Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 49  May 10th 2002 – THE BIG BANG




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1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy – BIG BANG

3. WWWinfo - BIG MAC

4. New Printables -  ENVIRONMENTAL ED


6. Web Site Focus - History of Computing


8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


WELCOME EVERYONE. I attended a few fabulous Adobe

seminars last Wednesday.  These seminars provide a

fantastic opportunity to learn about programs, get

all the tips and tricks, and just find out how a program

works. Adobe usually imports the best from O/S and also

included the best speakers from OZ.  The shows are great,

entertaining and last Wednesday I even won a FREE Adobe

Acrobat program.  They give out T-shirts, pens, juggling

balls, and copies of Adobe programs.  the sessions are held

in excellent venues, with displays by both hardware and

software Adobe partners.  Most importantly these Sessions

are FREE FREE FREE.  I attended several general sessions

for imagine professionals, and also a seminar called Adobe

School.  The Professional seminars were packed out, 500

or more people, the Schools Seminar was lucky to have

30 participants. A real shame, as Adobe an other folk

may decide it is not worth the trouble.  I cannot recommend

these seminars more highly to you.  They are a breath of

fresh, I return with new ideas and a better understanding,

and also have a great time - far better than reading the manual. 

I have not attended many inservices that have been as

enjoyable and professionally presented. Other suppliers like

Edsoft and Apple also hold these free seminars.  Look out

for them, go to them, I cannot recommend them enough.

Log onto their sights and see what is coming up. Book

mark these seminar sites and check them regularly. 

I will also let you know about them as often as I can.

Email Linda for info about Edsoft Seminars

Adobe Seminars and Events

Apple have seminars from time to time



The cosmic calendar (Sagan, 1977)

Where the age of the universe is compressed into a single year:


January 1  BIG BANG

May 1   Formation of the Milky Way

September 9 Formation of the solar system

September 14 Formation of the Earth

September 25 Origin of life on Earth

October 9  Oldest bacterial fossils

November 12 Oldest eukaryotes

December 1 Earths' atmosphere fully oxygenated

December 16 First worms

December 19 First fish

December 20 First land plants

December 21 First insects

December 22 First amphibians

December 23 First reptiles

December 24 First dinosaurs

December 26 First mammals

December 27 First birds

December 28 First flowering plants, dinosaurs extinct

December 29 First primates

December 30 First hominids

December 31 First humans (at 10:30 pm)

December 31 Domestication of fire (at 11:46 pm)

December 31 Cave painting in Europe (at 11:59 pm)

December 31 First neolithic cities (at 11:59:35 pm)

December 31 Invention of the alphabet (at 11:59:51 pm)

December 31 Bronze Age (at 11:59:53 pm)

December 31 Iron Age (at 11:59:54 pm)

December 31 Roman Empire (at 11:59:56 pm)

December 31 Crusades (at 11:59:58 pm)

December 31 Renaissance in Europe (at 11:59:59 pm)


Now   Space exploration, GenCB 455


" For those who love the philosophy of hypocrisy and ambiguity.?"

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have

Monkeys and apes?

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

Is there another word for synonym?

Isn't it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do


Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"

What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an

endangered plant?

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste


What was the best thing before sliced bread?

How is it possible to have a civil war?

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?

If the "black box" flight recorder is never damaged during a plane

crash, why isn't the whole damn airplane made out of that stuff?

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?


Subject: What's the answer?!?


 ** Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the

bottle? **

** Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic

Wins Lottery"? **

 ** Why is "abbreviated" such a long word? **

** Why is a boxing ring square? **

 ** Why is the man who invests all your money

called a broker? **

 ** Why is the third hand on the watch called

second hand? **

** Why is the time of day with the slowest

traffic called rush hour? **

** Why is the word dictionary in the dictionary?

** Why isn't there mouse-flavoured cat food? **


3.WWWinfo - BIG MAC

This site gives the cost of a Big Mac in countries

worldwide.  Just click on the 'detail' to bring up the

list of countries and the price of a Big Mac. A lot of

economic theory if you like, or some good fun and

good mathematics, or all 3.


4. NEW PRINTABLES/Links this time


Here is a mass of Environmental Links – Nancy kindly sent

them.  Take a look and send me your reviews – I haven’t

had a chance to check them all out – I usually like to

review each one – and have only about 10-12 on each

link site – the best of the best – so send in your recommendations,

and I will cull the list over the next fortnight.



Virtual Teacher now has its own site SEARCH ENGINE HOORAY! 

Now you can search for anything on the site, anything

from past newsletters, anything from all the page links,

just anything your heart desires.  AND it was down simply

easily smoothly marvellously from the wonderful folk at

google.  If you want to replicate this on your site just

click along to

This is one of those terrific things that actually does what it says.

As Homer would say Whoo Hoo!!!!!




6. WEBSITE FOCUS - History of Computing

also history of computing, info on powerpoint

Amazing you only need one site for this, the links are

Comprehensive and information is fantastic.



(From oz-teachers list)

Library and Information Week (LIW) will be in the week of

20-26 May 2002.

The national focus will be on success stories that,

from users' perspectives showcase how library and

information services make a  difference in a

knowledge society. Theme: Libraries Change Lives!


Australian Library and Information Association

ALIA is the professional organisation for the Australian

library and information services sector. It seeks to

empower the profession in the development, promotion

and delivery of quality library and information services

to the nation, through leadership, advocacy and mutual

support. Services available from the site include news

and events information, access to online journals and

magazines, education and employment resources, and

links to related sites.


Australian Library and Information Association - School

Libraries Section

The School Libraries section of ALIA provides teacher-librarians

With seminars, workshops and other activities; publications

on topics such as computers and school libraries, children's

literature, information skills,

cooperative planning and teaching; news of current

activities through the ALIA news magazine, inCite;

and a network which supports and provides links

between teacher-librarians and lobbies on issues

of concern to teacher-librarians.


Australian Library and Information Association 2001

TAFE Libraries Conference - Proceedings

The theme of this conference was Passion Power People

- TAFE Librarians Leading the Way. The site provides

downloadable versions of the conference

papers, covering issues such as online learning, information

literacy, partnerships and career directions for librarians.


Australian Library Week

The event is an opportunity to showcase libraries and

information agencies and their professional staff, and to

introduce new services and skills to the community.

Provided by the Australian Library and Information

Association, the site presents information on the

background of the event, points to State and Territory

activities, and links to previous celebrations. Available

from the site are press releases, an online media

kit with activities and useful ideas on promoting the event,

web cards, and other publicity materials.


ASLA is the Australian School Library Association Website

..... on the ASLA (NSW) site there is a fairly long list of

links to pages with info. on Australian authors of interest

to school students at:




Discover Our Earth - High School and Extension for

Primary 5-6 and High School

Created by Cornell University, this website contains a

range of information related to the Earth sciences,

accompanied by images, graphs, maps, and movies.

In addition, there are two Java-based, interactive

data analysis and mapping tools that will allow customised

access to a large variety of Earth science data sets

that are used by research scientists. The Teachers

section provides teachers with background information

about selected Earth science topics, and suggest a

number of student activities and exercises that can

be employed in classroom settings.


If you are talking primary age, a recent BTN story on

littering would be a good starting point.



Well Cathy, the time I have waited so long for has finally arrived.

With a fellow researcher named Nicky Cowie we have created a

new website of a very high standard.  We hope to be able to show

both sides in an unbiased manner. It is aimed at those serious

about their research into the story of Ned Kelly and we hope will

be of use to students of all levels. Please have a look and let me

know what you think. We have just launched it and have much

work to do. Your comments will be most welcome, also let us

know if there is something else you wish to see.


Kind regards Dave White.

Would you like to learn what errors there are in the information

you may have read about the Kelly gang?

This Ned Kelly site has always been one of my favourites.

Go take a look.


G'day Cathy,

As the subject title suggests I am a beginner in the teaching

game. In fact I am less than a beginner, I am a 3rd year student

of education so I have yet to experience the harsh reality that is

full-time primary classroom teaching.

I am, however receiving your newsletters and I noticed the 'Fee

of Subscription' that I have yet to pay.

I promise that when the moment presents itself I will help someone 

out so don't get too impatient and pull the plug on me because

eventually I will come through.

I'll just finish here by saying what a brilliant site you have for

resources (there don't seem to be very many Australian sites)

and I recommend it to all my friends (don't get too excited,

there's not that many of them). Keep up the excellent work.

Thanks, Paul 


Hi, Cathy,

I noticed you are adding environmental websites to your next VT

newsletter.  While surfing for my habitat project, I've created a list

of many of these sites, which I've attached for your perusal.  Sorry

it's so long, but the names will give you an idea of which might

interest you.  The one for 'Green Maps' is great for kids everywhere.

Good luck with your tireless efforts!

Warm regards,


Environmental website link here


Dear Cathy,

Gillian asked about ideas for fabric for boys. I am not a teacher

of that subject, but what about a visit to a textile mill where they

make fabrics and possibly design etc. That could be quite instructive.

And much more fun for boys.

Just a thought, - John


Hi, Cathy,

As you know, I'm a public school teacher, but I attempt to keep

up with, discover, and incorporate information from many

education resources.  I am also a great advocate of homeschooling,

despite my inability to participate in it.


I checked out the homeschooling site listed and agree there's a lot to

offer.  It's very organized and thorough.  Clearly, Sarah has put a lot

of work into it, and her dedication to homeschooling shines!

Unfortunately, not being a member, I could not log onto the actual

lesson plans.  The only suggestion I might offer would be to perhaps add

a listing of interactive websites.  They are extremely appealing to

students, and they allow opportunities to work as teams or independently

on curriculum activities.  [Please forgive my comment if these sites are

already displayed in the 'members only' sections.]  If Sarah is

interested, there is a listing of some interactive sites at


Below, I've attached the website for "Home-Ed" magazine.  I've

subscribed online for over a year, and I find this magazine and the

information it offers valuable to homeschoolers and in-school teachers

as well.

Best of luck to Sarah and all the intrepid homeschoolers!  Keep up the

wonderful work you are doing to offer quality education in a more

intimate environment.

Nancy Sklavos-Gillett


Hi Cathy!

 Hi! My name is Kris Thurgood and my twin sister and I

(both former teachers),  run "I Love That Teaching Idea!"

Our website is

We offer FREE K-6 worksheets, reproducibles, and ideas for math,

science, social studies, language arts, holidays, character ed,

service-learning, and more! I invite you to take a look at our site

and please consider adding our site to yours as a resource for

teachers and parents. Thank you for your time and I look forward

to hearing from you!


Kris Thurgood

What do you think of this site????


This is such a great site - thank you.

I need some assistance in teaching Music, especially beat and

rhythm.  I am a student teacher and music is not my strongest skill. 

I have my own person tutor trying very hard to teach me the concepts

of music.  My theme on my teaching rounds is world music. 

Does anyone have ideas for teaching this.

Very much appreciated.


Can anyone help??


On behalf of my pupils I'd like to thank you all for volunteering to help

making aussies "real" people instead of some that you read about in books.

I know that not all of you have been contacted, but your help was

still much appreciated...


Peter Olsen,

Thisted, Denmark I


Thanks Cathy, I have been surfing your site also. I love all that history.

Kind Regards Dave White and Nicky Cowie.


Hi. I just thought I'd inform you that Boggle's World teacher's

Resources has moved to

The link that you are currently listing may go dead in a few months.


Chris Gunn

Boggle's World Teacher Resources

Fun, Effective, and Free resources for ESL.


Hi Cathy,

I am coming to Sydney in the first week of June.

Could you please tell me of some School Resource Centres in

Sydney. I would like to buy materials etc for our distance education

children particularly Primary as that is my field. My time is short there

so I don't want to waste time trying to locate places if they are not going

to be of help. I would really appreciate your advice and or direction of

who to contact.

Many, many thanks for your Virtual teacher. It has very big impact on our


Regards and in appreciation.

Margaret Paterson.

I suggested Dominie and Edsoft – does anyone else have any

great ideas to pass on.


10.  NEXT ISSUE – I will be looking at Biographies and Autobiographies

so send in your ideas. Have a good one.

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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