training

BTOP Projects at Work: Developing an Engaging Curriculum

An engaging, tailored curriculum can make all the difference when providing training to people who have had minimal experience with technology. In these communities, the proper training can be a catalyst for change. Two non-profit agencies are using NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant funding to train communities in Washington and Ohio on computer skills and broadband access.

Need help designing and delivering technology workshops?

Well, TechSoup has a free webinar for you. It seems like it doesn't matter who we talk to--librarians, nonprofits--folks need help with training, and specifically, training about technology.

BTOP Projects at Work: Informing Innovative Training Methods

In remote and underserved communities, training on computers and related technology is often critical to ensure that residents are equipped with up-to-date skills. A non-profit organization in New Mexico and Maine’s state library are using the funds from the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant to fund innovative ways to provide necessary training in such communities.

Technology Training Skills

Successful technology training has less to do with technical knowledge than with other abilities such as communication skills, patience, interpersonal skills, flexibility, and empathy towards learners struggling with new technologies. It is more useful to know how to train than to just have technical expertise. Keeping it simple and relevant is often the most important thing you can do.

Sharing Your Technology Training Materials

Do you or someone at your library have training materials to share? WebJunction has a great project underway right now to help public library trainers across the country develop a valuable collection of library technology training resources and assets. This repository of course materials will be reusable under Creative Commons licensing to help reduce the burden of developing and finding training materials.

WebJunction conducted a survey and identified the following top five categories of materials that are most needed for public training:

Tourists, Travelers, and Snowbirds: Empowering Community Leaders to Navigate Broadband

BTOP grants represent a huge opportunity for public libraries and other institutions to redouble the broadband access that they can offer their communities. But of course, with that access means more need for educating and supporting broadband users. For many of the public libraries and community centers I've talked to, how to match that increased access with appropriate staffing remains an open question.

A selection of technology training resources

It seems sometimes like the best web sites for technology trainers change location every hour. I have trouble locating sites that are persistent and reliable with regular updates and new content. This is a shame, because technology trainers in schools, libraries and community technology centers don’t have time to recreate the wheel every time they teach Introduction to Microsoft Word, when hundreds of colleagues around the world have already written that lesson plan.

Refresher on Assistive Technologies for People with Vision Impairments

Kami Griffiths, my co-worker and training facilitator par excellence organized a Meetup last Friday at the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind, which I was fortunate enough to attend. The presenters, Patty Quinonez and Shen Kuan were both power users of assistive technology themselves and experts at training others.

Volunteer-Powered Computer Classes

I coordinate the NetMaster program for the King County Library System. NetMasters are volunteer computer instructors who lead classes in the community libraries based on existing curriculum. Potential volunteers apply via our website and I contact them for orientation and training—this process is manageable, but does keep me pretty busy. Here is how it goes:

The Joys of Jing!

According to Liz (our system administrator), everything good comes from Lifehacker.com...and that is where she found Jing (http://www.jingproject.com/).  As the Web site says, "Use Jing to capture anything you see on your computer screen and share it instantly...as an image or short movie."   You'll need to set up a free (limited use) account, which allows you to post stuff to

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.