Tuesday, May 27, 2008


A nomogram, nomograph, or abac is a graphical calculating device, a two-dimensional diagram designed to allow the approximate graphical computation of a function. Like a slide rule, it is a graphical analog computation device; and, like the slide rule, its accuracy is limited by the precision with which physical markings can be drawn, reproduced, viewed, and aligned. Most nomograms are used in applications where an approximate answer is appropriate and useful. Otherwise, the nomogram may be used to check an answer obtained from an exact calculation method.

The slide rule is intended to be a general-purpose device. Nomograms are usually designed to perform a specific calculation, with tables of values effectively built in to the construction of the scales.

Understanding the Context

Many different methods of communication are possible on the Internet; some use specific software and all involve text and/or graphics.

* Some activities take place in real-time while others allow for a delayed reply.

* Discussion areas may be public or exist for a particular group of people.

* Information can either be broadcast or targeted at a particular user.

As the technology develops, and users and providers become more proficient, the boundaries between the different Internet services are blurred. For example, email is used in chat rooms, web pages include discussion areas and newsgroups can have files attached.

Each Internet service has its own educational value, risks, and recommended ways of dealing with problems, and these are detailed in the following pages. They are not exhaustive and many apply across Internet services. Schools should consider the sum of the advice in these guidelines across all areas.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Overview of the Click Thinking Pack

Schools and government initiatives are encouraging the educational use of the Internet right across the curriculum and young people are taking readily to this way of learning and communicating.

At the same time, the media tends to focus on the rare occasions when use of the Internet causes distress. The Scottish Executive believes that young people need to be protected and informed; and that those responsible for them, whether teachers, parents or other careers, should be aware of the issues involved.

Previous Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) publications in this area have dealt with the need to protect pupils from misuse of computers (Information Ethics) and to understand copyright implications (Copyright and Ethics in a Digital Age).

This booklet focuses on personal safety and wellbeing. It attempts to clarify potential risks and to empower Internet users in schools so that they can keep themselves safe. Those who manage Scottish schools, and all teachers, whether responsible for a primary class or for teaching a subject, will find policy guidelines and background information which will prepare our pupils to take their safe and well-earned place in the Digital Age.

Much of the advice in these guidelines will be relevant to other Local Authority staff responsible for overseeing young people's use of the Internet (e.g. managers and staff in community education centers, residential homes for young people, libraries and other settings). These groups should take account of the messages about personal safety, and put into place the recommendations suitable for their setting.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


CPSC Urges Bicyclists to Wear Helmets

CPSC Document #5002

Each year about 800 bicyclists are killed and more than half a million are treated in hospital emergency rooms. In recent years, almost two-thirds of the deaths and one-third of the injuries involved head and face injury. About one-half the injuries to children under the age of 10 involved the head or face. Helmets may reduce the risk of head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85 percent. Yet, only about 50 percent of bicyclists wear helmets.

The purpose of a helmet is to absorb the energy of an impact to minimize or prevent a head injury. Crushable, expanded polystyrene foam generally is used for this purpose.

A bicycle helmet should have a snug but comfortable fit on the rider's head. Some helmets are available with several different thicknesses of internal padding to custom fit the helmet to the user. If a parent is buying a helmet for a child, the CPSC recommends that the child accompany the parent so that the helmet can be tested for a good fit.

For a helmet to provide protection during impact, it must have a chin strap and buckle that will stay securely fastened. No combination of twisting or pulling should remove the helmet from the head or loosen the buckle on the strap. Children should be instructed to always wear the helmet level on the forehead, not tilted back. The chin strap should be adjusted correctly and firmly buckled.

Helmets manufactured after March 1999, are required by federal law to meet the CPSC standard. When purchasing a helmet, consumers are urged to examine the helmet and accompanying instructions and safety literature carefully. Consumers should also look for a label stating conformance with the CPSC standard.

Bicyclists should avoid riding at night. If you must ride at night, install and use front and rear lights on the bicycle and wear clothing with reflective tape or markings. These precautions are in addition to the reflectors that the CPSC requires to be on the front, rear, pedals, and wheels of bicycles.

Many bicycle-car crashes can be avoided by applying the rules of the road and by increasing attentiveness of cyclists and motorists. Bicyclists have a legal right to share the road, but they are often not noticed in traffic. Drivers should always keep an eye out for bicyclists, especially when turning, merging, changing lanes, or entering intersections.