Internet School Networking (isn)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of that in effect at the time of the 38th IETF Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. It may now be out-of-date.


Jodi Ito <>
Sepideh Boroumand <>

User Services Area Director(s): 

Joyce Reynolds <>

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Description of Working Group: 

The Internet School Networking Working Group is chartered to address issues related to the connection of primary and secondary schools worldwide to the Internet. The key audiences include network service providers and educational policy makers responsible for network access and use. The key areas of focus for this group are advocacy and articulation. 

1. Advocacy. The ISN Working Group will facilitate dialog between the primary and secondary education community and the Internet engineering community in order to identify and fulfill the needs of the primary and secondary school community. 

2. Articulation. Informed by the group's experience, and with input from other IETF working groups, the ISN Working Group will articulate solutions to the challenges a school may experience in seeking and gaining a connection to the Internet, as well as the benefits of such a connection. Advantages to Internet connectivity may be articulated by means of pointers to such services as user interfaces, directories, organizations, and training programs, as well as to other resources. Articulation will most often be in the form of periodic documents that address key issues of interest to the school networking community. Representative issues to be addressed by the group include connectivity models, educational directories, and acceptable use policies.

Goals and Milestones:


Release as an FYI RFC a short document that gives guidance to schools in setting an Acceptable Use Policy.


Release as an FYI RFC a general document that gives guidance in how to connect to the Internet. Included as an appendix will be models for connectivity that may be of particular interest to schools. This is a joint activity with the User Documents Revisions Working Group.


Define the information to be included in an online database of educational people involved in networking, recommend a process for collecting and updating the data, and coordinate with a directory services provider to implement the database. Results will be published in an FYI RFC.

Nov 95 

With a ISP, establish a repository of documents to help schools and service providers in getting schools online, and prepare an RFC FYI which describes the location, nature, general contents, and host to contribute to the repository.

Mar 96 

Work with ISP to establish a directory of educational projects, and issue an FYI RFC document which describes the location, nature, general contents, mode of access, and how to contribute to the directory.

Mar 96 

Issue an update to RFC1578/FYI22, ``FYI on Questions and Answers: Answers to Commonly Asked `Primary and Secondary School Internet User' Questions'' and submit to IESG.

No Current Internet-Drafts

Request For Comments:





FYI on Questions and Answers: Answers to Commonly Asked ``Primary and Secondary School Internet User'' Questions


K-12 Internetworking Guidelines


Ways to Define User Expectations


Frequently Asked Questions for Schools

Current Meeting Report

Minutes of the Internet School Networking (ISN) Working Group 

The ISN Working Group was called to order by Jodi Ito and Sepideh Boroumand, co-chairs of ISN at 3 p.m. Attendees approved the following agenda. 

I. Introductions 

II. Web Site Re-design/Conceptualization 

III. Discussion of ISN II doc - the "what next after I'm connected?" 

IV. Help Desk document outline 

V. Common Pitfalls document outline 


Attendees were invited to introduce themselves and briefly describe their interests in ISN. 

Next, comments and feed-back were made as to the content development necessary for the ISN web pages and how it should be setup. There is currently a web page that needs to be updated. It was decided that the main web pages would be divided into three parts as follows: 

Technical How To's. This will have links to technical resources on the web. Suggested links are:

·   Connect your school (wireless, ISDN, Frame Relay, XDSL, and Cable Modems).
·   Use the Net
·   Topologies (How to connect your PC to the LAN, the LAN to server, etc.).
·   Set-up server for mail service.
·   What equipment and softwares you need for students.
·   Configure popular PCs.
·   Set-up if all things were equal.
Things You Should Know. Like the above, this will have links to non-technical resources on the Web.  Suggested links are:
·   Legal issues
·   Funding Opportunities (e.g., Quest at Ames Research Center, DOE, NSF/NIE)
·   About AUPs
·   Protecting Children
·   Common Pitfalls
·   Success Stories (e.g., Smart Valley)
·   Copyright issues
·   "It's not just about Technology" - Classrooms that are conducive to having PCs in them
·   National Projects around the world
·   Resources: Commercial and Non-commercial

These web pages will also have a search engine and a registration for resources. There is concern that there may be authenticity problems with this method, and it will be a problem to constantly moderate the pages. It was suggested to have a mild moderation. 

We next moved to the Discussion of ISN II Document - the "What next after I'm connected?" This document was suggested at the last ISN in San Jose. The consensus on this paper is that it might have been useful three years ago. Most teachers get Internet in connection with an educational project so they will learn through that project on what to do next. It was agreed not to go on with this document. 

The help desk outline was discussed next. A copy of the outline will be mailed to all the Memphis attendees for comments. 

Next on the Agenda was a brain storming session on the need for a possible paper, potentially called "Common Pitfalls for K-12 General Community". The need for this paper was suggested at IETF 37 in San Jose. Chris Rapier kindly forwarded major points to keep in mind when writing this paper through an email prior to the meeting. We listed his major points and opened them to suggestions and additions. Altogether six major issues were suggested: 

1. Technology Wasted 

Lack of Support/administration/training/peer support/funding 

Administration (how do you leverage remote administration). What tools will you choose and have rules/policies and procedures.) Keep TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in mind. 

Modem pools & any other related modem issues 

2. Using an ISP rather than having your own modem pool (this is not cost effective)

Buying good desktop modems as to paying for cheap ones. You get what you pay for. 

3. Not enough planning with changing of providers (ISPs)

Get your own domain name (e.g., 


Rent/leasing versus purchasing/taking out a loan 

4. Lack of Technology Planning 

Electricity consideration 



Before you take the plunge (learn how to setup if all things were equal).

Classroom Setup 

5. Importance of Commercial support 

Pay now versus pay later 

Service maintenance (save in the long run) 

Cost of training/spares/hardware 

6. Security 

Protect Infrastructure 

Anything that demands privacy (e.g. teachers sending grades to students) 

Appropriate Material - filter Usenet 

Your students cracking from the school server

If your student is cracking what to do? 

Have an AUP/ monitor the systems 

It was suggested to find school technical specialists to look at the above mentioned suggestions for input. Meeting was adjourned at 4 p.m. 


None Received 

Attendees List