8th September 2000 at 01:00
History in the making

This is remarkable. I didn't realise quite how remarkable until I contacted the rather formally named Mr Field. Mr Field, a history teacher, told me that he has just finished his NQT year. Anyone who has been an NQT knows that irregular sleeping is the only leisure activity, yet Mr Field has constructed a very attractive site. There are innovations - try the Beckett quiz. What will we get next year?

Engaging in the love of music

Mr Field (see above) told me about this. It is created by the equally formally named Miss Shannon who, it turns out, is engaged to Mr Field and teaches at the same school. She is also an NQT! Miss Shannon's site is delightful in its appearance, focused, with many useful resources. Already there is a great deal of material that other music teachers can use.

Simply the bestI homework

This Channel 4 offering describes itself as "the world's best homework website". It is impressive. A closer look reveals it is a serious attempt to help students. It covers English, maths, science, geography and history, and French will be added this month. Students are invited to ask questions which are answered by a team of teachers who guide students. Answers are archived so that if a student cannot reach a teacher then they can search to see if the topic has already been covered.

Working on sunshine

Global Solar Partners is a project from the Association for Science Education with sponsorship from BP. The "Global Solar Exchange Unit" is designed for teenage students aged 12 to 16+. It enables them to research aspects of solar energy in their locality and then to exchange information and ideas with other students around the world. The unit is ideal for teachers and students who prefer to work on a short, focused project, and includes teachers' notes, student work pages, an exchange form and up-to-date support data.

The 113 spices of life

The work of an enthusiast, this presents information on 113 different spice plants with the emphasis on their use in food. The chemical constituents and history are given along with photos of each spice. The site is indexed under geographic, morphologic and botanic. A good site for crosscurricular work.

Books that never go out of print

Well worth revisiting. The idea is to get all books that are out of copyright on to the Internet. It is a breathtaking, scholarly undertaking. Sceptics will say: who wants to read a book from a screen? The chances are that many of us will soon as screen technology improves. All books are free and will never go out of print or be confined to libraries.

DNAfrom the beginning

All about the basics of DNA, genes and heredity. It is a multimedia site and the science behind each idea is explained by animation, images, videos and interviews. There are also biographies of the main people in the field and links, and sections on classical genetics, molecules of genetics and the organisation of genetic material.


Getting to grips with how stuff works

There is a danger that as the complexity of technology increases we will lose our grip on the reality of it until it all seems like magic. This is a guide to modern technology by exteacher Marshall Brain. The breadth is remarkable. It deals with everything, including how toilets and mobile phones work to how you tattoo. The way even the most complex operations are explained is exemplary.

Planet of the super-strong ants

Labelled as "the definitive source for ant enthusiasts", this certainly is. These busy creatures are said to be one of the few species that would survive a nuclear holocaust. The site is full of detail and impressive information: "Ants can carry large loads up to 50 times their weight. Many can haul these objects long distances and even climb trees with them! If humans could match this, a 100-pound person would be able to pick up a small car, carry it seven or eight miles on his back, and then climb up the tallest mountain in the world still carrying the car!" www.antcolony.orgindex.htm

On the buses is the way to go

Yorkshire Electricity has developed a simple game to deter primary aged children from playing around pylons and substations. The game, "Safe Journey Home", is in the Fun and Education section of the Yorkshire Electricity website. It is based on Snakes and Ladders, with ladders replaced by buses, snakes with "Danger of Death" signs.

Jack Kenny

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