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How-To Guide


The technician drives the preparations for the work to be done on NetDay, so it's important to recruit for this job early. The technician must know enough about networks and blueprints to lead the site survey. The technician works with the school or district facilities manager or engineer - who knows the school's physical plant and can specify the easiest installation route - to find out how to get into the ceilings at your school, which walls can be drilled through, which parts of the building contain asbestos, and how the electrical system is configured.

The technician prepares for NetDay by leading the site survey, doing the wiring plan, assembling cable installation materials and tools, dividing the work into tasks, and assigning volunteers to teams. The technician also figures a budget for cabling materials. On NetDay, the technician directs the volunteers installing the cable, making sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time, performing the right task.

Many computer teachers can fill this role. Alternatively, the school organizer can ask the facilities manager or engineer to lead the site survey and to produce a wiring plan, finding a technical volunteer to do the rest. If no technician is available in your school or district, here are some suggestions for finding one:

  • Seek a technical volunteer from your community. Put out a request for help in your school newsletter; you may find a parent who works in the field.
  • Look on the NetDay Web site to see if anyone with technical expertise has signed up as a volunteer for your school.
  • Contact your local newspaper and ask it to cover your school's technical needs as a human-interest story.
  • Banks, service stations, and fast-food chains all have network connections. Contact similar businesses in your community and find out what cable installers service them. This is an especially good tactic in rural areas.

See the checklist for technicians and Facilities Issues for details on planning and implementing a cable installation.


"Access to the attic was restricted because of asbestos, so we had planned to install conduit on the exterior of the building. As we started unloading over $1,000 worth of conduit, the district's maintenance supervisor, Oscar, showed up in his 'moon suit' and announced that he would get into the attic for us."

From the March 9 NetDay diary for Ivanhoe Elementary
School, Los Angeles, California