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Web Voyager

By Ellen Highland Fernandez

Current Column

Celebrate NetDay with School Spirit

October 25 is National NetDay. NetDay is the grassroots effort to network K-12 schools using volunteer labor and donated materials. The first NetDay was last year. Since 1996, it has been estimated that more than 150,000 K-12 classrooms have been wired by NetDay volunteers. Ultimately, the goal of the NetDay project is to put the power of communications technology into every school in the country.

NetDay's plans for the future include: identifying potential partners that can help schools complete their network, dealing proactively with schools thus far unable to take advantage of the NetDay opportunity, working with educators and others nationwide to identify and provide resources to maximize teachers' and students' use of the Internet in classrooms, and using the tools developed for the NetDay Web site to rally organizations and communities to give time, resources, and expertise to other institutions and activities.

West Virginia's NetDay site is www.citynet.net/wvnetday/. To view a list of West Virginia schools, check www.bell-atl.com/wschool/html/whatsnew/colist.htm. Keep in mind that even though a school may have a home page, it does not necessarily mean that the school is completely Internet-connected for the students. They may still require more assistance.

Some of the West Virginia NetDay sponsors are the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, Bell Atlantic-West Virginia, CityNet, Tech Corps, the West Virginia Department of Education, and the West Virginia Education Fund.

Everyone (both individuals and companies) can help their school get Internet interactive by becoming a sponsor, a volunteer, or a partner. To get started, go to www.netday.org/misc/volunteer_instrux.html to learn how your skills and ability are needed. It is not necessary to have a technical background. Just a desire and willingness to help! When you are ready, go to the NetDay home page , enter the name of the school you are interested in helping and complete the online form.

A school's needs may range from needing hardware (such as computers and modems) to wireing to Internet/computer training.

To find out what your state is doing to bring technology to the classroom, refer to the table compiled by the Task force on Educational Telecommunications. It outlines the plans, funding and services provided by each state.

To learn more about NetDay itself, visit their site at http://www.netday.org. Keep up with the latest news via the NetDay wire news service for schools.

For information on how to help your school develop a technology plan or to obtain funding, check out www.netday.org/info_usa/resources.html.

Help celebrate October 25 National NetDay by getting involved with your school. If you don't have Internet service yourself, just give the school a telephone call and ask how you can become a sponsor, volunteer or a business partner.

NetDay is a nationwide endeavor with the support of the White House. To read about President Clinton and Vice President Gore's plan to make every child technologically literate see www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/NetDay/.

As you voyage down the cyber-path, you are encouraged to send me your ideas for topics you would like to see discussed and to share your favorite links. Send correspondence to me at: e-mail: Webmaster@cpubco.com, via post: Web Voyager, Ellen H. Fernandez, PO Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302, or through our web site. Phone: 626-1466.

EDITOR'S NOTE Ellen Highland Fernandez is the Webmaster for Clarksburg Publishing Company's site and her column appears on the first and third Sundays every month in the Sunday Exponent-Telegram

Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright © Clarksburg Publishing Company 1997