Linux Center trained approx 25 teachers to use ATutor in their work regardless of the fact whether they work with kids with disabilities or not. We assumed that accessibility must be starting point because in any sitiation people with disabilities should be allowed to see and enter the course created in ATutor.
However, we have seen that majority of educators are women. In a patriarchal society that means that women are mostly deprived from using technology, since division of labor is done in a way that women do not have time to use computers efficiently.
Thus training courses did include training on use of mail, chat, forum, blog (in the first group of 18 women 3 of them never used E-mail).
However, besides basic skills training we have seen that all women showed big enthusiasm in learning ATutor and that they achieved siginificant results in a very short time.
In addition, we are training some people with disabilities to use ATutor too, since we strongly believe that people with disabilities should have equal rights to teach others any subject.
We have noticed that female users with disabilities did show greater dependency on their parents. It was needed not only too do additional training for using computer since young people with disabilities do have significantly weaker education on computer science, but it was also needed to pay a lot of attention to methods how to use existing texts to be transferred to ATutor. Preformatted texts in MS Word were hard to transfer since it all kind of formattings have been copied to although we have done clear formatting procedure before copying the text to ATutor.
INterestingly enough, due to symbiosis based on sorrow and discouragement between parents and kids/youth with disabilities many hassless were interpreted as additional discouragement. Since we have had good preparation and being ready to offer alternatives discouragement did not prevail.
It was remarkable that training sessions have been firstly understood and perceived as a special therapeutic sessions. But, when we emphasized that use of ATutro may empower people with disabilities to do job independently, we have noticed a big increase of encouragement to learn and use ATutor.
It is obvious that training to use ATutor is not hard job and that skills to use ATutor are relatively easy to learn even for very newbies. But, we have found that a lot of attention should be payed to cultural issues which may be defined as follows:
1. cultural prejudices and barriers based on gender that (de)motivate people to use software
2. cultural and psychological burdens and prejudices that (de)motivate people with disabilities to use software
3. cultural and professional reasons to use ATutor as tool for empowerment and independence.
If those issues are treated properly training sessions are much more efficient and use of ATutor is better and trainees show more enthusiasm and persistence in using ATutor.
If anyone does have similar or different observations please do not hesitate to contact me.