(1995 - 2004) was an event established in
1995 that "called on high-tech companies to commit resources to
schools, libraries, and clinics worldwide so that they could
connect to the Internet". It was developed by John Gage
(then-chief science officer at Sun Microsystems
) and activist Michael
Kaufman. The first official NetDay was held in 1996.
In 2005, NetDay merged with Project Tomorrow
), a California nonprofit involved with math
and science education. The organization is continuing to work with
schools to improve the use of technology in education.
NetDay was established to take place over the course of one
Saturday, whereby designated schools would receive full connection
to the Internet
. Activities were
coordinated at the website netday.org
. The HTML Writers
Guild (quoting the NetDay FAQ) defined the day as an:
Some argued that access to the Internet should not be a priority
when schools lack even basic resources like library books (although
in many cases the project added needed materials and efforts to
computing projects already underway).
The first NetDay was held on March 9, 1996. NetDay '96 created
considerable excitement amongst participating schools. The day was
organized via the website netday96.com
. 20,000 volunteers
helped to wire 20 percent of California schools to the Internet.
2,500 wiring kits were donated by telephone companies. Of the
event, John Gage commented, "NetDay96 is a demonstration of what
can happen when people coalesce around a community project [...] In
one day, we can begin to reverse California's abysmal record of
putting technology into its classrooms."
President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were also involved with NetDay '96, spending
the day at Ygnacio Valley High School, as part of the drive to connect California public
schools to the Internet.
In a speech
given at YVH, Clinton stated that he was excited to see that his
challenge the previous September to "Californians to connect at
least 20 percent of your schools to the Information Superhighway
by the end
of this school year" was met. Clinton also described this event as
part of a time of "absolutely astonishing transformation; a moment
of great possibility. All of you know that the information and
technology explosion will offer to you and to the young people of
the future more opportunities and challenges than any generation of
Americans has ever seen". In a prepared statement, Gore added that
NetDay was part of one of the major goals of the Clinton administration
, which was "to
give every child in America access to high quality educational
technology by the dawn of the new century." Gore also stated that
the administration planned "to connect every classroom to the
Internet by the year 2000". On April 28, 1998, Gore honored
numerous volunteers who had been involved with NetDay and "who
helped connect students to the Internet in 700 of the poorest
schools in the country" via "an interactive online session with
children across the country."
- Business Wire. " Quantum supports Milpitas High School as part of
statewide NetDay '96 initiative; volunteer time and hard disk
drives donated to bring school on-line" , March 7, 1996.
- Clinton, Bill and Al Gore. " President
Clinton and Vice President Gore Participate in NetDay". April
- Cronin, Caitlin. " Same
Approach, Different Contexts:Exploring the International Impact of
NetDay." AARE Conference, Adelaide 1998.
- Dornin, Rusty. " 2,000 California schools get wired Net Day connects
students to cyberspace." CNN, March 9,
- Purdum, Todd. " Pursuing a Theme, Clinton Helps Schools Go
On-Line." New York
Times, March 10, 1996.