#coachlearninginsport: technology, data and pedagogy



Two blog posts last week set me off thinking about technology, data and coach learning.
Both posts came to me through my Medium alerts.

Mark and Audrey

Mark Upton shared his thoughts on “the use of technology and data to help people be their best in sport”. Audrey Watters discussed digital identities and the ways in which “all of us increasingly perform our identities, do our work, play our play mediated through new technologies”.
Mark made a number of excellent points. These included:

  • Any technology that enables people to connect and share on their terms, when they otherwise wouldn’t have, has great potential to facilitate learning.
  • Let the player/coach/employee/team decide what data and analysis is relevant to help them develop and get better.
  • Take care if you are using data to judge/assess/(de)select/reward/punish/compare people .

Mark’s third point raises a fundamental issue about how to support process and growth in learning environments. I share Mark’s concern with atomising performance by coding isolated behaviours in training or competition and sharing them without any reference to context and a commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to performance.
Mark’s discussion of the “psychology of data” and the attempt to control through data are well made. They support, I believe, an encouragement to develop big pictures of performance that value flow and longer-term flourishing.
I believe these are very important issues for coach educators as learning experience designers.
The connection between Mark and Audrey’s posts is the potential of technology to connect and share.
Audrey discusses “existing digitally”. She asks:

If technologies are shifting our industries – and certainly we’re told they are – then how should we, how must we respond – and respond not in the service of “industry needs” but in the service of our own needs?

She aims “to help people think through their use of digital technologies and ascertain how better they can take control of it for themselves”.
I have been thinking about coaches’ personal learning records. Audrey has extended my thinking about how these records might be shared by coaches taking responsibility for their own digital domains. In her words, “Your domain. Your space on the Web. A space you can control.”
Her point is that everything we do in a digital world creates data.

Explicit Discussion

Mark and Audrey address issues that will face coaches throughout their careers.
The availability of data means that we must be very clear about how we address this in our pedagogy … in theory and in practice.
We are part of an accelerating digital world and I am keen to explore how coach educators will support coaches’ engagement with this world.
I think this engagement is central to, rather than peripheral to, coaches’ learning journeys. It would be great to share better practice as to how this engagement is occurring or might occur.
I wonder if this might lead us to conversations about coach educators as pedagogical technologists. If so, this video (33 minutes) of a discussion between Howard Rheingold and Alan Levine might be of interest.
So too might the literature on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) .
I am delighted that Mark and Audrey set me off on this train of thought.

Photo Credits

Speed and light (Chris JL, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Crossing the ministreet (Janne Hellsten, CC BY 2.0)


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