YDC Training Workshops
The following provides an overview of a series of in-person training workshops for youth program staff that was offered in 1999 as part of the YDC Pilot project. Descriptions of the 14 workshops are also available.
The YDC Pilot workshops were designed to expose youth program staff to teaching and curriculum development strategies that are effective for technology-enriched, out-of-school learning programs. While the pilot project recognized that training alone cannot address all the professional development needs of youth program staff, high quality workshops were prioritized as an important component of staff development.
The philosophy behind the workshops was that training for youth program staff should address immediate program concerns—how to work with children in a group, design activities, set up program space—and be delivered in a format that reflects the real-life experience of working with children. Led by experienced trainers, the workshops simulated a child's classroom environment. Participants engaged in hands-on exercises, shared tools and materials, and discussed the activities in the same manner that children would in a technology learning center. Training in software and Internet skills was combined with training in child development concepts, teaching techniques and curriculum development strategies.
Staff from over 15 community-based, youth-serving organizations in the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia attended the workshops. Most of the workshops were held in the Networked Learning Center at the Perry School Community Services Center, a multi-service organization that provides health care, child care, youth development, education, employment readiness and arts programs and services for families in DC's North Capitol neighborhood.
Workshop attendance was capped at 35 to enable participants to work at computer workstations and to do other hands-on activities. Workshop equipment and materials included:
- 15 IBM PC desktops
- a PC projector
- a scanner
- black and white laser printers
- color laser printer
- Sony Digital Mavica cameras
- several long tables for non-computer workshop activities such as drawing, journaling and mapping
- composition books, loose paper, pens, markers and glue
- the following software: KidPix, Hyperstudio, Photoshop, Inspiration K-12 Edition, Internet Explorer, Netscape and Netscape Composer
The first workshop series, held March through May 1999, ran two workshops per month. The second workshop series, started in October 1999, was offered one workshop per month. Each workshop was four hours in length.
Information about upcoming workshops was communicated through an electronic mailing list for training participants. The electronic mailing list also served as an information exchange and question and answer forum for the participants. Trainers as well as training participants sent and received information through the list.