[appeared in Kyouiku Katei Shinbun June 1998]
The idea for a special day, on which volunteers and sponsors join forces to help schools to physically connect to the Internet, was born in Silicon Valley in 1995. The first NetDay was held in spring 1996.
In autumn 1997 the European Commission initiated the first "Netd@ys
Europe" week as part of the Action Plan "Learning in the Information
Society". The European initiative also includes physical connection
and public-private partnership, but focuses more on the three key
ideas: awareness-raising, networking, and the dissemination of best
practice and pedagogical content.
In 1997 over 15,000 schools participated in over 1,000 events together with people involved in education and cultural activities, private enterprises, foundations and authorities.
This year's Netd@ys will be held during the week of 17 to 24 October.
Some of the aims are:
Schools can participate with projects from local to international level in areas like extension of networking contacts, creation of new educational content, launch of equipment plans or promotional activitites. The application period for co-funding through the EC (up to 50%) already ended in April, but projects can still be registered, and the EC might be able to help with finding partners. There will be prizes for the best Internet project and the best Web site.