Virtual Teacher Newsletter No. 27 2001

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. E-Pals - Connecting Classes Worldwide
4. New Printables and VT pages
5. Technical Stuff - What a Crock - Never let the facts get .......
6. Website Focus - Sue Roseman
7. International Children's Lit Sites
8. Great sites
9. Readers' Requests/Comments
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
12. Tips
1. WELCOME EVERYONE. What a wet week, if it didn't rain it
poured. Take a look at the "Water vs Coke" Mind Candy -
and look what's in what's pouring out of the skies and compare
it to what's pouring into our bellies, perhaps we're lucky that
its water not coke raining from the heavens. Use this little
article for some fun and games in class, prepare a debate,
write an argument, or have a discussion - should be pretty
lively. I was a bit hot under the collar after listening to the
7.30 report on Monday night this week, we need this sort
of Computer misinformation like a hole in the head. It's a
good way to sell a book though - take everybody's fears,
put them in a book and tell them they are right. I'd love to
hear your comments and particularly any studies you know
about involving computers and academic learning.
Take a look at the ANTICS on the ANT links under
great sites - I'm sure you'll have some fun with these.
Have a good one.
If things get any better, I may have to hire someone to help
me enjoy it.
Rene Descartes went into his favourite bar and the bar tender
asked, "would you like your usual drink, Monsieur Descartes? "
Descartes replied "I think not" and promptly disappeared.
"'Forbes' magazine has once again named Bill Gates the
richest man in the world. On hearing this, Janet Reno said
that Bill Gates should be broken up into two smaller rich
men so as to eliminate a monopoly on that title." -Jay Leno
The length of a minute is depends on what side of the bath-
room door you're on.
"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with
a great teacher." --Japanese proverb
Subject: FW: Water versus Coke:
This Is Really Scary!!!
Water versus Coke:

We all know that water is important but I've never seen it written
down like this before. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
(Likely applies to half world pop.) In 37% of Americans, the thirst
mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as
much as 3%. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger
pains for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington
study. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. Preliminary
research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly
ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term
memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the
computer screen or on a printed page.

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon
cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by
79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

No wonder coke tastes so good:

1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries
two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the
highway after a car accident.

2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will
be gone in two days.

3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the
toilet bowl and.... Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush
clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.

4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the
bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminium
foil dipped in Coca-Cola.

5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a
can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.

6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in
Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.

7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the
baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminium foil, and bake. Thirty
minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the
drippings to mix with the Coke for sumptuous brown gravy.

8.To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a
load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a
regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
It will also clean road haze from your windshield.

1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid.
Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.

2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the
commercial truck must use the hazardous material
place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.

3. The distributors of coke have been using it to
clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Enjoy your next can of coke!!
3. E-Pals - Connecting Classes Worldwide
ePALS' unique convergence of technology and community
lets students of all ages work together. Open doors to new
learning opportunities and friendships. Join today.
(It's quick, easy and free.)
Here is a great way to connect your class to the world.
Just register and put you class details on this site and/or
write to a class already listed. Epals is a secure online
email system which offers children international contact.
Fantastic you say - even better their is a translation service
online so that emails can be translated on the fly when
sending or receiving. But there's more - set up a secure
online chatroom with the students or schools you choose
at this site. There are also great teacher resources,
special events, group projects the list goes on. this is
definitely a great way to get around the secure email
situation for students - check it out at
4. NEW PRINTABLES and VT pages
Webpage for book sites "Writing"
Did you see the 7.30 report on Monday night- 7/5/01?
(for folks in Sydney Australia - the rest of you may have
seen this book around - the author is American) Tracy
Bowden interviewed Alison Armstrong about her
recently co-authored book
(with Charles Casement) of
The Child and the Machine: Why Computers May Put Our
Children's Education at Risk. Dr Alison Elliot of the
University of Western Sydney said it all with her comment
" I think the thrust of the book is reactionary". It is.
The Kaiser Foundation Report referred to in the interview
can be found at

After hearing the interview I hopped on the internet and
downloaded the transcript from the ABC site at:-

Then I wrote to The Kaiser Foundation and Dana was
kind enough to reply overnight.
Thank you for contacting us. You may be interested in
Kids & Media @ The New Millennium, one of the most
comprehensive national public studies ever conducted
of young people's media use. You can find this publication
online at the following web address:>
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Dana Greil
Online Program Assistant
Kaiser Family Foundation"
I looked at the report and found it lacked any of the
details alluded to in the interview. On rereading the
transcript the I noticed a couple of things - Alison was
talking about 'electronic media" which included TV,
Radio, CD players, playstations etc as well as computers,
and indeed this is how the Kaiser study defined 'electronic
media. We all know the bogey man of TV has been
around for nearly half a century and has turned out
unbelievable monsters, and has had a truly detrimental
social effect. We are now all violent social misfits thanks
to T.V. So this is old news.

According to the Kaiser study:-
"About 2/3s(64%) of all kids spend more than an hour a
day watching TV....By contrast fewer than 9% of kids
spend more than an hour a day using computers."

So it would appear she has nothing new to say at all.

Other sections of Alison's book elude to the waste of money in purchasing
computers, lack of teacher understanding of how to use
computers in the classroom successfully, violence in
educational game software. All of which are now pretty
old hat, and inservice and departmental initiatives are
improving the obvious problems.

What is not mentioned is the successful use of computers
in the classroom. Like the ongoing study at Noumea
Public School mentioned in a past newsletter.
The fact is the new technology opens doors to children
for researching and accessing a world far beyond their
own environment. Empowers them with the ability to
direct and control their own learning. To produce
quality work.
The fact is computers are a tool, like pencils and paper,
like calculators, which children will need to master to
function properly in the 21st century
The fact is that one of largest growing employment
areas is in computer technology and will be for the
foreseeable future.
The fact is in the history of the world increased access
to information has always improved the literacy, numeracy
and indeed the total education of the population. Not until
books were mass produced did the majority of people
learn, not until public libraries were established was
research and learning available to all. The internet itself
was developed as a research and communication tool
between academics .

I could go on ...but the fact is the internet also allows the
computer literate to debunk arguments like Alison's overnight.
Connect to the internet- look at primary source material, and
evaluate its validity. Sorry Alison - access to information is
now in the hands of the masses, you can't pull the wool over
our eyes anymore. Deprive children of the right to learn
about computers, no way, teach them the skills they need
to evaluate debunk the misinformation of this world.

PS Even the title "The Child and the Machine: Why
Computers May Put Our Children's Education at Risk
shows Alison thinks she's on pretty shaky ground - the
"may" says it all. OOOps!

PPS the real cure is to spend more money on computers,
software development, and teacher training. Provide the
latest technology for use in classrooms so that our children
are able to work on the best equipment and the best programs.

PPPS I wrote back to the Kaiser Foundation to see if they
indeed did have a study about the effects of computers
on academic performance, here is their reply:-
From: "Dana Greil" <>
To: <>
Unfortunately the Kaiser Family Foundation has
not done any studies linking computer use to
academic performance. I'm sorry that we have
no additional information to provide you.
6. WEBSITE FOCUS - Sue Roseman
This is a great subscriber website. Sue has some excellent
resources here, very well organised.
I loved the webquest on fairytales. This is a Canadian site
which also links to many Canadian resources, well done.
the theme related websites are fantastic.
and the professional development link has some interesting things
to think about
Hi Cathy! I really enjoy your newsletter and site.
Would it be possible tohave my site featured in your newsletter
under the heading of GREAT SITES?
Do feel free to modify the description or classification.
Integrating Internet Technology Resources is an educational
resource site with a varied collection of exemplary sites
which stress Canadian content and links to the Ontario curriculum.
Thanks in advance,
Sue Roseman
Has anyone else a great website like Sue's to share?
Lemony Snicket - I love these books
J.R. Tolkien Homepage - amazing
Seussville - fantastic site for everyone - try using this with
older students as well- use the language patterns as templates
for their rhymes and stories
Harry Potter of course
Judy Blume Page
Jackie Keller
Eric Carle
Dave Pilkey
Ezra Jack Keats
Elizabeth Partridge
Also check out the rest of the Scholastics site - there are some
great book sites here.
Dinotopia is a most interesting site.
Index to Authors and Illlustrators
Yahoo Authors links

Authors and Illustrators on the Web
Maths Power - a great site with online tutorials and
great ideas upper primary and high school
The electronic Zoo
Wee Webbies
Space Kids is a great site with lots of stuff to learn about
space and games to play also a fantastic flash solar system movie.
Since this is from your native country you might already have
this sitein your bookmarks. If not, it seems like a fun place to visit.
Hoping all is well down under!

All About Ants:
Ant Colonies:
Ant Pictures:
Food Fit for An Ant:
Parents Advice About Ants:
Ant Art:
Antics Page:
Ant Science:
Ants In The Sand:
Ant Snacks:
Bug Go:


The English Room ****
For teachers who wish to explore poetry with their students,
take a look at 30 Days of Poetry. Students have a poetry writing
assignment each of the 30 days, or teachers can assign
several types of poems for students to experience.
Research Using Technology has an activity where students
research a word using several sources, then write short
essays about what they discovered. Check out this site for
other creative ideas that English and writing teachers can
incorporate into their curriculum.
Grade Level: Elementary, Middle School, High School
Content Area: English (Writing) Dewey #808, English
(Literature) Dewey#800, Technology (Internet) Dewey #600
Application Type: Activity, Resource
eSchola Week Learn together (7 - 11 May 2001)
eSchola is about learning online from each other, working
together, and celebrating success using new technologies
in Europe's classrooms. National, regional and web-based
events start with the eSchola launch on 7 May 2001.
For more details about how to participate in eSchola,
visit the European Schoolnet eSchola web site

Hi,Cathy,your newsletter is interesting.
Please do you have any information about or contacts for
Online teaching or tutoring?
Can this request be put in your newsletter,please?
I have struggled to make my own website,it is :
Please put this site in your newsletter.
I am well-qualified and have over 25 years teaching and
tutoring experience. I have retired from college and school
teaching and am looking for Online work. I have two years
Online tutoring experience, but I find it difficult to find Online work.
Please help,yours sincerely,
Brian Southey.
Hi Brian,
employs teachers online to work with students, as do a
number of online educational sites - try contacting them.
My initial enquiries seemed to indicate that the returns
were not great. Does anyone else have any ideas?
10. NEXT ISSUE - I will be looking at Music sites on the web,
so if you have any great sites to recommend send them in.

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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