Virtual Teacher Newsletter  No. 42  2002 - WWWinfo




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1. Welcome
2. Mind Candy
3. WWWinfo
4. New Printables - How Stuff Works
5. Technical Stuff - New Imac, Free Counters
6. Web Site Focus - A NEW START
8. Great Sites
9. Readers' Requests/Comments
10 Next Issue
11. Code of 'Netizens'
12. Tips
1. WELCOME BACK EVERYONE. A great holiday, and VT
is back with some great ideas for the beginning of the year.
Over the holidays my children and I were accessing all the
info sites on the web to plan trips, movies, phone calls etc.
So this year I am introducing a new "WWWinfo" section to
the newsletter. (It will last as long as there are sites out there).
This info will also be available from the site under a new heading
'WWWinfo". This section will look at reference sites on the
Internet that provide interactive information, like bus
timetables, international time zones, movie times and
dictionaries. These sites are fantastic sites, require a
bit of thought as well as providing useful information.
If you have any great ones send them along. You might
like to start the year with a bit of class philosophy,
I have included one I like below, "When children learn...",
Download it and use it as a discussions starter.
Have a good one.
ciao Cathy
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man
can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first step toward success in any job is to become interested in it.
As long as you're going to be thinking anyway, THINK BIG.
-Donald Trump
I do the very best I know how, the very best I can.
-Abraham Lincoln
Here's an excellent piece to discuss at the beginning of the
year and use as a class philosophy.....perhaps change
'children' to 'people'
When children learn that happiness is not found in what
a person has but in who that person is,
When they learn that giving and forgiving are more rewarding
than taking and avenging
When they learn that suffering is not eased by self-pity, but
overcome by inner resolve and spiritual strength,............
for the entire piece got to:-
3. WWWinfo
Movie timetables - When will you see your next movie??
Choose a Cinema near you. Select 'your cinema' then select
'cinema profiles'.
What public transport could you use to get there?
How much would it cost?
Where could you have lunch?
What are the scheduled times for Monsters Inc. (or select a
movie you like)
How long is the movie? Convert this to hours and minutes.
Extension: Estimate the time it will take to catch the bus,
see the movie and have lunch, then return home.
Total cost for bus trip, movie and lunch.
Not quite a printable but a great WEB idea for the
beginning of the year.
Have your students select a number between 1 and
720 then have them go to this url,
changing the number 71 to their own number, read this
information and present their version to the class.
Typical questions answered include, 'What causes
a rainbow' (Q41) and, 'How does a computer parallel
port work? (Q11) Why are boogers sticky' (Q81) etc.
New Imac looks fantastic, performance is amazing.
FREE Counters for your website can be found at:-
These counters are great for keeping track of visitors to
your website. Often these statistics can be downloaded
from your ISP as well.
And to enthuse you at the beginning of the year some
great sites with great ideas for the start of the year: -
A to Z Teacher Stuff has a "Back to school" theme that
you may find useful-
Some great activities, worksheets & links.

Ask Blake, I have mentioned before, has some wonderful
ideas & units of work for teachers - you need
to register it's free & it's Australian.

Some Great resources at Denise's site on all KLA's as
well as themes - "Teaching Using the Internet'

EdNA is a great Australian site for teachers - well
worth a good browse & try searching. Try "Back to School"

Lesson plans, research topics etc

Puzzles, word finds etc for a range of topics.

A good general site, lots of information and ideas
K-12, theme based just about everything.

This is a great site, I recommend this often,
and is also student friendly. Yr 1's can use this
site to find information as well as year 6, some
great printables, great info.

Worksheets, Graphic organisers, all levels
quoted Patricia Forsyth, the represent Ted of the Minister
for Education and the NSW Teachers' Federation President,
and a few other folk on public education technology access.
Headline: -
Public students feel the byte of scant technology
Again they miss the main point.
Fine to have all teachers with their own email address -
probably unnecessary if a good intranet system were used,
fine to have all teachers with their own laptop (sounds
good very expensive and overkill - the old throw enough
money at the problem and it will solve itself solution -
never works) - again unnecessary if teachers are happier
to use their own computers or prefer internet/email/home
computer system - which is very workable.
Unless teachers have reliable Internet access the vast
wealth of knowledge, resources and efficiency is lost.
IN NSW ACCESS IS HOPELESS. During the last term at
school I called the so called 'HELPLINE' and asked if
there was a time they could guarantee me Internet access
for just one computer at a school I was working in
(I needed to do upgrade the OS for a Mac computer)
they could not give me a time, could not guarantee
access for even one computer.

This means that - programs can't be automatically
reliably upgraded as links disconnect or are non-existent,
email can't be reliably downloaded and takes ages if there
are any attachments, the information resources can't
be used for lessons, as students can't reliably access
them - this causes more frustration than it is worth etc. etc.
The whole purpose of computers is negated without ACCESS.

The problem with access is: -
1. All public schools are funnelled through the very
inefficient, cumbersome, under-served DET site.
This needs to be scrapped in favour of an efficiently
designed fast loading site, or scrapped altogether and
individual schools can then link direct to the Internet.
2. The 64K lines currently in use at schools are inadequate
dinosaurs. Fast cable access at the very minimum should
be available to all schools. The department has been
promising a decision on this since last June, not August
as quoted in the article. And so far there is no improvement
at all.

1. The CEO offers a fantastic interface and website
for its catholic schools in the Sydney/NSW areas -
negotiate with them and come to some arrangement,
it and use it instead of the DET site, or use it as a model.
2. Use an offline email system (such as the free Eudora program)
so that mail can be downloaded to the desktop and
online bandwidth is taken up answering email containing
the department's enormous attachments. (One principal
I know allocates 1/2hour a day to here admin staff to
download email and print it out - first thing in the
morning - as it takes so long to read online and the
link usually drops out before she can finish reading it).
3. Supply fast cable access to all schools as a minimum,
and investigate satellite delivery particularly for high
schools. When I discussed this with folk in the
department they quoted rather amazing figures to supply
this service - in truth, both Optus and an Telstra would
negotiate a deal for supply of these services to schools
which would be less then the current $3,000 per year
schools are 'said' to pay for the current 64K ISDN lines.
Look at the WA example here.

The above is I have sent to a number of ministers,
Patricia Forsythe and also our Federation President.
If you have similar problems or others I suggest you
let the powers that be know about it, here's a few
emails to get you started. Goto the Teacher's
Federation and send an email online.
Chinese New Year is February 12 and there is a great website at
It is the Year of the Horse.
More Great Art sites
Eyes On Art - great site - great intro to art ideas and concepts.

Introduction To Colour Theory - online games and activities

Impressionist art - great site.

EdNA for Visual Arts

South Australian Visual Arts Education Association (SAVAEA)
Have a look at the new NSW DET website. I think it appeared overnight.
An excellent history of education site is available at
Online AUSTRALIAN newspapers
Check out this fantastic biology site advanced upper primary
+ 7-12, also the other Science topics covered at this site,
like the Solar system.
"NASA unveiled a new Web site today in which it publishes
satellite images in near real time over natural hazards around
the world. A new addition to NASA's Earth Observatory
(, the Natural
Hazards section contains images and information about major
environmental events that are potentially hazardous to human

Initially, the Earth Observatory team will track five categories of
natural hazards: wildfires, severe storms, floods, volcanic eruptions,
and major air pollution events (dust storms, smog, and smoke). The
images-acquired by NASA Earth Science Enterprise and Earth Observing
System (EOS) satellite missions-are freely available to the public as
well as news media."
Are you involved in a Schoolyard environmental activity
or school garden?
Here's a letter from one of our subscribers in the US, let
Nancy know what you are doing and check out some of her ideas.
Nancy's letter........

I'm wondering if you or your readers might be able to
help out one o four local organizations? Alliance for
New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE) is
attempting to compile a list of schools that are involved
in the creation of schoolyard habitats and/or similar
environmental activities. My friends at ANJEE have been
tremendously helpful with my own habitat efforts,
and I'd love to be able to return a favour.
If there are any readers on your list who are involved in these
undertakings, or know of a school that is, I'd appreciate
their sending me the name, location, and contact person.
I can be reached at: <>
Thank you very much for any consideration given on our behalf.
Nancy is a wonderful person and labours hard on her
'Schoolyard" project. Some details about it can be found at
I constructed this webpage for her so she could raise some funds a
while back - it does give a good insight into how it all works
for her.
Hi, Cathy,
I loved reading your most recent newsletter. Your ceaseless energy and
tremendous input continues to amaze me. It also leaves me wanting to
help in any way I can.

The kid's gardening site is fabulous, and one I immediately bookmarked.
Please let everyone know that I'm eager to share gardening/habitat
information with any interested parties. Since starting our
garden/habitat project I've listed many informative and helpful sites,
which I'd be happy to pass along to others. Also, I'm learning a lot
more about how to earn grants for needed expenditures.
That's always a major issue with this type of undertaking.
Wishing you and your family a terrifically wonderful holiday
season and sending hope for a peaceful New Year.
In an effort to 'pay my dues' - I don't know if this is already
known, but I just found it! is a great
teacher resource. Links the discovery channel programs
with online learning and provides lesson plans and
suggestions on using multimedia effectively as
a teaching tool. Also links to the excellent USA
discoverychanel web site.
Tracy Veale-Chan
Hi all - Hi Cathy,
I'm looking for information (of any sort) about how
ICT is (or is hoped to be) used in English studies in
primary schools... what's around today
specific to the Australian English CF; what's worked
and why and how. Etc.
Any suggestions?
Thanks so much for your help.
Thanks Cathy for an awesome resource!!!!!!!!
Tracy Veale-Chan
Have a look at some of the links on the
virtualteacher site- particularly 'Writing" and
some of the BM's under 'Teacher tools".
Can anyone help Tracy???
Thanks for your confirmation message. I just want
to know that the lesson plans or the things that
you present are all free or not. my point is that
if I want to have sth. from your site am I going to pay?
everything is free
Dear Ms. Brown,
This website contains:
- 1200 Interactive geography quizzes
- 200 of these quizzes contain small (2-3 kb) maps
These quizzes cover:
- Capital cities for all countries in the world
- The names of all countries in the world (small maps shown)
- The names of the 50 US states (small maps shown)
- The capital cities of the 50 US states (small maps shown)
All these quizzes are optimized to download fast (in less than
5 seconds - including the 5-10 small maps per quiz as well)
Access to all these quizzes is free.
Thank you.
Alwyn Botha
Hartbeespoort, South Africa
Developer of 12 free educational websites:
Check out this site Alwyn is doing a great job in the spirit
of the FREE Internet
Hi, Cathy!
I would like to recommend Web English Teacher
as a resource for teachers.
Web English Teacher is a library of the best of
online English/Language Arts
teaching resources: lesson plans, WebQuests,
videos, biography, e-texts,
criticism, jokes, puzzles, and classroom activities.
Carla Beard
Web English Teacher
10. NEXT ISSUE - This year is the year of the "Outback" so VT
will take a look at resources to do with this theme, and also take a
look at WEBQUESTS, one of the greatest educational forces
Online. You can also look forward to our next WWWinfo site.
If you have some great ideas send them along to share.


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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