No: 162
VT's all New FREE Newsletter for Educators

Take One Step Closer to the Ultimate Classroom
Combat the 'YES BUT' objection with the Design Thinking for Educators TOOLKIT
  • Take one step closer to the Ultimate Classroom with The TOOLKIT. It provides instructions to explore Design Thinking. Its Free and its a fabulous tool, includes a workbook as well. A creative process that helps you design meaningful solutions in the classroom, at your school, and in your community, with your peers and your students.
Download it from here - Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit, it gives a practical starting place. Take a look at the videos at the site. One is on my website. The "Why Design Thinking" Video and the Video on Professionalism make you think. All presented by teachers.
More VT Supporters, thanks Laurie and Vicki, take a look at who is on the list and click on their names to see what else they are up to. More folk have been purchasing Maths Hammers, the feedback has bee great so far, what do you think of this eBook.
Thank you for your support & contribution! Become a supporter.
Just when you think you know all that you need to know, you ask another question and discover how much more there is to learn.
– Sixth grade student, J.L. Stanford Middle School, Palo Alto, CA

I learned that asking questions is the best way to know what’s going on, that when when you ask your own questions you can actually learn more and that asking questions can be just as important as a teacher asking a question.
– High School Students, Boston Public Schools

Triple Filter Test One day an acquaintance met Socrates and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
“Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I`d like you to pass a little test.
It`s called the Triple Filter Test.
Check this out on the VT Site

Here is something quite PUNY - click on the FROG sign to read more about
PUNS and PARONOMASIA from Wikipedia. There is a lot of fun
and cleverness to be had with this.

One of my favourite comedians George Carlin's phrase "Atheism is a
non-prophet institution", the word
"prophet" is put in place of its
homophone "profit".

Here's a few more:-
Broken pencils are pointless.
Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
Velcro - is just a rip off!
I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.
They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. Thinks he can stop any time.
Design Thinking for Educators
What does being a designer mean to you?
Solving problems with elegance and beauty. Creating better versions of the future. Looking at the world and saying how can I make it better.
Great Video - What is Design thinking. Some great ideas. The others in this series are also worth watching.
The Known Universe by AMNH
This is an amazing video, so fabulous for inspiration. Showing light traveling form earth in minutes, years and billlions of years and back again.
Turn things on with the SWITCH
Here is switch I made.
If you need to turn something on it works for everything.Tweet It is a magical switch.
Just think of the thing you want to switch on and click and it will work
Here's proof.
WE have had huge amounts of rain - Thomas wanted it to be sunny at 11.00am as he was flying out on a holiday, so I used the switch and sure enough I switched the sun on for him.
I recently had the worst experience of my life online, very scarey - I gave all my details to a company for a purchase - I do admit I thought it was rather odd they asked for so many details - and then I found out it was bogus.
I had to cancel everything and get a new Bank Account, Credit Card and change all my passwords. It took a day on the phone with the various agencies to sort out, and then all my usual direct debit, BPay accounts and general accounts and banking history were wiped out.
Luckily I cancelled everything in time, and apart from the HUGE inconvenience, lost nothing.
If you are buying or selling online PAYPAL is a good way to go, they have a very secure system and you need only give you details out once.It is FREE to sign up and pretty easy. PayPal has not been without its bad press. But I have been 100% happy with it so far.
If you are purchasing or selling online using a secure purchase payment system like paypal, makes things a lot easier and more secure. Pay Pal does charge a fee similar to fees charged by credit cards.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? If you have any intel please send it in.

One of the hottest trends in education around the world is Google Apps For Education (GAFE)

Google Docs
This is an online word processing tool. Google Docs are fantastic for real time collaboration between students and organising your research. Google Docs How To Tutorial 2012
Also check out Google sheets - a spreadsheet program has some amazing features built in such as Google gadgets and charts, as well as the ability to organise your Google search without having to leave the program.
Google Presentation - it has the ability to facilitate collaboration and group work that make Google Presentation such a great tool for teachers
And Google Sites - an amazingly simple website creating tool. Google sites are mainly used by teachers and students to quickly and easily create e-portfolio’s for assessment purposes. Google sites are a great way to organise and communicate information regardless of the format (text, audio, video, gadget or widget).

If you use Google Chrome or Firefox as your browser, you can just enter your search term into the URL bar at the top of the page..
Interactive Graphs
Google Chrome has released an update that allows you to type a mathematical function into the search bar and see the corresponding interactive graph at the top of the search results. Download Chrome for Free if you don't always have it and try: y=x^2+2x-3 or
(sqrt(cos(x))*cos(200x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(9-x^2), -sqrt(9-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

Converting units and measurements
Just type in your request and it will immediately convert.
type in "convert 12 inches to centimetres"

YouTube for Teachers
This is fantastic for teachers is the YouTube for Teachers channel.
Students can visually see anywhere else in the world and rewind, as many tme as they like. Watch the Video, 21st Century Classroom: YouTube @ Kent-Meridian High School. It saves time, Most videos are great quality and there are lots of tips.
This is a fabulous resource offering all the info in the WIDE WORLD about design thinking and doing with the amazing range of adobe products. Tutorials are flagged with grade levels and are really just great. Examples and Online tutorials.
You will have to create an account but it is FREE, so just do it. It is still a beta site - but such a great idea.
Try a Quick Ieda like - Picture yourself in Paris
Check out the Adobe and You Section, Take a look at the Impressive Gallery Be inspired.

Second Graders Correct Tweets From NFL Players And It’s Magical

What a great way to encourage great editing.

VT Antarctica Great Links and a fabulous Video From the Discovery Channel
All about GLACIERS Glaciers elicit both awe and curiosity. Like great rivers of ice, glaciers have sculpted mountains and carved out valleys. They continue to flow and shape the landscape in many places today. This site with something for everyone from glaciologists to grade school students, exploring nearly all aspects of glaciers including data and science, facts, a gallery, a glossary and much more.
weather and climate and oceans and geology! The GLACIER Web Site is
intended to introduce you to the Antarctic and the brave souls who are investigating that vast, frozen continent. (for information related to weather)

A Fabulous and Informative Video on Impressionist ART. And some other splendid links including
Artists Footsteps Great Australian Art This web site is being developed as a site for art lovers and students throughout the world to gain an appreciation of the lives and works of Australian Artists and the social environments in which they lived and painted.

The Toy Society is a world-wide collective of toy makers – of varying skill levels– who make toys and leave them as gifts for perfect strangers. It was started in 2008 by Australian Crafter, Bianca and now is worldwide. A fabulous idea, check out the website, your students will love it.

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day, is a holiday on February 14th celebrating love and friendship. Approximately 150 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. Since the early history literature, love has been a major contributor to many poems, plays, stories, and novels. Love is a particularly interesting subject because it seems simple but it is most complex with many possible variables, and it also ignites great passion.
Love - What is it? How do you find it in the 21st century? How is it commercialized?
I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

Here is a cool video you might like, it relates to what you wrote in your newsletter about the voyager spacecraft. The Known Universe by AMNH
I thought it was pretty cool.
Thanks Catherine - This is an amazing video, so fabulous for inspiration. Showing light traveling form earth in minutes, years and billlions of years and back again. I have it on the VT site.

Hi Cathy,
I have been getting your newsletter for years and always look forward to getting links to the interesting things you find. I really appreciate the work you put into it and love the new format.
What do you think about the Videos, which one inspired you most?
Did you like the Switch?
What great things are happening in your school, send them in and I'll feature them here. Next Newsletter I'll look at why content is dead, send in your thoughts.
Any upgrading links or suggestions please send them in.
Tweet or email your answers.
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!!!
1. GOT SOMETHING TO SAY - Send in your Questions, Questions will be published with Answers, send in your Answers, if you have expertise to share.
2. NOMINATE A BRILLIANT SITE for review and inclusion in this newsletter.
3. NOMINATE A FANTASTIC SCHOOL WEBSITE site for review and inclusion in this newsletter.
4. MAKE CONTACT with other schools using fantastic programs.
5. WRITE and innovative article for this newsletter.
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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 an email or tweet me.
Editor: Cathy Brown

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