Educational CyberPlayGround

Gleason Sackmann Retired Moderator of NetHappenings About My Life and Bio :)


Gleason Sackmann Internat Pioneer and Karen EllisGleason Sackmann and Karen Ellis




Gleason was the First to wire North Dakota's K-16 schools to the internet retired in 2004. NetHappenings, formally moderated by Gleason Sackmann now Karen Ellis.





  • 1998 awarded SIG/Tel Educational Telecomputing Outstanding Service Award.
  • 1996 rated #10 on Newsweek's prestigious List of "50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet." Newsweek, Dec 25, 1995 / Jan. 1, 1996
  • Began listening to shortwave broadcasts in 1956.


THE ERATE PROGRAM riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse allowed by the FCC

Almost 90 percent of K-12 classrooms lack even basic access to telephone service ( Princeton Survey Research Associates 1993).

When classrooms do have phone lines, schools are typically charged at the corporate rate for telephone service. Schools have not been the beneficiaries of the universal service policies that resulted in the delivery of basic services at affordable rates for most American homes.

In 1994, we did not include wireless in the prescription for the infrastructure. Most of the work that I know about was done by Gleason Sackman who wired the K12 Schools in North Dakota and Dave Hughes (Crystal Radio Sets / Ham Radios) , who was supported by the National Science Foundation and was started and finished after this initial document was done. And the School systems applying for the Erate, may need the ability to use wireless for a variety of reasons.
It seems to me that we have reach the goal of a wire somewhere in the school in most schools in the US, but I do not think that people should assume that every classroom everywhere is wired.

We all have a better knowledge of this type of use, and the FCC should convene a study group which involves a knowledge network of people to take a look at what is there, to give educators more information on wireless, and to create suggestions to send forward to the FCC. Some of the monies that have not been used could be used to convene a group of knowledge network people to guide those of us who are new learners to the use of wireless in education, community centers, and other educational places.


After a long career in education, Gleason Sackmann retired this year. In 1998, he was awarded the SIG/Tel Educational Telecomputing Outstanding Service Award, and in 1996, he was rated #10 on NEWSWEEK's prestigious List of "50 People Who Matter."

Over the years, Sackmann moderated several important newsletters for educators: K12 NEWSLETTERS, NETWORK NEWSLETTERS, and NEW-LIST. From 1993 to 2004, he published NET-HAPPENINGS. Net-Happenings covers conference announcements, calls for papers, network resource announcements, newsletters, and network tool updates. Over 9,000 individuals currently subscribe, with many more readers through the website and mail redistribution. Net-Happenings will continue publication under the direction of Karen Ellis, founder of the Educational CyberPlayGround website. As one who has benefited from Gleason Sackmann's work over the years (including his distribution of Infobits in his publications), I would like to express my appreciation for his tremendous contribution to the educational and Internet communities.

Carolyn Kotlas CIT INFOBITS October 2004 No. 76 ISSN 1521-9275 10/29/04

Hey folks, Top of the page

I am a former High School Science teacher of 20 years.
Having taught General Biology, Human Anatomy, Computer Programming, Word Processing, and Computer Literacy, which usually kept me busy and out of trouble. :)

While teaching, I installed and maintained the 1st Bulletin Board System [The Academy] for education in North Dakota. I maintained a software distribution site for free or shareware educational software. At one time, I had almost 10,000 software files available for downloading. My biggest downloaders were from outside North Dakota, since there was not that much going on in North Dakota in regards to educational telecommunications. The system also had e-mail accounts for teacher AND students.

The SENDIT project I worked on [91-97], was one of the first statewide telecommunication networks dedicated to the K-12 community. SENDIT was one of three statewide telecommunication networks at the time. The other two were BigSky in Montana, and TENET in Texas.

I am also somewhat musically inclined [seems to apply to several of the ring-leaders] :) and happen to play the bassoon, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone and lastly the string bass. I also have about 12 years of piano training wihch came in handy while I was in the service :)

In my spare?? time, I work on stained glass projects. I find it relaxing and very rewarding. It helps to clear up the mind! :)

BIO Top of the page

My First Grandchild Callandra The Writing on the hat says, "Millenium Baby"
Our oldest son and his wife just had their 1st daughter, and our first grandchild!!
Her name is: Callandra Paige 7+ lbs, 24 inches, black hair, blue eyes, and a healthy set of lungs! Needless to say, we are proud grandparents! :)


1971 Minot State College, Minot, North Dakota B.S., Science

Employment Top of the page

2004 Retired Moderator of NetHappenings and on the road with my wife

Jan. 1993 to the 2004 Moderator of NetHappenings
an electronic mailing list, newsgroup, and Website, provided to the Internet community since 1993. Net-happenings distributes 40-60 announcements of Internet resources and events daily to thousands of Internet users. This includes conference announcements, call for papers, network resource announcements, newsletters, and network tool updates. Current mailing list membership is over 9,000+ individual subscriptions, and 80+ mail-exploders. The web-based archive of postings averages 15 - 20,000 hits each day. We turned 9 years old, May 14, 2002. It was nine years ago that Net-happenings was born to announce new Internet resources, and we have recorded Internet history from the early days to the present. Since the beginning (May 1993) -- we have seen a lot of changes in both Net-happenings and the Internet, and will continue to see more! From 5/14/93 - 4/31/00, 59,270 postings have been sent to the list.

I used to run the HotList Of K-12 Internet School Sites.
The HotList is a master registry of K-12 schools currently offering their own Web site on the Internet. The registry is organized by state and by grade level. The registry also includes sites for school districts, state and regional education organizations, and state departments of education.

I Past Moderater of 3 additional mailing lists: Top of the page

  • K12 Newsletters:
    Has been provided to the Internet community since April,
    1998, and is an off-shoot of the Net-happenings mailing list and Website.The goal of K12 NEWSLETTERS is to combine in one place the best of the Internet's various K12 newsletters. There are currently 29 different newsletters being posted.
  • Network Newsletters:
    Has been provided to the Internet since May, 1994,
    and is an off-shoot of the Net-happenings mailing list and Website. The goal of Net-Newsletters is to combine in one place the best of the Internet's regularly published e-zines, allowing users to read or browse all or none of them from the same mailing list or Website. Users who want to keep current on various aspects of Internet development and technology can choose to subscribe to the mailing list, which sends two or more newsletters together in digest format, or to browse the new Website for today's postings or archives of past postings. There are currently 23 different newsletters being posted.
  • New-list: Has Been Put To Bed, snoozing since September 2003
    Beginning July 1, 1998, the NEW-LIST mailing list was brought under the umbrella of services provided by the Internet Scout Project. The mailing list was founded in January of 1989 by Marty Hoag at North Dakota State University, and was moderated and maintained by him for over 9 years. The NEW-LIST mailing list continues to provide the Internet community with prompt notification of the creation of a new mailing list on any given topic. Also in the newsgroup. Other lists from back then.

1992-1996 Top of the page
Net Scout Project, InterNIC and UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences

Full-time Technical Coordinator SENDIT, North Dakota
Position involves the daily maintenance of the system, finding Internet resources that can be made available to our K-12 community, assist in the planning of the system expansion, training for new users, advanced training, and other responsibilities.

Teacher: Biology, Anatomy, Environmental Science
Bottineau High School North Dakota. After teaching, I joined the SENDIT project, one of the first statewide telecommunication networks dedicated to the K-12 community.

Awards Top of the page

---. 1998 SIG/Tel Educational Telecomputing
Outstanding Service Award

---. 1996 Selected as "Best Net News," Internet World magazine
Internet World

---. 1996 Best Net

---. 1995 Selected as one of the "Net 50" by Newsweek magazine, Dec 25, 1995/Jan 1, 1996 issue
This week's Newsweek features articles on the Internet. The Net 50 "Newsweek's list of the 50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet" includes a number of names that will be familiar to you (pp. 42-46) I was ranked #10 on the list.

---. 1995 Net-happenings selected as one of the "Top 5 Internet Successes" by the Tanegra Corporation, Houston, Texas.

---. 1995 Internet World
January 1995 Mr. Net-happenings by: Larry Krumenaker

---. 1995 The Best of the Lot by: Andrew Kantor

---. 1995 Boardwatch Magazine
October 1995 Net-happenings' Author Gleason Sackmann by: Bob Rankin

Publications Top of the page

---. Past Editor, News Bits. TIE, the newsletter of the ISTE Special Interest Group for Telecommunications (SIG/TEL).

---. "North Dakota K-12 Students and Educators Network with SENDIT. " Internet World. January/February 1994.

Professional Memberships Top of the page

  • Former Board Member, Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
  • Past Treasurer, ISTE - Special Interest Group/Telecommunications
  • Teacher On-Line Projects (TOPS) Advisory Board
  • North Dakota Educational Computer Association (NDECA)
  • Member of the K12Net educational council, and serve as K12Net Internet Coordinator, 1991-1994.

Professional Presentations and Papers Top of the page

Presenter - Classroom Connect Conference
Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 7-9

Presenter - Classroom Connect Conference
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 9-11

Presenter - Classroom Connect Conference
Chicago, Illinois, February 16-19

Presenter - Classroom Connect Conference
Long Beach, California, November 10-13

Presenter - Classroom Connect Conference
Baltimore, Maryland, April 14-17

Panel member and presenter, National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Baltimore, Maryland, June 16-18

SENDIT presentation and mini-session, TNT Conference, Bismarck, ND,June 6-7

Guest Speaker, MIDnet Conference,
Kansas City, Missouri, June 1-2

Panel member, Making It Happen, U.S. Department of Education Conference On Educational Technology,
Washington, DC, March 7-9

Panel member, The K-12 Networking Project,
Austin, Texas, September 22- 24

SENDIT presentation, TNT Conference, Bismarck, ND, June 7-9

SENDIT presentation, Rural Datafication Conference,
Minneapolis. MN, May 22-24

One of 200 attendees invited to the Fourth East/West Seminar on New Technologies In Education,
Budapest Hungary, May 1-7

Guest speaker and panel member, Internet Symposium, Minneapolis,MN, January 9-10

SENDIT presentation, TNT Conference,
Bismarck, ND, June 8-10

SENDIT presentation, Rural Datafication Conference,
Chicago, IL.,

May 13-14
SENDIT presentation, Education Showcase,
Bismarck, ND, January

Minnesota Educational Computer Conference, MECC Conference,
Minneapolis, MN, November

Way Back Time Machine used to show the Hotlist of K12 School Websites @ but now you can only see this: NDSU Nodak Edu monthly metrics from 2003