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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Webscape

By Kate Russell
BBC Click Online Webscape-r

Kate Russell gives us another selection of sites from her "favourites" folder, for Click Online's regular Webscape slot.

Learning Curve website

If you are a regular viewer, you will no doubt have heard me lament about how some subjects I studied at school just never caught my attention - yet modern website designers can bring these subjects alive for me, with multi-media interactivity.

We kick off this week with another website that makes me wish I had had an internet connection while in school. It is time for a history lesson.

Now, before you run for the hills, this is no uninspiring lesson straight out of a bland textbook. Once again, through the wonder of the web, the pages of Learning Curve really grab your attention.

Lessons and in-depth analysis are supported by pictures and diagrams, plus tasks and activities to complete once you have done some study.

These are relevant, fun and imaginative activities, like "Design a banner for the leading ship of the Spanish Armada" or "Hold a Privy Council meeting to give Elizabeth advice".

The content follows the UK History National Curriculum from Key Stages two to five, and is provided by the National Archives of England, Wales and the United Kingdom.

This non-profit organisation (incorporating the former Public Records Office) boasts one of the largest archival collections of historical documents and information in the world.

The site itself is well laid out - and if, like me, you are well beyond Key Stage five, but never really paid much attention in history lessons, you might be surprised by how interesting some of these old stories and accounts can be.

One slight criticism is the lack of an omnipresent global navigation panel, which would have made finding my way around a little quicker. But on the whole, a great website.


Zeljko Djurovic website

From history to culture now, as we delve into the work of renowned fantasy artist Zeljko Djurovic.

More and more we see contemporary artists displaying their work online, a trend which I love.

How many of us have the time and inclination to make a special trip to a gallery or exhibition? Yet here online we can explore the work of many different types of artist from the comfort of our own home.

Now, I realise that nothing quite beats seeing these works of art for real, but by providing access to their work in this digital format, these artists might just ignite an interest in visitors to their websites that will carry over into the physical world.

I love the work displayed on this site. The vivid colours and imaginative designs work well with the style of the background, and navigation is simple and logical.

I was also impressed by how quickly these pages all loaded, despite the fact that the galleries contain what look to be fairly decent resolution scans of his work.


Kahvi Collective website

Next up, more access to free creativity on the net.

This time it is music, and we are looking at a site put together by viewer Nik Racine, who sent it in to us for consideration.

Well Nik, I was really impressed - not just by the design and layout, but also by the quality of the Kahvi Collective's music content.

The opening page presents you with a cool and sophisticated looking front end.

Simple and to the point, navigation leads you quickly through to all the latest releases, plus you can click through to information about the artists and other relevant sections using the navigation bar along the top.

For a more comprehensive list of available downloads click "audio" or "video".

Considering this is free music, I have to say the overall quality of the beats on offer is well above standard for this kind of site.

I love the "Mr Dune likes Oranges" video by RandomMajestiq. Someone has taken an incredible amount of time putting this video together - and I cannot quite believe it is posted here for free.

Most importantly, Nik has used the open source format Ogg Vorbis to distribute this music which, along with permission from the artistes to offer their creations to the world for free, means there is absolutely no cost to the visitor for downloading these excellent tunes.


Free Photoshop website

Since we are in the mood for free stuff, I'll round off today with an excellent website if you like being creative with Photoshop.

As the name suggests, freephotoshop.com is crammed with pages and pages of reviews, downloads, links and templates, all for free use with Adobe's popular design application.

To access the downloads just click, then follow the links to either the download spot on this website, or an external URL.

It is not that clear unless you read the text carefully - but in this case I think it is worth taking the time to hunt out the link.

Nicely designed itself, the navigation is very natural. The downloadable tutorials are a cinch to follow, and will definitely teach even a reasonably experienced Photoshopper a trick or two.


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Click Online is broadcast on BBC News 24: Saturday at 0745, 2030, Sunday at 0430, 0645 and 1630, and on Monday at 0030. It is also shown on BBC Two: Saturday at 0745 and BBC One: Sunday at 0645. Also BBC World.

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