Administrators agree that the PDC alleviated the staff’s anxiety throughout the transition and training process.
As a counselor, Murphy relied on the PDC during scheduling and worked to complete all courses relevant to her position. She also encouraged teaching staff – formerly fearful of the change – to complete courses related to their own positions, which proved successful.
“PDC eased the teachers’ minds by allowing them an introduction and time for experimentation,” she said. “My teachers did not express nearly as many fears after completing the PDC courses. I was impressed by my teachers’ knowledge.”
The district’s principals, database manager and additional office personnel also completed relevant PDC courses. Murphy said she would recommend that districts require certain PDC courses for staff members, based upon their roles.
“Conversion and implementation are traumatic in the best of circumstances, but having the PDC as another tool for training was like being able to swim in a pool with ‘floaties’ for a while before being thrown into the ocean,” Brison said.
Brison likes the individualized learning pace the PDC offers users. Staff members with more confidence can complete courses at a faster pace, while those who need more time to grasp the material can pause, replay and practice at their own pace. He believes the PDC simulations also play a key role in helping users get accustomed to the new solution’s tools and interface.
“The biggest thing is making them more comfortable with the Skyward environment before they actually had to use a live database,” Brison said. “The best part of the PDC and the most pleasant surprise were the simulations. I was afraid we’d be stuck with video lectures or ‘watch- and-learn’ videos, or – worst case – ‘read and try to remember.’”
Brison described going through the first PDC simulation as “dawn-breaking.”
“Seriously, I could almost hear angels singing,” he said. “The experience in simulations – the ability to actually put hands on, click and type – is invaluable. I need that. My users need that.”
To date, Dickson County School District has more than 300 PDC users who have achieved nearly 250
“Users tell me the PDC helped them, and I’m thankful,” Brison said. “I absolutely would recommend the PDC.”
Follow-Up Resource: Professional Development Center
Learning to use your student information system shouldn’t be a frustrating process. That's why we have the PDC. Contact us today to learn more.