3rd January 2003 at 00:00
Mike Aston, Ofsted inspector, ICT guru and global traveller, was in Nigeria recently. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful women in the world, Mike thought that he had died and gone to heaven. And when the rioting started outside his hotel and the Miss World contestants fled, Mike realised he wasn't too wide of the mark.

The TC (Technology Colleges) Trust continues to hold the ear of HM Government. The parade of ministers and the PM at its recent conference is a safe indicator of how it is regarded by the power elite. But memories are curiously short. The trust's efforts for New Opportunities Fund ICT training for teachers were so impressive that they were stopped dead. And its burst into broadband was so breathtaking many of its colleges bridled. Still, collect pound;50,000 and your school too could slip the LEA's Old Labour yoke and join a New Labour-branded elite.

It's strange how RM allowed Russell Prue, its distinctive product evangelist, to depart earlier this year in a round of redundancies. Always charming to a fault, now Russell promotes the, er, advantages of Curriculum Online (COL) for his new employer, the DFES. You have to sympathise - it must be so much harder to make COL sound more convincing than anything at RM.

Confused callers to the DfES telephone helpline were even more disoriented when they were directed to thinking they were going to the official website. They ended up on the site of Actis, purveyor of online curriculum materials, which has been quick to grab that web address. Even more confusing, Actis bears the official logo of a Curriculum Online approved website. Good for Actis business but highly embarrassing for the Government - and expensive if it wants the address.

TAG Learning creative director Tony Wheeler shows an admirable commitment to creativity, even giving a bravura performance in his own publications (left). And his dedication is not down to mere commercial motivation. Ex-teacher Tony is a prime mover in one of the best forums for creative and educational ICT, Creating Spaces. Bravo, Tony.

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