TechSoup's The Accidental Technology Trainer Series

Welcome to our new blog series, The Accidental Technology Trainer. Many libraries and nonprofits are telling us that technology training is a major community need, and sometimes there are struggles in providing this service. Often trainers find themselves in this role accidentally. I did! But I soon discovered that I really enjoy helping others learn about technology.  

In this blog series, I’ll share training tools and techniques, solutions to the most common concerns of technology trainers, and helpful advice from many years of coordinating and providing training. You’ll discover why learning styles are important, how to create an interactive learning community, write and share a lesson plan, and use activities to increase learning and retention. In February we will add to the series with a free webinar.

You might be an accidental tech trainer if you:

  • Teach classes in a computer lab or classroom
  • Provide online webinars
  • Create self-paced tutorials
  • Help someone learn to send an email
  • Show someone how to find an article online
  • Assist a co-worker in creating a blog
  • Work in any type of library or computer training center
  • Didn’t plan on tech training to be part of your work!

You may have been surprised when you found out that your work responsibilities include technology training, whether in a computer lab or leaning over a library monitor. You aren’t alone!

Whether you are hiring technology trainers or interested in increasing your own personal training abilities, it is important to know what skills are necessary to be a successful technology trainer. We created a very short survey so we can help share the most important trainer skills and sample job descriptions--specifically for public trainers, whether staff or volunteer--in public libraries and public computer centers. Complete this two question survey, and we'll enter your name in a monthly prize drawing. Our next blog post will discuss your input and summarize training skills needed for success.

If you are interested in learning more, I wrote a book, The Accidental Technology Trainer, and I’m giving a month-long online course in February for the Public Library Association, The Accidental Public Library Technology Trainer. Let us know if there are topics you are especially interested in regarding technology trainining!