California Educational Data Processing Association
The DataBus - Vol. 36, No. 2
February-March, 1996

President's Corner

Update: NetDay96 plan and news about CEDPA's World Wide Web site revealed.

Ken Jones, Lodi Unified School District

The big news is that the CEDPA web site is now registered with the InterNIC and will be coming on-line very shortly. Addison has published the web site in the past from his Newport Mesa USD shop. Now that Addison is no longer part of that organization, we thought it best to register our own domain name so that wherever the site ended up, you could surf there. The site will be called cedpa-k12.org, and will start by containing all the information that you are used to--conference updates, board member contact information, and this publication on-line. In the near future, we will start a database of recent request-for-proposals/quotes and a membership search engine. As you are buying those new computer systems to meet the millennia and networking your schools with the latest in cool hardware, please keep us in mind so we can make your successes with our vendor friends public. Besides transferring the work that Addison has already done for the site (great job by the way), the folks to thank for our web presence are Warren Williams for being the host site and providing the additional programming, and Farley Stewart of Intergate Products Inc. (www.ipinc.com) for strong technical support.

As you have known from the past, CEDPA is right in the middle of the latest breaking issues facing K-12 IS professionals. Unless you have been telecommuting from the moon, you have heard about Netday96. As some of the articles from this publication have indicated in the past, this volunteer effort lies somewhere between a God-send and the incarnation of our gloomiest nightmares. I have received many calls from districts wondering what we are doing with this event. I believe that we have hit the middle of the road on the issue, and I just wanted to share our decisions in the hope that they will be helpful to those who are as-yet undecided.

In mid-January, we discussed Netday96 with our management staff. Several of the principals expressed some interest and we wanted to give them a path to follow to get ready. We followed the outline that was part of Warren's excellent article in the last issue of this publication. Specifically, we told the principals that they must (1) get a site champion to be the contact person for the entire activity, (2) get a volunteer who will design the network, and (3) contact us to move forward. The network designer needed to have certain qualifications (which we took from our Network Supervisors head and job description) so that we didn't end up with someone who had put together a three computer Apple lab, or less. We also spent a good deal of time cautioning the management team that this was not what the media and leaders of the movement had previously described it as. This is just a "plumbing" job. We are just pulling and terminating some wire--not putting Internet on that wire (yet). Finally, we didn't want for this to all fall together (or apart) at the last minute, so we told the sites that they had to have the network designer on board and contact us by February 9 (giving us one month to dial everything in).

In order to ensure some success with Netday96, we do have a back up plan. If none of our schools are able to come up with a network designer, the management team will pick two sites which really need the work done and are interested. These sites will get their networks designed by my staff and the work of Netday96 will be lead by my staff. In this way, we will show success even without the volunteer effort that we are looking for.

Please feel free to contact me, or any of the other members of the CEDPA board, by e-mail if you would like to talk more about Netday96. The next time you read this publication, we will give you a post-mortem on the event--let's keep our fingers crossed!

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