Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 99  6th November 2004 ­  IMPOSSIBLE NEVER




1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy





8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. 1. WELCOME EVERYONE. Another Knock out conference from the University of Wollongong and Apple is to be held at the beginning of December ­ donıt miss it.  Marco Torres will be a knock-out , check his online line links below.  Also the extended workshop sessions will really proof beneficial to attendees, 15 hours of technology skilling across a wide range of areas including OS x Server configuring, WOW. And every conference delegate will be provided with a wireless computer. Hands on ­ right on.  These new initiatives by Technology suppliers to hold conferences such as this are to be applauded and encouraged. Also check out the Edsoft seminars, Linda does a great job, and they are so much better than your stand departmental run inservice.  Go to as many as you can, go on, your principals have been given extra T&D funding, and this is just the sort of experience you should have.

Correction the website for the fantastic Logger is

go there and check it out.



It is not as important to know what is possible as it is to know

that what is impossible is temporary.

Cathy Brown Virtual Teacher


"We have schools because we hope that some day when children

have left schools that they will still be able to use what it is that

they've learned." --Howard Gardner



Students in NSW are finally getting their promised email accounts

and the new Web Services seems wonderful. Check it out at ­

If you havenıt already books in for the training and you are in NSW-

do it now.


4. NEW PRINTABLES/Searchables

TIP I have had a number of questions over the last few

weeks asking for specific info on certain topics.  The Virtual

Teacher is filled with vast resources on a huge range of topics. 

The best way to search the site is to use the Google search

engine on the directory page for the Virtual Teacher site, just

type in you words and all will be revealed.

near the top in the centre.






The University of Wollongong Faculty of Education and Apple

Computer Australia will hold the 16th Annual Innovative

Technology Schools Conference (ITSC) from 1-3 December

at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia.


ITSC is a unique professional development opportunity for

educators from around the Asia-Pacific region. Working with

experienced facilitators in a variety of areas, you can select

workshops that relate to your passion, and that fit your schedule.


You choose between seven one-day workshops that quickly

boost your skill level in a particular area, or eleven three-day

workshops, which allow more in-depth understanding of the

areas covered. Both choices offer focused learning and real

skills to use immediately in your education environment.



Time. As well as learning new skills, you get time to reflect,

discuss and explore. Youıll spend 15 hours in the workshop

of your choice, making sure you acquire the technology

skills that are important to you.


Access. Every ITSC delegate is provided with a wireless

computer and relevant peripheral resources such as DV cameras.


Leadership. ITSC workshop leaders are some of the best

international and local educational experts in their field.

Their leadership and communication skills will make your

conference experience a memorable and valuable one.


Two Conferences in One

You select which program is right for your needs. Both

programs offer the keynote speech, birds of a feather sessions,

technology partner expo and conference dinner.


3-Day Program

Attendees to the 3-day program work in a small group with

fellow educators on a selected project. The workshops are

designed to cater for a variety of skill levels, from novice to

³guru² and will give you 15 hours of invaluable hands-on experience.


1-Day Program

For more time-constrained delegates, the 1-day workshops on

Thursday, 2 Dec offer the perfect blend of intense study in a

quick 1-day format.


MARCO TORRES is a social studies teacher, media coach, and

education technology director at San Fernando High School.

 He has received numerous honors and awards for his work helping students empower themselves through the mastery of multimedia. He serves as one of Appleıs Distinguished Educators and is an advisory board member of The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Professor STEPHEN HEPPELL is director of Ultralab, Anglia Polytechnic

University's learning technology research centre in Chelmsford.

Stephen has been described as "the man who is single handedly

doing more than any other to enlighten government thinking on

the use of computers in schools.' by the Times Education Supplement







professional development seminar

Thursday 11th November 2004 from 4pm - 6pm Cranbrook

School Junior Library 5 Victoria Rd, Bellevue Hill, Sydney NSW

Thursday 18th November 2004 from 1pm - 3pm 

The Hills Grammar Library  43 Kenthurst Rd, Kenthurst NSW

This professional development seminar will focus on 3 key areas:

1. The Skill of Reading

2. Assessment

3. Motivation and Instruction

By attending this seminar, participants will discover a new

classroom reading resource that will save time and provide

techniques to efficiently manage your reading program. 

The target audience for this workshop is Curriculum Coordinators,

Librarians, K-12 Classroom Teachers, Literacy Coordinators and Special Education Teachers.

This workshop will be presented by Bill Norris, the Implementation

Services Manager at Renaissance Learning Australia. 

Throughout his career Bill has undertaken many educator

positions including classroom teacher of English and SOSE

and various roles with the Victorian Department of Education

and Training.  Most recently he has worked as an independent

consultant on a number of education and training projects.


Edsoft invites you to a talk by Ann Crick from Crick software.

³Crick Software promotes the inclusion of children of all abilities

by creating flexible products that can be tailored by teachers to

the needs of individuals. Their most popular program, Clicker,

is a powerful yet easy-to-use writing support and multimedia t

ool that enables children to write with whole words, phrases

 or pictures.

When:-  4.00 ­ 6.00 pm  Tuesday 16th November

Where:-  Australian Catholic University

Main Auditorium

25A Barker Road


RSVP before 11th November, including your name, school and

contact details to Linda



These are 2 great sounding seminars from Edsoft and Linda,

the  seminars are free, this is a fantastic way to update on

software and understand its uses before purchase. they are in

fact FREE tutorials professionally presented by companies that

are actually spending money to inservice teachers in the use of

effective technology in the classroom. I support this initiative by

Edsoft and other companies such as Adobe and Apple, who

provide education specific inservicing.,




The Le@rning Federation is an initiative designed to create

online curriculum content and infrastructure to ensure that

teachers and students benefit from using these materials to

 widen and enhance their learning experiences in the classroom.


TLF is an initiative of the governments of Australia and the States,

Territories and the government of New Zealand. TLF is project

managed as part of a joint venture between Curriculum

Corporation and ltd. Both these companies

are owned by all Ministers at a Commonwealth, State and

Territory level.


7. Robotics

Carnegie Melon University ~ Robotics Institute

English Robotics Curriculum ­ units outlined, step by step lessons.

Core Concepts

Lego Engineering

Math & Science



Building Tips


NASA Robotics Education Project

Rover Ranch


Lego Robotics Resources on the Web

The Centre for Engineering Educational Outreach


Tankbot building Instructions


This next link is to a cool animation of the instructions

above ­ you see how to build it.


Robotics Prototypes, development, solving problems




Dinosphere: Now You're in THEIR World



Using actual specimens from the Dinosphere: Now You're in Their World

exhibit, The Children's Museum staff along with local educators and

university professionals collaborated to create engaging, K-8

standards-based online activities and WebQuests. There are eight

activities for K - 2, divided into nonreader, early reader, and reader

categories. There is also a WebQuest for grades 3 -5, as well as one for

grades 6 - 8. Each activity has a teacher's guide including activity

overview, standards and suggestions for variations, when applicable. All

activities and WebQuests have been translated into Spanish for ESL

students. From the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.





Hi Cathy

We  have two sites - one is

which is now active. We intend to build this site up with information and resources for users.


The sales site will be active next week. This is

basically our sales site from which we distribute the probes and other

things. That is why the password came up.


Glad you found them useful.  I will prepare a proper price list in the next

couple of days and send you this. I have been more concerned with getting

the sites working properly and organising a few of the end of year

conferences. Just wish there was 48 hours in the day!


Thanks Ed. The temperature probes from Ed are splendid ­ check

them out at his site, more on using them next newsletter.


Hi there. I just recently subscribed to Virtual Teacher and was looking

for website evaluation rubrics. I couldn't find them on the site, but

was wondering if you knew of any? I look forward to hearing from you.

Kristy Leuck


I love Virtual Teacher. There are so many useful things on here.


If you goto the Virtual Teacher Directory Page in the type Rubric

in there you will get about 7 results.

A great site for this is


Hi Cathy,

I just wanted to write and say a BIG BOFFO THANK YOU for

your wonderful newsletter. It was filled with fascinating information

and was a great read. Loved reading about the EcoLog ­

which is wonderful. Loved the T&D you arranged for us at

Crown Street. And I enjoyed reading the feedback/comments

from other readers and the links you provided.



you find the time to do everything ... but all l know is that everything

you do is filled with heart, passion and integrity.




I have been registered for newsletters for quite a while now but even

though the site says I'm registered, the newsletters are not coming

through. Others on staff are receiving theirs without problem. Any

suggestions? Keep up the good work. You provide a great service. Ted



Yes you are already subscribed to VT

Unfortunately the great protecting spam police of the CEO

sometimes determine that VT is SPAM.

Try writing to the webmaster and letting him/her

know VT is NOT SPAM - otherwise you may have to subscribe

using a different email address.



I don't want to unsubscribe at all - I love reading Virtual Teacher

and find it most useful. All I would like to

do is change my email address, but the unsubscribe option

does not allow this.


Natalie Purdy


Hi Natalie,

Just unsubscribe the old email address then re-subscribe with

the new email address


10.  NEXT ISSUE ­ Next Issue Christmas and Pyramids.


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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