Virtual Teacher


by CATHY BROWN No:267 10 11 2023
Hello Everyone,
Welcome back to the 267th Virtual Teacher Newsletter.
And good day to everyone who reads this newsletter to get inspiration and stay up to date, with fabulous tech and teaching ideas in education.
The initiative from the NSW Education Department for more Explicit Teaching is well, wrong. And most teachers agree. Teachers are seeing disengaged students, more behavioural issues, as well as experiencing unsustainable work loads - due to administrative and accountability demands and as a result, they are leaving the profession in droves.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Most teachers know there is a problem, and they know what it is. It's the sheer volume of mandated curriculum and assessment which doesn't allow for curiosity, development of interest and passion, or student centred learning.
Once you have seen and observed the results of students developing agency and learning through interest and curiosity, you never want to return to teacher centred and linear learning models. The wonderful Ken Robinson identified this issue. Check out one of his videos here.

Then check out my Hypothetical Graphs below. And let me know your thoughts.
OCTOSTUDIO is a new an exciting app from the folks who developed Scratch and Scratch Jnr. Free to download to a mobile device. No login or internet access required(after it is downloaded of course).
You will love it as much as I do.
Of Course XMAS is coming
In the interest of JOYFUL TEACHING, turn yourself into a Christmas Sprite, sticky take a A4 green sheet of paper to a ruler and sing - TECH the HALLS.

A big thank you to everyone who's supporting my work by subscribing to Virtual Teacher, if you enjoy VT then share it with a friend or 7 or 8. Here's the link to Virtual Teacher just click and subscribe. FREE FOREVER
BUT be warned VT is wild and highly addictive.

Have a great week, whatever you're getting up to.


Virtual Teacher is..........
if you'd like to Support VT it costs just $20.00 per year. Thanks in advance it helps a lot and covers the cost of hosting and distribution of the newsletter.

Try singing this code for TECH the HALLS.

Can YOU work it out?

Try writing code for other actions songs.

OH! What fun.
Tech the halls with loads of coding

Forward, forward, forward,

Back, back, back.

Tis the time for lots of programs

Forward, forward, forward,

Back, back, back.

Find the bugs and fix the problems

Forward, forward, forward, forward,

Back, back, back.

Press the flag & watch the sprites jump

Forward, forward, forward,

Back, back, back.

Check out the Christmas page on Virtual Teacher Get ahead of the planning for the end of year with lots of great ideas. I love the Norad site, starts on December 1st. And the Krotak decorations are fabulous.


In his recent interview with Lucy Carroll “Education boss(Murat Dizder) calls for doubling down on explicit teaching in schools.” Check it out here.

“ a teaching method that gives students step-by-step and clear instructions”
Dizder also said…

“One of the reasons I believe in explicit teaching so much is because it does not discriminate.”
“I’m going to be stronger around it, and I’m looking to reinforce that practice and drive our professional learning around that.”
These comments are based on recent NAPLAN results. When I look at the NAPLAN results there are a lot of graphs. Individual school results, country versus city, indigenous vs non- indigenous, bar graphs line graphs. Some indicate there has been no change others indicate their is a downward trend, quite confusing. So I havedecided to make a few graphs myself. Graphs based on my observations and hypothesis.
Most teachers know that explicit instruction, linear step-by-step instruction, DOES DISCRIMINATE. It bores some, is too fast for others and it hits the mark for just a small percentage of a class. Here's my chart for that. What do you think?
In truth, Explicit teaching is highly inefficient. This teacher-focused, skill-based, highly prescriptive process, suppresses the learning drive, creativity, innovation and problem-solving capacity in our children. It contributes to misbehaviour and the “I hate school” phenomenon which develops in primary school and is common in High School. Here's my graph of that, my hypothesis; although I imagine it's quietly shared by many.

So this is what I have observed. If kids are given the opportunity to develop and pursue their interests, if they are able to apply their learning and have agency, their learning will be off the charts. It will be exponential. Interestingly the 2 graphs look the same, and this is my hypothesis, that they are. One leading to behaviour issues one leading to exponential learning.
Will this happen for all children, maybe not. But I do find that the enthusiasm of some, IS contagious. And those children who remain on a more linear path are fewer than you would imagine.
This makes teaching so splendid and enjoyable, no teachers will want to leave the profession because the will love teaching. And children will love learning for the rest of their life.
In Designing and delivering learning experiences, providing opportunities for free learning where children are totally engaged, is the HOLY GRAIL of education. In this state, a state of being totally engaged and learning freely, the learner continues to study or practice well past the point of instruction and learn beyond the classroom.
Is there a need for explicit teaching? YES. Basic skills need todevelop. BUT equally, if not more importantly, is the development ofpurpose, agency, thinking, curiosity and pursuit of personal interestsand passions, FROM THE VERY START.

“If we love children and we know what’s possible how can we do anything else.” Seymour Papert

Kids are fantastic learners and their amazing learning comes from freedom.
If we confine them to linear explicit learning only,


Checkput my latest video on on OctoStudio. No words screen recording. I lovethese - leaves a lot to figure out and discover, but enough to getstarted with the exploration.

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!!!

1. GOT SOMETHING TO SAY - Send in your Questions, Questions will be published with Answers, send in your Answers, if you have expertise to share.
2. NOMINATE A BRILLIANT SITE for review and inclusion in this newsletter.
3. NOMINATE A FANTASTIC SCHOOL WEBSITE site for review and inclusion in this newsletter.
4. MAKE CONTACT with other schools using fantastic programs.
5. WRITE and innovative article for this newsletter.
6. TELL 2 COLLEAGUES about this newsletter.
7. BECOME A VT SUPPORTER CLICK HEREand keep a good thing going. Your name + a hyperlink if you, like will appear on our supporters list.(unless anonymity is requested)
Announce your support for innovation and change in Education.
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 an email.
Editor: Cathy Brown
Delivered FREE to your e-mail box. If you have been lucky enough to get this Newsletter from a friend, press this BUTTON to subscribe. Scroll to the Subscribe button on the index page and click it and get your FREE CUPCAKES AND FORTUNE COOKIE.
Reach a growing audience of teachers, by advertising in the Virtual Teacher Newsletter or on the Virtual Teacher site. For more information goto Virtual Teacher Sponsors or contact,
For information about inservice and training contact me at

© Cathy Brown 1998 - 2023 © All images & Videos Cathy Brown Located in Sydney NSW Australia all rights reserved.
No unauthorised reproduction without written permission. Website design by Cathy L. Brown

big ideas-logo1
maths hammersf

Send me an email just in the Quick Message or send to:
To ensure the survival of this Independent Newsletter register as a supporter - just $20 per year.
Invest in the longevity of this project, discover your fortune and enjoy.

Quick Message