Virtual Teacher Newsletter March 17th, 2000
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Contact: cathy@virtualteacher.com.au
Website: http://www.virtualteacher.com.au
1. Welcome
2. Cut and Paste Countries
3. Technical Stuff- Gifs and JPEGS
4. Great Maths Links
5. Aboriginal Links
6. Check out these Great sites - Webquest
7. Code of 'Netizens'
8. Tips
Welcome to the inaugural Virtual Teacher Newsletter. Lots of exciting things are happening in schools today with computers and the Internet. As a teacher, computer specialist, and Inservice provider, I am engaged in everything from school computer start-ups, to digital editing, website design, writing and publishing; I am asked many IT related questions and find numerous innovative ideas, fantastic programs, and wonderful internet sites.

This newsletter will include all these things. Contributions from subscribers are not only welcome but positively encouraged. There will be tips for beginners, classroom lesson ideas and templates, updates on the latest developments, like the coming OS10 for MAC, the Wonderful Office 2000 and desktop publishing, Hypercard, Powerpoint Presentation, digital editing, video presentation and anything else you or I can think of.

Computers are one of the tools children will use in the future. This newsletter will give you ideas on how to use this tool within the Primary Classroom efficiently and effectively.

Get started on the Internet Today with - Cut and Paste Countries


1. On an A4 sheet of paper make a heading for the country chosen.
2. Research information at the site :-
in point form using the headings below(or the template below).
3. Provide a map of the country showing major cities, and nearby countries, seas and oceans.

Here is a sample of a finished version, the student used Microsoft Word '98. (you will need acrobat reader installed to view this pages http://www.adobe.com)

The heading was done in Microsoft Word - Word Art on this program, as well as using some of the autoshapes. The student used the template below.

(countries template)

1. Capital City


2. Leader


3. Famous River or Mountain


4. Language


5. Neighbours


6. Industries


7. Money

The research was completed online. The student used a copy and paste technique to fill in the above template and to copy the map. (You can copy and paste this template headings above to a word processing program. Copy and paste by highlighting text on the internet, copying it, and pasting it into the word processing program. Copy pictures by holding downthe mouse key over the chosen picture, whenthe dialogue box comes up selct copy image, then paste in word processing program)>

To find the information, required concerted effort on the student's part, as a great deal more information is available on the site than is required on the template. For instance The famous river or mountain can be determined from the map or from the 'elevation extremes' sub category.
Initially students could work in pairs on this project. This project could be an ongoing one - a new country could be investigated every fortnight for one term.

This is a simple internet starter idea for upper primary, particularly 6th class. It fits in with the Global Connections Unit for HSIE

Technical Stuff

What are gifs and jpgs?
When it all boils down to it, you can't go wrong saving everything as a jpeg. Jpegs are compatible across both Mac and PC platforms, they are comparatively small sized files, they can be sent via email as a attachments, they can be uploaded onto the internet and can be easily used in newsletters and other print documents. The 'Kiss' principle for images is - save it as a jpeg. But here's the low down.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) Is commonly used to display index colour graphics. Gifs are useful for logos, text and drawings in which flat colours have been used. This format is commonly used on the World Wide Web. Gif is a compressed format, thus file size is kept to a minimum. GIFS can be used for logos, illustrations, and design work which use flat colours. The extension is .gif

JPEG (Joint Photographics' Experts Group). This Format is commonly used for photographs and other continuous tone images. Unlike GIFs, the JPEG format retains all the colour information. JPEG format is also a compressed format, thus keeping file size to a minimum. The extension is .jpg
Use JPEG for all photographic images or continuous tone images.

Set the DPI (Dots Per Inch) to 72 for use on the web, and between 100 and 180 for use in a newsletter. A DPI of 300 is used in commercial magazine printing.
Both formats are compatible with PC and Mac platforms.
For more information about these file formats goto:-

Some Great Maths Links
Aboriginal Studies Aboriginal Reconciliation Sites
http://www.hreoc.gov.au/ Journey of Healing Educational resources
http://www.aboriginalaustralia.com/ This site seemed to have a lot of teaching/learning ideas. Probably the best for Primary school level.

Check Out these Great sites

Checkout WEBQUEST Projects like the ones below:-

Great Egyptian Site - Upper Primary - Webquest
Egyptologists, welcome to Lynda's Archaeological Dig. Through this site you will be digging up information on the internet about Egypt. To assist you with your dig, there are links to many excellent sites where you can discover all types of information. You will be learning about pyramids, Ancient Egyptian religion, gods and goddesses, mummification, pharaohs, hieroglyphics, and more. The internet is Lynda's Archaeological Dig Site, and all Dig Groups will need to carefully work together to find the artifacts that have been buried here. Have Fun!

Maths and Internet Shopping - Webquest
Congratulations! Your group has just won the National 'Name Your Clubhouse Contest'! I'm so proud of you. You will be happy to know that your prize is $2000 to be used to furnish your clubhouse any way you like. That's a lot of money and you can only spend it on things for your clubhouse. It will take some research, discussion and planning to figure out the best way to spend your money. When you finish you will have a great place to spend lazy summer days together, and you will have interesting things to entertain you. Visit online shopping centres, and find out the prices then work out what you can afford.

Volcano - Webquest
Volcanoes have interested and fascinated people for thousands of years. With one eruption, a volcano can reshape the earth's surface, destroy forests, change weather patterns and replenish nutrients to the Earth's soil. Scientists are forever trying to predict the behavior of these sleeping giants. Even if they could predict an eruption there is nothing to do but watch and wonder at what new changes will be brought about.

Voyage to the Stars - Webquest
This is a great webquest, on planets. One of my favourites.

If none of these webquests excite you check out the other WEBQUESTS at:-


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!!!

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 newsletter.
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.

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 mailto:comfilm1@optusnet.com.au

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