iPads in the Classroom part 6 – Teacher Training Sessions

ipad backI’ve been thinking about this aspect of our journey towards implementing tablets in our institute. Since I’m using my iPad for quite some time now, it’ll be probably up to me to provide the necessary training session for colleagues to let them start working with the device as well. I’m even considering to come together every week with a pilot group of teachers to start developing core skills in working with tablets. Ways of thinking, practicalities, sheer technical knowhow,… What I actually intend to achieve is to equip my colleagues with a digital literacy of their own, so they are armed with the necessary skills to do stuff on their own. Understanding their own device, working with essential software, learning how to connect with others, find, create and share content, it’ll all come to pass.

I did this in the past offering sessions about word-processing, spreadsheets, presentations, even our institutes LMS and off course the different web 2.0 tools I used in cross-curricular projects. I found that teachers were really happy that someone took the time to show them a couple of things in order to make their lives easier. A lot of colleagues had some difficulties to figure out these things on their own and had just given up. Taking on this chance to be guided along the software was compelling enough for a couple of teachers to give it another try. We discussed some handy tips and tricks and I tried to answer as much questions they had, mostly by trying to explain the workflow of the tool at hand. I find that discovering this flow of doing things is crucial in liking to work with computers. If the task at hand is constantly interrupted, the user doesn’t feel that using the device is improving their work.

It is precisely this aspect of digital literacy that I’m hoping to convey to my colleagues in the tablet project. I think if I can show them how to fluently use their tablet, they’ll be more willing to look for new things and are more likely to stumble upon things they like, themselves.

Providing a context where no questions are taboo, where they can try, fail and try again, will offer the best outcomes in our group. Making it a recurring item (once a week), is not meant as a hindering or stress factor, but is intended to offer a set time to try out things and learn from each other. I’ll take it upon me to show them around and offer some tools that I’ve come across, but another goal is for them to learn from each other and share these experiences within the group, enabling each individually to work out ways they can use apps in their own course.

Through my experience from the previous small but instructive sessions, I hope to bring the group together and share knowledge!

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