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Learning through technology

image of keyboardIt's been a while since my last series of blogs that looked at introducing coaches to technology and to a new generation of digital learners.

As sports coach UK are providers of learning, we are in a position where we need to be moving with the times and looking and how people are learning now and in the future. We've recently launched three initiatives that will begin to help us understand how learning will be consumed in the future.

The obvious place to start is with eLearning. From research that we've undertaken we know that eLearning can contribute to an increase in confidence among coaches. Those who have undertaken one of our eLearning modules have stated that the content is engaging and that the learning is overwhelmingly valuable. The current mixture of case studies and videos linked to quick ‘check your learning’ tests is valued by coaches. When I interview Amir Williamson for a previous blog about his use of technology, while complimentary of the eLearning he has undertaken, there was a word of caution about the assessment of such learning. With this in mind we should be aware of this when developing eLearning – for example, coaches should always attend Safeguarding & Protecting Children as a face to face course for the first time, but we now have on online module to help them renew their knowledge and stay up to date with the latest trends.

What about for the informal learning aspects that technology offers us? Recently we have created ConnectedCoaches as an online community for coaches looking to interact, network and share ideas. The community is steadily growing and coaches are beginning to share their learning in various environments and to suggest solutions to one another's problems. It's hard to measure the impact that this is achieving as yet, but if you are interested in getting involved you can sign up here.

Have we considered the impact of technology in coaching now and in the future? Well, we've just commissioned a new project with Liverpool John Moores University to conduct new project investigating new coaching technologies. The project will run from now until February 2016 and will include market research to understand the different types of coaching technology being used, and research with participants to understand why and how they use them and whether there is a relationship between their use of coaching technology and their involvement in face-to-face coaching. More information about this project will be available in due course.

In my next blog I'll be taking things a little ‘meta’ and examining the impact of blogs on learning and coaching practice. If you'd like to offer your views please leave a comment people or tweet me @stvbentall

Steve Bentall is Coaching Network Manager for London for sports coach UK.