Technology is a powerful tool that can be used by NYLT courses. It can not only contribute to the effectiveness of your training, but can also serve as a distraction from your program. The goal is to encourage responsible use of technology. This can contribute many great things to your program, as long as it is managed properly.
Technology can be a very powerful tool during staff development. There are so many great ways to use it. From brainstorming and writing down ideas on a projector, to facilitating easy communication for your staff. Technology enables you to get work done and continue staff development and course planning when you are not together in person. If you can manage to plan for some course items away from in person development, you will be able to devote more time in person to helping your staff members with their presentations.
Technology can play a huge role in your presentations. It can be a great way to engage your participants. A well placed picture or video can make all the difference in keeping your participants engaged. If you can manage to keep the participants engaged, you increase your chances of ensuring comprehension of your message. After all, isn’t this the purpose of a presentation – to ensure that the participants understand the learning objectives? The use of different video clips, sound clips, and pictures can be used as a tool to reinforce what you are teaching. Technology can be used to emphasize your points and to ensure understanding. In my opinion, this is the most important use of technology in a presentation.
One often neglected use of technology on course is for staff communication. Cell phones can be a powerful tool to use for communication. This requires responsibility of your staff members. Your staff members can responsibly use technology in the background while setting a good example for the participants to follow.
A big concern I have seen when using technology on course and during staff development is its misuse. Often times, youth will want to play games or do other things. One of the best ways to address this is for your senior youth staff to set the example. If they are seen using technology in a responsible manner and convey the message that misuse is inappropriate, other youth will learn responsibility with their electronics. If you set the standard for your youth, set the example first, and give them the responsibility, you might just be surprised how technology can improve your course.
Technology can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your course and the communication and development of your staff. As with everything though, it requires responsibility. If the correct example is set and the staff (both youth and adult) are held to a standard of responsibility, electronics can contribute to the effectiveness of both staff development and your courses without being a distraction.