Deepening the Conversation

thinking about questions of authority, technology, learning, and 2.0 in academic libraries

The Technology Trainer is in

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Today marks the start of my 2nd week as Technology Trainer.  Although I still have no furniture (beyond the desk) and it took 3 days to get a working computer, last week was just out-of-the-park productive. I facilitated 6 hours of Excel training (this week is Access, which may well cause my brain to melt!) and set (and made progress on) a few priorities.

I now chair the Technology Training subcommittee, and I hope those poor souls won’t revolt when they see the agenda in their inbox this morning! In the past, this group has been advisory to the Coordinator of Staff Training, and responsible primarily for putting on our 23 Things program. That’s a lot of work, in a compressed time. But since Tech Training is now a full time gig for someone (me! me!) obviously there’s going to be more going on. Part of that is deciding the role of the committee.

Essentially, last week I set my priorities for the next 3 months. These include:

  1. Outreach. Creating (and then maintaining) a blog to gather training opportunities, in-house and from outside, and raise awareness of the training resources we already provide. Weekly news blasts. Office hours-on-the-go (your office, not mine)
  2. Clarifying (and then updating) our in-house experts list
  3. Planning & implementing staff management and training for 4 major software updates this summer
  4. Creating an eBooks task force to bring public services and technical services into closer communication and improving the finadability of ebooks on our campus
  5. Developing Technology Proficiency baselines
  6. Determining essential trainings, currently only password management (with all the changes this summer, I’m afraid to push much more)
  7. Start more conversations among staff and librarians around technology via social media brownbags  and a tech toy petting zoo
  8. Investigate options for incentivizing training
  9. Work with IT to compile a list of approved and forbidden software license click-throughs (this is a huge problem here. We aren’t supposed to ever click OK on a download, because that constitutes signing a license for the state. But someone somewhere must know whether or not it’s OK to click through on Dropbox, iTunes, Evernote, Mendeley, Firefox & Chrome extensions….)
  10. Including as many webinar platforms as possible on the above list
One of my ongoing problems is never knowing what “enough” looks like. What do you think? Is this insanely optimistic for three months? Or is this just the first half of my summer?
Have you done any of these things? Do you have any tips to offer, or documents or websites to recommend (especially for points 5, 7, and 8)?
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3 thoughts on “The Technology Trainer is in

  1. Insanely optimistic…yeah! But most excellent. I love the tech toy petting zoo.

  2. Way optimistic but what a wonderful way to start! This has given me a lot of ideas for my new job in educational technology. And I imagine you will find (or have already found) that as more people know about and understand your new position, they’ll have training requests for you and pretty soon you’ll feel like a DJ at a party full of drunk singing people, who all want to hear their favorite songs.

    What I really like about your list is that gives you (and others) some parameters, so hopefully you can avoid job scope creep. That’s one of my biggest worries with my new gig since it doesn’t come with any set description.

    How big is the advisory committee you work with and how often does it meet?

  3. Scope creep is funny! Is there any possible way for a job “doing technology training for library staff” to creep? I’m not sure there’s any place for it to creep into!

    I’m hopefully meeting next week with some of our ed tech folks to bring me into the loop and vice versa. I suspect we have a lot of potential overlap. And I’m sure I’ll blog about that :)

    The advisory group is about 10 folks right now, all volunteer. I am considering it’s shape, especially as related to determining /assessing/delivering training for technology competencies moves to the forefront. I’m planning on monthly meetings, if needed.

    Are you the only EdTEch person now? Does that leave you room to do much beyond the LMS?

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