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MBS Direct’s Train the Trainer Program: Helping Schools Understand Their Content Options

Posted by Carrie Watkins on Mar 28, 2016 7:00:00 AM
Topics: digital content, Higher Ed, K-12, professional development

MBS Direct is launching our Train the Trainer program to help schools understand their digital content options. These small-group sessions give select members of your team the information to help your teachers make informed decisions about the type of content they want in their classroom, whether they want an eBook, an online classroom, a group of OERs or something completely different.

“Teach us,” she said. “We know you have solutions for a lot of what our teachers are looking for. They just don’t know what to ask. So teach us about the different platforms you have available and we can teach them.”

This was a partner school that knew they wanted more options for their faculty. The students and faculty had the technology. The administration was interested. The majority of their instructors just weren’t sure about making the leap to something other than a printed textbook.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’d traveled to the Sunshine State to present to their entire faculty about digital options (they really had to twist my arm).  The account team had been there several times working directly with teachers on their adoptions. And for one reason or another, the teachers overwhelmingly went back to the print textbooks.

For some, it was lack of comfort with the technology. For some, it was not knowing what was available specifically for their discipline. For others, they had something in mind and didn’t think MBS could help with that. So when one of the trainers contacted me with this idea, our Train the Trainer program was born.

Professional development, ed techThe Train the Trainer program gives a small group of technology integration specialists, curriculum designers or just early adopter administrators and faculty more information about the platforms we have available to partner schools. Ideally, the group would be four to eight people. That group may change based on the topic. The schools can customize the schedule and the agenda based on their needs. We’ll talk about what faculty and students can expect from the different platforms and see an overview of how they work. We’ll also discuss use cases for each platform and how we at MBS are seeing schools use them in the classroom.

The topics:

  • eBooks (includes a demo of the VitalSource® platform)
  • Access codes and course ware (includes a demo of various courseware platforms, such as McGraw-Hill Connect)
  • Textbook alternatives and OERs (includes demos of Flatworld KnowledgeeText Builder and a discussion of the Creative Commons licenses)
  • Computer science platforms (includes demos of both zyBooks and Pluralsight platforms)
  • Game-based Simulations (includes a demo of Toolwire)

Each topic takes between 60 to 90 minutes to walk through. The session is specific to the school and the team participating, so they are encouraged to ask questions along the way. We will do high-level demos of each platform, and in some cases, provide demo access to the team as well. If the team would like something more in-depth after the intro, we can coordinate with the individual content vendor to schedule a more detailed demonstration. Once the trainers are comfortable with the platform, they can work with the faculty to see if any of the print alternatives might be a good fit for their classrooms.

This group of people at the school is getting the questions on the content platforms already. They are the ones who teachers know and trust to help them understand what is going to make the most sense for them and what they are trying to do in their classroom. Even if many teachers are not ready to make the move to alternative content, the school has people on-site who can support them when they are.

If your school is interested in our Train the Trainer program for all or some of the topics mentioned here, or if there is a topic you’d be interested in learning about that’s not listed, please contact your account manager to get something scheduled.


About Carrie Watkins

Carrie is a former digital consultant for MBS Direct, who specialized in traveling around the country to learn about new products and services MBS Direct can provide to partner schools and bringing those ideas back into the office to work on with the digital solutions team.

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