Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 50  May 24th 2002 – ALONG TIME AGO




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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-



1. Welcome

2. Mind Candy

3. WWWinfo Currency converter

4. New Printables -  Biographies and Autobiographies

5. Technical Stuff – Edsoft,, Mac and Seminars

6. Web Site Focus – Storm Chaser

7. Biographies and Autobiographies

8. Great Sites

9.  Readers' Requests/Comments

10 Next Issue

11. Code of 'Netizens'

12. Tips


1. WELCOME EVERYONE. A long time ago in a galaxy far far

away – all the computers worked all of the time.  In fact I am yet

to see a Star Wars movie or an episode of Star Trek where a

crashed computer causes a problem at all. SOOOO I expect that

in the future computer problems will all be solved. BUT for the

moment it seems that just as you are about to give the demonstration

to BEAT all demonstrations, a computer problem, crash, outage,

connection failure, printer/scanner malfunction or misplaced power

supply brings you unstuck.  BUT WAIT you all say – this is GREAT,

this is FANTASTIC, because THEN you can teach everyone tooooo…

TROUBLESHOOT -  a most neglected area of computer education. 

JUST DO IT, the trouble shooting demonstration was the one

you planned anyway – right.



From: Michael Wolf

You know what seems odd to me? Numbers that aren't divisible by two."


"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid

to say and then don't say it."  --Sam Levenson


"It's not me who can't keep a secret it's the people I tell

that can't."  --Abraham Lincoln


"I've had people ask me if I were shipwrecked on a deserted

island, and could only have one book, what would it be? I

always say 'How to Build a Boat.'"  --Steven Wright


I have found the best way to give advice to your children

is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

---Harry Truman


3. WWWinfo

Universal Currency Converter



Biography of a Friend


Biography of a Famous Australian






At last some cheaper software - thanks to the good folks at

Edsoft.  Now the next trick - when will we get the Maths Circus

CDs on the 'cheaper' list.  Keep working on it Linda.  At least

these cheaper prices can be downloaded from a home computer

when I actually have time to look at them.  for other states deals

are already in place, check out the Edsoft site for details.


At last Edsoft is able to supply the range of Macromedia products

to NSW DET schools at  discounted rates.

Email Linda for a copy of the order form.  Please pass this on to

other interested colleagues.  The Software Unit has listed Edsoft

for Macromedia with their toll free Melbourne number 1800 338 873.

If you have any questions please get back Linda.

Linda Zugai

NSW State Manager

Edsoft Pty Ltd

Email:-  Linda.Zugai@bigpond.com


Google Zeitgeist - Search patterns, trends, and surprises according

to Google


Apple previews next upgrade of OS X

At its Worldwide Developers Conference last week, Apple previewed

the next major version of Mac OS X. Code-named "Jaguar", it will offer

new features such as: QuickTime 6, a complete solution for industry

standard MPEG-4 video and AAC audio streaming; Rendezvous,

Apple's proposed new industry standard for automatic discovery of

computers, devices, and services on IP networks; Quartz Extreme,

a hardware accelerated Quartz graphics and compositing engine;

UNIX Tools, the latest UNIX advancements including FreeBSD

4.4 updates, the new GCC 3 compiler, IPv6 and IPSec; and

Windows support, for increased compatibility with Windows

networks with SMB browsing and sharing as well as built-in

PPTP VPN security. The new version will be available to customers

in late summer(our winter) 2002.


What is SchoolKiT Enactz?

SchoolKiT Enactz is a library of hundreds of classroom-ready

learning modules that make meaningful use of technology to

enhance learning.  I ordered their free demo disc and there are

a lot of interesting lessons on the disc.  Take the tour and look

at the free previews online.  This is a great idea - although there

seemed to be fewer resources for Primary schools - a great many

more for high schools at this stage.  It is a program worth looking

at an evaluating, and would be particularly helpful for folk just

starting out or those not too comfortable with integrating curriculum

with computers.  This company distributed this product worldwide,

but it is based in our very own Victoria.  Take a look.  they may still

have some free demo CDs.  Sign up for the free 30 day trial –

don't worry about doing this it's the best way to assess a new program.

P.O. Box 260

South Blackburn, Vic 3130

Phone: 03-8810-1317

Fax: 03-9923-6162




Here's a new search engine that is worth a look.

"We have recently launched a new meta-search engine that has

earned a lot of acclaim in the industry.  Kevin Elliot of

recently wrote a glowing review of our service which can be found at:

We search well over 100 search engines and special invisible

"deep web" databases - including regional searches for the US,

Canada, UK and France.  To gain a full appreciation for the many

unique features we offer you should take look at our online help

section by clicking on the ? found in the upper right of the homepage.

Our search engine supports UK, US, Canada, and French regional

searches, multiple languages, mailing and saving of results directly

from the result list, and many other features.  We also have a very

comprehensive news system, powered by, which

delivers news from over 1,000 sources grouped into over 300

categories.  All features are free, just enter your search in the box

at the top of the page.  Only advanced functions like news subscriptions

require registration.

You can view the engine at:

Cory J. Smith

CEO, Anvil Development Group, LLC


Up and coming Seminars and Events

from the Schooldaily

2nd International Lifelong Learning Conference 2002

Date : Sunday, 16 June 2002

Venue : Rydges Capricorn International Resort

Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast, Australia


9th National Conference of the Australian Association

for the Education of the Gifted and Talented

Date : Sunday, 20 October 2002

Venue : Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia


15th Biennial World Conference for Gifted Education

Date : Friday, 01 August 2003

Venue : Convention  Centre, Adelaide, Australia


VETnetwork Australia National Conference 2002 –

'Enterprising People and Partnerships: vocational

education and careers for a changing world'

Date : Wednesday, 23 October 2002

Venue : Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia


Dyslexia: "Red Rose Recipe for Success"

Date : Tuesday, 13 August 2002

Venue : Hotel Grand Chancellor

Christchurch, New Zealand


6. WEBSITE FOCUS -Try Michael Thompson's Australian Storm Chase Diary:

These webquests have a number of links that may be useful:



Check out the Printables above.


Here's a site that I keep to myself ( and the many others who visit it!!).

Great ideas for all KLAs. Highly recommend it

The class poems/recipes are great at this site - use it for inspiration for a

Autobiographical poem writing session.


You should try out this brilliant resource – BIOGRAPHY MAKER,

print it out or use it live on the net. Its a great start to the new year –

writing a biography about a class member or an autobiography about

yourself. The site is simple easy to navigate and gives excellent scaffolding.




Energy Games Primary and Secondary from Channel 4 in the UK


Great G & T activity

-Hoots mon! Make sure you join the other wee laddies and

lassies currently playing the madcap online adventure MacDougall

MacDougall in Time™.


Head, Interactive Design, Publishing & Distribution

Office of the Board of Studies NSW, Sydney, Australia

Board of Studies NSW

K-6 educational resources

Gallipoli and the Anzacs

Teaching Australian Heritage

Remaking Multicultural Australia for the 21st Century




Boats Afloat:


Explore The Sea:


Fish Facts:

Free Ocean Stuff:

Ocean Links:

Save The Manatee:


Endangered Australian Animals

Endangered Species - includes maps

Yamaha Paper Craft - endangered species - cut out and fold

paper models of  endangered animals.

Bagheera - Website for endangered Species

Save the Animals Webquest - Australian



Cathy, I am having trouble getting your fabulous Virtual teacher newsletters –

has been visual garble all this year - yet I can retrieve the newsletters through

 the archives on your webpage easily. Is there something I need to be doing

differently in my settings? Everything was OK last year, and I am not having

any difficulty with any other mail . Have tried through different providers and

through different browsers.

 Hope you can helP



Has anyone else had this problem??? Can anyone suggest a solution?


G'day Cathy

I'm looking at using a toy stationery steam engine probably with

a number of other things as a learning tool for primary school

grade 1 - grade 6. I was thinking of it as a technology/science subject

and putting it under the umbrella of say energy and the differing forms

and the work they do or alternative fuels with an environmental approach

(cleaner air). I was after your thoughts on the matter, suggestions,

websites in fact  anything.

Many Thanks

Mick Duffy


These sites may help you:-


Dear Cathy

I am a British trained Primary Teacher, with a first degree in

English and History and a PGCE in Primary Education. I am

hoping to emigrate to Perth before time runs out ! (I'm 43).

I am looking at the Independent skills route, and I noticed that

you can get points if you have a job offer from an employer.

Can you tell me how to seek employment without a visa? I

am presently teaching in a school in the North of England.

Regards Ros Roper


Hi Ros,

British trained teachers are still popular in private schools in Australia. 

Generally there is an over supply of teachers in the cities in Australia

and an under supply in country areas.  Each State department puts out

a list of job vacancies and it would be a good idea to contact the Perth

Department of Education about available jobs.  This site included

teacher recruitment info.

Site doesn't seem to be working too well - so you may need to contact

them via email and ask about vacancies - it appears though that the other

recruitment info is OK.

Also the Various State newspapers have job listings for teachers each

Saturday - The Sydney Morning Herald often lists jobs from other

states as well - here is the generic site for Australian newspapers.


In addition I would approach individual private schools with a resume

and email.  These schools are generally very interested in folk who have

a good Tech background as well as their specific teaching subjects.

Here's a list of Schools in WA

Generic Jobs site -


Best suggestion - get here and then offer to do casual teacher for

any schools you are interested in teaching at - even offer to assist

 free of charge for a couple of days so that folk can get to know you. 

A lot of teaching positions in Australia go to folk who have worked as

casuals within a school - and are known to FIT.




Hi Cathy

I'd like to thank Nancy Sklavos-Gillett for the interactive websites.

Now that e-learning is in every syllabus, we need lots of

ideas to incorporate technology in all the subjects. Would be grateful

for any good e-learning ideas or site for Technology in English.


Thanks for all your continuing hard work. I look forward to your newsletters.



Can anyone else help out????


Dear Ibi,

Here are some music sites that may help

This is a quick and easy lesson for music teachers to use when teaching the

basics of beat counting.

This lesson suggests to teachers ways to use alphabet letters to help

children appreciate music. A variety of aspects of music (e.g. individual

composers, individual instruments, particular music types) are included.

With the aim to reinforce what is being learned and/or to make the

experience extra interesting, the lesson planner suggests how children make

booklets of what they are discovering.

Educators can help students learn to listen to, perform, and create music,

with the aim of helping them demonstrate an understanding of historical and

cultural contexts with reference to music

Thanks to those who replied to my query.

This is a great site.


Thanks gillian



Next issue I will be looking at PowerPoint and its uses, send in any

great ideas you have.



 -  - - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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