I have really struggled to make the time to plan and organize technology training for the summer. After many attempts, I have come to the realization that I never made the time because the payoff for our current training “offer it and they will come” model has decreased over the last year. It has fallen off for many reasons but I am feeling the need for heterogeneous en mass training sessions has left the station. Who knows, that train might come back and if it does, we will know how to offer such training.
It took me a while to come to this realization and thankfully after a really good conversation with a colleague I have new perspective and a really good direction to bring our technology training to the next level. I can feel the excitement as I type this post and really want to push the keyboard aside to call folks and start recruiting folks to make this idea a reality.
The plan is to develop a list of workshops that address the technology needs of campus and provide this list to the Unit and Department Directors. By moving in this direction, we are moving training from the individual level come and be filled with knowledge level to targeted at organizational units. My expectation is that by catering to this level of the institution, systemic changes can change and thus further the mission of the group and institution. Providing training at this level will provide the hook for conversations to evaluate current practices of the group, share tips and tricks or best practices to increase efficiency, identify new work flows, etc. that similar training to a cross-section of people from different departments is unlikely to have.
Once we have the catalog of topics based on perceived needs (maybe I should talk to some people out there to find out the real needs too..) to pitch this idea to some departments that could provide some easy wins and refine the process from there. I think this will fall naturally into place but need to get moving on it to make sure I can share the offerings with department leaders as I meet to discuss their technology assets and needs.
Wish me luck…