Culturally-appropriate Internet Training

for Alaskan Native Educators


This paper includes the following short documents:


1. A brief account of a three-day culturally-oriented Internet workshop
    held May, 2002 for
Yukon Koyukuk School District educators as an example of
    a culturally appropriate training strategy.


2. A report on a week of Internet training for educators and students in Koyukuk


3. A proposal for an online course to involve educators in community learning   
     through service learning and project-based learning.


Assessing the Readiness to Learn About Internet

There are roughly 240+ Alaskan Native villages in very remote locations which share a suicide rate four times higher than any other group in the U.S. The cultural spirit of self-sufficiency has been damaged by three generations of welfare dependency and outside influence. The current economics are dire and many traditional sources of income have disappeared, yet the Internet does offer many potential solutions.


During 1998-2000, the first Internet satellite systems were installed in the 11 bush villages of the Yukon-Koyukuk Regional Consortium (YKSD). Three one-day Internet workshops were held in 11 bush villages over a two-year period.


The general reaction by the educators intended to be the first to benefit from the Internet was "here comes yet another opportunity for us to learn about technologies for which we'll have no local technical support or ongoing training and for which we'll be expected to educate ourselves on our own time." "Once this trainer leaves we'll go back to doing what we've been doing." One major limitation was the educators had yet to be taught enough computer basics to be comfortable using computers.


Free email via was the biggest hit of the original workshops. Villagers often visit other villages and the ability to check email from any computer on the Internet was far preferred to the original system which limited everyone to local computers only. The Internet has steadily become more and more culturally accepted.

As gradual exposure to the Internet grew, often from seeing what their students were able to find and to teach themselves - interest in the Internet and the potential for other applications grew. Today, four years later since the first introduction to Internet - there is a new readiness to revisit how rural villages might benefit from the Internet as more and more examples of the innovations of others have become evident.


There was originally very little effort to involve the community in learning about the Internet on the school's system. Due to educators receiving only one day of Internet training per year, most of the expensive infrastructure (up to $12000/month) went unutilized. The vision to realize the power wasn't present. Most had little idea of what the Internet offered. Leaders and community members had not attended the workshops intended to train the educators.


Doors Opening for Village Ecommerce
The Federal Communications Commission has recently ruled that E-rate-funded school-based systems can be used for local Ecommerce, but few in the villages have the skills for Ecommerce applications. School-based Internet systems could use new wireless systems to bring high-speed Internet direct to village homes and the offices of community organizations. In question is who will demonstrate the potential, provide leadership to help make this happen, and deliver the necessary appropriate training?

A 2002 Culturally-Focused Internet Workshop


May 26-29th 2002 a three-day workshop was held in Fairbanks, AK for six educators from three bush villages from YKSD. The brief description of the curriculum below serves as a recommended model.


Day One:
We started with identifying the three historical firsts the Internet brings to the villages:

1. The ability to search and retrieve information globally in seconds,

2. The ability to self-publish globally by creating and posting web pages,

3. The ability to collaborate conveniently locally or worldwide.


Since all participating educators were Athabascan, we first learned to search the Internet using the keyword "Athabascan."  We then used multiple keywords adding "beadwork, crafts, dancing, etc." When the educators found interesting images, they learned how to save them and how to insert them in their first web pages along with links to Athabascan resources. As they added background colors, animations, learned to place and size the images, and added text descriptions below the images -their excitement grew. Then everyone posted their web creations on the Internet at  - which offers free web hosting. Having spent three hours at the computers, we broke for lunch.


When we returned from lunch, we reviewed the advanced email applications and they were pleased to learn how to:

1. Send images and files via email as well as

2. Create dedicated folders (e-mailboxes) for saving and organizing email,

3. Create 'groups' for sending email to many people at once,

4. Create signature files to add individual expression and contact information
    to the bottom of all messages automatically

5. Search and sort e-mailboxes to retrieve saved information easily.


Realizing it had been a full day, web addresses were presented which contained rich collections of Alaskan Native information and they explored these along with Alaskan project-based learning entries for the International Thinkquest competition and the International Cyberfair competition. Several of those attending found images of their own relatives on the web, included a Quicktime video interview of a local village elder. The day ended with the educators mentally exhausted but excited about what they were able to do themselves.

Day Two:

The second day we started with a presentation on how a digital art tablet can support local artistic creativity, followed by the digital storytelling capabilities of the Sony Mavica CD-1000 digital camera.  Everyone got to play with the camera -creating images with up to 40 seconds of audio narration, as well as 15 second MPEG mini-movies. Software was provided that allowed them to reorder these talking slides and mini-movies in any order. It was demonstrated how any family album with normal print color photographs could become a multimedia presentation within minutes with a minimum of technical training - (by adding narrations to pictures of pictures.) Everyone took digital photos of each other and added them to their web pages.


The Mentaska Lake village web page was shown where web pages presented images of the honored elders, the tribal council, a tour of the village, a village events calendar, and a local innovation where teachers post students' homework daily for parents to check up on. Reports are that this is very popular with the parents, but not so popular with the students. A model village library web page hosting extensive resources was shown among many other exceptional web pages hosting archives of Alaskan Native curriculum from multiple sources.

The teachers created web-based quizzes at sites which automatically will email their students' quiz results to the teachers. They edited webquest templates to see how easy it would be to create their own project-based learning web activities, in addition to having hundreds of existing webquests ready to use at any time. Multiple lesson plan databases and curriculum archives were explored, searchable by grade level and content area.


A dogsled-building tutorial from Nelson Lagoon School was shown as just one example of web curriculum created by other Alaskan educators during the online course they plan on taking themselves soon Rich listings of web-based curriculum authoring tools were explored   They viewed web-based electronic student portfolios from the Mt. Edgecumb Boarding School and other Alaskan Native web innovations including online Ecommerce models for Native crafts from and youth entrepreneurship training resources


A simple alphabetized list of topics linking to volunteer online mentors was shown as a collaboration model their villages could easily replicate. Such a listing would allow all villagers the opportunity to advertise and share their expertise using the convenience of email as one way of sharing information. Maintaining a topical web page of related resources would be another way to share expertise and mentoring services locally. The educators continued to review existing cultural web applications and to gather images and links to add to their own web pages.


Day Three:

On the third day, we created our first Powerpoint multimedia presentations inserting images and text on multiple slides using colorful background templates. An introduction to creating customized video presentations using Imovie included a short Imovie of the previous day's workshop created by one of those attending. Efficiency tricks were reviewed for cut-and-paste, drag-and-drop, how to create folders within folders and how to organize and move files of all types.

When everyone finished working on their web pages, digital photos, and workshop creations - everyone's work was copied on CDROM's for them to take to the villages. Note: The Internet is turned off in the summertime to save money and everyone's free email accounts will expire.


Ongoing Online Learning To Support the Face-to-Face Workshops
The educators knew that their training was not over, but had just begun. The trainer was scheduled for one week the coming Fall in each village, and again for a week in January. During the Fall on-site workshop everyone will begin a 3 semester credit online graduate class (suitable for recertification) to continue the interaction among the group as they engage the online lessons for ongoing learning throughout the Fall Semester. Learning-to-learn online is fundamental to becoming a self-directed Internet learner and to prepare them for teaching online, both for their local students and for teaching about their culture - worldwide.


Everyone at the workshop was impressed by all the Athabascan information already accessible on the Internet, and particularly on how they were able to create their own Athabascan web pages, images, digital stories, Powerpoint presentations, digital art, and more during only three days. When the workshop began one teacher was quick to state the fact that she didn't have the time in the village to learn computers. But, after the workshop she stated she would indeed like a computer with Internet in her home, after all.


The workshop focused on hands-on learning for what they could do themselves to support their culture and their teaching. The presentations served to show them what they could yet learn during the coming on-site workshops. The question of what role can these educators and their students play in supporting similar vision and skills development of their communities was a subtle theme of the workshop.


Many suggestions were given, such as pairing students with elders for creating cultural multimedia projects  and digital storytelling. Many sources were given for participating in online project-based learning activities with classrooms from other cultures. Web-based Athabascan language projects have already been done in one village and the challenges related to creating a pilot village project to see how many quality multimedia cultural initiatives could get started with the available time and talent were discussed. Equipment wish lists were collected from everyone, based on what they had seen presented.


Once the educators understood that the trainer was coming back again and again, the idea of the online class was far less threatening. They can anticipate the online support and unfailing emotional encouragement of the instructor. The threat of failure had been removed by the mastery learning format of the class and the opportunity to look forward to follow-up face-to-face instruction. Humor is important as is continual encouragement to counter the ever present fear of technology and the associated fear of feeling stupid in the face of technology and in front of their peers.


Report for Internet Training in Koyukuk Sept. 9-13


The goal was to expose students and teachers to as many Internet resources and multimedia authoring skills as possible within the time available in a way that would motivate everyone to want to learn more. Eight students and two teachers from Hughes joined the 22 Koyukuk students for the first three days. The principals and teachers were able to review the workshop outline prior to the workshop and create the schedule themselves to best suit their needs and interests. Since school was in session, dedicated training time for the teachers was not available and emphasis was on working directly with students.



The first morning we split the students into three groups and had two technology classrooms and one academic classroom. We rotated for three one hour sessions. Frank’s classroom had three stations where students received a hands-on introductions to


1.      Using a digital art tablet with over 100 different artists tools including an image hose where one could literally spray existing or original images in over a dozen different spray patterns patterns. Art with photographs is easily done and many advanced digital art features were demonstrated.

2.      Two different types of digital cameras with a total of four cameras available including a CDROM camera which allows for 40 second audio narrations of slides and in particular allowed high quality pictures of printed photographs to be narrated by elders for digital historical storytelling.


3.      A large screen laptop with a touch pad was available for exploring and demonstrating the slideshow software for displaying photos, and to demonstrate how fast and easy such storytelling can be.


4.      A fourth station offered digital music with two MIDI keyboards available with 100 voices, 100 background beat styles, 100 songs with songbook for learning to read and play music, and an auto-accompaniment feature which provides 3 part accompaniment with one finger chording to provide high motivation for the most timid of budding musicians.


 Joe’s classroom students learned photoshop basics using photos taken by themselves or by other students. They learned to change the size, brightness, backgrounds, and quality of photos. Students learned to cut and paste picture elements from one photo to another. Then they learned to work with multiple images and windows to combine them into a collage of photos with a colorful background which were then printed out in full photographic color quality on special photo paper as a tangible final product.


In the afternoon the main computer lab had two groups for 1 hours each. Students first learned to use search engines to search for specific images by topic, then created a new folder on the desktop to store the image files they learned to save from vast public domain image and animation archives on the Internet.


Students then learned to create and edit web pages and insert images from the web, photos they took themselves, text of any color, size, and font, and hyperlinks to both other web sites on the web and other web pages they created themselves. Students learned to insert images as backgrounds for their web pages and to create tables to organize images and text. Students learned to manipulate the size and placement of images on their web pages.  Students learned cut-and-paste as well as drag-and-drop file manipulation skills as well as renaming files. Students also learned to find animated images and to insert them. Finally, all students learned how to create additional web pages to link directly to their first “home page.”


The other group worked on reading and writing activities.



Again we split into three groups. Students had the opportunity for more hands-on time with the digital art tablet, digital cameras, digital music keyboards, as well as using a touch pad and laptop to review photo slideshows (examples of digital storytelling) created by students and staff during the previous day. Students were also given time to explore sites offering Internet access to 2500 Internet radio stations as well as music sites allowing legal downloading of popular music files


In the afternoon, Frank’s classroom showed examples of village web sites with pages showing photos of elders, tribal council members, a tour of the village, school staff, student projects, a homework hotline with daily posting of students’ homework assignments for parent access from the homes, a community calendar, and information on community service projects. The students had learned the day before everything needed to create similar web pages. An example of a topical listing for local mentors was shown as way to identify a way for each person in the village to share their expertise on a specific topic and ideally to maintain a web site of additional resources on their topic to share locally. The point was made that youth are the technology leaders in the villages and have the opportunity search out and post for local use the best and most relevant resources for local use. Students were tasked with finding quality resources of local relevance and creating draft resource web pages on shopping sites, snowmobile repair and other topics likely to be of interest locally.


Joe’s classroom showed how to take digital video clips,and using Imovie software, to create original digital videos with many special effects. Video editing vocabulary, four ways to export video for Internet use or for VHS tape, and altering frames for special effects, sounds, explosions, transitions, and titles were covered. All students created their first Imovie.


Frank showed internet radio and music sources and assisted students with varied stations for digital handson activities. That afternoon students learned Itunes and burned their first music CD’s.


A community “cover-dish/ pot-luck” was held in the evening in honor of the visitors from Hughes. A short presentation was given showcasing a digital slideshow tour of koyukuk created by Josie Dayton, the Koyukuk Elementary teacher, as well as one showcasing crafts from Manley .   An invitation was extended to the community to bring their photo albums to the computer lab 7-9pm anytime Tuesday through Friday evenings to create their own digital stories.



Joe’s classroom showed how to create animations using Flash software.


In the afternoon, Joe’s classroom focused on using I-tunes software to collect music files and to burn CDROM’s of music files.


Hughes students were due to leave mid-morning so time was given for additional work on web pages and other multimedia products. One hour was spent with Elder Annie Dayton creating a digital history from photographs she brought to the school. Later Annie and Elder Eliza Jones spent two hours creating another collection of narrated historical photographs for another digital story.


Frank showed MGI software for slideshows and students reviewed and inserted images for slideshows.



The morning was spent with Joe learning to create Iphoto slideshows. Students had access to over 1600 images taken during the week and had access to scroll through and images for their creative projects.  Dozens of CD’s were burned to share the full collection of photos with everyone as well as giving students the opportunity to learn to burn their own music CD’s. Students used I-tunes to import audio tunes to Iphoto for background music during their slide shows.



Frank spent the afternoon with Eliza Jones and husband doing historical digital stories. Singalong with Elem. Morning with Annie Dayton and Eliza Jones doing more historical narrated photos.

The afternoon included strategizing with Joe Marley on local and district training goals and creative projects. The evening included an hour long preview of Eliza’s historical slideshow for the community projected on a very large sheet on the wall of the gym with the bleachers moved to the middle of the gym. Additional time was spent thereafter with Eliza reviewing additional photographs, setting forth a plan for updating and preserving the school’s collection of historical photos.



While students were initially a bit intimidated, they quickly warmed up to the technologies. The cameras were in constant use, even by the youngest students.   4th grade students created web pages along side of the older kids and did very well. I believe the Hughes students were intimidated by all the skills the Koyukuk students had and were hesitant to follow directions and come up with finished projects when specifically asked to do so.


Overview of Multimedia Projects Created by Koyukuk and Hughes Students


Students learned cut and paste, drag and drop, folder creation, and file management basics.

Students learned search engine basics using multiple keywords, quotes for specific phrases, boolean operators AND/OR, and explored top search engines,,, and

Web pages using images, backgrounds, tables, text of any size, color or font, and hyperlinks from the Internet including linking to secondary pages

Photos, manipulated photos for slideshows and collages

Created digital art, and experimented with digital  music keyboards in anticipation of the school expanding in this important and motivating creative expression curriculum as a way of teaching technology and multimedia production skills.

Created original animations

Created digital movies with Iphoto, MGI slideshow software, and Mac Imovie.

Created I-tune digital music collections and burned their first music CDs containing these collections

Iphoto slideshows with audio backgrounds

Learned to email photo attachments


Teacher and Staff Training

While time with teachers and staff separate from students was not available, teachers and staff were able to see how quickly the students were able to pick up these new capabilities and the resulting motivation for the staff was encouraging. Staff learned from Joe (Michelle from Hughes in particular) about networking basics, file sharing, LAN maintenance, administrating the GCI network server, remote access for client computers, airport wireless card maintenance and setting up an airport network. Other topics were

Operating System basics, initializing software installation, types of software for administrative and educational use.


Key classroom strategies – and District Wide Recommendations


The Hughes school, staff and teachers have limited computer and Internet expertise in contrast to that of Koyukuk due in major part to the leadership and tenacity of Principal Joe Marley. This workshop event had the greatest impact on Hughes attendees as most of what they learned was very new.


One of the key differences between the two schools is that the older Koyukuk students have their own Imacs on their desks. Mr. Marley uses the motivation of students having their own computers to exert subtle control over their learning. Students risk losing their computers if they don’t keep up with homework and behave appropriately. Privileges are earned instead of expected.


Every morning Mr. Marley emails his students three questions from the daily news to which he requires answers before the day begins. This reinforces students’ research and communications skills on a daily basis creating habits of professional knowledge workers.


On 9/11 Mr. Marley held a special session to focus on the tragedy with everyone attending. He showed a number of web sites which had rich collections of resources, displayed image slideshows on the web pages, and played music in the background. The point was made that the first website shown, which contained an incredible number of interesting high quality resources, was created and maintained by a single individual who simply cared enough about 9/11 and related issues to create a global resource now used by tens of thousands of individuals. A student expressed interest in created a similar topical website of his own.


Mr. Marley routinely uses such exemplary Internet resources in his teaching, but relates that it only took him ten minutes to find these resources immediately before class. Developing this instant research capability in all YKSD teachers makes good sense. When his class covered South America as a topic, he displayed a live video image of a ship going through locks in the Panama canal while students researched rich resources web sites and discussed the unique features of South America. Mr. Marley in years past had a live video camera pointing out the window at the school so via Internet others could see the view at any time.


Mr. Marley’s students computers are connected together in a LAN network which allows him to view, and when necessary, take over control of the screen of any computer for instructional, discipline and/or technical maintenance purposes. LAN resources are routinely utilized.


When asked about funding for computers Mr. Marley relates that since the price of high quality computers has dropped to around $600 per computer, the price is very low compared to the educational benefits and particularly related to the monthly cost of the Internet.  Updated computers are absolutely necessary if students are to benefit significantly from this expensive Internet access. To date, most villages have not benefited from Internet access to the level originally intended, due primarily to the lack of quality ongoing training and support. Computer use for Koyukuk kids is a daily and personal empowering experience used for self-expression, communication, research and entertainment, but for the Hughes kids is an occaisional non-personal activity viewed as being of little relevance to their lives or education.


Since the first three Internet training workshops were held in the YKSD during 1998-2000 the computer technology had greatly increased in power, prices have dropped and Internet systems are being dramatically upgraded. LKSD, for example, now has two-way video conferencing via satellite and microwave systems for 28 villages allowing for sharing Instructor with special knowledge, algebra teachers in particular. While these original workshops showcased the potential, at the time the Internet was so new that fear of technology was high.  Two years of 21st Century grants have raised the level of community computer literacy and interest in home Internet access.


While a number of YKSD teachers picked up significant new skills, many had not yet reached the comfort level to integrate technology into their classrooms. Lack of local technical support is a major contributing factor. However, it has now been four years since the Internet was introduced and hotmail and Internet have begun to become a part of the local culture. Today there exists a new readiness to revisit how the Internet can empower K-12 learning as well as community learning and ultimately bring new jobs via Ecommerce. Keeping youth in the village via telework opportunities would be of significant benefit for these villages.


Today, it is widely being recognized that the quality of training provided will determine whether expensive Internet systems are well utilized or wasted. With the new FCC Erate Waiver the opportunity exists to bring wireless Internet direct to the homes for both educational and Ecommerce purposes. Again, this raises opportunities, not guarantees, for community learning and new arenas for economic development and new jobs.


Fall Semester Goals for Koyukuk students

1. Art and photo combination exercises and perhaps a community-judged competition, 

2. Same for a photo within a photo competition, create posters of winners,

 3. Create a local ebay facilitator/business perhaps as a youth entre. Project to demonstrate the Internet does create viable local employment options.

4. Music projects:  Master MIDI BinB, calkwalk, digital recording, encourage local musicians to create their own CD’s and music videos

5. Community/Cultural Content Web pages - perhaps hold a competition for best  community and/or cultural content, shopping, snowgo, athabascan, andK12 resources.

6. Gather instructional cultural sites with stories,

7. Create longer audio stories (imovie),

8. Consider a CD yearbook multimedia project

9. Update the village web site as a model for YKSD



Educators Educating the Community

At issue, is what is the role of local educators concerning helping create community Internet awareness and use of the Internet for ongoing community learning, particularly regarding the new Rural Ecommerce opportunities which are badly needed? Should educators be expected to volunteer their limited free time to champion local community training programs? Fair incentives of home-based Internet access and a personal computer should be provided to all educators willing to engage in community training.


Due to a recent ruling by the Federal Communications Commission wireless distribution of school-based Internet to the village homes for Ecommerce and general learning has been approved. Serious political and infrastructure barriers have been removed. But, here begins the social engineering challenges for effective rural innovation diffusion. Toward this end the following proposal was written in an effort to win funding for additional equipment to help make these villages successful models to inspire other villages as to what can truly be done. Several large scale Alaskan Internet infrastructure projects being considered may face major failure unless there's a successful training model to follow. The history of similar projects is typically major under-utilization of Internet infrastructure and minimal local buy-in due to the lack of a proven replicable training program.


Proposal For a New Online Course for Educators

An online graduate level recertification course for educators will be created to bring together the leadership potential of the educational community: administrators, teachers, parents, and students, to identify how education relates to success in the "knowledge age" with emphasis on social entrepreneurship. "Social entrepreneurship" is literally the convergence of education and economic development in the emerging service economy. The sheer numbers of citizens of all ages involved in the educational community suggests strongly that they play a significant role in leading this community education initiative.

The need exists to provide professional development opportunities to create and share online standards-based curriculum designed to engage students in community networking, service learning projects, Ecommerce entrepreneurship activities, and web-based cultural expression.

The Village Bootstrap Academy project will integrate the following unique online course "Building Learning Communities" for educators. It creates web-based project-based learning units to be used as models of student activity engaging local citizens in creating a community vision. These activities will include tangible steps forward for designing local web-based content, and collaborative activities, around the theme of "building a 21st century learning community." . Included are the specific methodologies on how Internet resources and collaborative capabilities can be applied to developing both local and global citizenship, service learning projects, and youth Ecommerce entrepreneurhip.

"Building Learning Communities;
  Creating Social and Economic Value in the Knowledge Age."

Course Description: Learn how to integrate the teaching of citizenship, character education, web-authoring, and Internet skills to engage your students with their local community to grow a vision for their joint future. Students will identify for themselves and their community a vision for how people can learn to use the Internet to develop social and economic value. Project-based learning models and extensive existing web-based curriculum will provide your students with challenges in developing their Internet self-directed learning skills. Students will use online tutorials to teach themselves how to use digital art, photography, and music for digital story-telling and multimedia presentations to communicate this vision. A student entrepreneurship challenge will focus on those Ecommerce opportunities which can provide local jobs to provide students with the option to avoid relocation upon graduation and to assure their community's future. 

This three credit (semester credits) course for educators presents a hands-on review of Internet resources and curriculum templates integrating K12 character and citizenship education with online collaboration and creating web-based instructional content to grow local community Internet awareness. Growing successful citizens, and sustainable communities, in the "knowledge age" requires a K12 leadership role for developing both local, and global, citizenship by teaching how to create both social and economic value.

Short-term, youth-driven, service learning project models will be presented for creating local web-based content for their communities showcasing local and regional Ecommerce and entrepreneurial Internet innovations. These projects will help students become involved with their communities' economic development and sustainability issues. Students will learn how to win funding for their community projects from local businesses and organizations.

Educators will learn the easiest methods for creation of web-based instructional content within the context of how to teach students web-based content creation. This content includes essential knowledge worker skills such as self-directed Internet learning and online collaboration. Students will learn how helping others online can lead to instructional entrepreneurship services and businesses. Success as knowledge workers in a global knowledge economy requires a K12 emphasis on developing the social value of students and requires they become skilled at creating and maintaining meaningful relationships both offline and online.

Whereas in the past the two concepts of the public and private sectors might have appeared to be morally at odds, in the new service economy "social entrepreneurship" is emerging as the synergy of the best of both worlds. Ecommerce entrepreneurship basic concepts will be introduced with the overriding theme of   "Information condenses to knowledge, which condenses to wisdom, and VALUE is created in the knowledge age." Introductory online units for use with students will be included as a means of integrating technology standards with writing, reading, and civic studies curriculum.

Online mini-courses designed for teachers to use with their students will provide students with their first, brief, online learning experiences. Students will then create similar brief mini-courses for other students, for which they would then mentor their peers and evaluate the outcomes. Community-building Internet applications have not kept pace with the technology. Under the theme of "Building Learning Communities," students will learn first hand how online collaboration can benefit their communities, while developing their knowledge worker skills in online groupwork and instructional entrepreneurship. The theme here is: "Everyone both learner and teacher, both consumer and producer, all the time."

Sample Four-hour Mini-courses:

Mini-course 1:  Internet Self-empowerment -
                           Becoming a Self-directed Learner
Successive hands-on experiences are presented simply to build the skills for using search engines, free web tools, and the Internet to learn anything from anywhere at any time.

Mini-course 2:  Empowering Others through 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 presented simply to build skills and concepts using free Ecommerce tools, services, and resources. Emphasis is on identification of existing successful models that are easily replicated - such as Ebay auctions.

Addressing the Need

The need exists to provide professional development opportunities to create and share online standards-based curriculum designed to engage students in community networking, service learning projects, Ecommerce entrepreneurship activities, and web-based cultural expression.

There is an immediate need to bridge the gap between the K-12 goal of creating competent citizens and the students ability to understand the role the Internet will play not only in economic development but also in their own future employability. The accelerating pace of change requires students to learn how to think innovatively and how to maintain awareness of successful innovations related to emerging vocational and entrepreneurial opportunities in their communities.

The sustainability of our communities and society depends on creating motivated lifelong learners, proactive citizens who are value-driven; (character education and service learning), innovative entrepreneurs (using Internet), skilled collaborators, both offline and online, and citizens who are both consumers and producers, both learners and teachers, all the time.

Self-directed Internet learning skills have become essential. Strategies to make smart personal decisions require that one stays current in a world of accelerating change. Information overload from too much of the wrong kind of information is becoming an increasingly serious problem. Overcoming information overload requires becoming more skilled at being increasingly selective on specific online collaboration skills.

Citizenship education needs to include values development in the form of character education and service learning. A knowledge society and an electronic democracy require educated citizens with skills in both offline and online collaboration and articulation. Internet skills for self-directed learning and web self-publishing are required for competent citizens in a knowledge society. Our educational system needs to develop future citizens' ability to create both social and economic value in a balanced manner.
Character Education Web Tour

Many realistic student-driven community activities will be presented for students to initiate interaction with their community to gather content for local web display. Community awareness will be focused on proven opportunities the Internet represents. Details are available in
The Bootstrap Academy

There are many successful models of project-based learning and student creation of web-based content to benefit the local community which will be reviewed for local use in this unique course for educators. As awareness grows through the use of existing curricular models, educators will learn to use existing templates to begin to create their own innovative curriculum. Moreover, students will also learn to use templates to create instructional experiences for students and adults in the local community. Details are available in:
Building Individual and Community Collaborative Capacity – A Web Tour   and

Project-based Learning Project Directories
Project-based Learning Resources

To name a few examples of successful youth-driven web content competitions and projects:

The International Cyberfair competition,, describes how elementary students create web pages celebrating eight categories of local achievement.

The Community Networkers Youth Initiative, students champion the cause of creating online content to benefit the local community

The International Thinkquest Competition,, students internationally have created over 4,500 instructional web sites to help others learn online.

The Camp Internet Family-oriented Learning Expeditions,,  engage families with learning together how the Internet can be used for family programs.

The Global Schoolhouse Projects Directory, , where teachers can post multi-classroom collaborative projects to find international partners.

At Webquest sites, (see ) curriculum templates are available for teachers and students to create online project-based learning units, often based on real-world problem-solving.

Entrepreneurship sites and cooperatives for youth and women are listed along with Ecommerce Start-up training resources and sites offering free Ecommerce web sites.

Mentoring Models, Guides, and Resources

Building Learning Communities Resources

Rural Community Empowerment Resources

Alaskan K12 Web Innovations Web Tour

Echoes in the Electronic Wind - A Native American Internet Guide

Community Internet Empowerment Resources
Alaskan Natives and Native Americans

An  Alaskan Native and Native American Empowerment Guide

Alaskan Native Youth Cultural Community-building,

Culture Club

The Seventh Generation Community Initiative

Realizing Cultural and Community Sustainability Through Internet Innovations
in Alaskan Native Villages
A detailed review of strategies for community involvement to produce measurable outcomes. Many grant templates and online self-directed resources are included.

Clarifying Opportunities for Alaskan Sustainable Community Technology Centers A short review key issues.

NEW - Community Internet Empowerment Resources for Alaskan Native Villages  Extensive Resources!