April 2014 - Note: Many new resources have been created since this original Bootstrap Academy was posted.
One in particular is the 21st Century Learn, Earn and Serve Academy; a short online course for Alaska Native High School dropouts,
funded by the Alaska Dept. of labor. This, and other unique online courses, are listed at http://lone-eagles.com/guides.htm
Welcome to the Bootstrap Academy!
Inherent within the following pages are progressively greater opportunities for individuals and communities to take hold of their own destinies.
Albert Einstein once said "We're limited only by our imaginations." Never more true than with the Internet at our fingertips!
The ideal community self-empowerment vision is that once the Internet access becomes available, inspired citizens will immediately realize their opportunities by becoming self-directed lifelong learners, proactive entrepreneurs, and innovative skilled collaborators creating new social and economic value for their communities.
The goal is for everyone to be motivated and empowered at the highest levels possible. Community events and "web-raising" programs are needed which can demonstrate in concrete terms how to quick-start the highest levels of community action and benefits with the least overall costs in time, effort, and prerequisite literacy. Where such model communities and community programs don't exist - we need to create them. The resultant storytelling will inspire others to construct their own vision, and a action plan, for the mobilization of their own community's collective will.
Community Internet awareness events can include community web-content competitions, Internet skill-building and mentoring programs, local web-based content creating initiatives, establishing ecommerce incubators, creating community network inclusion programs, grant-writing initiatives, and utilizing the available community grant templates. While this guide provides resources for all of these, the Bootstrap Academy represents a recommended progression for successively more involved programs in a step-by-step format.
Community-wide strategies for generating local Internet awareness, web-based content, and collaborative capacity are presented as a low-cost, short-term, "Ecommerce Homesteader's Cooperative" model program opportunity. Your community is invited to become one of the first model rural communities to demonstrate the self-empowerment potential of the Internet through participation in the unique community self-empowerment project defined in the following two documents:
Review the article "Homesteading the Ecommerce Frontier" at
http://lone-eagles.com/ecommerce-homestead.htm and the associated grant templates -
"The Idaho Ecommerce Homesteader's Cooperative" at
I. Kickoff Community Workshops
Community presentations showcasing the best web-based resources and digital stories of community successes can articulate the opportunity for the following sequence of programs and services. The following strategies demonstrate how a community can create its own successful citizen engagement programs, web-projects and training materials. Lone Eagle Consulting specializes in uniquely motivating presentations featuring digital photography, digital art, and digital music in a multimedia story-telling format which has proved very successful over a ten-year period with diverse audiences.
Engagement Internet Awareness Programs:
Short-Term, Low-Cost, Action Initiatives for
Measurably Effective Citizen Engagement
Articulate a shared vision and tangible short-term goals. Hold a competition for the best Press Release on what your community could, or will, accomplish in the next 6-12 months. (At minimal cost, through the sheer will of being determined to make something good happen.)
Initiate Youth-driven digital storytelling presentations. Begin regularly
scheduled community technology nights to raise awareness and provide a showcase for local
innovations and to connect those who need tech-training help with those who can provide
it. (Youth and elders, particularly!)
Citizens need frequent informal opportunities to see how other citizens like them are benefiting from Internet innovations. Regular (weekly or bi-monthly) entertainment-style one-to-two-hour presentations emphasizing visual web pages, digital art, digital photography, and digital music, presented by locals, particularly youth, would provide the means for generating initial awareness leading toward motivation to learn more.
The social recognition for local innovators would be self-reinforcing. A sustainable local community-driven awareness program would result, supported with local and global web-based resources.
Give prizes for the best instructional site, best local resource, best collection of resources from other communities and sources, best Ecommerce site, and/or the most entertaining site. Or, hold a competition for the best (fun, or most rewarding) hands-on 15-minute web tour; a self-directed learning experience using only text and web addresses.
Similar to barn-raisings, bring your web-literate youth and citizens together with those who need help creating their first web pages. A community Talent Roster and/or Web-Mall could be created in a day, hosting both business sites and citizen mentoring/topical resource web sites. The social recognition would be self-reinforcing and new information-sharing relationships would result in enhanced community collaborative capacity.
Everyone with something to sell would be invited to attend the event and
bring a sample product. Youth would take digital photos of each product to be sold and
would post them on Ebay. Ebay is an online auction site projected to exchange over six
billion dollars in 2002. The local paper would report on how many items were posted and
after two weeks and how many sold. A 10 percent commission on products sold would go to
the organizations hosting the web-raising for the purchase of additional community
training equipment. Ebay http://www.ebay.com
Citizens would become aware of the effectiveness of Ebay and would learn the basics of researching online to see what similar products are selling for. The collaborative interaction about Ebay will set the stage for local sharing as new ways of selling online are identified.
Free Ecommerce curriculum, resources, and replicable models of success would
be shared via web pages created by a local youth group, club, or organization. A local
Ecommerce club would post the most relevant successes for local replication and
inspiration on an ongoing basis.
An example listing: http://lone-eagles.com/entrelinks.htm.
Simplest Ecommerce start-up models for home-based businesses will be detailed with successively more complex models in a step-by-step format. Citizens would participate in creating local online courses based on gathering the best Internet Ecommerce curriculum from global resources and adding to it successes from their local proving ground.
Local citizens need to understand to how use the Internet to research
potential niche markets as part of their Ecommerce start-up strategy. Most rural
communities lack an organized way of keeping citizens informed about the range of
proliferating local innovations in the use of the Internet for Ecommerce as well as
important social applications.
Define the process for generating high levels of local awareness of local web innovations by showcasing local web sites with emphasis on their innovations and replicability. A replicable program would be demonstrated on how to keep everyone informed and how to get citizens thinking about creating their own innovations.
A local electronic newsletter, using convenient listservs, would be created with regular updates on rural Ecommerce innovations and resources.
With the number of innovations in rural communities expanding exponentially,
rural citizens need to learn the process by which their community can benefit from the
innovations of other communities. Seeking out the best resources and innovative models to
inform and inspire local innovations is a process that needs to be modeled for widespread
replication. Emphasis on display of this content should be to create an attractive,
simplified display in combination with ‘learning pathways’ and sequential
skill-building online instruction.
Define the process of gathering the most beneficial resources and replicable innovative Ecommerce models from other communities and sources to present locally to ‘fuel the home fires of innovation.’ As rural innovations continue to proliferate, they will be organized and disseminated, based on replicability, to inform and motivate rural citizens to emulate these successes.
"Digital storytelling" multimedia presentations would provide a
local forum for raising awareness. Sharing presentations between communities via the
Internet can provide awareness-raising opportunities for other rural communities without
the funds for formal training.
This sets the stage for community-to-community mentoring and multi-community regional cooperatives. Development of training solutions for other communities, perhaps with a citizen-to-citizen mentoring component, becomes increasingly viable. As broadband becomes more common among rural communities, sharing highest value files of this type will become a very viable application of broadband.
Kellogg’s MIRA project (Managing Information for Rural America, http://www.wkkf.org) demonstrated a regional model for
training citizens in applications of information technology and proposal writing during
1998-2000. A low-cost local version of the regional MIRA team-building model would be
created where teams focused on specific shared interests are created with the incentive of
assistance creating a community resource web site for their team’s cause or
organization. Learning grant-writing skills and project-planning skills would be included.
The MIRA Model http://lone-eagles.com/miramodel.htm
The existing Internet Guides and online courses created by Lone Eagle Consulting (listed below) would be offered as core resources to be locally customized as both print and online Internet guides with emphasis on local Ecommerce successes, examples of local web self-publishing, and local social Internet innovations. For example, "Echoes in the Electronic Wind" http://lone-eagles.com/nativeguide.htm is a Native American version of "Common Ground – A Self-Directed Cross-Cultural Internet Guide" http://lone-eagles.com/guide.htm.
Citizen Engagement Skill and Mentoring Programs
Use this simple format to list mentors by the topic areas for which they offer online email-based mentoring as a first step toward community engagement in sharing knowledge via the Internet. Local media will ‘celebrate’ the creation of new knowledge-sharing relationships as a means of creating community sustainability. Example: Ask A+ http://www.vrd.org/locator/alphalist.shtml
United Way holds fundraising drives using a highly visible ‘thermometer’ to show the community how much money has been raised as an ongoing self-assessment tool.
Using a similar self-assessment tool, your community could become the first community to achieve a specific percentage of teleliteracy as measured by:
- The number of citizens who have sent and received email and have browsed the web, and/or
- use email regularly and offer their expertise via email mentoring to the community, and/or
- the number of local citizens who maintain a topical resources page and offer online mentoring as a way to contribute to the communities’ learning goals, and /or
- the number of citizens completing one or more of the following short courses and the number of citizens having mentored others in taking these courses.
- Create a Community Skills Mentorship Program
Use the following three short online courses as a train-the-trainers program. Reward with social recognition those with the most mentees who achieve the important skill milestones in the step-by-step mastery learning lessons. Or, utilize the four skills lessons in this guide which grew from the following three lessons.
Three Easy Online Mini-Courses for Internet Beginners
Each of the following free online short courses for citizens could be offered as part of a community teleliteracy program with a certificate of completion and/or an embroidered patch awarded to those who complete the lessons.
Citizens could mentor citizens with prizes for those who help the most citizens attain success by completing the lessons. Each of the following mini-courses require only four hours to complete and can be modified as necessary. Determine what your citizens need to know, and create opportunities for them to learn these skills online, either on their own, or with peer mentors.
Mini-Course 1: Self-Directed Internet Learning
Successive hands-on experiences are simply presented to quickly build the skills for using search engines, free web tools, and the Internet to learn anything from anywhere at any time.
Mini-Course 2: Mentoring and Teaching Via Internet
Learn to help build the learning capacity of your community through successive hands-on experiences using Internet collaborative tools and instructional authoring tools for citizen-to-citizen instruction and mentorship.
Mini-Course 3: Easy Internet Ecommerce for Beginners
Successive hands-on experiences are simply presented to quickly build skills and concepts using free Ecommerce tools, services, and resources, with emphasis on identification of existing successful models that are the most easily replicated, such as Ebay auctions.
III. Community Training "Fast-Track" Solutions
Lone Eagle Consulting offers ‘ready to go’ training materials, both free and fee-based, integrating diverse Internet resources. Extensive training materials have already been developed and tested over the past several years as summarized below. For the full current listing see http://lone-eagles.com/teled.htm.
Depending on the local culture, emphasis can be on social, cultural, and/or workforce training Internet applications.
Best Practices Resource Guide -
"Good Neighbor’s Guide to Community Networking"
- "Lessons Learned from Ten years of Community Networking Testbed Networks"
- Infrastructure decision-making
- Defining the community applications which ‘will build measurable collaborative capacity’
Printed and online self-directed learners’ Internet Guides in both a generic cross-cultural version and a Native American version with URLs of relevant examples, stories, and Ecommerce sites are listed below.
An instructional brokerage resource with emphasis on pointing to the best online tutorials and educational resources on the Internet for self-directed learning. This is the text for the online course below "Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction."
Same resources as Common Ground (above) but with the addition of over 20 pages of carefully reviewed Native American resources listed by topic. Emphasis is on how other Native Americans are benefiting from a wide variety of web-based applications.
Alaska Pacific University Three Semester Credit Version
A hands-on course on how to broker the best resources for your classroom.
Lone Eagle's other unique online courses, are listed at http://lone-eagles.com/guides.htm
IV. Rural Teleworker Training program
Knowledge workers need Internet collaborative, self-directed learning, and self-publishing skills. Learning to share knowledge with others on an ongoing basis is the key to sustainable success in a world where the volume of information is growing exponentially. A step-by-step mastery learning program can be simply and effectively defined and made available. Successive certificates of achievement would be included. Cisco’s Academy has already demonstrated a successful model for training network technicians.
Lone Eagle Consulting can provide an unprecedented community specific or regional step-by-step training program with emphasis on a barrier-free entry level program where citizens learn to use the Internet to first teach themselves, then others, building successive skills as represented by an electronic portfolio and digital storytelling.
Basic Knowledge Worker Skill Set:
- Self-directed Learning Using Search Engines
- Collaborative Sharing
- Web-Publishing (Multimedia)
- Relationship Building, Mentoring, Collaboration and Teaching, both Locally and Globally
2. Create Electronic Portfolios and a Peer Mentoring Program with
Electronic portfolios would be created to record all skill achievements, mentoring effectiveness, Internet collaborative skill demonstrations, web authoring and peer training successes. Volunteer mentoring will be used to build electronic portfolios validating their genuine collaborative skills.
Mentors would provide online training services for citizens in other rural communities to document their effectiveness delivering online training and encouragement in order to build their individual mentoring and training businesses.
Web-based electronic portfolio personal web pages will record learning outcomes, mentoring success, as well as resource brokerage skill development creating highest value resource collections that expand their expertise and abilities to assist others.
Measures of demonstrated collaborative capacity using Internet collaborative tools will be included. Once a specified level of skill has been achieved, rural telework opportunities will become viable.
Monster.com http://monster.com Free resume
templates and posting.
3. Promote Rural Teleworkers
Market your own skills or those of your community's rural teleworkers to the growing number of businesses becoming aware of the advantages of hiring rural teleworkers. Skills on how to submit online resumes for telecommuting work contracts would be the next step.
Freeagent.com offers tutorials on becoming a free agent able to accept work contracts online as do dozens of similar sites. The challenge is to learn best practices from all such sites and tailor the instruction for rural learners. It would be necessary to maintain current collections of the telework job sites, as well as current and emerging telework models such as insurance underwriting, medical transcription, web design and graphics arts, etc.
V. Simplification of Telecommunications Infrastructure
and Community Technology Training Center Options
Lone Eagle Consulting can help:
* Provide simplified cost and performance specifics for satellite, wireless,
cable-modems, fiber, and other Internet infrastructure alternatives.
* Provide simplified definitions, models, and best practices for community networking.
* Provide Email hosting, virus scanning, remote network monitoring, remote network maintenance and more.
We can help simplify the complexity of issues facing rural communities regarding obtaining the necessary physical infrastructure, maintenance, assessing appropriate training required to deliver specific tangible benefits, and the appropriate community applications to justify the financial investment in physical infrastructure.
Just what does one do with ‘Broadband?
Telecommunications infrastructure options; costs, benefits
Applications/Benefits – real world examples
Lessons learned from ten years of community network experimentation
Clarify dynamics of virtual collaborative activities in both geographical communities and communities of interest
Identify local computer labs and community technology center "hands-on learning" opportunities
Loaner laptops and mobile wireless training labs using laptops would demonstrate the most cost-effective methods for providing training in concert with multiple existing computer technology centers. Wireless mobile computer labs using laptops will allow temporary use of any facility for training.
Loaner laptops and computers for multiple community technology centers will showcase the most cost effective methods of training citizens with emphasis on use of the best free web tools to deliver the most tangible learning outcomes with the least time invested.
Create an electronic newsletter for subscribing communities, using convenient listservs to share regular updates on new success stories, Ecommerce training resources, venture capital programs, and a speakers’ bureau of successful innovators and trainers.