If you run (or teach at) an Adult Education program, you know that one of the most glaring issues is integrating technology. Logistically, you know that adding technology can only lessen workloads, more measurable, more accessible, and so much more. Realistically, the age range of students that come in to the class room greatly varies from those who are 17-65. That’s huge! So, if you were to implement technology (we’ll say a mobile app for now 😉 ) You run the risk of going to the trouble of implementing only to ignore the technologically challenged. Here are some tips that I’ve found are incredibly helpful when it come to teaching some old dogs, new tricks.
1. Have a Guru
Everybody needs a Guru, especially when going through training. Students need a person that is designated to answer their questions and keep them on track. Now, it doesn’t have to be their only role in the organization, but it cuts down on confusion and your students are more likely to reach out if it’s explicitly clear who has the know-how.
Having one person as a go-to is also a great way to improve the training! Listen to the questions, incorporate the solutions to those question into the trainings, so at least you have something to hand a student if the question comes up again.
2. Small, Manageable Goals
Expecting individuals who don’t rely much on technology to adapt to a new system in a day -or even a week- is wishful thinking, and is one of the reasons that new system upgrades don’t go as well as planned.
The most effective way to get tech training to work is to teach it into little bit-sized pieces, which doesn’t always have to be a formal class, it could be an online seminar, or course!
3. Separate Training Time
Yup, you read that right, and yes, we know. “But Teachers are already strapped for time to squeeze the necessary curriculum into class time.”
Tangling training in with Class time too much isn’t good for anyone. We have graduations to plan, people!
Picking off of the previous point, it doesn’t need to be a half hour training session. It could be a task provided by the Teacher, and it’s part of the Student’s homework to figure it out and questions if they need help.
4. Celebrate the Wins!
Sometimes we get so caught up in the progress that we make that we don’t stop to realize how far that we’ve come.
(def) The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Gamification may seem like one of those things where it’s “too good to be true.” Where you don’t expect true participation. But, why do you think coffee shop punch cards are so popular? They work. Set an expectation, track progress, offer assistance to those that fall behind, and most importantly celebrate the wins.