16th May 1997 at 01:00
The dread that schools experience - teachers and students alike - when an OFSTED inspection comes around can be aggravated by the knowledge that the reports go up on the World Wide Web for all the Internet world to see. But now the inspectors are getting a taste of their own medicine. They are being inspected and Webbed - by the students.

"When the inspectors first came I was really nervous," writes Rachel in Year 6 of Welford and Wickham Junior School in Berkshire. "But after I read to Mr King, I began to feel a little less nervous." The Welford and Wickham children were cautiously approving on their Web site, but it is understood that remarks from another school found their way back to the Inspectorate and resulted in further staff development. Web democracy is a powerful thing. Check out the Welford and Wickham site at: Information technology guru Nicholas Negroponte heads the line-up of speakers at this year's IL (Interactive Learning) Conference in Edinburgh.

The marriage of CD-Rom and the World Wide Web, the pivotal role of the Internet, its impact on training and education, and the development of Intranets are three of the issues that will be discussed.

The three-day "Interactive Learning in a Digital World" will be held at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh on August 21-23. Details from John Barker, Tossa House, main road, Smalley, Derby DE7 6EF. Tel 01332 881779. E-mail

Training Solutions and The IT Training Show is scheduled to take place at the NEC in Birmingham, July 8-10. Aimed at training and IT professionals, it will include workshops and seminars. Further details from Showcase Communications, 4 Rickett Street, London SW6 lRU. Tel 0171 973 6401.

Three days of conferences and workshops on the use of virtual reality in education and training will be held at Loughborough University on June 23-25. VRET '97 (Virtual Reality in Education Training), organised by VR News and Loughborough University, includes teach-ins for beginners and up-to-date information on the latest technology and applications of virtual reality.

Details from Mike Bevan (0181 292 1498. E-mail:mike@ and Pauline Appleby (01386 750534 The eighth Kent Information Technology conference (KIT '97), featuring the latest hardware and software from more than 60 exhibitors, is to be held at The Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone, Kent, on July 2-3. The event includes seminars for teachers new to information technology, IT co-ordinators, managers, headteachers and governors.

They will be invited to discuss their curriculum needs and have the chance to see and test a wide range of IT pro-ducts, from educational software for key stages 1 to 4, the Information Superhighway to MIDI devices, digitisers and sensors.

Details from Linda Nutley, KIT '97 co-ordinator, The EIS Centre, Oxford Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8AW. Tel 01622 683708.

* The contact for the World Book Encyclopedia CD-Rom International Edition (TES2, May 2) is Learning Pathways, tel 01332 297729

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