Best Practices in Technology Training

Thank you to everyone who attended Best Practices in Technology Training!  I really enjoyed meeting all of you and sharing information.

Here is the resource list I promised  you:

Libraries that share handouts/resources:

Akron Summit County Libraries

Denver Public Library

Jacksonville Public Library

New York Public Library (Tech Connect)

OLC – Class Handouts and Downloads

Providence Public Library

Web Junction Resource Info for Technology Training (Includes some older handouts from Rocky River Public Library’s Computer Breakfast Series)

Reading material:

The Accelerated Learning Handbook, by Dave Meier


The opportunity did not arise to talk about the webinars we are doing at our library.  We have two series of webinars.

The first is called Find Out Friday and is usually the last Friday of the month at 10 am.  It focuses on a website.

The second series is called The Apps Show and is every other Monday at 1:00 pm.  This series is on hiatus for the summer and will start again in September.

Our webinars and recorded Computer Breakfast Series events can be found on our Livestream account:  Feel free to explore!

Being a Trainer: What Do I Need to Know?

On Friday, December 13, 2013, I was asked to speak at Staff Day for the Euclid Public Library.  As a follow-up to that presentation, below are notes about the discussion that took place.  The notes are from my memory, so if you have anything to add, please comment.


  • Materials (Handouts, PowerPoint Presentations, etc.):  Use color and make them fun!
  • “The Dance”:  Prepare the flow of the class such as questions to ask and samples to use.
  • Environment:  Add color and make it fun!
  • You:  Wear comfortable clothes that you feel good in.  Add colors!
  • Greet Students:  Greet your students outside the door and introduce yourself.
  • Music:  Have music playing in the room.  Walking into a quiet room can unsettle people.
  • Contacting Students:  If able, contact students ahead of time and tell them what to expect (where class is located, any obstacles (traffic/construction), what to bring, etc.).  A pre-class survey could also be given to assess knowledge or gather some information before class.


  • Relax:  You know more!
  • Parking Lot:  Create a Parking Lot for questions
  • Time:  Start on Time/End on Time
  • Knowledge Levels:  Incorporate attendees with higher levels of knowledge by asking questions rather than just spewing out information.
  • Staff Safety:  If you are concerned about safety make sure windows are open for visibility and stand outside the door as attendees exit.
  • Seniors:  Speak loudly and make print on screen and in handouts larger.
  • Vary Activities:  Vary activities to different learning styles:  Auditory, Visual, and Hands-On Learners.
  • Fun:  Classroom laughter is one of the best tools in the classroom – it adds fun and creates rapport.  Incorporate games into learning.  Oh, and give out CHOCOLATE – a great way to encourage participation.

Post Activities

  • Summarize:  Let attendees put together the summarization.
  • Job Aids:  Pass out job aids that can be posted for quick reference.
  • Survey:  Survey attendees on the classroom experience.
  • Follow Up:  Use Emails, Blogs, or Wikis to give additional information and/or start a conversation.

Additional Materials

Training Tips from the Trainer’s Warehouse (The pink handout from the end of the session.):

Ten Tips for New Trainers/Teachers:

The Spice Rack (Great training tips.  Scroll down for the menu.): (There is a charge for information.)




Martini in the Morning:

Transitioning from Adult Learners to Learners of All Ages

With our new Strategic Plan in place for the next 5 years, the Training Department has been asked to broaden Computer Training to learners of all ages.  It is interesting how those things in life we avoided seem to sometimes come back.  All three of the ladies in my department are degreed educators.  We all have degrees in a field of secondary education and have taught in high schools at some point.  And, we all three chose the path of teaching adults.

So, what do we do at this point?  Well, first of all, we need to remember that this is not an endeavor for our department alone.  The children’s department and the teen librarian are all in this with us.  We will be relying on them heavily to remind us of the mindset of the younger generations and the ways they learn.

Yes, children do learn differently than adults.  I have known that for years and had a reminder of it recently.  Children are concrete thinkers.  A parent asked if their 10-year-old could take one of the adult computer classes.  After some discussion, I let the girl come to class with a parent.  I knew it was not a good situation when the girl asked a question and the room laughed.  It was a lighthearted laugh admiring the innocence of the girl; however, perception could be different.  I also find that sometimes seniors may feel intimidated by the younger generation.  So, at that point in time, the classes were kept adult computer classes.

The second point I think we need to remember is to keep the “fun” in training.  Children sit in a classroom environment a good portion of the year.  They are probably not actively seeking another classroom environment; although, the parents may have a different idea.

Finally, we need to keep our positive attitudes. No matter how we feel about the situation, it is something that is going to move forward.  I think we are doing this well.

As the project unfolds, I will post updates as to what we are doing and what works.  Suggestions are welcome!:-)

Teching Up Your Library or Training

At the Computers In Libraries conference in Washington DC, I am in a session on Teching Up Your Library Programs. I think that sums up my experiences at the conference.

Each presentation gives me ideas on how I can use more technology tools in training. Sometimes we get very set in the ways we do things, and hearing what others are doing opens our eyes to improvement.

Lately, one of the trainers in my department has been having a lot of personal training on using a Nook with library eBooks. In a session I realized creating a video may help many of the patrons. Seems simple enough, but attending conferences and sharing information opens our eyes to possibilities.

Avatar in Training – Follow-Up Information

The “Avatar in Training” program this morning was phenominal.   Thank you to everyone that attended and participated!

As promised, below is the follow-up information for the program:



LOCATIONS DISCUSSED:  (The SLURL will direct you to a website that will allow you to teleport to the location in Second Life.  If you do not have an account with Second Life, you cannot use the SLURL.)

Vassar College:

Bowling Green:

Ohio State – Women’s Studies:

St. John’s College:

Sprott-Shaw College:

Rockcliffe University:


Virtual Hallucinations:

Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum:

David Rumsey Maps:

Check back.  I will be posting more information that we did not get to in the session.  This information should be here by Monday.

Enjoy Exploring!

Yes, stories really do work!

Old BookLast Friday, I went to a local ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) meeting.  The speaker, Kordell Norton, told us that a great way to begin presentations is with a story.  Kordell gave us lots of pointers including:

  • The first 30 seconds sets the tone for the presentation.
  • Find your stories in every day life.
  • Just begin the story – no introductions to it, no telling them it is a story.
  • Take each segment of the story and add humor to it.
  • While telling your story, add pauses and vary the pitch.

Kordell told the story well and set a very positive tone to the training.  So, I decided to try a story this morning for a program.  Before the program, I was introducing our new “Text a Librarian” service.  Therefore, I picked a story about getting a text from my niece and how I used the wrong text acronym.  I actually got laughs!

Do you use stories in your training?  How do you use them?