Chapter 6: Knowing How to Train Users|
Everyone who will use and help to maintain your computer system should be trained, including students, teachers, administrators, administrative staff, and technical support staff.
Who should receive training?
Everyone within your organization who will have access to your computer system and hold responsibilities for maintaining the system should receive training. If you estimate that there will be few users, your staff development plan may be very simple: train everyone at once on everything they need to initially know. Later on, when users seem ready, you can arrange for additional training. If your organization has hundreds or even thousands of users, your staff development plan will be more complex and training may have to be provided in phases.
The first step is to determine exactly who your potential users are and the types and levels of training they need. This information should be available from the needs assessment you conducted. In general, all users will need training on the use of the system itself. In addition, they will need training on the various types of applications that are available. Not all users will need training on all applications, however; just the ones they desire to or will be expected to use.
Since staff will be providing most of the training to students, the focus of this chapter is on training staff. While this publication does not deal directly with the types of staff training (i.e., professional development) necessary to help a teacher develop a "technology-enhanced curriculum", it recognizes that the technology infrastructure as described here has as a major objective the effective and efficient delivery of a more advanced curriculum-from kindergarten through post-graduate. This topic will be discussed in more detail in the National Forum on Education Statistics' publication, Technology in Schools, which is scheduled to be available in the first-half of 2001.
- Your technical support staff, who will be responsible for installing and maintaining your technology infrastructure, will need specific technical training. They should also attend the various types of user training sessions so that they will be able to learn about potential problems and user needs that are related to both the equipment and the applications.
- Administrative staff members, who will use the system for daily management purposes, will need training on the various applications they will use. This includes staff who may "use" the system for limited purposes, such as personnel who enter information about registering students.
- Administrators will also need training and a general understanding of the system. This includes administrators who do not access the system directly, but request information that comes out of the system. They should be aware of the steps they need to take to get the desired information and what types of information they are able to obtain.
- Teachers who have access to the system will need training on the various types of applications and resources available. These applications could include instructional management software that assists with record keeping (e.g., grades, attendance), standard office applications that can be used individually as well as in the classroom (e.g., word processing, spreadsheets), and instructional software specifically designed for integration into classroom lessons. This training would include the use of the Internet and its applicability in the classroom.
- Students who will be using the system both in and outside the classroom will need to be trained. This training will probably be more limited than the training provided for organization staff.