Tech Learning Collective

Technology education for radical organizers and revolutionary communities.

Grassroots Networking: Network Administration for Small Organizations/Home Organizations

Due to the loss of our physical venues during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tech Learning Collective course enrollment is paused. While you can still begin the enrollment process, please be aware that no future cohorts are scheduled at this time. Instead, we encourage you to participate in an a la carte workshop. View and subscribe to our events calendar to learn about upcoming virtual workshops.

Apply for pre-enrollment in NET101

Our ability to browse Web sites, send and receive digital messages like emails and txt messages, and make phone or video calls depends on the connections our digital devices make with one another. Every organization, whether large or small, needs a network connection in order to communicate with other organizations, share files with them, and coordinate activities together. Understanding how this network functions at even a superficial level can save organizations a dramatic amount of money by making it possible to avoid Internet Service Provider (ISP) upsells and, in some cases, even completely replacing paid services with free, Host-It-Yourself alternatives.

In this course, students are introduced to the basics of computer networking. By using the Wireshark network protocol analyzer, we will watch two computers “talking” to one another and, by “dissecting” a packet of network traffic, we will learn how each step in the process of sending data from one application to another works. We will learn how and why the physical layout of a computer network affects the privacy of your and your organization’s information, how to configure computers and routers in your home or office securely, and how to calculate bandwidth needs for groups of users. By the end of this course, students will have the ability to set up, maintain, and monitor small local-area and Internet-connected networks, as well as a foundational understanding of how the Internet really works.

As a supplement (or taste test) of the NET101 course intensive, consider attending one or more of the following related workshops. These are stand-alone free, by-donation, or low-cost events that are either derived from or augment this course’s material. Since they are taught by the same instructor(s) as this course, these workshops provide a low-commitment way to get a feel for the fuller course itself as well as offer a chance for you to meet some of our teaching team.

Learn more about Tech Learning Collective workshops from our Workshops and Webinars FAQ.