CBT

What is the principal’s role when using CBT to build teachers’ technical skills?

Saturday, November 27th, 2010 | e-Learning pioneers, technology | Comments Off

Computer based training (CBT) is a cost effective way for schools to train teachers in the use of different technologies.  When the education department does not provide the type of training teachers require, or when training courses are either unavailable, or unattainable owing to their high cost, CBT may be just what you need.

In CBT the computer acts as a tutor and tutorials are provided on disk or can be downloaded from the internet.

Some teachers will receive the tutorials, work through them, and bob’s your uncle.  But never assume that this will be the case with all teachers.  Not all of them have the disposition that will make CBT an automatic success – they need additional support.

If CBT is chosen as a method to provide teachers with technology skills, the role of the principal in creating the right conditions is crucial.  These conditions include the following:

Equipment: Some teachers may not have a computer, or their computers don’t have the capacity to access CBT material.  They can only benefit from the program if they are given access to computing equipment.

Time: Learning by means of CBT is self-paced and may be time consuming, particularly for those teachers not familiar with technology.  Arrangements must be in place to allow teachers sufficient time to access the material and then to practise their new skills.

Technical support: When you are unfamiliar with technology one of the greatest turn-offs is technology that is not working.  This may be owing to a fault in the technology itself, or finger trouble of the person trying to learn – both problems are quickly resolved when a technical support person is available.

Development plan: With so many materials available, CBT may deteriorate into a hit-or-miss affair – courses could be taken just because they are available, without recognition of the skills needed.  A personalized development plan for each teacher is the answer.

Monitoring: Since CBT is a self-study method, it is easy to let it fall by the wayside.  A monitoring system must be in place to ensure steady progress and to give a gentle nudge when advancement grinds to a halt.

A teacher with a computer loaded with CBT material does not necessarily lead to the building of technology skills.  Principals play an important role in creating an environment in which technology can be used to increase technology skills of teachers.

For more tips for principles, click here.

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How can I make a success of computer based training?

Friday, November 26th, 2010 | technology | 4 Comments

 Many success stories are told about computer based training (CBT) – but perhaps you’ve also heard some horror stories about its failures.

The concept behind CBT is sound and the material available is usually of high quality.  Why then does it fail at times?  The failure of CBT has nothing to do with technology or with the material itself – it fails when the person using it lacks the right attitudes and skills.  If you want the computer to be your tutor you need the following qualities:

Motivation: You must have a good reason why you are using CBT. If the going gets tough, remind yourself of your goal.  An example of a good motive is your need to master a particular technology so that you can use it as a teaching tool in the classroom.

Self-discipline: CBT is self-study – no lesson schedules are imposed upon you by others.  This means that you will have to be a self starter.  Flexibility is a big advantage of CBT, but it also poses a danger.  It is only by disciplining yourself to stick to your own schedule that you will be able to make a success of this mode of learning.  If you’ve tried other forms of self-study methods in the past, and did not succeed, you have a problem – you will have to work extra hard at cultivating self-discipline.

Spirit of adventure: Learning to do new things can be exciting but you must be adventurous – going where you’ve never been before and trying methods you’ve never tried before.

Computer skills: Since the training is computer based, it is understandable that you need basic computer skills before you can benefit from CBT.  You don’t have to be a computer expert – but you must know the basics.  Imagine you’ve never worked with a computer before, and now you are asked to use the computer to teach you how to use the computer – somehow this doesn’t make sense.  Before attempting CBT, spend some time to make sure that you can at least find your way around a computer and the internet.

Many technology tools and software packages nowadays come with a disk containing tutorials or you may be given a link to a site on the internet from where you can download the tutorials – this means you can learn to use the tool by means of CBT.  Once you’ve mastered the skill of using CBT you may never need a face-to-face technology course again.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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What role can computer based training play in helping me to master technology?

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 | technology | 6 Comments

Computer based training (CBT) is the method of choice for many people when they want to master technology.  Around the world CBT has been used for many years, with excellent results.  Millions of people have already benefited from this mode of training. 

CBT is a system of training where a computer provides instructional material, instead of a trainer in a classroom.  The material is presented to you on the computer screen and could be in a combination of formats, such as text, pictures, sound and video.  The learning material is usually supplemented with exercises allowing you to test your knowledge or practise new skills.

In CBT the computer is your tutor.

This type of training is particularly useful when you don’t have access to training courses in the area where you live, when you can’t afford them or when you need to do training at a time convenient to you.

What role could CBT play in your quest for technology proficiency?

When you think about the many different aspects of technology you have to master, CBT is an attractive option – but there are two requirements: 

CBT assumes that you have regular access to a computer.  The best results are obtained when you have your own personal computer or laptop so that you can get into the learning material when it is convenient for you.  Some teachers use computers at their schools to access CBT materials.

You need some knowledge of technology to be able to use technology to teach you more about technology.  A computer can only be used for self-study if you understand its basics.  For example, you must know how to retrieve the learning material – either on CD, DVD or the internet – and how to respond to exercises.

The value of technology as a personal learning tool will be demonstrated to you in a real way when you reach the stage where you are able to tap into the potential of CBT. 

The value you can derive from CBT should be a strong motivation for you to learn how to use a computer without delay.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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How can I succeed in using computer based training?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 | laptops, training | Comments Off

It is likely that some form of computer based training (CBT) is already available to you.  Your laptop may be preloaded with some CBT material, or you may receive a set of CDs or DVDs, or you may be given access a course on the internet.

If this is the only – or the main – way in which you could learn how to use your laptop as a productivity tool and a teaching tool, you are encouraged to come to grips with CBT as soon as possible.  There are positive steps you could take to achieve this.

Find someone who could teach you the basics of the laptop – this form of tuition is called face-to-face training.  Enrol in a training initiative of your education department – if it is available – or find a commercial course.  Alternatively, ask a colleague or friend to help you, or even ask a child for assistance.  Read your laptop’s manual from cover to cover.  Learn as much as you can until you are comfortable to perform basic operations.

If you are using CBT software loaded on your machine, or a DVD, you need to learn how to navigate – move around – your system so that you can find the material.  If the CBT material is on the internet, ensure that you know how to surf the net before you start with your course.  Discuss your requirements with the person who is providing face-to-face training.

You need certain qualities to make successful use of CBT:

Motivation:  Continually remind yourself of the reason why you are using CBT material.  Set goals for yourself and work towards achieving them.

Determination:  If you have a stubborn streak about you, it may serve you well in this instance.  “Give up” must not be in your vocabulary.

Self-discipline:  Since there is no lesson schedules imposed upon you by others, you will have to be a self starter.  You decide when you will engage with CBT material.  Flexibility is a big advantage of CBT, but it also poses a danger – it is only by disciplining yourself to stick to your own schedule that that you will be able to make a success of this mode of learning.  If you’ve tried self-study methods in the past, and did not succeed, you have a problem – you will have to work extra hard at cultivating self-discipline.

A last bit of advice on this topic: ensure that you have a person – a buddy or a mentor – who is available and willing to assist you when you get stuck.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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Does computer based training work?

Friday, May 1st, 2009 | laptops, training | 3 Comments

Around the world computer based training (CBT) has been used for many years, with excellent results.  Millions of people have already benefited from this mode of training. 

CBT is a system of training where a computer provides instructional material, instead of a teacher in a classroom.  This type of training is particularly useful when people do not have access to training courses in the area where they live, or when great numbers of people need to be trained within a relatively short space of time.

What role could CBT play in helping you to learn to use your laptop?

When you think about the hundreds of thousands of teachers who will need laptop training over the next few years, CBT may seem a very attractive option.  “Use computers to train them,” some may argue.  But consider the dilemma: how could one use technology to teach technology to people who may not know the first thing about technology?  This reminds one of the chicken-and-egg problem – which one comes first?  How can a teacher gain enough knowledge of technology to be able to use technology to gain more knowledge?

A sensible approach is therefore required.  A person who has never used technology before needs to be taught some basics before it’s possible to use the computer for further training.  Some reach that point sooner than others – don’t despair if you find that you need more hand-holding than your peers.

A laptop could unlock the world of technology to teachers.  It should therefore be a goal of every teacher to reach the point where the laptop is used as a learning tool – and this includes the use of CBT.  It will save training time and effort, and it will also demonstrate the value of technology to you in a very real way.

There are two important bits of advice for you to remember:

  1. Don’t be forced into using CBT material until you are comfortable using it.
  2. Endeavour to reach a point rapidly where you can use CBT, since it will unlock the door to many opportunities for you.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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