LearnKey Training Helps Corpus Christi Teachers Master Intricacies of Technology

 

What do you do when a 10 year-old student knows more about technology than you do? For a generation that has grown up immersed in video games, cell phones, iPods and the Internet, it’s no surprise that today’s kids are so technologically adept. But for the generations of educators who interact with those students daily, it can be a daunting task keeping pace in this information age. 

 

Instead of being intimidated by this growing epidemic, Corpus Christi School District in the coastal bend of Texas chose to be more effective. The district decided a shift was needed toward more comprehensive teacher and parent training in some of the same technologies that students were already using. Such training better prepares both educators and parents to communicate and educate ALL students using modern techniques and tools.

 

LearnKey – Corpus Christi Case Study

The Challenge

Corpus Christi  needed teachers to stay current on technologies and information in order to best serve students but continually face:

 

·          Varying teacher technology knowledge levels

·          Limited training budget

·          Difficulty of teachers integrating technology in the classroom

 

The Solution

District implementation of a new training program using LearnKey’s video-based, interactive, expert instructor-led e-learning courses that help teachers with specialized training needs.

The Challenge

 

Corpus Christi School District strives to have their 2500 teachers up-to-date by giving them teaching tools to assist in integrating technology in the classroom. These teachers range in knowledge and experience using technologies which are becoming more prevalent in schools. Finding the time and resources to fill the varying training needs of these educators can be a logistical and financial nightmare.

 

It is nothing new for school districts to face tight budgets, and the instructor training budget is no exception. Training teachers with classroom seminars in face–to-face meetings is only effective to a point, as it requires trainers to plan multiple sessions because of the teachers’ various technological stages and schedules. Because seminars are not tailored to fit each individual teacher’s needs, there will undoubtedly be some teachers who feel seminars are not the most effective use of their time.

 

Each teacher in the district is on a different level of technology knowledge. Some need training in word processing and presentation software training while others also have high-end technology training needs.

 

“For the past 3-4 years, all we taught was how to use Microsoft Word© and PowerPoint© when in reality, an educator in the 21st century should have those skills already and be moving on to how to integrate that technology into the their lessons” said Tammy Gathright, Corpus Christi School District Coordinator for Instructional Technology. “Because we have so many teachers to train, we knew that in order to move our teachers past the basics we had to find a financially viable alternative method of training to replace the traditional face-to-face, sitting in a classroom method”

 

In the past, the relatively few teachers who needed training in specialized user technologies, such as A+ Certification training, network certification training and Adobe Premier, had to be sent to places where the training was available usually in Dallas, Houston or San Antonio. Corpus Christi was spending its precious training budget to send teachers to these seminars.

 

In order for the school district to progress, it needed to focus its face-to-face training on teachers “in the middle” – those who already have a basic knowledge of technologies like the Microsoft Office© suite and do not need deep knowledge of the unique high-end technologies. An alternative training source was needed for the rest of the teachers who were on either end of the spectrum. This alternative solution also needed to be inexpensive and easy to use.

 

Ultimately, Corpus Christi decided to incorporate several training courses and bundled libraries from LearnKey, Inc. to serve teachers with both basic and advanced technology training needs.

 

The Solution

 

The Corpus Christi School District launched a training program for teachers at every level to get the specific training they need. A major part of the program is the use of LearnKey’s training courses. These video-based courses are interactive and led by industry experts, not actors. They are available to teachers online or via CD-ROM and therefore teachers can use them at their convenience. Basic learners are using LearnKey’s Microsoft Office suite training as well as courses in basic computing, understanding the Internet, Excel©, Word© and PowerPoint ©. Teachers who need more specialized training are using LearnKey’s wide assortment of choices, including the Adobe suite, networking, A+, IC3, Dreamweaver and others.

 

Corpus Christi launched its training program in September 2006 in a limited capacity, and 24 percent of its schools chose to take part. The district has already trained more than 1,500 people. In addition to the previously trained individuals, about 2,000 are currently enrolled in the online courses.

 

“The ease with which LearnKey has been accepted is really surprising to me,” said Gathright. “Usually I have to do a lot of follow up training and promoting to get people to use a product. But with the LearnKey products, everyone wants them and is asking how they can get more materials.”

 

Gathright, who supervises the instructional side of technology for teacher training and implementation of software programs, says that this percentage of participation for the first year of a new, optional training program is extremely rare. It is usually much less.

 

Since the limited release, more schools have shown interest in becoming part of the program and the district will be rolling out a more comprehensive version of the program next year.

 

Corpus Christi is not only using the courses for the benefit of its teachers, but for other employees and community members as well. Teachers are using clips from the courses as supplemental teaching tools and reinforcement for their students in class while other district employees are using the courses to learn details of Microsoft Windows XP and other programs they use at work and at home.

 

The district also holds a bi-monthly open-lab on Saturdays where parents are free to come to the lab and learn computing skills. The open-lab normally only draws a few individuals each week, but after implementing LearnKey, attendance is up to about 17 individuals each Saturday. Many of these parents are lower income and do not have computers at home. They can come to the lab and learn skills that will help them, whether it is typing a resume, job application or other related documents.

 

Corpus Christi School District is helping to serve its employees and their community by providing training materials that help them excel in their respective positions. Teachers with excellent training pass their knowledge onto the students, which ultimately leaves a positive impact on society.

 

About LearnKey

LearnKey, Inc. produces state-of-the-art learning courses that are delivered straight to your desktop or laptop. With over 250 current courses in Personal Productivity, Computer Fundamentals, K12 Curriculum, Web & Graphic Design, Office Productivity, IT Technologies, Database Technologies and Vocational Training, LearnKey offers a complete line of courseware to help people and organizations achieve their goals. For more information about LearnKey, please visit http://www.learnkey.com. LearnKey is a Certiport, CompTIA, and Microsoft partner.