The Real Game Series
The Play Real Game The Make It Real Game The Real Game The Be Real Game The Get Real Game Real Time Real Life
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Trainer Tips

Tips from Master Trainer, Ethel S. Keeley

Ethel Keeley

The best trainer is one who has had some experience in the classroom with the students and can give integration and implementation tips as the training progresses. Here are a few other ways to pick up these tips:

(1) Give all of the people trained your e-mail address and encourage them to write with ideas that they have incorporated into the games.

(2) Offer the training as part of a graduate credit with follow up activities. For graduate credit in North Dakota you need to have 15 hours of time. I count the day of training as 8 hours and then have 7 hours of follow up. During these hours the participants review the material again (this is good since the material is covered so quickly during the day of training.), and then they write a plan of how they are going to implement the game into the classroom. This "extra" discussion time is very valuable because they then begin to create ideas for integration into the different curriculum areas. Also, sometimes they need to adapt the game to fit certain classes or time schedules. Another benefit is that they now incorporate the sessions of the games into current career activities that they are presently using.

Encourage participants during training sessions to incorporate the games into other career activities and programs that they are now using. This not only integrates all career materials, but also strengthens them.

One important point that I always make in training: The Game is not the end product and does not stand alone. It is a means to an end. In other words, the games are a resource used to meet objectives and competencies. I do this because many states and local school districts have standards, learning objectives, and student competencies that must be met. The games are then a means to meet these. The response has been very favorable since they are often looking for materials to meet these standards. For example, I did a project with one district wherein I took all of their standards and student competencies and linked them to The Real Game and The Make It Real Game. When I finished they could easily see that these games would meet at least 80% of their competencies. A bargain in resource money when you consider that one product can accomplish so much.

I have also linked the games to the local/state career clusters. For example, West Virginia has what they refer to as Programs of Study (which are in effect career clusters). For the Be Real Game I created a document that links all of the Role Profiles to the West Virginia Program of Studies. In addition, when I did the training for Get Real, I crosswalked the posters of the Career Selection Clusters to West Virginia and created a new activity to mesh with their current clusters. It is my personal belief that the more customization that we can do for the states and the local school districts, the better the training.

Marketing needs to be a feature of every training session. For obvious reasons, marketing is a significant component of the train-the-trainer sessions. One can show how the games can be integrated into the various disciplines. As the training progresses, each session should be linked to the different curricular areas, such as language arts, math, social studies, etc.

Accountability is a huge factor for local school districts and also states. Pointing out all of the assessment components of each game is also a way of selling that game. For example, last spring New Mexico contacted me about the possibility of using Be Real in their newly revised Youth Program. The Summer Youth JTPA program (out of Job Service) was dissolved, and a new program with year long efforts was funded. This new program has a long list of accountability factors. New Mexico faxed me that information on the accountability as stated in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), and I sent them information showing how The Be Real would meet all of the criteria. In addition, I created another assessment tool for them (customization again). Since accountability is increasing for everyone, we should be promoting this feature.

Trainers should be responsible for "selling" the product. This can be done through several avenues: (1) Presenting information on The Real Game series to the state  CRN Director (the new Career Resource Network), the state School-to-Work director, the state Tech Prep director, the state Career and Technical Education director, state vocational departments.

(2) Presentations at conferences, whether local or state, on The Real Game Series; these could be state education conferences, state counseling association conferences, state School-to-Work or School-to-Careers meetings. I have used all of these avenues to get the word out in this state. One point to note, when these presentations are done, there must be in place prior to the event information on training sessions. When these presentations are done, and people are excited, the first question that they have is how and when to get training. If training is not readily available, the enthusiasm dies.

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