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Telecom’s Last Netday On 26 May 2001

This year, for the last time, parents bearing cables, kids bearing spades and teachers bearing CD Rom drives will be getting New Zealand schools onto networked computers and the Net.

But the reason why the Telecom NetDay will no longer continue is a good one.

Over five years, around 26,000 volunteers offering around 50,000 volunteer hours have helped NetDay become so successful in getting schools wired up with computer cabling, that such a focussed effort is no longer necessary.

Five years ago 20% of all schools had been networked. Now that figure has increased to 85% - around 2,700 schools in New Zealand.

Telecom Chief Technology Officer Murray Milner said most schools had taken advantage of previous NetDays to get wired up.

“NetDay has done its job in raising awareness about networking computers. It’s shown that with a little help from the community, your local school can have all its computers running as efficiently as possible,” said Mr Milner.

“But that said – it’s not over yet! This year we are hoping to get as many schools as we can networked. We want to go out on a high!” he said.

Since its inception in 1997, Telecom NetDay has helped tens of thousands of students throughout New Zealand gain access to the technology tools they need for their education in the 21st Century.

Schools which take part in NetDay install their own high performance computer networks. This network cabling allows all the computers to be linked to each other, and share Internet access, creating great efficiencies and ensuring students and teaches can get the best out of their computers.

An example of how NetDay can benefit a school is demonstrated by Cannons Creek School in Porirua. A decile 1A school, Cannons Creek first hooked to NetDay in 1998.

Principal Ashley Blair said the school was looking for neutral advice on how to network their computers.

“Previously when we looked at getting the school networked it seemed everyone was trying to sell us something. But with NetDay we got help planning, technical support and people to help install the cables properly,” he said.

“Now all our classes have access to the Internet and email. Teachers have access to an Intranet with the latest annual reports and budget information. And we have set up our own website which gets around 1000 hits a month,” said Mr Blair.

Those interested in more information about Telecom NetDay can visit the website at: http://www.netday.net.nz


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