Education on the Internet
Number 63: 26th March, 2003
Education on the Internet is published by Spartacus Educational every week. The newsletter includes news, reviews of websites and articles on using ICT in the classroom. Members of the mailing list are invited to submit information for inclusion in future newsletters. In this way we hope to create a community of people involved in using the Internet in education. Currently there are 34,435 subscribers to the newsletter.
All reviews are added to our web directory. There are sections on Internet Services, Primary Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Languages, History, Geography, Design & Technology, Business Studies, Media Studies, ICT, Sociology, Music, Politics, Economics, Photography, Art & Design, Theatre Studies, Physical Education and Religious Studies.
Spring Day 2003: On Friday March 21, 2003, 5501 schools from all European countries, and sometimes beyond, dedicated the day to Europe and its future. They did it after months of pedagogical preparations and driven by the conviction that this was a unique opportunity to make the voice of young Europeans heard. Presidents, Ministers, European Commissioners, Members of the European Convention, Members of the European Parliament, Members of national parliaments, regional and local politicians went to schools and answered questions from very motivated young Europeans. Spring Day 2003 is a landmark in European education, never have so many teachers, pupils and politicians cooperated around a common goal with such strength and motivation in a school environment.
Did U Know has been developed by National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside and has been funded through the New Opportunities Fund. The website features interactive pages about all manner of topics - from portraits to Liverpool docks, from sunbeams to local history. The idea is that anyone can try out the website's games, exercise their brain cells and have fun all at the same time! It's ideal for new users of the web too; with simple language and explanations it will give everyone a chance to explore some fantastic objects in Liverpool's museums regardless of where they live or whether they've ever visited museums.
Cyberwar: The U.S. military has reportedly developed impressive offensive cyberwar capabilities, including the ability to use microwave or other electronic impulses to disrupt or destroy electronic components. The goal of a cyber attack might be not mere disruption - but destruction. A cyber attack may go after DNS servers and spoof official government sites, as a propaganda mechanism. It may take the form of the mythic HERF (High Energy Radio Frequency) guns, or microwave bombs, or truly malicious polymorphic viruses or worms designed to destroy networks. Conventional defenses may not prevent such attacks - although good backup and disaster recovery practices may minimize damage. Is a cyber attack an act of war? Is cyber espionage likewise an act in violation of international law? These are some of the questions dealt with by Mark Rasch of SecurityFocus Online.
Domesday Project: The BBC Domesday Project was a landmark multimedia resource which was produced to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the original Domesday book. School children and researchers from across the country collected together a massive amount of material which was recorded on two special Video Discs. The BBC Domesday was fantastically innovative and it was organized on a scale which has not been seen since. Unfortunately, the Video Discs were rendered almost unreadable when the hardware needed to play them became obsolete. Camileon, a joint project between universities in Michigan & Leeds, is currently involved in rescuing this material by developing an emulator that runs BBC Domesday on a modern computer.
Flight-History is dedicated to developing an extensive online archive of aviation history. The archives currently focus on the pre-jet era. In time Flight-History will extend the archive to the jet era and space. Recent stories that have been added to the archive include The Gipsy Engine; The Birth of a National Air Force; Bishop vs The Red Baron; The Victoria Cross Flight, The Flying Tigers in China; Miles Aircraft Company; History of the WACO Aircraft Company; The USS Macon; The Men on the Flying Trapeze and Crash.
Rose Pastor Stokes: Near the end of May 1918, federal prosecutors tried and a jury convicted Rose Harriet Pastor Stokes for violating the Espionage Act of 1917. The trial occurred in the United States District Court of the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City. The United States government indicted nearly two thousand people and successfully convicted about one-half of them under the Espionage Act. Relatively few were political agitators. The conviction of Stokes was important to the United States district attorney, Francis Murray Wilson, because Stokes was both a wealthy socialite and prominent socialist. This web page by Michael P. Donnelly provides a detailed account of this famous case.
Weather Online: Whether you want a quick-look forecast for your outdoor events, or an appreciation of the many complex charts used to produce these forecasts, Weather Online is an excellent source. The website has hundreds of model output charts, displaying everything from Pressure Patterns to Lifted Indices. Many of these are of a technical nature, but are accompanied by complete descriptions allowing the user to analyze and understand these plots in no time. Furthering the educational theme of Weather Online are its weather features, which are updated weekly. Weather Online amassing a huge number of these features, exploring and explaining the many weather phenomena we see on our planet.
Country Studies: This website contains the on-line versions of books previously published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program sponsored by the US Department of Army. The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world and examines the interrelationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors.
Optimnem is dedicated to the promotion and application of the Fluid Thinking concept-skills; in learning, in education, in personal and business development. Fluid Thinking involves our most primary and natural skills - from sensitive observation and imagination, to pattern recognition and connection building. The website includes a games section where you can play Connect 4, Hex 7, Triplets and Tactix.
National Numeracy Strategy. This website produced by Teaching and Learning Resources provides a collection of materials on numeracy. This includes Maths Shapes Crossword, Fractions Matching Game, 2D Shapes, 3D shapes, and Problem Solving. You can also download from the website the yearly teaching programmes from the DfES that illustrate how mathematics can be planned and taught from Reception to Year 6.
Design & Technology
Inventors and Inventions: A new part of Bill Richmond's website, Design & Technology On The Web, currently details the achievements of 25 inventors and their inventions with additional individuals and their achievements in the pipeline. This is a useful homework help and coursework-inspiration resource that is allied to the Designers & Designs section that covers the achievements of 35 international names and their designs.
Essaybank: Technology: This website is the UK's largest database of free student written essays. It offers a database of student written essays on a wide variety of topics to assist students and non-students educate themselves, appreciate wider points of view, and see concise overviews of complex issues. All of the essays on Essaybank have been purchased by Essaybank or have been contributed by its users.
Studying the Technologies of Regenerative Energies: The Comenius team running a project on Studying the Technologies of Regenerative Energies (STORE), involving schools from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal and Slovakia, has just launched its new collaborative website. Recent articles added include Fuel Cell Technology, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, From Laboratory to Solar Factory and Exhibition on the Sun.
BrainPOP Science: BrainPOP is the leading producer of educational animated movies for children. The company creates original animated movies to explain concepts in a voice and visual style that is accessible, educational and entertaining. Subjects covered in Science include Air Pollution, Atmosphere, Atoms, Big Bang, Crystals, Dinosaurs, Global Warming, Fossil Fuels, Isotopes, Ocean Floor, Newton's Laws, Light, Magnetism, Invertebrates, Groundwater, Cell Structures, Relativity, Tundra, Waves and Water Cycle.
Iraq War Virus: A new virus, W32/Ganda.A-mm, has emerged from Sweden during the opening stages of the Iraq War. The message Here's the screensaver I told you about. It contains pictures taken by one of the US spy satellites during one of its missions over Iraq. If you want more of these pic's you know where you can find me. Bye! The Ganda.A worm uses its own SMTP email engine and appears to gather email addresses from the recipients Microsoft Outlook address book. Further details can be found at the MessageLabs website.
ASRG: The Anti-Spam Research Group (ASRG) focuses on the problem of unwanted email messages, loosely referred to as spam. The scale, growth, and effect of spam on the Internet have generated considerable interest in addressing this problem. Once considered a nuisance, spam has grown to account for a large percentage of the mail volume on the Internet. This unwanted traffic stands to affect local networks, the infrastructure, and the way that people use email. The purpose of the ASRG is to understand the problem and collectively propose and evaluate solutions to the problem. The work of the ASRG will also include investigating techniques to evaluate the usefulness and cost of proposed solutions. Usefulness is described by the effectiveness, accuracy, and incentive structure of the system. The cost of the system refers to the burden imposed on users and operators of the communications system. These costs include any changes to the normal use of the system or actual changes in the monetary costs of using the system. The group will investigate evaluation infrastructures such as public trace data archives and research tools to measure and analyze the problem and the solutions.
The First Scientist: Back in thirteenth-century Europe, in the early years of the great universities, learning was spiced with the danger of mob violence and repressive religious censorship. Roger Bacon, a humble and devout English friar, seems an unlikely figure to challenge the orthodoxy of his day - yet he risked his life to establish the basis for true knowledge. Bacon advanced the understanding of optics, made geographical breakthroughs later used by Columbus, predicted everything from horseless carriages to the telescope, and stressed the importance of mathematics to science, a significance ignored for 400 years. His biggest contribution was to insist that a study of the natural world by observation and exact measurement was the surest foundation for truth. Brian Clegg uncovers the realities of life in a medieval university and friary, setting out the shadowy facts of Bacon's life alongside his writings. The result is both a fascinating biography and a picture of the age. (Brian Clegg, Constable & Robinson, 1 84119 618 5, £16.99)