The Firefly training kit is designed to allow you as the Project Lead within a school to provide training to staff without the need for a Firefly trainer to visit you on site.
Each aspect of page and content creation and using the Dashboard is covered through a series of videos which will introduce trainees to the different parts of a Firefly page, before showing them how to create content, set tasks and and communicate with students and teachers.
Using the Training Kit
When setting up a training session for your school it will be helpful to go through the following steps:
Firefly training sessions can be used not only to teach skills and concepts, but are also a great opportunity for promoting the use of Firefly in your school. By treating training as an important professional development event in your school, you will find it easier to engage staff and encourage uptake of Firefly in the classroom.
Each training session will require staff to have access to a computer (desktop or laptop) with access to the internet and a range of resources that they can use on their pages.
Organise trainees into logical groups. These might be ability based or subject/faculty groups, but by choosing your groups carefully you can ensure that each session can focus on the needs of the individual teachers.
Finally, you will need to identify 'facilitators' for each session. These will be the individuals who will manage each training session. It is helpful if the facilitators have a good level of IT skill, but their most important function is to keep the session focused and lead the trainees through the videos.
Whilst a Firefly training session can teach your staff how to use Firefly, it is helpful if they have a framework to work within. This has two parts:
- A site structure and menu so that they know where to place their learning resources to make them available to staff, students and parents.
- A clear school plan for the use of Firefly so that all staff know what is expected of them when they start using Firefly in their teaching.
Providing a clear framework of what the school wishes to achieve with Firefly, along with expectations for each member of staff, will allow trainees to start using Firefly confidently.
Once a session is underway, it is important to monitor the pace of the training; this is the job of the facilitator. Trainees are shown the videos and given an opportunity to practise between each one. The facilitator will be able to judge when to move the group on to the next video and gather their attention ready to go forward.
Each session is 2 hours in length and comprises of two parts; page creation and the Dashboard. In order to cover all of the material, it will be necessary to keep trainees moving through the skills at a sensible pace. Remember, trainees who want to spend more time on a particular aspect of training can revisit videos at a later time if they wish.
Once a training session has finished, it is useful to gather feedback from the trainees as this will help you to ascertain what steps you need to take next in order to ensure that the use of Firefly becomes embedded within your school. It can also be useful to organise discussions in departments so that they can decide on strategies for using Firefly as a teaching tool in their lessons.
Finally, you will have staff whose use of Firefly is particularly innovative and exciting. Use these individuals to share best practice and help other teachers to develop their use further.