Successful programs for training school staff members to use technology are emerging after years of experimentation. Here are three keys to creating a successful program:

1. First, administrators must provide development programs that serve teachers with very different skills, needs, and interests. A fully-rounded training program should include introductory classes for those who need to learn the basics, as well as more advanced classes. It should have in-session training seminars, as well as online courses. It should have short, targeted programs that tackle one subject in a couple of hours (how to create a PowerPoint presentation, for example), as well as semester-long courses that can be taken for credit toward an advanced degree.

2. Second, effective development programs involve teachers at every stage of the way. Teachers must identify their training needs, help plan the curricula, act as mentors, and provide feedback. In addition, teachers must be committed to using their newly-developed skills in the classroom as soon as possible, because the lessons of training will fade over time.

3. Third, the best programs use technology to teach technology. This type of hands-on exposure greatly enhances the acquisition of necessary skills. Engage the teachers in projects—in training classes and in follow-up activities at their schools—in order to cement the lessons learned.

abstracted from “Inside the Wired District”
Journal of Staff Development, Winter 2002