Windows on the World
This new site from the British Council's Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges offers a worldwide electronic introduction service for schools and colleges seeking partners in other countries.
Though the idea of using the Internet to promote international educational links is hardly new, it has probably never been realised in quite such a way.
At the heart of this tri-lingual site (English, French and Spanish) is an area called "School Gates" - a database of schools and colleges looking for links. Each has its own page, with space for detailed descriptions of the schools and the types of project they hope to develop.
At launch, there were about 300 entries - a total which should rise rapidly as word gets about. Many of the schools in third world countries do not have Internet access - the point being that this service is as much for them as for the pupils of Europe and America.
This in itself distinguishes the site from several other online exchange projects. The site is also able to provide a direct line to support services and advice: the availability, for example, of EU (and other) bursaries.