Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 96  4th Septmber 2004 ­ PRIORITIZE




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo dmarie Time Capsule

4. New Printables/Watchables -  the Incredible Journey

5. Technical Stuff ­ G5 IMAC

6. Web Site Focus ­ STRANGE MATTER

7. Prioritize

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE.  It¹s been a busy fortnight, lots of

feedback about the GREAT AIM. next installment ­ PRIORITIZE.

Let me know what you think of this idea and how it can fit into

schools and teaching. Take a look at the Incredible Journey

watchable, and see student working with data probes. 

You¹ll love the Strange Matter site ­ the visuals are great. Enjoy



"One thing about the speed of gets here too early

in the morning." --Unknown


Friday, we had a tornado drill. We're underneath a parking

garage and there's a PA announcement "This is a tornado drill.

Please move quickly away from any and all windows."

Somebody yelled out: "Quick, get to a DOS prompt!"


3. WWWinfo dMarie Time Capsule

A simple tool to help locate news headlines based on the date you enter.

Quick Page will automatically generate a Time Capsule page for you.

Advanced Page will lead you through a "wizard" that allows you to select

specific headlines, birthdays, songs, TV shows, toys, and books for your

selected date. You can edit the information, or even add your own

information to the final page! When you're through, you'll be presented

with your own customized page that includes all the information you've

chosen, plus typical consumer prices from that year, Academy Award

winners that year, etc.  Currently has data for the years 1800.



The Incredible Journey. Project Based Learning using dataprobes.



Apple unveils new G5 iMac at Paris Expo

August 31, 2004 - 05:44 EDT   As widely expected,

Apple today unveiled the new iMac G5,

which features a high-performance G5 processor and a new

design that integrates the entire computer right into the flat

panel display. That's right -- the entire computer, including

the power supply and slot-load optical drive, is built right

into the display and rests on a sleek aluminum foot -- packing

a complete computer system into just two inches of depth,

which Apple says makes it the world's thinnest desktop

computer. The new line, which will be available in mid-September,

offers 17- or 20-inch active matrix widescreen LCDs and G5

processors running up to 1.8 GHz starting at $1,978.90 AUS

for Teachers



The UNSW Computing LEGO(R) Programming Workshops

Are you in Years 6 to 9 and interested in computer programming or mathematics?

Do you think robots are cool?

Do you want to have fun building LEGO(R) models and then

programming them to do specific tasks?

The UNSW Computing LEGO(R) Programming Workshops, run

by the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW,

will be starting in Term 4 2004 with a 5-week program using LEGO(R) components, to put programming theory into practice.  These

workshops are for students who have no prior experience of

programming LEGO(R).

For more details and to book into the workshop, visit our

website at


Insanely Great Productivity Calculator ­ how much more

productive are you with a Mac than a PC.


6. WEBSITE FOCUS - Strange Matter 

Discover the Secrets of Everyday Stuff. Intriguing graphics

that work. Find out what cell phones are made of, look at

aluminum atoms, and much more! If you are interested in

what things are made of, this is the site for you!


How Everyday Things are Made including Chocolate

Online videos


Building Big

Looks at Buildings, bridges, tunnels, descriptions and dimensions. 

Try the ŒLABS¹ that deal with forces acting on bridges.  Take the

Challenges and design your own structures, interactive.


Engineering Challenges  for Kids


7. The Great Aim of the last Newsletter

provided some immediate responses from a variety of folk. 

Some confusion, some ­ well how do we do that? type comments. 

We are in fact still stuck with the current curriculum. Too much

too teach, kids who are uninterested, not enough time to teach

higher order thinking skills, nothing taught in depth, teacher¹s

frustrated by the Œstandardized testing¹ mentality, test that mainly

test only recall, not understanding and thinking etc.

Well I think the answer is to prioritize.  Take what is great about

the current curriculum, all the Œdriveresque¹ knowledge, and make

it the priority. Of course ŒDriveresque Knowledge¹ is the

knowledge that is essential to know, to survive on the planet

Teach it first, in greater depth, give it more time. 

The rest, the Œlatinesque¹ knowledge, give it less time, make as

much as possible elective/optional, assign an interested student

to deliver a lesson on it. Tick it off and get back to the real business

of teaching what is relevant and essential knowledge. Leave spaces

for students to develop their own interests and pursue them.

Something like:-

³for the next 4 weeks we will be working on digital imagery and

photo manipulation with supportive text, however if any of you

have a great idea for a short film, PowerPoint presentation etc

that you¹d like to pursue,  get your thoughts together, write a

brief we¹ll discuss it next lesson.² This opens the door for

students to start thinking for themselves, and developing their

own interests, and once the ball is rolling, the ball is rolling.




Sites for Band Teachers


Medieval Castle Builder Program



Dear Cathy,

I would like to share with you for inclusion in the VirutalTeacher

website the Maths Internet Guide showcasing 100  websites carefully

chosen for their interactivity and grouped into five search categories.

The activities are ideal for individual learning, homework, classroom

discussion or students' project.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Boris Handal



Just thought I'd mention a great website for kids on Greek Mythology. It's

stored on the ABC Australia website, but the easy URL is

I'm not sure whether you have mentioned it before. It has two gateways - a

FLASH version (for broadband Internet, really) and an HTML one for lower

bandwidths. Content is the same on both.


Deon Scanlon

Sacred Heart School




Cathy, I would just like to say a huge thank you for all the

wonderful work you do preparing Virtual Teacher. Each fortnight

I am amazed to see the incredible work that is being done across

Australia in the area of Learning Technologies. We teachers are

all trying to make the shift from traditional methods to ways that

are going to fully prepare our wonderful students to work in the

21st century.  By browsing through your site I am continually

learning new and innovative approaches to apply to my teaching.

This year I am teaching Kindergarten and the students are

absolutely spellbound when we visit other schools to observe

their work and learn from them. We also enjoy visiting some

of your recommended sites. This term we are investigating Animals

and we have been so excited to visit Zoos around the world and

observe their animals.

Thanks for all your hard work.

Robyn Raeside.

St Bernadettes School

Castle Hill, NSW. 2154


NEXT ISSUE ­ Your responses to ŒPrioritize¹, send in your lists.

Send in your great ideas and websites as well.

Let¹s share everything. 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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