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Recently on LM_NET,  I asked this question:  "how do you stimulate interest
in before and afterschool workshops for teachers? Our problem is how can we
motivate teachers to obtain the skills now when they cannot maximize usage
until next year? The HIT is posted below but the majority of ideas included
food, stipends, prizes, practical lessons, and CEU's.

I would suggest that you SHOW them what can be done -- give examples of
lesson plans, how to use the software, etc. but don't expect them to
remember the how-to's until they can use it next year. If you locate enough
lesson plans that will require the use of the software and hardware and
have them detailed enough so they won't be afraid (yeah, I know they're
adults, but sometimes they're the WORST about admiting what they don't

Try food.   Seriously, you could make this a bit of socializing.  Handouts,
and door prizes:  freebies from publishers, posters, notecards, etc.  I'm
going to a "PC and Pizza Party" in a couple of weeks.  The workshop is
troubleshooting your PC, but the ad was pizza and pop.

If you get some great advice I will be thrilled to hear it.  You are
touching on the very issue my CLT and I have been trying to figure out. We
work at least 2-3 hours after school every day and we can't even get
teachers to come in for training when we can pay them $10 an hour

We pay them to attend afterschool workshops on technology.  Up to $15.00
per hour.

One of the ways we got teachers to learn to use their computers, we only
send the daily bulletin by school wide e-mail.  There are often VIP
announcements there which they need to read and they lose out if they
don't. The county has also purchased rights to a grade book program which
they are encouraging everyone to use with assurances that it will be
mandatory soon. Hold out something to make it appealing to them and they
will learn.

In my last district (600 students, 50 teachers) we offered inservice days
(in which the administrators were in the tech. classes along with the
teachers), and paid teachers extra when they took after/before school

In my current district (the smallest high school has 2250 students, 250+
staff) teachers are given credit towards pay increases for taking
in-district classes (our tech. "trailblazers" are paid to teach).

Both systems worked well.  Of course, our NCA accreditation review last
year helped to boost technology interest; we're now accountable every year
for how we're using technology (ourselves and with classes).  In my former
district teacher's were anxious to embrace the new technology even though
it was still a few years off in their school.  Armed with knowledge, they
pressured and questioned the tech. committee and school board to hurry the

Offer CEU's - and lots of food!!

Food is good.  In New Jersey, the thing to do is have bagels and a big
fruit salad and some really good coffee.  This saves folks time, because
they can eat breakfast at the workshop, and it makes them feel a bit
pampered, too.  Don't know what your regional favorite breakfast is, but you
might give it a try.

If you go to Jamie McKenzie's site at http://fno.org you will find an
article where he talks about 'just-in-time learning' rather
than'just-in-case'.  In other words, if you try to get your teachers
learning now when they have neither the need or the equipment to put their
learning into practice, then the retention rate will be zero.

But if you and the other IT people get together and create an Adult
Learning Checklist - we have one on our site at
http://www.palmdps.act.edu.au that you can start with - and identify the
sorts of skills you want the kids to have, and therefore the staff, then
when you do have everything sorted, staff can identify what they do know
and what they need to learn and thus map their own PD path.  There is
nothing worse than one-size-fits-all PD! You may also find that staff have
'hidden' skills that you might be able to draw on in a mentoring role,
which spreads the teaching load for you.

It's funny, but I'm experiencing a similar problem. When I informally
presented the training to my faculty at their lunch time, I was totally
shot down.  It was my job to get interest, and part of the grant, so I
still had to find a way.   I decided to use some of my funds to pay a small
core of teachers (five), and then I noticed that interest began to spark> I
offered one class a week for 6 weeks.  Now teachers are coming to me,
wanting to take the class.  I serve food to make them happy.  It's so hard
because some teachers can be so negative, but you have to block them out
and focus on the
good ones.

Is there any money available for a small stipend per participant? We had a
grant and got a $25.00 stipend per participant per session attended.  It
has worked very well.

Offer food & prizes (can be cool sticky notes, bottled water...)

Better workshops are rated by the quality of the food. This was taught to
me by a very wise senior librarian at a public library where I began my
library career. It works.

Thanks to these LM_NETTER's for their suggestions: Joyce Conklin, Jill
Brown, Lynn Johnson, Kathy Geronzin, Beth Pounds, April Johns, Toby
Zabinski, Ellen Heath, Barbara Braxton, Isabelle Konen, Jeanne Claridge,
Julia Anne Colvin, Arlen.

Diane R. Chen, Library Information Specialist
Hickman Elementary School  Nashville, TN
ChenD@k12tn.net    or  DianeRChen@aol.com
TEL: 615 885-8956    FAX: 615 885-8848

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