Boulder Community Network
Back to Training Center
General Public Orientation
Orientation Outline Only
- Arrive at lab about 20-30 minutes before class.
- Boot up machines and overhead projectors.
- Bring up Netscape on all machines and maximize it so that it covers
the entire screen.
- Bring the BCN homepage up on all browsers: bcn.boulder.co.us
- Add the BCN homepage to the bookmarks on each browser
Welcome to the Boulder Community Network public orientation
to the Internet.
[Instructor introduces him/herself]
[Instructor asks assistants to introduce themselves.]
Participant Introductions and Skills
* Is there anyone who is not familiar with using a mouse?
[if anyone raises their hand -- instructor should make sure that
assistants take notice and offer additional assistance. Instructor should
tell these people that they will be assisted. Ideally, if there is time,
the instructor should seek out non-mouse users before the class begins
and offer some pre-class mouse training.]
* Please tell us your 1) name and little bit about yourself,
2) your general interests for using the Internet (i.e. medicine);
and also 3) a little bit about your computing skills and the types of
questions you have about the Internet
[Instructor should note interests and incorporate some into
tour of BCN if possible and/or help them find some info later. Also
note the types of questions that they have about the Internet. If
answers to their questions are not part of this class -- try to answer
them one-on-one during free time. Avoid answering in front of the
entire class technical questions which are not appropriate for this very
* During today's orientation to the Internet, we'll cover several topics
and give you plenty of hands-on time.
- Community Networks and BCN
- What is the Internet and the World-Wide Web?
- Introduction to the Netscape Browser (The tool we will be using
today to read information on the Internet)
- Guided Tour of BCN
- Search Tools
- Individual "Surfing" time and assistance
- Getting Access
- Public Access Sites in the area (benefits and limitations)
- ISPs and Free E-mail Accounts
Send us your electronic comments about this orientation.
Assistance During this Orientation
Feel free to ask questions as we go along. Get the attention of one
assistants if you need some extra help -- that's what they are her for.
1. Community Networks and BCN
- Boulder Community Network
BCN is a non-profit organization separate from
the university. But the university continues to provide us with
invaluable support -- not the least of which is office space and use of
these state of the art classrooms maintained by continuing education.
Boulder Community Network has been serving Boulder County since 1994. We
have been funded by federal grants and matching funds from the university
and area organizations, as well as generous donations from people in
the community like you.
- BCN is a community network and one of several hundred community networks
the world -- most of them are in the United States.
- Community Networks are concerned with
- developing local web information
(like helping the Boulder Hospice or the Lyons community center
develop web sites),
- assuring public access to their networks. For BCN public access
1. Internet public access computers at
libraries, recreation centers, and municipal buildings in the county;
2. and also public education about the Internet through
- and BCN provides, through our volunteer matching program,
computer-related consulting to non-profits and schools for a nominal
So if you have ties to an organization that could use some help -- let
2. Internet and the WWW
The Internet is a world-wide collection of networks that are
interconnected and used to share lots of different kinds of information in
different forms. One form for example, is email messages. Another form
is Web information. We'll mostly focus on the Web today.
3. Netscape Browser
4. Guided Tour of BCN
We read the information on the Web with what we call browsers. Some of
the public access sites, like at Boulder Public Library, use text-based
browsers (the one they use is called Lynx). In the last couple years,
we've seen a boom in the attention to the World-Wide Web largely because
of the development of what are called GUI (goohey) browsers -- or
graphical user interface browsers. GUI browsers allow you to read text,
as well as see images, and even hear sound. Many of the commercial
internet service providers like Prodigy or America Online have their own
browsers. The Netscape browser is what we will use today to read
information on the web.
[Make sure that everyone is on the BCN home page -- ask assistants to assist
participants. Have them do something on the BCN site with each item
below as you cover it.]
- Scroll Up and Down Arrows
(Ask them to scroll up and down and take a minute to look at how BCN
is organized into information centers.)
The World Wide Web is based on a system of hyperlinks. These appear as
underlined text or hypertext on your screen. Each segment of hypertext is
like a window or door to another page -- which may have even more links to
additional information. You go through those doors by moving your pointer
to a segment of hypertext and clicking.
- Buttons on Top
(These are CU machines and set for the CU Home Page)
- Location Box and URL
Notice how it changes when you move to different web pages. You can
also type in an address here that you might see on tv or in a magazine.
This address is unique to a particular web page. They all start with
"http" which is the language of the Internet. Sometimes the first part
of the address gives you a hint of where the computer holding the web
page is located. All pages on BCN start with "bcn.boulder.co.us" -- that
is the name of our server. The rest of the address is organized like your
files in a regular word processing program.
(Have them make a bookmark, click several times away from it and then
come back to it using bookmarks.)
What are the tools we've learned about so far that help us move
to a particular web page?
Later on we'll add search tools to this list.
- Typing in the address of a particular page in the location box
BCN is a site that aggregates local information and also links other
regional, national and international resources. It is organized around
[Ask for some of the interests from the class and take them to various
related centers. Try to keep this part of the class focused on local
sites -- rather than going off immediately to the Museum of Science and
Industry in Chicago. Try to give them a feeling for the breath of types
of information and organizations found on BCN. Don't worry about
covering too much. The key here is to give them a feel for local
information on and linked to BCN -- AND TO GIVE THEM OPPORTUNITIES TO
PRACTICE USING THE TOOLS ABOVE.
5. Search Engines and Web Guide
- Lots of them and each one will give you a different list
- Click on "Net Search" button for list of guides and engines
- Click on "yahoo" or type in "yahoo.com"
- Web Guide in Yahoo and how organized
- [Run through one search that they all do the same with key words.
Put "" around set of words that you want to appear together.
- Lots of Guides (collections of topics organized topically) and Search
- Read their "help" sections to construct "better" searches...
6. Individual Surfing Time
[Float around room with assistants and ask participants individually if
they have any questions.]
7. Getting Access
Public Access computers
[take them to the public access site linked to the BCN home page at the
same time tell them where some of the sites are]
When you use a public access site, you will also be able to check your
email if you have an account on a web-based free service which we'll
cover next. Some sites also let you get to your email account with your
ISP by using something called "telnet".
ISPs and Free E-mail Accounts
www.juno.com or hotmail.com or???
[Ask if anyone needs/wants an ISP and/or email account. Please note
that a site which aggregates information about
local ISPs and choosing an ISP is linked to the BCN home
page. The volunteer training center also links to a web page of
criteria for selecting a service provider.]
What you will need is a computer with a modem. Getting an e-mail account
does not include access to the web. There is an additional charge for web
access. The prices vary along with types of services. Some offer a flat rate
for unlimited web access per month. Some charge a fee for X hours of access
and then charge by the hour after that time is used up.
8. Fill out comment form
[Walk them through the
comment form which is linked to the bottom of the
BCN home page. SEND THE COMMENTS TO LINDA BARR (she's 5th on the list).]
Tell us what you liked about this orientation and how we can improve it.
9. Thanks and Good-bye
Post-Class Shut Down
- On each computer, use the "shut down" button under the "start button".
- When you get the screen message that it's o.k. to power down computers,
be sure to turn off BOTH CPU and monitor.
- Double check all computers in room and make sure all "lights" are off
- Turn off lights.
- Make sure door locks behind you
- Tell staff person in office that the lab is locked up.