School districts have many requirements to meet, and for each of these requirements, there’s a company (or multiple companies!) with an app or online program that says it will make our jobs easier. Staff safety training is no exception. While this task may not daze large districts with expansive HR departments, it can be a huge undertaking for smaller districts that have to meet all of the same requirements as large districts.

To more efficiently use our district’s time and money, we switched from on-site safety training to the online staff training system from PublicSchoolWORKS. Here’s why.

1. Online training is more convenient.
Employees automatically receive an email featuring a link to the online training course, which was assigned to them based on their job description. They can then access the training courses anytime, anywhere—as long as they have an internet connection. This has made training much more convenient both for employees and administrators tasked with scheduling training sessions. We no longer need to reschedule training sessions or provide make-up sessions for those employees who were unable to attend. They can do it online whenever it best fits into their schedules.

2. It eliminates paper waste and the need for physical record keeping and filing.
Some onsite training courses require printed materials; however, with online training, all the materials for the course are online. Moving our training online has made our record keeping a digital process and eliminated paper waste. Once staff members pass the end-of-course test, the online system marks the course as complete on their online training transcript.

3. It increased our access to more diverse training courses.
To meet our district, state, and federal training requirements, we must provide our staff members with broad selection of training courses. All of our employees complete courses on bloodborne pathogens, chemical and laboratory safety, child abuse identification and prevention, bullying and suicide prevention, personal and professional social media use, and more. Providing this course load with on-site training can be costly if you use subject-matter experts. However, working with an online training provider and using their online training catalog takes the burden of providing new high-quality training courses off of our shoulders.

5 reasons why our employees complete safety training online #edtech

4. It frees up precious in-service days.
We spent so much of our in-service days on compliance training that we felt like it was taking away our staff’s opportunity for other professional development. While safety training is very important, our staff needed time to hone their teaching skills. Now that staff training takes place online, our in-service days are dedicated to curriculum-related issues and classroom matters like our districtwide literacy initiative that requires our educators to use an online phonics program.

5. It decreases error and increases accountability.
Our online training system has so much automation. When we hire a new employee, they are automatically enrolled in and receive all required training courses. When the system assigns a course to employees, the email includes a training deadline and the employee will automatically receive periodic reminder emails to complete the courses. When the training deadline passes, the system automatically sends training completion reports to our administration, making it easy for them to follow up with staff. Lastly, because all training transcripts are automatically updated and stored online, we do not need to worry about losing training logs or recording course completion incorrectly. If we need to consult a staff member’s training records, it only takes a few clicks. All of this helps decrease our district’s liability should an incident occur because we can prove the employee was trained on safety best practices.

For us, the promises rang true. Using online training makes our jobs easier. Our educators can refocus on student progress and our administrators can put their time and effort into other tasks that help our district run smoothly.

About the Author:

Chad Gee is the superintendent of Yorktown Independent School District in Yorktown, Texas.