As a member of Faculty at Smith College I get invitations to Faculty teaching workshops that my fellow coaches in the Athletics Department are not invited to. In the last year and a half I have been fortunate enough to participate in one workshop and a conference on “Web 2.0”, and can tell you that you cannot coach in the new millenium without it!
What is Web 2.0?
You can read about orthodox definitions of Web 2.0 here – but my personal definition is “very useful internet based tools that are highly interactive (facilitate sharing and communication amongst people) and easy to use. Easy to use means quick to learn with almost no training involved and no set-up required – if you can sign up for an account online and use the “attachment” function in your e-mail program you are ready to go.
Create your own website where you can write articles, post links, and post photos and videos without having to learn HTML! WordPress is what I believe to be the “friendliest” blogging software, although there are others. The feel of using WordPress is exactly the same feeling as writing an e-mail – type your thoughts – then hit “publish” instead of “send. You can create blogs for your team, for recruiting, for training programs, etc. Go to YouTube for a step-by-step tutorial. This site is a blog and here is our Smith Squash team blog.
Skype is simply web-based software that lets you make free internet phone calls to other Skype members, or very cheap (.02 cents?) calls to landlines or mobiles (a bit more expensive). I cannot believe there are members in my department who still do not have an account – and I cannot believe administrators do not insist we use it to save on recruiting calls. The big extra with Skype is that if you have a webcam (under $20) you can make video calls to your contact and have almost real human interaction. I ran one of my Psychology of Sport classes with Skype from a doctor’s waiting room in Boston by having one of my students place her web cam-enabled laptop at the front of the classroom! Chat with JYA’s, monitor practice, webcast games (small parts that is), chat with recruits, have guest speakers chat with your team at practice…the list of uses goes on.
In part 2 we will cover YouTube and FaceBook…