I've started training the elementary teachers, largely in our email and student information systems. Nothing sophisticated, but since these folks have largely been ignored for years in terms of computer training and professional development, baby steps seem like a good idea.
Overall, the training has gone very well and the teachers are making a fairly rapid switch to the new systems. Most are submitting their attendance online, checking and using email regularly with parents and staff, etc. Now that the initial "get into your email" sessions are over, though, it's time for some differentiated instruction, just like they do in their own classes.
We have several teachers who are ready to implement standards-based report cards and keep their gradebooks in our SIS. Others are ready to open up the gradebooks to parents and start seriously interacting with students through its portal. Others need to access special education data or want to create class mailing lists and start sending out assignments electronically. A large group, though, still just aren't too sure about this email thing.
Some need instruction on security, netiquette, or even the difference between an email address and a website. Some confused their SIS passwords and usernames with email passwords and usernames. This isn't a criticism; unfortunately, so much of what we take for granted is not knowledge with which the average elementary teacher was born 50 years ago. One teacher commented in a survey about professional development needs:
Forget about the topic. We need to have the teachers who use technology in this district teach those who do not. To often techies talk above the people...who know little about technology...Let those of us who [are] fully plugged in and yet do not do techie-speak teach the less fortunate.
Well put...guess who'll be doing the next round of training?