Is it hard to train teachers?

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This caught my eye while I was reading my RSS feeds today.

Ever noticed what a pain in the butt it is to teach teachers? They gab, chatter, giggle, and do everything for which they give students detentions. I’m sitting in training for our new SIS and, fortunately, I only have to handle the technical pieces of the training. Some poor sap from the SIS vendor has to actually teach these big kids. Of course, I’m a teacher myself, so I’m guilty, too. It’s really remarkable, though, just what awful students we are.

I think it’s especially bad trying to train teachers on technology issues since so many of them are not only clueless but disinterested in ed tech.

Source: » Why is it so hard to train teachers? | Education IT | ZDNet.com

I have to disagree with this to a point. Here’s why as I pointed out, in less detail, in my comment on the blog….

If you support a teacher, they will use the technology. We are now teaching the teachers to use , moving them toward a center of learning with it. Once they get over the initial shock they love it. Of course we give them a lot of support between the ITC and myself we even spend time in a class with them to help them through. When they have a problem, I’m there in minutes to help.

That’s why a teacher will learn, we’ve given them support after training. They don’t feel like a new way to teach has been thrown at them, told “here it is, here is how you use it, now go use it” and they are left to flounder with the technology.

It’s a paradox, they gab, chatter and do email the first time you train them. But then you support them and they return that support with open ears, while paying attention the next time you need to train them on something new. Of course another benefit of this approach is that when they know you will support them they will start asking more questions about other pieces of technology they already have that they haven’t been using because they know you will be there to support them and teach them.

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4 thoughts on “Is it hard to train teachers?

    TeacherJay said:
    July 26, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    In addition to providing support, the first thing you need to do is show them that there is a problem and that this piece of technology can fix it. Introducing it as something that will improve what they already doing will not win over teachers who think they are already doing fine. But, showing them what doesn’t work and how the tech can fix it is perfect. For example, with an ActivBoard give them a statistic on how much time is wasted writing notes on the board and then tell them that this can allow them to type up notes in advance and then pull them up, class to class, day to day, even year to year… or even a statistic on how long it takes students to copy notes and show them how an ActivBoard can save the hand-written notes which can then be posted to a class website, sent via e-mail or RSS to students.

    Anonymous said:
    July 26, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    In addition to providing support, the first thing you need to do is show them that there is a problem and that this piece of technology can fix it. Introducing it as something that will improve what they already doing will not win over teachers who think they are already doing fine. But, showing them what doesn’t work and how the tech can fix it is perfect. For example, with an ActivBoard give them a statistic on how much time is wasted writing notes on the board and then tell them that this can allow them to type up notes in advance and then pull them up, class to class, day to day, even year to year… or even a statistic on how long it takes students to copy notes and show them how an ActivBoard can save the hand-written notes which can then be posted to a class website, sent via e-mail or RSS to students.

    Ray said:
    July 27, 2007 at 9:52 am

    TeacherJay, thanks for the comments.

    The district has done a lot of presentations for the teachers in this vein. They show what the ActivBoard can do. While at my school the ITC and I have helped show the teachers about flipcharts and how it saves them time. Including future savings in lesson planning because they already have a flipchart that they can update the next time.

    The Promethean Planet web site also is a valuable resource for state standard flipcharts. On my tech support web site, http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/brentwood/staff/ebersole the teachers can link to all the promethean sites and resources.

    Ray

    Anonymous said:
    July 27, 2007 at 9:52 am

    TeacherJay, thanks for the comments.

    The district has done a lot of presentations for the teachers in this vein. They show what the ActivBoard can do. While at my school the ITC and I have helped show the teachers about flipcharts and how it saves them time. Including future savings in lesson planning because they already have a flipchart that they can update the next time.

    The Promethean Planet web site also is a valuable resource for state standard flipcharts. On my tech support web site, http://www.sarasota.k12.fl.us/brentwood/staff/ebersole the teachers can link to all the promethean sites and resources.

    Ray

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