12th April 1996 at 01:00
The British Computer Society is kicking off a national debate and possible Commission of Inquiry to help develop IT in the classroom, with a special edition of Computer Bulletin. The newsletter will include articles from Labour party leader Tony Blair and Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, as well as Ian Taylor, the Minister for Science and Technology.

Other contributors are the Confederation for British Industry, the Trades Union Congress and the National Council for Educational Technology, but the BCS also wants to hear from a broad cross-section of those involved in education and is inviting contributions from all interested parties. The final articles will also be published on the society's World Wide Web pages.

The British Computer Society, 1 Sanford Street, Swindon SN1 1HJ. Tel: 01793 417417. Fax: 01793 480270. E-mail: aduckworth@ Web address: The product of the marriage of convenience between Apple and Acorn appeared last week.

Xemplar Education, based in Cambridge, says it will help integrate technology into learning by developing the "widest choice of IT solutions for schools" - existing Acorn and Apple products and, presumably, new Xemplar offerings. For now, that means the new company will sell a wide range of Acorn and Apple brand names including A-series machines, Risc PCs, Pocket Books, Power Macintosh, Performas and PowerBooks.

Details of products and services are available from Xemplar Education Ltd, Vision Park, Histon, Cambridge CB4 4AE. Tel: 01223 724200. Web address:

Brent Spar, the oil storage platform which became the centre of an international outcry last year when its owners Royal DutchShell planned to dump it at sea, has been rescued from Norwegian obscurity and given new moorings on the Internet.

At its new home in cyberspace, visitors are invited to help Shell reach an acceptable solution to dispose of it. Eric Faulds, the company's decommissioning manager, says: "Going on-line will be a way of making sure that this time round our final proposal to the UK Government is informed by the views of many interested parties."

The Web site will be updated with the latest developments and a help facility divided into two sections, Debate and Data, offers views and answers about the Brent Spar and details of the events surrounding Shell's eventual decision to listen to the environmentalist pressure of Greenpeace.

Web address: http:www.shellexpro.

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