By Connie Weber, Senior Manager, Blackboard Training
I asked myself that question before I recently participated in a professional development program focused on building my training skill-sets. I didn’t expect that I’d really learn anything new since I had been teaching for 20 years and training for five years. But during that program – wow! – I was amazed at how much self-awareness I gained of my strengths and weaknesses as a trainer, and the new and useful techniques I learned for using technology as a tool in good teaching.
OK, admit it: How many times have you gone to a technology training class and learned all about clicking and pointing, but you never figured out how to use those tools in real life?
A quality technology training experience encompasses many factors, including:
- Learning features and functionality
- Reflecting on why to complete some of the exercises, such as assigning discussion questions
- Learning how to use available tools and then incorporating them in best practices
Training works best when instructors make the opportunities for attendees to connect the tools they are learning with the teaching that they do everyday. So, how do you become a better on-campus trainer? You should:
- Use your basic knowledge about technology tools to design training that engages your audience in discussions of good teaching
- Incorporate best practices in your training and talk about how they can be used by others at your institution
- Develop relationships with your training colleagues at other institutions – share the knowledge!
- Take advantage of professional development opportunities, such as the Certified Trainer Program
If you’re planning to attend BbWorld ’08 in Las Vegas in July, maximize your time at the conference by also checking out the Certified Trainer Program that will conclude during pre-conference, July 13–15.
If you’d like to respond to any posting or submit your own entry for the Blackboard Training Blog, please email Kristen Cooper.