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There’s got to be a better way

audience Theres got to be a better way

It’s 1:30. 

I have spent much of this day in database training. 

I am training in databases I have known and loved for nearly 15 years.  I have another hour and a half to go. 

I don’t know why I am here looking at screen shots of sources I use every day of my life.  I suspect the majority of this very polite audience is also very familiar with these databases. 

I reached the peak of my anger when the presenter said: "Click on the printer icon if you’d like to print."

There’s got to be a better way.  A handout of new features?  Examples of effective practice with these tools? New learning and integration ideas? Highlights of just the new features? A database challenge or smackdown?  Hands-on, perhaps?  Video we can watch from the comfort of home?

These people are so well intentioned.  These databases rock.  I love the few new features I am seeing now that it is 2 PM, especially EBSCO’s folders and feeds and visual searches.

But . . .

There’s got to be a better way.

  angry Theres got to be a better way

Update: It’s 2:27.  They’re introducing the new federated search application.  This is cool.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

Comments

  1. adriddle says:

    With every conference I’ve been to or person I’ve worked with, there is an enormous digital divide. I feel as if I’m extremely behind the times, or I’m extremely forward in our education system. I feel you database pain. On an uplifting (hopefully) note, my students are creating short, 1-2 minute, videos on topics surrounding Banned Books Week, which begins next Monday, September 29th. I thought you might be interested in their first installment. Please remember, these are 8th graders who have never touched video before, much less technology for educational purposes. They would love some comments/feedback from their videos if at all possible!!

  2. adriddle says:

    Would probably help to post the link, huh…ht tp:// tinyurl.com/ 4bnf9b

  3. Cathi says:

    Joyce-
    I felt your pain last week too! I was in the same training in a different part of the state. Worse, the person presenting didn’t know about a lot of the features I knew about. And they had NEVER used it in a classroom or with students. We should design workshops the same way we design instruction. Differentiate the instruction – break into smaller groups with librarians who are at the same ability level as well as middle, high school and elementary. The veterans can certainly facilitate their own groups. And let’s get the instructors of the beginners to be librarians who have used the databases with students.

  4. Barb says:

    I felt exactly the same way when I was on a committee to evaluate whiteboards which would be placed on our county bid. One vendor got it and came in and provided all kinds of cool ways this could be used in a classroom, integrating curriculum, allowing for collaboration, differentiation, and individualization. The others just wanted to teach how to use a whiteboard. And when we pointed out that we were all familiar with it’s use but wanted to know how this product could support our curriculum and help our students achieve, they were speechless. We so need to get past the hardware and get into the process and the production… whether it be a database,a software program, a computer, a whiteboard, etc….

  5. Too good....? says:

    How would we as Teacher-Librarians feel if we never gave instruction on a database again? I actually ran into this situation this year when an English teacher taught his students how to use the databases, how to complete a Boolean search, etc. Part of me was ecstatic that I’d taught HIM so well, but the other part of me felt left out. Where do we draw the line?

  6. Too good....? says:

    How would we as Teacher-Librarians feel if we never gave instruction on a database again? I actually ran into this situation this year when an English teacher taught his students how to use the databases, how to complete a Boolean search, etc. Part of me was ecstatic that I’d taught HIM so well, but the other part of me felt left out. Where do we draw the line?

  7. Diane Beaman says:

    Technology related training is really tough to deliver to audiences with all different skill levels. I have started using Atomic Learning for my own skill development and I have to say that I love the little video presentations that are usually 30 seconds to, at most, 3 minutes. I love the way you can search for just the skill that you need — get in and get back to what you were trying to do. Perhaps the database trainers should stick to that kind of delivery method. Our time is too valuable!!

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