LoneEagleLogosmall.jpg (2622 bytes)
Click Home

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

     A new course is launching Spring 2014, via the University of Montana, Western,
     "Digital Creativity, Citizenship, and Storytelling" 
     Available for educators' recertification credits, the lessons will be online without restriction.

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.

II. Citizen Engagement Internet Awareness Programs:
      Short-Term, Low-Cost, Action Initiatives for
       Measurably Effective Citizen Engagement

    1. Hold a Press Release Competition
    2. 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.)

    3. Begin Holding Regular Community Technology Nights
    4. 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.

    5. Create a Community Web Content Competition
    6. 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.

    7. Hold a Community Web-Raising
    8. 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.

    9. Ecommerce "Ebay" Web-Raising
    10. 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.

    11. Quantify Effective Successive Ecommerce Strategies
    12. 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.

    13. Develop Programs to Generate Local Web Content - Teaching Niche Market Research Skills
    14. 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.

    15. Teach Global Brokerage for Local Display of the Best-of-the-Best Internet Resources
    16. 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.

    17. Create and Share Multimedia "Digital Stories"
    18. "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.

    19. Create a Local MIRA-Like Model
    20. 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

    21. Broker Locally Customized Print and Online Community Training Resources
    22. 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

    23. Create a Community Talent Database
    24. 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

    25. Hold a Teleliteracy Drive

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:

    1. The number of citizens who have sent and received email and have browsed the web, and/or
    2. use email regularly and offer their expertise via email mentoring to the community, and/or
    3. 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
    4. 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.
  1. 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"

    1. "Lessons Learned from Ten years of Community Networking Testbed Networks"
    2. Infrastructure decision-making
    3. 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.

    1. Common Ground: A Cross-Cultural Self-directed Learner's Internet Guide
    2. http://lone-eagles.com/guide.htm
      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."

    3. Echoes in the Electronic Wind: A Native American Cross-Cultural Internet Guide
    4. http://lone-eagles.com/nativeguide.htm

      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.

    5. Educational Internet Training for Teachers
      The above guides are supported by free access to this beginner's college credit online classe for educators:
      1. ED 567E: Making the Best Use of Internet for K-12 Instruction
      2. 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

    1. Create a Skills Milestones Learning Pathway to Teach Rural Teleworker Skills with Successive Certificates of Completion

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
                     Employment Incentives

      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.

    1. Mobile Wireless Training Labs
    2. 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.

    3. Multi-Community Regional Cooperatives

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.