End-User Training for Device Lending Programs
With a device lending program in place, students and staff have access to connectivity and devices that enable new approaches to end-user training. Traditionally, most student training was in-person and used part of an instructional day. But if students have access to the Internet and a device from home, it is possible to implement training in an asynchronous, competency-based style. Teacher training can also follow the same model.
Some skills and knowledge, like HR-related topics, are required, but school districts should identify other skills for students or parents that they want to certify. Take a lesson from HR practices, and embed these training materials into your LMS and include quizzes or assessments throughout to verify understanding. If there is a practical skill, consider crafting a straightforward task (like introductory programming’s “Hello World”) that requires the student to demonstrate a skill that can be uploaded in the LMS and quickly assessed by staff. In general, end-user training content can be posted on your website for use in a self-serve manner.
- There are often dozens of software applications and systems that are used across a school district. As such, the number of resources to cover can be daunting. Remember, your school district is not unique, and other school districts have likely created a training resource that is acceptable or easily adapted to meet your needs. If a suitable version isn’t available, create it. Get help to support students with many tasks that need to be documented. Consider leveraging library aides, classroom paraprofessionals, and others who are already content experts. Additionally, every school district has students who are highly technically proficient, who are both willing and able to help.
- Self-service online learning resources are not appropriate for all learners, especially younger students. Caregivers will also need to participate in training to help their children use these resources. School districts should be prepared to provide webinars and phone support to families that need more help.
- Many districts have very diverse communities that include large populations whose first language is not English. School districts should consider providing translations of self-service resources into the most prevalent languages. Additionally, webinars and phone support may be most effective if done in multiple languages. For translations, districts should consider collaborating with parents for translation support if district staff with appropriate language skills are not available.
- If your school district is able to direct professional development related help requests to technology integrators or other appropriate staff, consider including those staff as users of your help desk system. The same data tracking of incidents and requests is equally useful for understanding the professional development needs of your staff.
1 | Organize a team to determine what software and platforms are most commonly used and critical — especially if you are supporting an ERT scenario — and generate a list of what topics need to be addressed, then curate or create those resources.
2 | Determine what languages besides English would most benefit your community and determine if you have staff who can aid with translations or if you need to seek support from the community.
3 | Prepare and deploy webinars and phone support to caregivers who are assisting younger students to access devices and learning resources online.