Educating Educators, Part 2

The school year is almost here and you most likely have technology training on the horizon. If you are leading technology training, make sure you read Educating Educators, Part 1 first.

If you haven’t done it by now, you need to hype new technology initiatives just like you are an advertising agency. Teachers need to be aware of the changes coming and how their teaching and lives will be better.

Now…let’s look at the actual training sessions. If you are leading instructor led training before school starts, you need all the help you can get. Here are some tips:

  • Pass out chocolate as teachers enter the room. I am totally serious! Go to a warehouse club and buy big bags of snack-size chocolate candy. Have it in baskets when teachers enter. If you are training in a computer lab and have a “no food” policy, you need to suspend that policy for the day. This can make or break your training so go get some chocolate!
  • Your training need to be scenario-based. For example, if your school is getting new interactive whiteboards, take your teachers through the process of teaching an actual lesson using the new technology. You may only cover 10% of what the device and software can do but the retention and implementation rate will be high. If you teach everything the technology can do, like a software manual, teachers will tune out.
  • Ask the teachers what questions they have at the beginning of training. A cornerstone of adult learning theory is adapting lessons to address specific questions from the adult learners. There may be properties of the new technology that you think are really cool. However, the teachers may be wondering about completely different functionality. So ask them at the beginning and make sure you address the questions directly throughout the training.
  • Cut your agenda and outcomes in half. Teach less content which leads to the next point.
  • Allow teachers plenty of practice time. We all know the “sit and get” model of professional development does not work. Build in plenty of practice during the sessions…not at the end.
  • Bring your passion and humor. Adults are a tough audience…especially when they would rather be getting their room ready for the first day of school. Liven things up and keep your audience engaged.

Good luck with your technology training…don’t forget the chocolate!