cathy,


Thanks for the great newsletter. The stuff by Mark Treadwell

from NZ was

very interesting.


I was happy to hear you related to the great benefit that

dataloggers have to offer science education, but you omitted

the contact details to the best

system available in Australia; Fourier Systems:


I am the Education Manager for OZIntell,

and I spend my life going around to primary and secondary

schools showing teachers the great way that the instant feedback

provided by dataloggers can really engage students and get

them asking questions and designing their own investigations

to test their own hypotheses. While ever a science teacher

says to a student, "Science is in this book, and if you learn

this book you will know Science." we will continue to have

one of the world's lowest retention rates and lowest satisfaction

rates for science.


 In International TIMSS study "Australian students' attitude

toward science declined markedly between primary and

secondary education" ……… data collected from 13 & 14

year olds, Australia was ranked 19 out of 23 countries

for a positive attitude towards Science, lowest of all

English speaking countries....

(Imagine the public outcry if we were doing this poorly in

the Rugby or cricket!)


When students see that by changing one aspect of their

investigation they get an instant change in the graph,

it leads them to ask "What would happen if..." questions,

then they can work out a way to find  answers to their OWN

questions. This is when they become engaged in science.

This is when we start to produce scientists. Dataloggers are

wonderful for this.


The American datalogger companies you gave links to in

your last newsletter are OK, but there are two big reasons

why Fourier is clearly the best choice for Australian schools.


1)Ease of use/user friendly. The Fourier loggers and software are

unquestionably the easiest to use of any system. Their primary

EcoLogXL logger is so simple that even year 1-2's are using

them with great results, but so powerful that senior biology and

environmental science students use them for field work.


2)Personal support and training. I am now the only full time person

available in NSW to train teachers at their schools free of charge. All

teachers have to do is call me on my mobile number 0408 298 018

and arrange a free datalogging workshop for their school.

I also give workshops in all the other states as well.


Fourier have been "the best kept secret in school datalogging

in Australia" for too long. It is time that teacher started to take

advantage of this fantastic resource.


Peter Niass


Ph: 0408 298 018

Fax: 02 9475 0894


Hi Cathy,

A free resource which is great for primary level and up to Stage 4

is Compute-a-graph which is now available from Curriculum

Support Directorate at

Click on the Resources menu and scroll down to the

compute-a-graph link.


There are also some lesson ideas on the site - click on

Teaching Ideas then Mathematics. Many of these are from

the curriculum support documents called 'Computer-based

technologies in the KLAs' which came out in 1997.

Thanks again for the informative newsletter,

Regards Rose Mahar


When I went to this site it said Œunder constructionı .


10.   NEXT ISSUE ­ Thanks everyone for the great maths

sites ­ some real gems amongst them.  I am very interested

to hear your ideas on 2020 education visions as well as

neurofeedback options Keep emailing. 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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