Virtual Teacher Newsletter August 18th, 2000 No. 12

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. Buying a Scanner and Digital Camera - entry level
4. New Printables - PowerPoint 2 and Clip Your Own Art
5. Technical Stuff - Voice Recognition Software
6. Fantastic Art Hstory Site
7. Olympic Website from Tasmania
8. Great Sites
9. Readers' Requests/Comments
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
12. Tips
1. Welcome everyone. 'The Principal's Dilemma'(click to below) is
one of my personal favourites. Some days or weeks you feel like you
should just DUCK. Reading the' Dilemma' always gives me a good laugh
and seems to put things right back into perspective. Teachers,
Educators and Parents really do a fantastic job, most of the time,
even if some days could be compared to walking through treacle. So
take some time out and read 'The Principal's Dilemma', have a good
laugh and give yourself a proverbial pat on the back, piece of
chocolate, large juicy strawberry, delicious piece of cake or
whatever it is that makes you feel good about yourself, TREAT
yourself. Don't wait for someone else to do it, your the best judge
anyhow, do it for yourself. Have a good one.

I have had a few people wishing to unsubscribe from the Virtual
Teacher, and also wondering why they are receiving it. On checking
my subscriber list, their names do not appear. So I spent some time
tracking down this down - apparently they have somehow subscribed
through K12NEWSLETTERS through
At the bottom of these newsletters the following appears:-
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* K12 Newsletters mailing list is a service of *
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If you see the above at the bottom of your newsletter, or have
subscribed through the classroom connect listserv. Please
resubscribe direct using:- (with subscribe in the subject)
Let me apologise to all those folk who have been getting the
newsletter incorrectly. I have emailed Gleason and he will endeavour
to assist from his end in this matter.
2. Mind Candy
The Principal's Dilemma....
If he reports to school early, he has insomnia: if he leaves school
late, he is a slow worker.
Tech Support: "What does your screen say now?"
Person: " I says, Hit ENTER when ready."
Tech support: "Well?"
Person: "How do I know when it's ready?"
Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to
"Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key
Government Verbosity:
Pythagorean theorem: 24 words.
The Lord's prayer: 66 words.
Archimedes' Principle: 67 words.
The 10 Commandments: 179 words.
The Gettysburg address: 286 words.
The Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words.
U.S. Government regulations on cabbage sales: 26,911 words.
There is much to be said about using the english language carefully -
here's a few starting points for discussion:-

Outside a country shop:
"We buy junk and sell antiques."

In the window of an Oregon store:
"Why go elsewhere and be cheated when you can come here?"

In a classified ad:
"Vacation special: Have your home exterminated. Get rid
of aunts.
A young girl who was writing a paper for school came to her
father and asked, "Dad, what is the difference between anger
and exasperation?"

The father replied, "It is mostly a matter of degree. Let me
show you what I mean."

With that the father went to the telephone an dialed a number
at random. To the man who answered the phone, he said, "Hello,
is Melvin there?"

The man answered, "There is no one living here named Melvin.
Why don't you learn to look up numbers before you dial them?"

"See," said the father to his daughter. "That man was not a
bit happy with our call. He was probably very busy with some-
thing and we annoyed him. Now watch...."

The father dialed the number again. "Hello, is Melvin there?"
asked the father.

"Now look here!" came the heated reply. "You just called this
number and I told you that there is no Melvin here! You've got
a lot of nerve calling again!" The receiver slammed down hard.

The father turned to his daughter and said, "You see, that was
anger. Now I'll show you what exasperation means."

He dialed the same number, and when a violent voice roared,

The father calmly said, "Hello, this is Melvin. Have there
been any calls for me?"
3. Buying a Scanner and Digital Camera - entry level
When considering a Scanner or Digital camera for School or domestic
use, it is important to consider reliability and your requirements.
There is no need to buy a high end scanner or digital camera if the
output is for the internet (72dpi) or for documents and newsletters
published at school. Most print material is OK between 100 and 150
dpi, so anything higher is overkill, and over costly. Basically when
choosing computers or peripherals I Iike to read the reviews and
specifications myself.
For Scanners Look for:-
Warranty Period: 12 months from end-user invoice
USB scanner - (This will usually allow compatability for both Mac and PC)
RES: 600(H) x 1200(V) ppi, optical(anymore is overkill)
SCANNING AREA: Max 216 x 297mm (8.5" x 11.7")(A4 page)

An easy to use software package which includes a good OCR program.
Check the systems compatability - some are both some are only PC
Check OS COMPATIBILITY ie is it compatible with Windows '98 and/or 2000
For Digital Cameras Look for:-
RES: 640x480 pixels (VGA, CMOS image sensor, 24 bit colour)
MEM: 2MB internal (32 VGA images)
POWER: Check power requirements they should be something like this:-
2x AA batteries (or without flash through USB while hooked up to PC)
Built-in flash (0.5-2m), electronic shutter
Check the systems compatability - some are both some are only PC
(dual systems cameras are usually more expensive)
A good place to compare Scanners and Digital Cameras is:-
A good place to buy digital cameras and scanners and other computer harware is
e-store, this is an Australian online store with all prices in
Australian Dollars. The prices I have checked here are below
recommended retail and the freight component is very reasonable. So
if your game you can order your hardware online and save. E-store
also offers comprehensive descriptions of each item as well as
providing prices so it is a valuable resource.
My hit pick at the moment for the best value for money digital camera
and scanner is
Scanner:- SNAPSCAN 1212U USB - iMAC & WIN 98 price from e-store -
Digital Camera:- EPHOTO CL18 DIGITAL CAMERA - by Agfa price from
e-store - $275.70 - (PC only)
4. New Printables
Try out lesson 2 of the 5 part PowerPoint series. This is the content section.
You might also like to check out the excellent spider .ppt
presentation at:-
Ignore the steps coming soon bit,and just click on the 'spider story,
it will download onto your computer in a few minutes.
Clip your Own Art
Here's another excellent printable - the children draw their own
Olympic athlete competing in their favourite sport. Save the picture
and then import into a Microsoft Word File.
This can be coupled with cutting and pasting the information on the
Australian Olympic site about that particular sport. Or simply
writing about that sport. To access the information from the Olympic
site goto
Click on kids(near the top of the page) , click on sportscene, click
on kids guide to sports, scroll down and choose the sport you want.
Then just highlight the text, goto the edit menu and copy, click back
to your word file and paste it onto yor page.
5. Technical Stuff
Voice recognition technology grows up
Technology was supposed to make us more productive, and it has. Voice
recognition was supposed to make technology easier for us to use, and
it has -- to some extent -- but it's been a long haul.
Tech Tip
Question:- The web page on this computer is different to the one at
home for the same URL, what's happening? Answer: Depending on the
'cache' settings different computers will hold visited web pages in
memory for anything from 0 to say 20 days. A page may reload from
the cache memory and not from the web, if it does simply hit reload
and the page will reload from the internet.
6. Fantastic Art History Site
What a a great find for art history or western civilization teachers!
Designed as an online supplement to the text book Gardner's Art Through
the Ages, with fantastic links to many other sites in Western Art History.
Suitable for ages 12- adult.
Very comprehensive site.
7. Olympic Website from Tasmania
Here's another great effort from Tasmania. An interesting site with
activities and resources for teachers K-6. there are detailed lesson
plans integrating computer use with the Olympic theme, including
newspaper, powerpoint, word etc publication ideas. There are also
some printable games and other resources. Well worth a look.
thanks to-
Julie Jacobson
SEO Educational Computing,
The Aspire CD, mentioned at the above site, was provided by SOCOG, a
copy was sent to all schools. If you
contacted them directly they may be able to provide you with a kit. If you
want just the CD, you are allowed to make a copy, so if you contact a school
near you may be able to make a copy.
8. Great Sites
You must check out this site. It's a fantastic animal site with
games, info and lots of links. Well presented to appeal to children
of 7-15. It includes shockwave jigsaws, painting and concentration.
Get in the Mood for Food - This is a jazzy little site created in the
thinkquest mode. It covers the Food Pyramid, excercise and healthy
eating and has lots of great links.
'Any readers with online Power
Point presentations please send me the URL..."
Ignore the steps coming soon bit. This was on last years Book week website
and the the person who was supposed to do it, never did.
This years site has much more on Book Week than last item you looked
at it. Just Click on the Picture below
Jenny Stubbs
Teacher-Librarian West Moreton District
Vice-President Children's Book Council (QLD Branch) Inc.
Read In Australian Coordinator
Hust Click on the Picture Below.
Rosewood State School
Here is a string of great sites to view. Especialy with book week
coming up. Lots of ideas and great links, well done.
This site is another great resource for homeschoolers with endless
links to useful sites.

Hello Cathy, my name is Dave White and i would like to
thank you for having a link to my site on your page. I
am glad to see that someone has noticed them. I do get
a lot of traffic but not much feedback. I have a lot
more to add in the future. I am working on another
project at the moment, but will get back soon. Also I
would like to let you know that I have moved from
Fortune City to About pages. A quick URL is although a made up a forward page
at the Fortune site anyway. Thanks again, regards Dave
I love this site, its full of the errors history has made in
reporting about the Ned Kelly Gang. And is just the thing to
encourage students to think critically about their research. I look
forward to seeing what Dave is up to next. John G. you will enjoy
this site.
9. Readers Requests/Comments
Please check out my school's web site for your next issue:

I was reading your archives and couldn't help but laugh at this one.
"My daughter and I had the good fortune of attending a wonderful
children's choral performance this week. Selections were sung by the
composers, Mozart, Schubert, Handel,
Beethoven, Gilbert and Sullivan Humperdinck and many more." I have
enjoyed the archived newsletters I've read. Thanks for putting it
Peggy Braun

Hi Cathy,
I just subscribed to your virtual teacher newsletter. I am really
keen to see how you go. The 21stNetwork online course library is a
streamed, interactive library where you can set the kids (or
yourself) up at exactly the right spot to learn what ever skill is
needed to complete what ever project they are doing. It is great for
all classrooms but in particular it allows you to meet the needs of
both special needs and gifted and talented students as it allows the
teacher to concentrate on the project eg, banner design, and the
student to focus on the skills they need to complete the project. I
aim to use it in a contract situation.

When I came into the library as a consultant I had taken a year off
work to get my act together as a computer/art teacher. What I am
trying to do is write a text about integration of computing into the
art classroom. I am a secondary art/computing teacher. The way I
have worked the whole project is to set the task, for example design
a web page, and then with the library running, only drop down the
screen and take the lesson when I don't know how to work the
software. Sounds pretty complicated but when you work it, it works
like a dream. It did not take long to see how this could be applied
in the classroom. The library is so extensive that it can be used
for a variety of purposes. I aim to have it implemented in English,
Art and Computing classes because it can be used in all contexts and
at home for home work. Once the student is signed up they have pin
access and can use the library anywhere they have access to a
computer. If there isn't one at home they can still access it in the
local library for free. The project could work across the curriculum
depending on how the school runs. It is so versatile that now I have
a group of women who wish to do website construction working the same
system. Obviously they can also learn excel and access for business
purposes. I use Frontpage2000 and Photoshop so I find the whole set
up extremely convenient. Of course you can't get caught out buying
text books that become outdated because everything is continually
upgraded on line. So it is all surprisingly cost effective.

If you become interested in the library I suggest that you actually
take the free course. What I did was only sign up for one course for
a month (I didn't particulary want to do Word 97) so that I could
really experience it and know if it was what I wanted. Here is a
link to the site:
The text I am writing will be able to be used without the library, the
library just means the teachers job is a whole lot easier.
Jo Murphy
Independent Consultant. 21stNetwork

I am an Australian teacher.I have established an educational site at
It has been running for over two years now. I have set up a new game
concept.It is called ozegame and the link to it is on the front page.
I would appreciate feedback. The game can easily be modified to
suit various formats. (US content,curriculum content etc)
John Kinny-Lewis

Love your newsletter. The sites you list have been a great help. I am
homeschooling my daughter and you are a great help.

I've been subscribing to your virtual teacher newsletter and find it
very helpful.
Have a look at my site, P.L. Duffy Senior Library, Trinity College.
It has over 9000 links to curriculum related and educational and
teaching sites. Some of your subscribers may find it useful.
Rosemary Horton
P.L. Duffy Resource Centre
Trinity College
Web Site:
Some great ideas and links at this site. The Webquest on learning
styles/be your own teacher, is excellent.
10. Next Issue I will look at the 'airport' phenomena - Mac
internet system, and attempt to separate the hype from the reality.
If you have any first hand experience with this sytem please let me
know. I have also had a few requests for email partnering of schools
with other schools in different states and countries. A new system
to do with 'cultural artefacts' exchange sounds very interesting. If
you have any experience with any of these exchange programs please
let me know. If you would like to contact another school through
this newsletter - next issue is the time to do it. What a great
idea. Next issue I would also like to look at some great father's
day ideas - so send in any 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 newsletter.
4. Nominate a fantastic school site for review and inclusion in this
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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