Training Outline: Teaching Technology: One on One

Use or adapt this outline to offer your own Teaching Technology: One on One workshop.

Length of Training:

90 minutes

Pre-workshop activities

Conversation starter: Why teach technology?
Write this topic for thought on board for folks to consider as they arrive


About me, library
Overview: Goal for day
New ideas, skills, knowledge – add to bag of tricks
Not “how to use a computer” – see Tech Boot Camp
Not “how to do your job” – I don’t make the rules
Let’s connect with others, learn from others, diversity of group
Four rules for class:

  1. Ask questions
  2. Make mistakes
  3. Cheat
  4. Have fun

Fun stuff: Stickers, games, chocolate – why?
Active participation
Food & Drink, Restrooms, Cell Phones, Schedule, Breaks

Why teach technology in libraries?

Discuss: Why teach technology? (Culture of learning?)

Handout: Keeping up with Technology Handout [DOC]

It is important to think about how we help people with technology. Every time someone asks a question, our response is a form of training. If we are conscious of our behavior, and strive to help them learn, then we are being effective trainers. These are some ways in which we can effectively train people in a one on one situation. (Actually, these are the same techniques we use in a classroom, but the environment is different).

Discuss: Everyone is a tech trainer

Poll: How many of you help people learn to use technology?

Technology Scavenger Hunt

Handout: Technology Resource Scavenger Hunt [DOC]

Tech questions can be difficult to answer – why?
We may not know the answer, but we can find it!
Not what you know, but where can you look
Bag of tricks – where can you find the answer
Believe it or not I don’t know everything.   However, we are no longer allowed not to know – ignorance is becoming obsolete.   Cool thing about being a librarian is we don’t need to know the population of China when asked at the reference desk, we just need to know how to look it up.

Poll: So what works for you to learn?

One thing that works for me is my own Personal Learning Environment, which is a fancy way of saying the tools that help me make sense of information, make observations, and have ideas without information overload.  So I use social media to ask others – networked learning so to speak.  I read blogs that relate to my profession – professional development. I keep an open attitude toward learning and finding new things.  So where do you start?  Remember helping the learner find the answer is better than just giving them the answer.
Now let’s talk about how you would help your students do the same thing-find tutorials and resources to continue on with their learning after their individual instruction with you.

Activity: Pair up, take about 10 minutes and find 2-4 online tutorials that demonstrate one of the Scavenger Hunt scenarios

Library Computing Environment

Handout: Library Computing Environment [DOC]

How do we adjust to the limits of the computers?
Limitations and restrictions affect users. Know the limitations, alternate solutions, focus on customer service.
How can library computers limit library users?
How do we help people, rather than just tell them NO?
Learn from experience.
Always try to find a way around an issue
BUT – Sometimes there is not an immediate solution

Homework:  Using the handout as a guide to take notes, go through each potential limitation for your library. Think about issues, local setup, and alternatives

Dealing with Sticky Situations

Handout: Dealing with Sticky Situations [DOC]

Sometimes we have one-on-one situations that are difficult to deal with.
The problem is not with the person, just the behavior
Valid reason for the way a person acts
Address the behavior, but have empathy
Focus on helping the person learn, the info need
Offer whatever support we are able to (without doing the work for them)

Activity: Alternate taking the perspective of the library patron and the library staff. Discuss the scenarios, considering things both from the staff and patron perspective. What would you do?

Tech Training Tips

Handout: Top Tips for Tech Trainers: One on One [DOC]

Be friendly – it goes a long way
Fun: Remember to smile, give smiley face stickers

Have a positive attitude
Before you say “I can’t help you with that” try to think “How can I help them with that?”

Adapt to different types of learners
Everyone learns differently. Some people are visual, others are kinesthetic
If they don’t get it, try a different way of explaining

Be patient
Don’t rush through material
If people are getting frustrated, encourage them to keep trying
Have empathy for what they are going through

Don’t touch the mouse!
Yes, it is easier and faster to reach over and “show” them how to do the task
BUT – not an effective teaching tool
Find what works for them

Communicate ideas clearly
Focus on conveying the most important points clearly and concisely
Less is more. Present single ideas. Be specific. Know what you want to say
Avoid jargon

Listen actively
Get buy in before moving on to a new idea
Wait until you are done listening to respond

If you don’t know the answer, see if you can find it
Not about what you know, but where can you look
Always try to find a way

Keep learning
Learn from experience, challenge yourself to develop your skills
Have fun!


Review: What did we learn?
What’s next?!
Keep learning
Talk to each other
Positive attitude
Be flexible