Coordinator Training & Support!

The Most Fun You'll Have Talking about Webinars

NYC Site Support: FY12 to FY13

We wanted to take a look at the impact of site support from year to year to help determine how we might improve it. A "touch" is any form of live support: in FY13, this included:
  • Team Trainings
  • Coordinator-Con
  • On-site orientation trainings or check-in visits
  • On-site tech trainings


In FY12, this included all of the above, plus training webinars. (No NYC Coordinators attended training webinars in FY13.)


More on training logistics...

The most Tech Trainings happened on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons after 2pm.

The most Orientation Visits happened on Tuesdays and Thursdays (all times of day).

HOW MIGHT WE...
  • Use this information to schedule special projects not related to site support such that Training Specialists can have a more consistent workload?
  • Use this information to plan to reach the same volume (or a greater volume) of teachers & students at peak times to minimize Months of Crazy?


Feedback from Training Specialist Central

PLUSES:
  • The team! Everyone saw a huge benefit to having MM/PW/RB all working on site support over multiple years--great co-facilitation, great ability to adapt content, etc.
  • The workshops! Increased variety (MakerBot, Serious Games, Garage Robotics), enhanced materials (Patrick refined & differentiated presentation slides for on-site tech trainings), great job piloting new/differentiated activities.
  • The volume! Proportionately more workshops overall this year, and fewer schools doing nothing!


WISHES:

  • Desperately seeking an easier way to communicate with Coordinators, make sure they know from the beginning what trainings are available and how to access them.
  • Any way to shorten the BEB process?
  • Increase capacity for trainings at high points in the year!


BIG IDEA: Aim for alternating orientation/check-ins and tech trainings (2 of each per year) -- set specific goals in each check-in, follow up on those goals in the tech training. (Ex: In our October check-in a goal was to get up to Module X before our January tech training, so at January tech training we can dive into ABC activities; cover more in meetings and in April we can do a training with MNO activities.)

--> There's a theory that one-off trainings just don't feel relevant/high-priority to Squads with packed schedules, so this could help trainings tie more closely to Squad goals.

--> Coordinators who need support with facilitation could benefit from this kind of continuity and follow-up.

--> Additional face time also helps build relationships!


Coordinator-Con: The Good, the Bad, and the Google

BIG-PICTURE PLUSES:
  • Our awesome team! Newcomers did a great job, workshop pairings went well, and staff who weren't leading workshops had the chance to observe.
  • The unconference was awesome, and overall it was great to have more share-out and discussion time for Coordinators.
  • Coordinators liked the workshops (particularly Garage Robotics) and presenters, as well as the share-out time.

BIG-PICTURE CHALLENGES/WISHES:
  • Workshops being on different floors--avoid at all costs next year!
  • Still more time for Coordinators to talk to each other--extend affinity groups or unconference?
  • Also more time in general--a number of coordinators requested a longer day or a multi-day conference, and the feedback on many workshop evals was that more time would have been helpful.

BIG-PICTURE CHANGES:
  • Kick off the day with some kind of active/goofy activity next year--good modeling for the way we work with youth, way to get the energy up, sets the tone for the day.
  • Consider extending the day by an hour or two--or possibly keep the formal conference the same length, then invite everyone to a happy hour afterwards to continue schmoozing?
    --> OR have a series of follow-up webinars/hangouts as follow-up to popular unconference topics, or in response to workshop feedback?


People just do not like our webinars

Attendance at Fall 2012 coordinator webinars was so low that we didn't hold Spring 2013 webinars.

Webinar goals:
  • Provide training & support to single-site schools (& NYC Coordinators unable to attend live events)
  • Hear common questions and challenges from single-site schools (& NYC Coordinators unable to attend live events)
  • Share new tools and content on mousesquad.org
  • Provide the opportunity for Coordinators from different regions to hear from each other and share ideas


Ideas for next year:

  • Have star Coordinators lead Hangout-style sessions; less formal, more discussion-y, on specific topics--topics suggested for Coordinator-Con un-conference discussion!
    --> What tool would be best for this?
    --> How do we keep this a low-touch endeavor for staff?
  • Schedule webinars for times that NYC Coordinators frequently request Orientation Visits?