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Technology at Your Fingertips
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

Chapter 2: Knowing What You Need

Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have

Chapter 4: Knowing What to Get

Chapter 5: Knowing How to Implement Your Solution

Chapter 6: Knowing How to Train Users

Who Should Receive Training?

When Should Initial Training Be Provided?

What Types of Training Are Needed?

Who Should Deliver the Training?

Where Should Training Be Conducted?

What Should Be the Training Outcomes?

When Is Additional Training Needed?

What About Training Students?

Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution
Chapter 6:  Knowing How to Train Users

Training can be provided by your organizations's staff or by outside consultants and vendors.

Who Should Deliver the Training?
heads Deciding who will deliver the training may depend on how many people need to be trained, how many applications you have, and your budget. It may also be contingent upon support arrangements made in conjunction with the purchase of your computer system.

Classroom and individual training is often conducted by:

  • Software or hardware vendors.
  • Consulting firms that install technology systems.
  • Training firms, consultants or service bureaus.
  • In-house staff.
  • Staff from comparable organizations to your own (e.g. teachers from other schools).
Training may also be available on diskette, CD-ROM, videotape, the Internet, or another medium. This is particularly the case now that the E-Rate program enables K-12 schools to develop networks capable of carrying a great deal of information.

Selecting the right type of trainer for your staff is critical. Trainers who work for software vendors know the software backwards and forwards, can anticipate questions, and know how to explain the software in several different ways. Consultants who develop computer systems or who specialize in training can also provide excellent staff development. However, if your system or software has been customized for your organization's use, then beware that these consultants may not be able to provide specific training on your system or adapted software.

With respect to instructional software, the district or state can also encourage training. For example, a funding agency could state that when software is purchased, a staff development plan must be in place as a condition of the purchase. It should also be clear that professional development should be based on integrating technology into the application of any applicable curriculum standards.

key questions

Developing an In-House Training Staff
Having in-house training staff is desirable for large organizations, particularly if there is frequent turnover. Some school districts have technology coordinators who offer training for all newcomers and whenever there are system upgrades. Many schools have technology coordinators who work full-time at the school sites. These technology coordinators should receive extensive training themselves prior to providing training to others. Remember that all training, when delivered to teachers, should be based on the curriculum rather than on the technology. Similarly, make sure you select trainers who have the ability to convey technical knowledge in ways that novices can understand.

Be certain to have an evaluation component for all training. This "feedback" will ensure that staff are receiving the training that you expect and, in turn, provides recipients an opportunity to tell trainers whether the training is meeting their needs and expectations.

Using Software Application Training Materials
If you are using off-the-shelf software, such as word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word and WordPerfect) or spreadsheets (e.g., Excel and Lotus 1-2-3), you may want to purchase tutorials. These have the advantage of being self-paced, easy to use, network compatible and readily available. Often there are videotapes developed to accompany a training manual. In addition to tutorials developed by the software publishers, there may be tutorials, manuals or other training materials developed by consultants that would be useful to purchase as well.

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