Minutes of the ISN meeting at Columbus IETF

"DOV - DR. ART ST. GEORGE" <STGEORGE%UNMB.BITNET@pucc.princeton.edu> Sat, 10 April 1993 05:22 UTC

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From: "DOV - DR. ART ST. GEORGE" <STGEORGE%UNMB.BITNET@pucc.princeton.edu>
Subject: Minutes of the ISN meeting at Columbus IETF
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The Internet School Networking Working Group met on April 1, 1993
at 1:30 during the Columbus IETF.  The session was chaired by
Art St. George (University of New Mexico) and Connie Stout
(Texas Education Network).

Jennifer Sellers, representing the NASA NREN group, said that
the K-12 networking Frequently Asked Questions document would
be made into a standard before the Amsterdam IETF.  She solicited
comments for changes.  She said she will post the document to
Kidsnet and other mailing lists for review.

A quick poll revealed that there were no K-12 educators in the
room, with Connie Stout the having the most direct involvement.
Many in the room were involved in helping to get K-12 schools
on the Internet, either as consultants, or as part of their
jobs as network support people for universities or regional
networks, or as consultants to K-12 schools, or
out of personal interest.  The observation was made
that people supporting K-12 networking needed to continue their
dialogue with the K-12 community, since their physical attendance
at IETF was inlikely.  Stout observed that some technical staff
working for K-12 schools might attend future IETFs.

There was some discussion of how K-12 schools should pursue funding
for networking.  Several observed that in some cases funding can
be easy to come by with the right demonstration of need.  Some
attendees pointed out the inter-district funding disparities
affect ability to network.  Bill Manning, Rob Raisch, and a
couple of other attendees said they would help devise a list
of benefits of networking.  Ray Perry of US West said his
organization has prepared a video that shows advantages of
network connectivity.

Stout stated that she has met with 22 institutions involved with
K-12 networking initiatives.  Someone expressed a need for a
list of all K-12 initiatives under way.  Another attendee asked
if private and parochial schools should be part of these initiatives;
Stout's answer was "yes."

A distinction was raised between promotional versus "how to"
documents; there is a need for both.

It was observed that there is a wide range of skill levels among
those interested in starting K-12 networks, and that there is
a bootstrap process required to bring new schools and support
staff online.  There was some discussion on how to spread the
word more broadly.  One suggestion was giving talks at teacher
conferences.  Brochures from the Consortium for School Networking
were handed out.  (Stout is the chair; St. George is the Secretary-
Treasurer.  Their Listserv is COSNDISC@bitnic.bitnet; subscribe
via a mail message with "SUBSCRIBE COSNDISC First_name Last_name".
General email goes to cosn@bitnic.bitnet.)

Gene Hastings handed out (!) a document that lists a variety of
connection options for K-12 schools.  The document was a menu
of options from dialup to frame relay and all points in between.
There was some concern this document would overwhelm new sites.
Consensus was eventually reached that the document fills a
definite need and it should be refined and enhanced with another,
more general document.  Hastings mentioned documents available
for anonymous ftp from ftp.cc.berkeley.edu, under /k12.

Stout observed that the average school has 2 phone lines serving
22 instruments.  Connectivity can be a challenge.

John Postel, one of the architects of Internet Domain Name Service,
spoke on the evolution of DNS and the challenges presented by
growing use of the name space.  He proposed a model for delegating
management of K-12 names to the states, where state authorities
would manage names of the form:

 computer.school.k12.state.us

This announcement led to some lively discussions.  Stout observed
that the "edu" domain was being used for universities exclusively
in that model, and that K-12 educators felt that, as educators,
the name belonged to them as well.  She suggested that universities
out to use a new "uni" domain, and leave "edu" for the schools.
This led to some discussion as to how this is handled abroad.
In the U.K. it's ".ac" for "academic community."  A gentleman
from Germany told their practice (which sounded like the word
"school" is used).  Stout observed that statewide education
networks also need to be given .edu names; e.g. tenet.edu.
Bill Manning pointed out that the question of whether domain
names should be geographical or organizational is an old one.
With 10 million Internet nodes online now and another 10 million
coming something must be done to manage the name space in a
distributed fashion.

Bruce Nelson spoke on ISOC/K12 committee issues.  He said there
is a need for K-12 focus within the Internet Society -- someone
who serves as spokesperson.  He said the group needs to be
sure to include an international perspective.  He does not see
the need for an advocacy group per se, but he does see a need
to infuse ISOC with a K-12 perspective.

There was more discussion of the various initiatives for K-12
networking.  St. George asked if there was a need for a
registry of consultants/advisers who can help new efforts.
Discussion was inconclusive on this point.