Jack Kenny, contributor to The TES and The Guardian, and chairman of examiners for English for the Edexcel Foundation has written ICT in Schools: A New Reality, an independent report commissioned by Xemplar, educational suppliers. Available free of charge, it looks at information and communications technology in Britain and considers what business can do for ICT in schools.
The report, which examines issues such as education funding, home-school links, the teacher's role, is damning. Kenny says there's an undue optimism in many schools, a view supported by the recent Stevenson report.
Kenny suggests introducing a compulsory levy on business for education, as well as professional classroom assistants (resource managers) to strengthen the link between schools and business.
The afterword rebukes the Government for not producing a real strategy "to fuse business and education in a common cause when it must know that it will not itself be able to finance the ICT programme adequately". And, for anyone who thought ICT was overfunded, a startling fact: in 1995-96, the average expenditure on ICT per pupil, excluding administrative costs, was pound;33 for secondaries and pound;10 for primary schools.
Essential reading. Xemplar 01223 724 724 A collection of essays by, among others, Deryk Mead, chief executive of the National Children's Homes, Roger Blamire of the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency and Martin Jauch of the Metropolitan Police's Clubs amp; Vice Unit, Children on the Internet, Opportunities and Hazards, has been published by NCH Action for Children. The booklet contains a concise introduction to the Internet and an extremely useful set of "NetSmart" house rules for young people intending to go online.
NCH Action for Children 0171 226 2033; website: http:www.nchafc.org The Internet in 24 hours? That's what author Ned Snell promises. The 24 one-hour lessons, for Net novices, start with a set of simple definitions, and move through topics such as Web browsers, e-mail and Internet security to the latest netcast technology.
No free CD-Rom or nerdy humour, but plenty of good advice.
Teach Yourself the Internet in 24 Hours, by Ned Snell, pound;17.95, Computer Manuals 0121 706 6000 There's a virtual library of guides and third party manuals on Windows 98, expected out early this summer. Active Desktop, FrontPage Express, True Web Integration? They're all features of the new Microsoft operating system which integrates browser technology and more conventional search methods. Presenting Windows 98 One Step at a Time contains a series of exercises intended to familiarise users with the new system and, on CD-Rom, a simulation of Windows 98.
By Brian Underdahl, pound;18.99, Transworld Publishers 0181 579 2652 Another book, Using Windows, claims to give a flavour of Windows 98 by using Windows 95 in conjunction with Internet Explorer 4. By Michael Miller, pound;18.49, Computer Manuals: 0121 706 6000