Virtual Teacher Newsletter September 1st, 2000 No. 13

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. Cultural Artifacts Exchange
4. New Printables - Graphing and PowerPoint
5. Technical Stuff - Wish
6. Love the Discovery Site
7. More Olympic Sites
8. Technophobe
9. Great Sites
10. Readers' Requests/Comments
11 Next Issue
12. Code of 'Netizens'
13. Tips
1. Welcome everyone. The Virtual Teacher prize for picking up the
intentional error(ha! Ha!) in the last Newsletter goes to Liz
McGinnis. The URL for the Great Art History site was omitted. Liz
asked, 'What was the URL for the art history site????'
Liz McGinnis
here it is:-
2. Mind Candy
"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own
heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." Carl
Kathi Krzycki
Papillion LaVista Schools
420 South Washington
Papillion, NE 68046
"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into
nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes
easy." - Albert Einstein
Living in the third Millennium
You've tried to enter your password on the microwave.
You haven't played solitaire with a real deck of cards for years.
You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
You email your kids to say dinner's on the table.
You get return mail asking you what you're serving.
Your local Girl Scout sells cookies via her website.
Although you haven't had any real conversation with your neighbour in
years, you chat regularly with someone who lives on the other side of
the world.
Before you get out of your car you use your mobile phone to see who's home!
3. Cultural Artifacts Exchange
This sounds like a fantastic idea, even between schools within
Australia. Just think of it, schools in Goldrush towns could send
artifacts for city schools, schools in farming communities could send
artifacts to tourist towns etc. If anyone would like to link up with
another school through this newsletter just email me and I will
publish your info.

The general format of the program is that a school will compile a
number of artifacts related to their community, they will then send
these to another school whose job it is to discover the schools
identity. I can image a lot of email back and forth to ask questions
and clarify investigations. Lots of motivational writing and perhaps
some long term friendships and visits. What a wonderful school camp
to visit another school that has been in contact with your school.
To follow is the initial letter I received, unfortunately this one
clashes with our Olympic school holidays, but the idea is fantastic.
I got your email address from the Apple Learning Interchange Web Page.
I teach 7th grade Ancient Civ, in Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm looking for a
compatible class to conduct an artifact exchange between our two states or
countries. I use this unit to teach the concept of "What makes up a
General Description:
Cultural Artifacts Sense Box is a concrete way to teach students about
cultures, from different parts of the United States / or countries. By
examining artifacts from different classes around the world or US,
students will begin to develop a better understanding of culture. This will
enable them to develop the skills to explore and study other cultures both
past and present.
I would really like a to do this activity with a state on the East or West
coast of the US, or from a different country.
D. Hershberger
4. New Printables
I recently read an article which said that 10,000 of the 100,000
words used by Australians, 10%, have American origins. This started
me thinking about truly Australian words - and what they might be. I
would be nice to send Americans visiting for the Olympics home with
some Aussie lingo. Australian rhyming slang, was once something
quite common, but now infrequently used. Although originally derived
from the Cockney language it became very Australian. So I have
prepared a printable writing task on Rhyming slang. My students
really enjoyed it and wanted to have a go immediately, they thought
it was 'awesome', and a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it too. And if
you have any excellent results send them in and I'll publish them
next issue. So open your mince pies and take a Captain Cook....
Here's the next PowerPoint Lesson Number 3.
I had an interesting discussion recently about using PowerPoint only
in year 6, as it was too complex for younger children. This program
is great. The simple instructions in the lessons on the Printables
work exceedingly well. One of my very able Year 1 pupils has
mastered enough of this program to produce a good presentation. It
is not a difficult program, but initially the options need to be
narrowed so that basic concepts of the program can be learned. So
use my printables and you'll be fine.
5. Technical Stuff Computer Wish List
So you've managed to buy enough computers to develop a reasonable
computer program. What next???
To avoid continuous computer problems for both PC's and Macs you will
need to set up a regular maintenance program. I recommend running
'Norton's Utilities' every 2 weeks on all computers. This can be run
competently by more able students. You will need to run 'Norton's
Disk Doctor' as well as 'Speed disk', both these programs are on
the Norton's Utilities Disk.

Often when I discuss this maintenance requirement at inservices, I am
asked if the computers are being abused or mistreated in anyway.
Computer maintenance is a necessary part of owning a computer, like
car maintenance needs to be done regularly to provide optimum
performance. I am a heavy computer user, and run up to 10 programs
simultaneously, moving large files. I will usually run a maintenance
program on my computer daily.

Norton's Utilities site licenses need to be purchased for all PCs.
Unlike the old Norton's and Norton's for Mac, which run better from
disk - the Newer PC version runs better if installed on individual
machines. In fact running the program from the CD doesn't allow
access to all the features. I recommend purchase site licenses to
cover all PCs currently operate.
Additional site licenses are - $49
(no additional CDs need to be purchased)
Read what Bill has to say
Available from Software Time - 1 800 655 887 http:/
On Macs
1. Boot up the computer,
2. Then insert the disk
3. Restart the computer and hold down the 'C' key - this will boot
the computer up from the CD.
4. Then Double click on the Disk Doctor Icon and run 'Disk Doctor'
and 'Speed' Disk.
Kidz Pics is a fantastic program and one that should be considered
for licensing throughout the school. It has many activities that
are extremely suitable for lower primary. It is a none content based
presentation program for both multi-media, manipulation and
publication. The program offers activities that are motivating and
interesting K-6. (I'll writing more about this wonderful program in
future issues).
Cost per site license $29.95
(includes CDs and teachers Manuals)
Available from Software Time - 1 800 655 887 http:/
CD Burner This one is pretty essential for backing up computer
data. But purchasing an external burner would also allow CD burning
from other machines. The cheaper burners are around $399 but they are
internal. I prefer an external machine so that it can be used to
back- up a number of computers or record CDs of children's multimedia
Total $585
Price above available from Proton Digital Phone: 02 9524 5971
With this you also need to purchase the CDs
Approx cost Rewritables CD-RW $5.00 each
Approx cost Recordable CD-R $1.50-$2.00
Available from most stationary suppliers, including Big W.
Test your ISP
This site gives you an indication of how fast your ISP connects you
to the internet.
Tip from Proton Digital
Print only part of visited web pages - you don't want the graphics
and colour just the text?
Using IE select the part you want then right click the mouse and
choose print. When the print dialogue opens choose the Selection
Button and click OK.
Tip from the Sydney Morning Herald ICON Magazine.
6. Love the Discovery Site
My favourites
The glossary builder.
Enter in all your spelling words and select any or all of
pronunciations, syllables inflected forms definitions synonyms
derived forms, examples, similar words, cross-references. Click go
and there you have it, a complete list of all those tings for every
word. Fantastic
The Dictionary plus is excellent. Also click on the 'or something
similar' button - very useful
The vocabulary Quiz Wiz is just great, try it, or get your students
to make their own quizzes
A - Z History Superb History Site
A-Z Geography - fantastic discovery Channel Site
Here's the info from Bob.....................
don't start your school year without checking out the
GREAT resources for teachers on!
from Puzzlemaker - the coolest puzzle-making tool on the web ?
in your own personal account. And, this is the place to SAVE
your QUIZZES from Quiz Center!
QUIZ CENTER - Create, save and administer quizzes online.
Quiz Center is the most COMPREHENSIVE and FLEXIBLE
quiz-making tool on the web! Add IMAGES and web LINKS to your
quizzes. Set-up student passwords to monitor individual progress.
It's easy!
GLOSSARY BUILDER ? Create a glossary to accompany your lessons.
Ten different options let you create a custom glossary out of ANY LIST
of vocabulary words.
VOCABULARY QUIZ WHIZ ? Create a randomly-ordered vocabulary quiz
in a matter of seconds. Definitions are generated from our NEW
dictionary-thesaurus Dictionary Plus. It's more than just a dictionary!
CLIP ART GALLERY - Choose from OVER 900 original clip art pieces to
dress up your next handout or your school's Web site.
This is just a taste of what's to come this year. Stop by and take a look.
Click on the link below.
Have a great school year!
Best Regards
Bob Anderman
Outreach Discovery School
7. More Olympic Sites
EdGate's Gateway to the Summer Games (
offers teachers ready-to-use lesson plans related to the history, themes,
sports, and stars of the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney.
Hi Cathy,
I think you might have already heard of Gateway to the Summer Games
but I wanted to suggest that you consider it for your Olympics links
section. It contains lesson plans, resources, news, and learning
activities related to the Olympics.
Thanks for your time,
Beth Fisher

Product Manager, Inc.
8. Technophobe: fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex
devices and especially computers.
Last week was 'Literacy and Numeracy' Week, which gave the Minister
for Education a media opportunity which he chose to bury in
ignorance. Headlines in the Sunday Telegraph on 27th August page 29S.
'Spell Check confusion highlighted'
'COMPUTER spelling checkers are damaging children's literacy skills,
NSW Educational Minister John Aquilina has warned.'
I must say I got a little hot under the collar about this article and
wrote a bit about it. If you would like to read my response here it
And let me know what you think about this sort statement.
9. Great Sites
Where to Go on the Web
Here's a great competition site for artists. Children under 18 -
(primary section under 12) can send their artwork as an email
attachment to Matisse. Prizes are awarded each month. And the best
entries are entered into the Easter Show. Might be just the right
little motivator for your class.

A poem . . . begins as a lump in
the throat, a sense of wrong, a
homesickness, a lovesickness. . .
. It finds the thought and the
thought finds the words. -Robert
Poetry as Visual Imagery.
Fact Monster - Very cool wonderful child friendly portal with many
different possibilities incuding educational, news and cool stuff.
WebShots Online Gallery.
There are many online galleries where people can exchange photos and
art work. I have chosen to use Webshots because it is quick, very
easy to use and it is free. There are many attractive features
included in the webshots membership. It offers an easy to use
photomanager centre and a quick and easy ecard conversion with easy
addition of music and text for added effect. It also offers both
private and public photo album access so that users can make their
artwork available for viewing world wide.
This is the base from which 21st Art Network will share and encourage
others to share examples of artwork. If you wish to see examples of
the kinds of art work that will be presented please go to.
If you wish to include art work for sharing with the online community please email
me for the ID and Password, from there it is possible to include an
entire album within the network.
Jo Murphy
10. Readers Requests/Comments
Love the newsletter!
Liz McGinnis

Hi Cathy
You might like to alert your readers to the opportunity to register
for the Cable and Wireless Childnet Awards - a number of Australian
sites including schools have won awards and been recognized in
previous years.
The closing date is 31st October. Finalists in previous years have
been flown to the city where the winners are named eg. London, Sydney
and Barbados in the last 3 years. The next awards will be in
Washington DC. They are also awarded financial prizes.
Project or ideas entered must be innovative, international, focussed
on children age under 18 and use communications technology. There
four categories, Education, Not for Profit, Individual and Government.
More information and application forms can be found on the web site.
I am the current President of I*EARN Australia - 3 of our project
have received awards in the last 3 years.

Muriel Wells
Facilitator: The Teddy bear Project

Hi Cathy,
Thanks for including a link to my programmes in your last newsletter.
I noticed that you have not received some of my mail. Never mind. I
have worked and worked on getting automated and have hit a few snags.
I decided to get the newsletter out, and work on the other bits as I
go along. Please notice I have included a link to your website in
this newsletter. I hope that is okay with you, it is not too late to
take it out as we are in a pre-test to make sure everything is okay.
Please feel free to offer any suggestions. I was going to include to
your logo beside your link to make it look attractive but it wouldn't
save. Was this intentional? Thanks I've enjoyed your website. I
work with the disabled and find Kid Pics great for them. Do you give
subscribers HTML options?.
Talk to you soon,
Jo Murphy.
11. Next Issue I will be looking at the Macquarie Dictionary CD in
detail, has anyone one found an Australian Spellchecker compatible
with Microsoft Word??? Would be great to have a non American
version. I will also take a very close look at Lego and Dacta, I
would love to hear from anyone with experiences in this area. I have
been reviewing some hardware components lately, please send in your
comments on hardware items you have used successfully in school,
recommendations are always better than anything else. Have a good
12. 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!!!
13. 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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