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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Training: there's hope

Two other pieces of news from the USAC board meeting: first, the SLD is going to hire a Training Program Manager. At least it will be good news if it is a sign that the SLD has realized that more attention needs to be paid to training. It won't be good news if it just means there will be someone spending their whole day managing the current meager training budget.

Second, the San Diego training sold out in 3 days. That's the 7th training date, and the really eager people from CA were probably signed up elsewhere, and it still filled up in 3 days. The SLD needs to have a lot more dates. The problem is that it must be tough on the SLD folks to do all that traveling. The solution: Webinars. They are far from ideal, but really, a lecture to 200 people is not interactive. We were not encouraged to ask questions as we went along, and an awful lot of the questions we sent in on those little yellow cards never did get answered because time ran out. But with Webinars, you wouldn't have to do a 1.5-day, one-size-fits-all presentation. You could do a series like the one I ran last year. One- or two-hour seminars on a narrow topic. Something like this:
August: E-Rate overview for applicants
September: Technology planning
October: The Form 470 and competitive bidding
November: E-Rate overview for service providers
December: The Form 471
January: Item 21 Attachments
February: Getting a SPIN and filing the SPAC
March: The PIA process
April: SPIN changes and service substitutions
May: Appeals
June: The Form 486 and CIPA
July: Invoicing for service providers
August: Invoicing for applicants

Maybe also some time in September a workshop for E-Rate vets about recent changes.

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