ICT Mentors – A Staff Training Model
There are two major components of training staff.
1: The skill set involved
2: The pedagogy involved
At Forest Lake SHS, since 2008, we have used an ICT Mentor program with our staff. We currently have 14 staff from all our KLAs. By utilising more than 2 staff members from each area, we have grown our knowledge base and ICT capable staff using this trainer / trainer model.
Once a month I (or another member of staff or even an outsider) train the ICT Mentors (and any other staff that would like to be involved). We survey our staff to see what software or ICT is important to their teaching practice. In 2010, we have concentrated on Learning Place resources (including CX and Blackboard), as well as tools for students and staff like OneNote 2010 and Clickview (especially the Clickview Home component).
By training the ICT Mentors, this allows our staff to gain the necessary skills, as well as take this information back to their own KLA and share it with them. The only difference with our presentations is that the ICT Mentors contextualise it to their own KLA. Where I give examples across all KLAs, the ICT Mentor shares the information and utilises it with embedded content in their own subjects virtual classrooms.
Ideally, I would love to see our school invest in a 50% teacher who could train teachers, and help teachers prepare pedagogically excellent ICT for their classroom. This may not be the case in 2011. Instead, we are now investigating a staff training model based on teacher feedback and requirements. The system looks something like…
1: Survey staff to see where they would like targetted ICT PD
2: Hire 6 TRS people for a day. This should cover between 6 – 8 staff.
3: Utilise small groups of around 6 teachers with a trainer. Teaching specific skills outlined by them as an area of weakness
4: Train these staff over a 70 minute lesson (this should allow you to train up to 32 staff in a day)
5: The group of 6 are to meet at least once outside or during school time over a 2 week period before they have to report back on their progress for a follow-up sesson.
Things to discuss with the group on the second meeting approx 2 – 3 weeks later:
- How this works in your classroom
- How to extend on this skill beyond the training
- How to share their information and skills with others
Currently when we run PD, the person who is running the PD has completed video tutorials for staff and / or written help sheets. We have an area on our intranet which has help documents so that staff can go here any time to review or train themselves.
Staff require people they can go to and discuss what is needed. Althrough our ICT Mentor program has not been perfect, it has certainly allowed staff from any given KLA area another person to contact to find out “what can I do” with this??
2011, we will start to offer some ICT Training in our cluster for both primary and secondary schools. This will be a joint venture from Forest Lake SHS and Grand Avenue SS. With differentiation so important to our practices in class, we need to be sharing knowledge of skills we all posess (e.g. how to teach a child how to read)
and the plethora of tools that are already out there. No more re-inventing the wheel.