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Classroom pets get ready to go online

Since the launch of YouTube and MySpace everyone, from nursery pupils to pensioners, have been able to create a website. But no one had reserved a corner of cyberspace for four-legged web users. Or feathered ones. Until now.

Pet Street, to be launched on Wednesday, will provide online space for pets. Owners will be able to create web pages, including blogs, photographs and videos of their feathered or furry friends.

Maurice Melzak, the zoologist behind Pet Street, was keen for schools to create pages for their class pets. "It'll be a community," he said. "If you have a problem with your school hamster, you can post messages, asking for advice."

The opportunity to use the site for poetry and art, as well as ICT, will mean it has cross-curricular benefits. Mr Melzak also believed it could help pupils deal with life lessons, such as bereavement.

And he was not concerned that pupils could use the site to share gerbil torture methods, because these sites are "democracies".

Aileen Davies, Year 6 teacher at Cunningham Hill juniors, in Hertfordshire, believed her pupils would welcome the chance to share information about their class pet, Minstrel. "Though I'm not sure how much mileage you'd get from a hamster," she said.

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