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Editor's letter

The first computer was invented by a Victorian, Charles Babbage. It was only a blueprint for a pretty basic calculating machine, but every revolution has to start somewhere.

The Victorian era saw an explosion of scientific invention and exploration. Darwin and Freud changed the way people thought about themselves and their place in the world.

Most of the technological inventions that have made modern life... well, modern, had their beginnings in the 19th Century: the telephone, electric lights, movies, cars, even lifts all date back to the late 1800s. No wonder The Victorians make such a rich topic for primary schools. This month's panel of the Millennium Frieze looks at all these issues, and more. Then, come the autumn, we'll be moving on to cover the 20th century in three panels.

This month's eight-page project is for those teachers who wish Babbage had never got the whole computer thing started - and if you're in that group, you're not alone. According to Ofsted, more primary teachers struggle with IT than any other subject. We hope our simple guidelines on using e-mail and the Internet will help.

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