3 Ways to Develop Well-Trained Teachers
As an Education Specialist at Learning.com, I’ve delivered digital literacy curriculum training to a variety of teachers in a number of unique settings. In my experience, if a school or district simply buys a digital literacy program and implements it without any kind of formal training, they are setting their teachers and ultimately – their students – up for failure.
Providing teachers with professional development opportunities is crucial to their success in the classroom and the success of the investment that has been made in a new technology curriculum. Over the summer, I conducted teacher trainings throughout the state of South Carolina as part of our Learning.com and Palmetto Digital Literacy Program. Here are some of the positive comments I overheard that helped me know the teachers felt supported, prepared, and confident.
“I liked that it was hands-on and that we were given an opportunity to begin setting up classes and assigning curriculum, while in the training. This allowed us to ask questions as needed.”
Supported to Try Something New
Teachers have a lot on their plates as it is, and oftentimes bringing in another program is overwhelming. But – if you provide your teachers with training on the new resource, it helps them to feel supported in the initial implementation. In addition to learning from an expert, they have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues who will also be implementing the program with their own students, giving them the chance to discuss who might be responsible for what, or which skills are the highest priority to teach. A professional development session promotes this communication and creates a network of support between teachers and administrators within the district.
“I liked the way we were guided [through the program] step by step. It made me ready to train other teachers.”
Prepared to Make Changes
When teachers have been properly trained on new technology curriculum, not only do they feel prepared to begin to incorporate it into their daily lesson plans, but they also are ready to train other users in their buildings. They now have personal experience with the program and instead of it being just one more thing to add to their to-do list, they’ve learned about the value of the program and are able to seamlessly blend it into their existing lesson plans to elevate student learning, and of course, share those personal experiences with other teachers in their schools.
“The session was great! [The trainer] was easy to follow. I implemented the program in my lab the following week.”
Confident to Dive Right In
Providing teachers with professional development allows their confidence to build as they work and play within the new curriculum, especially when a seasoned trainer provides tips and tricks on how to make the digital literacy program work for individual needs. Teachers are able to ask scenario-specific questions and begin to understand how the program will best fit their classrooms’ needs. As teacher confidence builds, so does their buy-in to the program in which the district has invested.
Turning Teachers into Experts
When you provide your teachers with training on new district resources, you’re allowing them to see the value of the product firsthand. Not only will they feel prepared and supported as they implement in their classrooms, but as they continue to work within the software, they, in turn, become experts on the curriculum themselves. When teachers become experts they are more apt to take ownership of the resource and identify the ways it best serves their student’s needs.
Are you interested in providing your teachers with the opportunity for a hands-on training with Learning.com? Click here to contact us today.