14th April 2000 at 01:00
* Centre for Alternative Technology

The website of the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales includes a tour of the centre based on QuickTime. The site promotes renewable energy, energy conservation, organic agriculture and ecological waste treatment with examples of wind, water, solar power, organic growing and sewage systems taken from the 40-acre centre.

* The rapid way to do sums

Some years ago the abacus was pitted against a calculator and won. It would probably not do that now, but it does illustrate that rapid calculation doesn't have to be machine-based. This site looks at the ancient way of calculating with beads and could be easily used to enhance maths teaching. On the site you can buy an abacus, build a Lego abacus and discover maths and science resources.

* Time for an early bath Go for a well-organised tour around the Roman ruins in Bath, which have been described as "one of the best preserved Roman sites north of the Alps". Romans came to the major temple to pray to the goddess Sulis Minerva when seeking a cure for their ailments, before immersing themselves in the sacred waters that flowed through the suite of baths. The site is an impressive way of bringing that era to life.

* Early American history This site describes itself as a case study to show how the past can be pieced together from surviving fragments. The main feature is a real, 27-year diary of midwife Martha Ballard, which was started in 1785. There is an archive of primary sources about early America and a history toolkit with help on the research techniques needed for dealing with primary sources.

* Museums of Scotland

One of the innovative features of the new museum which is situated in Edinburgh is the view from the top. You can swirl round city via the museum camera and pick out the landmarks of the city. It also introduces the museums of Scotland with their collections which cover the history from the geological beginings to the present. Courses and resources for teachers are listed. This is the place to link to the Scottish archives.

* William Morris gallery

The images on the site of the William Morris museum in Walthamstow, London, define the late 19th-century era Morris lived in. Tiles, fabric, wallpaper and stained glass have a clarity and sureness of line that still influences designers today. You can even download some of the designs to use as desktop patterns on your computer. There are links to other Morris sites as well as explanations of his links to contemporary painters.

* History of alphabets

A baseline study of one of mankind's greatest inventions. Professor Robert Fradkin, of the University of Maryland, has put together a learned site that traces the evolution of pictures into syllabic symbols, as used by many languages almost 2,000 years before the Phoenicians developed the single-sound symbols that we know as an alphabet. He relates the way that written language developed in a number of cultures. This is a site for teachers to use to develop materials and the reading level is high.

* Amazing set of puzzles

Some teachers will look at these activities and find ways of embedding them in the mainstream work. Mazes, word searches of various kinds, number blocks, maths squares, letter tiles, cryptograms are all there. With 11 first rate puzzles it is a splendid resource. Not one to base much teaching around, but one to have to use at exactly the right moment.

* Images of England

This project aims to record images of England's 360,000 listed buildings on the Net. It is run by the National Monuments Record, part of English Heritage, and its 500 volunteer photographers will continue to snap away for a further two years. Not all the buildings are grand; there is a photo of the eel, pie and mash shop in Dalson, East Londonon.

Jack Kenny

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