How One Principal Overcame Three Daunting Staff-Training Hurdles

T.H.E. Journal, September 1998, p. 65

Administrators who install technology in their schools can learn some lessons from this principal on how to overcome the challenges inherent in computer deployment and staff training.

  1. Be patient. Administrators must be patient with staff; must establish teams to form support networks; and must not label staff hesitation with technology as an attitude problem.

  2. Draft training models. During the planning stage, this group addresses curricular issues, determines the most effective and least intimidating instructional approaches, and how to meet the needs of teachers with existing computer skills.

  3. Secure funds for equipment and training. Since the school was replacing its Apple computers with PCs, it had to raise funds for the new machines and assess the need for specialized training on the new Windows platform. A survey was sent to staff, the majority of whom responded they would have interest in training on the new computers.

Once these initial steps were met, the school embarked on a plan that used the school’s 10 computers to train its 54-member staff. A single computer was connected to large monitors for group training. Using the curriculum specified by the task force, training sessions began in self-paced blocks as well as scheduled classes during the week and after hours.

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