22nd October 1999 at 01:00
Citizen 21

Here's some manna from heaven for teachers who have volunteered, or have been volunteered, to take citizenship when it becomes a foundation subject next year.

Citizen 21 emanates from Charter 88, the group which campaigns for human rights and constitutional reform.

The site is subtitled "an online citizenship resource for educators" and it shares David Blunkett's aim to promote "active citizenship in the 21st century".

It covers parliamentary and electoral reform, freedom of information, the bill of rights and decentralisation of power. The information is topical, the style provocative. There are quizzes, links, pointers to further resources, and invitations to participate. There are no party political affiliations.

Ask Jeeves

Mention "Ask Jeeves" to a Web-head, and you risk triggering a heated disquisition on the relative merits of search engines. But if you've never heard of Boolean terms and natural-language processors, this is a good, and mildly amusing, place to start exploring the Net.

Those who loathe Wodehouse need not fear. This Jeeves has deserted Bertie Wooster and set up shop in Silicon Valley, where he is the perfect manservant to all Internet users. The boast is that you can ask him questions in plain English: if there's an answer on the Web, he'll find it. Jeeves does indeed respond with admirable speed, quite often taking you straight to the right answer, and usually offering plenty of diverting half-answers.

Bill Hicks

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