No: 167
VT's FREE Newsletter for Educators - Insight, Inspiration and Ideas that work!


Hello - Esteemed Professionals
I am keen to hear your thoughts on the Finnish Education System. Take a look at the videos they are
most compelling.

I loved Liam's input and the site he recommended is fabulous, if you ever wanted to know where all the answers come from, well here it is.
I forgot to add the link to Vital Peripherals last newsletter, which is probably a good thing because I can remind you all to contact them at the start of term 2 for any computer or technology gear you need. Ask for Leigh - he's great and mention Virtual Teacher to get the best prices. I'm sure he will be able to better any other price you can get.
My Book "Do You Need a Hammer to do Multiplication?" continues to hit the spot - the latest purchaser Reechelle, commented - "It is an awesome book thanks so much!" Thanks also to Kristen Westcott our latest VT supporter.
Thank you for your support & contribution! Become a supporter. Spread the Word about VT, emil this newsletter onto someone you think might love it.

"There's no word for accountability in Finnish," he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. "Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted."
Pasi Sahlberg

Finnish Schools
In Finland this whole business of Education is run by educators, people are engaged in problem solving not in winning arguments, the notion that somebody is an obstacle is just irrelevant here, the conversation is always about "How can we all, together help children", they assume that teachers are at the centre of a child's education and they work to make sure that teachers have what they need to accomplish this.
AFT President Randi Weingarten
I would love to work in this system - here - teachers in Finland love what they do, let's get it for our children here in Australia and for ourselves.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea ????????
The Movie Remake of the Jules Verne schoolboy story is soon to start in Australia.
Adventurre Imagaination and no Mathematical knowledge.

The archaic distance a League when converted into Kilometres is 5.55600.
So assuming someone is going to travel
20,000 leagues, the converted distance would be 111,120 Kilometres.
So if the diameter of the earth is 12,742 km

So traveling in a lateral or vertical direction the Jules Verne adventurer would travel through more than EIGHT Earths.(more precisely 8.7 earths)

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become."
“When I'm out of politics I'm going to run a business, it'll be called rent-a-spine”
Margaret Thatcher

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. -Japanese proverb

Look at best practices throughout the World.
Finnish Schools win hands down.
Take a look at the Videos
Finland's schools score consistently
at the top of world rankings, yet the pupils have the fewest number of
class hours in the developed world, don't do homework and have no standarised testing.

1. Finland does not give their kids standardized tests.
It is not mandatory to give students grades until they are in the 8th grade.
2. Co-operation not competition is valued.
3. Equality of opportunity not outcomes.
4. All teachers are required to have a master's degree.
5. Higher pay for experienced teachers comparable to other University graduates. Teachers are treated as Professionals.
6. Finland does not have a culture of negative accountability for their teachers.
7. Finnish schools receive full autonomy, with head teachers and teachers experiencing considerable independence when developing and delivering their own individual curricula.
8. TRUST in students and TRUST in teachers - not the politicians.
9 Finnish schools don't assign homework, because it is assumed that mastery is attained in the classroom.
10. A much higher percentage of Finland's educational budget goes directly into the classroom and is not spent on administration.

"But perhaps most striking on the list of what makes Finland’s school system unique is that the country has deliberately rejected the prevailing standardization movement. While nations around the world introduced heavy standardized testing regimes in the 1990s, the Finnish National Board of Education concluded that such tests would consume too much instructional time, cost too much to construct, proctor, and grade, and generate undue stress.
The Finnish answer to standardized tests has been to give exams to small but statistically significant samples of students and to trust teachers—so much so that the National Board of Education closed its inspectorate in 1991.
Teachers in Finland design their own courses, using a national curriculum as a guide, not a blueprint, and spend about 80 percent as much time leading classes as their U.S. counterparts do, so that they have sufficient opportunity to plan lessons and collaborate with colleagues. The only point at which a
all Finnish students take standardized exams is as high school seniors if they wish to go to university." Read more at
So How do we Improve the Australian Education System?
Quite frankly the answers are already out there, the current Australian solution, ignore the evidence, do what we have always done - repeat this solution over and over and expect something to change - rubbish. The Gonski report dealt with funding, equality of outcomes and accountablity.
How do you know in Finland that you students are learning at the school, I always say, ask the Teacher
- Dr Pasi Sahlberg
And this is what we need to do, ASK THE TEACHERS.

Dr. Eric Topol on The Future of SMART Health Care
Dr. Eric Topol, showes off a number of technologies and gadgets that can provide better health care at lower cost, using little more than a sensor connected to a smartphone. This is the future, this is amazing. Imagine what this type of Technology used for Education could do. And we can do it now.

Is an Ausiovisual information centre.
Bench test of different gear, reviews, advice, workflow solutions, a learning centre and a blog. If you are or you have a protege who is keen on mutlimedia sign up to this blog as well.
Topics covered include:-
How to be a Filmmaker.
What is MPEG-DASH?
How to conduct and Interview
What is MPEG-DASH?
What is Post Production?
If you have some budding filmmakers, TV Producers, YouTube aficionados, this is the site for them.
Let them free range here.
The story of computing is epic. It’s driven by the human passion for tinkering, inventing and solving difficult problems where accidents and luck can be as important as brilliant engineering. Explore the revolution that has changed our world.....
This Online Museum is amazing, comprehensive well, not to be missed. The timeline is great and goes on forever with black spaces till well past the year 3,000AD. Topics include calculators, punch cards, programming, supercomputers and much more.
The Most Trusted Place for answering life's Questions. is a Q&A site with answers about anything. marries the best of community-driven questions and answers with hundreds of respected and trusted editorial reference books.
The site knows the best answer to give you, whether it summons the expansive, ever-growing collection of community answers from WikiAnswers, or it taps into its Reference Answers database, a comprehensive set of editorial, licensed reference topics.
The result is a fact finder's gold mine: a one-stop page of reference information pulled from hundreds of trusted licensed sources covering millions of topics.
The Answers community includes war veterans, doctors, librarians, lawyers and students, as well as retirees who have spent their lives absorbing facts and ideas. is powered by its unique community - where individuals are bolstered by team spirit.
Thanks Liam

Take a look at th VT Writing Page lots of great sites and authors websites. It's great to look around these websites, and email writers with questions. Many are available for school visits, and will answer emails. I wrote to a number of them asking about writer's block, download the pdf replies I received here.

Here's a really unique paint program. You can paint your own image, pick and image to paint or paint from scratch using a varitey of different artist's styles. Watch the video - I love this - it is a great way to learn about the different painting techniques of the great artists.
I do answer all emails so send them along with your questions ideas and great sites.

Hi Cathy,

Now, now, hopefully I didn’t freak you out BUT I really am head over heels with you. It’s not in a creepy, stalker way, just mostly I’m in love with your website – Virtual Teacher.

You probably get tons of people who declare their love for, so I don’t want to bore you with my endless reasons. Instead, I thought I could show you some appreciation by throwing you some feedback on how you can improve traffic to your website:
· Fix your sites broken links:
· Make sure people haven’t stolen your content:
· Stop people stealing your brand:
· Only have (heading) tags on content, see here:
I know that you are extremely busy and get millions of emails a day but hopefully this one was helpful to you and your visitors. I just wanted to help you out.

All the best,

Jasamine Wood

Unit 447 of 121 Lygon Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
I love Jasamine's Website - it is all about domestic animals. having them. do's and don'ts, secrets and great images. Your student will love it. The site also allows them to as
k questions and add comments. The other 'improve your traffic' ideas above may also prove interesting.

Hi Cathy
You have an inspiring eletter. Thanks for the constantly interesting & challenging info - was fascinated to read
the 10 things which will soon be obsolete - I can't wait !!
A really neat little app I would like to recommend is called Coop Fractions & helps my Year 5s to see the correlation between fractions & their decimal equivalent.
My other fav is a little xy but so worth it for wordsmiths out there -it's called Wordflex & is a combination dictionary/thesaurus.
Thanks the constant cerebral stimulation
Sent from Fi's iPad
Glad you love the newsletter, you will love the Medical Video in this Newsletter. Thanks for the Apps the Coop Fractions looks great and it's FREE. Love that. Don't think you will have to wait - I think the future is here already. Love to see in any other marvellous things you finds.

Hello Cathy, thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn. You appear to have developed some great products. Truly inspirational. Have a great day. Mark.
Sent from Mark Tanti LinkedIn for iPhone

Hi there, Cathy!
I wanted to tell you what a great help your site has been for us. A middle school boy I'm tutoring found your page while studying for his English Language Arts state assessment and I just had to tell you! He wanted to share another page that he really loved:
"That's What It Meant: Symbolism in Poetry"
I'm constantly surprised by how motivated Liam is to achieve and his eagerness to share is inspiring! I love to encourage him in any way I can, which is why I was hoping you wouldn't mind adding the page he found to your site with all of your other helpful resources
I think it would be really encouraging for Liam if you would include the page he suggested on your website; I'm sure seeing his link listed with your other resources would really help out his self-confidence too! Thank you for helping him come out of his shell, and sorry for the interruption!
Thanks so much!
Fay Davis
ELA Student Teacher
Seattle Public Schools
Thanks Fay and Liam
The site offers concise information about Poetry and writing, it is easy to navigate and the content is concise and accurate. I love it so much I have included it in the Newsletter under World Wide Info. Thanks again Liam

Also Love you to download my Maths book for FREE - I totally believe in sharing - so download it and let me know what you think.
I hope you love it.

Code of the Netizens

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 them or do a little research and get back to them.
Trust me, this will help a lot of people get better much faster.
Oh! and send them a link to VT for inspiration.
OK I'm trusting you!!!

You are a true Netizen - Liam.


What are your comments on the Finnish Schools - wouldn't you love to teach in that system? What did you think of the videos? What are the questions we should really be asking about our own Education System?

Please join me on LinkedIn .Tweet
What great things are happening in your school, send them in and I'll feature them here. If you have any great links - please send them in and I can do a special feature on them.
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.
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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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