Virtual Teacher Newsletter No. 38 2001 - THE FUTURE LOOKS GOOD

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Newsletter Archives can be found at:-
1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. Great Help from Apple
4. New Printables - Not Mine but Shelley's
5. Technical Stuff - Graphics Editor, Free Email, Teacher Computer Literacy
6. Web Site Focus - Travel buddies
7. Australian Computer Teacher of the Year Award
8. Great Sites
9. Readers' Requests/Comments
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
12. Tips
1. WELCOME EVERYONE. It's been an interesting fortnight,
things that appeared certainties became uncertain, and uncertain
things became, well, entirely more likely. I found myself thinking
about computer literacy along with the great new education policy
statements from both political parties on literacy and numeracy skills.
I found myself ranking these things in some sort of order of priority:-
1. Literacy
2. Numeracy
3. Computer Literacy
But then thinking further, computer literacy provides the latest hope
for all those little boys particularly, who have lost here way in the
Literacy/Numeracy race, it is a hook with great appeal for the
reluctant learner and cuts across these other 2 great areas of concern.
Computer assisted learning can inspire and motivate in a way no previous
initiatives have been able to, it gives us a new and appealing tool,
perhaps to net more of the literacy and numeracy challenges than before.
Computer literacy is right up there integrating with these priority initiatives
and is giving them a boost. And its doing the same for all other KLA's.
The future holds increased delivery of computer based learning and content.
Cathy's crystal ball sees the black board of the future as a giant
computer screen, on which up to the minute information from web
based resources such as encyclopaedias, news sites, games, a/v
material and sites for all KLAs will be available, exciting, imaged
based and interactive. Student's individual needs and learning stills
will be specifically catered for and targeted. The teacher will
become a resource co-ordinator and director of studies, as well
as a very personal contact and for every child. I used to be pretty
certain about the ranking order of Literacy and Numeracy, and now
the playing field has changed, computer Literacy is up there with
these two - perhaps they are ALL Number One. The future looks good.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the
universe is that it has never tried to contact us."
Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson)
"For every complex problem, there is a solution
that is simple, neat, and wrong."
H.L. Mencken
Some helpful rules for better writing:

1. Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

4. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

5. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat)

6. Comparisons are as bad as clichs.

7. Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

8. Be more or less specific.

9. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are (usually)

10. Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

11. No sentence fragments.

12. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

13. Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary;
it's highly superfluous.

14. One should NEVER generalize.

15. Don't use no double negatives.

16. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

17. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

18. The passive voice is to be ignored.

19. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

20. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

21. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

22. If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times:
Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it
"A great teacher is not simply one who imparts knowledge to
his students, but one who awakens their interest in it and makes
them eager to pursue it for themselves. He is the spark plug,
not the fuel pump."
"Creativity," says Einstein, "is seeing what everyone sees and
thinking what no one has ever thought." Whether your group is
small or large, if some of your people are stuck in old ways,
short sighted, overwhelmed, or simply need an energizing boost,
then Einstein and Bercovitz are just the team to nudge their
neurons, juice up their creativity, and catalyze BIG Picture thinking.
Rules for Reading
1. Read
2. Read
3. Read some more
4. Read anything
5. Read about everything.
6. Read enjoyable things.
7. Read things you yourself enjoy.
8. Read and talk about it.
9. Read very carefully, some things.
10. Read on the run, most things.
11. Don't think about reading, but
12. Just read.
John Cotton Dana
3. GREAT HELP FROM APPLE. I always new these people
were fantastic, but operating through the 'Helpline' proved so
frustrating. I finally connected with Helen Matthews of Apple help,
on 133622. We had lost a couple of screws from our IBOOKS,
and were also having trouble with the mouse pads on the IBOOKS.
They seemed to work just fine, but if the children's hands were
hot or sweaty, problems occurred. Helen solved both my problems
by supplying me with spare parts as well as 2 new infra-red mice,
fantastic. Solved the problem. The mice are wonderful - no dirty
rollers to clean and the children love them. thanks Apple.
Great company - great computers. Helen your a champion.
The Apple site offers a wealth of Educational info
Here are some lesson Plans
Apple Learning Exchangeg
Apple Seminars are Great - Select the Ones that suit you.
Quick Time Movies - best with fast cable link
Downloads and updates
Apple Care Site Index
Online Computing - The Shelly Cashmen series - great
online book about computing- very comprehensive.
Graphics Editors Free
May be useful: to you
"Welcome to, the Web's most detailed and expansive
resource for Free Email. Our database search, PostyTM, the only one
like it on the web, allows you to quickly search our extensive listings of
over 1400 free email providers in more than 85 countries to easily find
the Free Email Provider that has all of the features you want and that is
perfect for you."
Here's an excellent ICT initiative our Federal / State governments
might well emulate, and presumably with relatively minor expense.

The Michigan Virtual University is offering more than 700 top-quality
on-line ICT courses to the Michigan education community, and their
small business sector, for free. As an adjunct to or a pre-requisite for
further ICT training, one can only imagine that in a very short time this
initiative will reap Michigan *major* economic benefits. Quite obviously
their whole workforce may soon be in a formidable competitive position.
- it sounds very promising for
people making the change from Windows to Linux
6. WEBSITE FOCUS -Travel Buddies
Take a look at the variety - think about next year or take a virtual flight
in this term. There has never been a better time or reason to connect
positively to the rest of the world!
For more general information about Travel Buddies in general visit:
Congratulations Kerrie on winning -
Australian Computer Teacher of the Year 2001.
And a , a huge thank to you. Kerrie is a genuine expert who
shares virtually everything. She has made some great advances
in Computer education communication through innovative use of
the Edna search engine including online forums which are great.
Check them out at
And here's some news from Kerrie
Hi Cathy
I have belonged to your email list for quite a while now and only this
morning did it occur to me whether we have it listed on EdNA
Horror! I found it wasn't listed and so I have added it and will put it on
the Schools page for this Friday
We've done a lot of work in upgrading the user interface at EdNA in the last
few months and we now have a specific schools entry point at
I don't know whether you are aware of the Email Alert service which sends
out What's New & News & Views every Friday afternoon, and a What's New in
Early Childhood newsletter at the end of each month.
What's New is available online at
and you can subscribe to any
of the alerts at
Another feature that may interest people is the EdNA forum site at
First time users of the site will need to register with a name and valid
email address. They are then emailed a login id and a password.
Of particular interest may be the National Software Evaluation Project
(NSEP) which is becoming a repository of information about software being
used in schools.
Quite a variety of software has been discussed and I invite you contribute
to any of the activities, particularly if you want to indicate where you
have created a relevant lesson plan etc.
The focus of EdNA Online is to provide links to quality evaluated resources
for the education community across all sectors, linked to the Australian
curriculum. At present we have over 14,500 evaluated resources and about
330, 000 linked resources as well as access to the G.E.M. and VOCED
Kerrie Smith
Schools Information Officer
EdNA Online Team
Phone 08 8334 3213 Mob: 0402 892 055
Love this site it gives you a visual of day and night around the world
watch the daylight move across the countries on a world map terrrrific
Geoscience education and Resources, PD for Primary and Secondary Teachers
Rocks for Kids

Great site - Gives the real meaning of Nursery Rhymes and their history.
All types of Systems Solar Systems, Ecosystems, Human Body
Systems, Government Systems, Weather Systems,
Economic/Monetary Systems, Transportation Systems, Postal System,
Communication Systems, Computer Systems, Miscellaneous Systems,
All About Spiders
Colour Theory for Kids ***
Colour Theory covers the colour wheel, mixing, schemes and mood. Online
activities, vocabulary, puzzles, quizzes and examples of artwork are
Great Sites for Great Kids
Fantastic Stormy Weather Site
Castles on the Web
Dear Cathy, thanks for all the great ideas I really appreciate them.
Thanks again. Steve
Dear Cathie,
Thank you for an informative site. While many of the sites
mentioned are of more relevance to Primary School teachers I
have often found some very useful information. I would like to
mention a web site that I have found particularly useful especially
relating to social sciences
. This has a great deal of useful information that is presented in
different ways - great for students who are able to utilise the
internet both at home and at school.
I hope some of your other readers find it beneficial
Meredith Mackenzie

Thanks Meredith - great site.
Your "Virtual Teacher" site was passed onto me. A lot of work seems to be
placed into creating it, congratulations.
I am with Grolier Online, an internet delivered series of Encyclopaedia
databases updated daily.
Offered only to educational institutions on an annual subscription basis,
schools can allow staff & students direct home access under our license

Please have a look at
For evaluation trials,
User Name: world
Password: atlas
We supplement our subscribers, as often as possible, with
extra information relating to current events happening
around the world. As the crisis in the U S of A is taking main
news space, we have put together a WORD doc. showing
web links students and teachers can look up to be better acquainted. I
enclose it for you here.
Is there anyway we can incorporate news of Grolier Online into Virtual
Teacher to let schools know that the site is available?
Any thoughts you have, would love to discuss with you anytime.
Grolier Online
Tel: (02) 94138 371
Mob: 0400 522 009
Thanks Paul
Use the password this is your chance - use the password above and
check out this wonderful resource, Paul has given us the password for a
time to evaluate this product - so here's your chance.
Hi, Cathy,
It's been a while since we've shared communication, and I've missed
hearing from you. I'm not certain if I'd previously sent you this site,
but it's a good one, which I've used often. Perhaps you might be
interested in sharing it with others in your next edition. The listed
links are also good ones and worth checking out.
Your newsletter continues to be incredibly useful, and I've enjoyed
receiving all of the wonderful information contained within. Keep up
the great work!
Warm regards,
thanks Nancy - this site is massive and has some great links for
study guides, effective learning, classroom participation, study
guides and strategies, preparing for and taking tests, reading
skills, writing , mathematics and science skills, and evaluating
making websites and more. very comprehensive, very useful.
The information is given in multiple languages.
10. NEXT ISSUE - I will be dealing with the old chestnut -
effective web searching. I am still asked a great deal about
searching and advanced web searching. The playing field is
improving all the time. Anyone with some great ideas on this -
please 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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