Home' Teacher : April 2010 Contents EDITORIAL
Read the nation's school newsletters a nd
it's clea r that principals were, not sur-
prisingly, stunned by the news of the
fatal stabbing of 12-year-old Elliott
Fletcher, allegedly by a 13-year-old fel-
low student, at St Patrick's College in
Brisbane's bayside suburb of Shorn-
cliffe. In letters to the St Patrick's school
community prior to the 12-yea r old's
funeral Mass at the school in February,
St Patrick's College Principal Dr Michael
Carroll wrote that he was 'conscious of
the extreme stress the events of this
week have placed upon our entire com-
munity,' describing them as 'circum-
stances that none of us would ever have
wanted to imagine.' In a letter issued on
the day of the incident, Dr Carroll also
wrote, 'While I am unable to inform you
of the details of the incident, I can con-
firm that it did involve a nother student
from the college, and that other student
is now assisting police with their inquir-
ies.' As the nation's school newsletters
suggest, it's likely that many, many prin-
cipals across Australia took a very deep
breath, a nd probably several minutes for
some quiet thinking. There a re many
things to think about: the death of one
of your students; the effect on your
school community of such a thing, espe-
cially when it happens on ca mpus; and,
of course, 'that other student' a nd all
that follows from that. Principals and
their leadership teams have no doubt
been revisiting their policies and pro -
grams on student wellbeing, life skills,
bullying and cyberbullying, conflict
resolution, buddy systems and other
programs to build positive relationships.
Many will be exa mining statistics that
appea r to show an increasing number of
children and teenagers now carry knives
or bladed weapons. Then, of course,
there a re all the what-ifs that we would
all think about, a nd the grief. T
4 TEACHER APRIL 2010
Number of internet users in 2009: 1.6 bil-
Number of players registered to play the
massively multiplayer online game,
World of Warcraft: 11.5 million.
Population growth of mobile phone users
from 1990 to 2007: 11.1 million to
Population growth of internet users from
1990 to 2007: 2.6 million to 1.2 billion.
Percentage of students aged five to 14 who
were computer users in 2006: 92 per
cent -- 90 per cent at school; 89 per cent
at home; 37 per cent at a friend's place;
and 12 per cent at a public library.
Percentage of students aged 14 to 16 who
were daily internet users in 2008: 77
Percentage of students aged 14 to 16 who
owned a mobile phone in 2006: 96 per
Predicted number of computers in Aus-
tralian schools by 2012: one million.
Source: Moyle, K. (2010). Building Innovation:
Lear ning with technologies. Australian Education
Review 56. Melbourne: ACER.
1. Why might grammar tragics complain
about our March story, 'Ping: The
Web 2.0 futu re of education?'?
2. Can you resolve conflicts after one
3. What is the Teacher Earth Science
4. Is award-winning teacher Len Altman
seeking sponsorship support for the
5. What is cloud computing?
6. Townsville's Hermit Park State Pri-
mary School and Melbourne's Silver-
ton PS and Dallas PS are three of how
many Microsoft Innovative Pathfinder
or Mentor Schools worldwide?
7. Are schools legally bound to involve
the police if there's a drug-related
8. Is the 'Two easy rules to a ripped
body' internet ad a scam?
9. Would Jon Stark be sweating if he
were in his class in Haimen in Jiangsu
province, China, right now?
10. Is the Bible appropriate reading mate-
rial for Year 3?
Answers: 1. it should refer to the 'cello, since it's an abbreviation of 'violoncello'; 2. according to education consultant Debra Ferguson,
no, but she does say it's worth the effort; 3. a professional development network of the Australian Science Teachers Association; 4.
yes -- visit www.tesep.org.au to help; 5. internet-based, or 'cloud'-based, rather than local personal computer applications; 6. 42; 7.
Commonwealth policy guidelines encourage a case-by-case assessment, so schools have 'considerable discretion'; 8. um, yes, appar-
ently; 9. no, it's a cool 10 degrees; 10. it is at Madison Park Elementary School in New Jersey in the United States.
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