Sharing Your Learning

Sharing is the key to unlocking our learning potential.

I wrote this article in 2013, as part of a university course. Now I have finished studying and moved into the fitness and nutrition industry, I find this article to be of incredible relevance to my work.

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Information sharing has been a foundation of the this study unit. The Facebook page, Moodle, blogging, Slideshare and use of Twitter has seen all participants share their thoughts and ideas through a variety of (mostly online) platforms. Thousands of pieces of information have been created from participants and shared online.

The blogging has been my favourite platform, as I think it has promoted reflection on learning and encouraged deeper thinking about our weekly discussions. One of the features I like about using blogging is the ability to look at blog statistics, mainly views and referrers. I enjoy analysing statistics, particularly in the sporting and academic setting, to analyse trends and potential reasoning for results.

The most interesting statistics for me has the been the ‘search engine terms’ whereby blog hits from Google include the search term used that directed the user to your blog. When you see that people are finding (and maybe reading) your blog while researching or browsing related topics on the internet, it makes you realise your content can influence other people. Reading one of the many blog posts produced during this unit may help a developing coach with issues they face or stimulate thought/discussion on some of the range of topics covered through our blogging journey.

It is interesting to contemplate what the people who are coming across your blog are looking for. Are they students researching an assignment? Athletes looking to expand their knowledge? Parents? Journalists? No one really knows, and it is impossible to track who viewed your blog unless they like it on WordPress. 

While some people may be scared or uncertain by not knowing exactly who is viewing their content, I don’t have a problem with it. The fact that people are reading what you produce is rewarding for the writer, and what they do with that information is entirely up to them. It is exciting to think that the content you produce might help someone in their research or be re used by them, whether in conversation or some other way.

This may not be entirely relevant to sports coaching, but I think it is interesting to consider for the importance of information pieces, no matter how big or small. I watched a documentary on the Discovery Channel a few weeks ago that was about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

During the documentary, the experts being interviewed often mentioned an application that was used to help the hunt for Osama. Every time the US would find any information relevant to Osama or his organisation, they would feed it into this application and no details was left out. The application would then analyse and retain this information to help determine where Osama was likely to be located.

The experts mentioned how much rubbish information was entered into this application that in the end, offered no assistance to the capture of Osama. However, no one could tell the difference between crucial or rubbish information when it was originally found, so it was important to enter all of it. Eventually, with all the information the US collected through this application, they located Osama and were able to carry out the raid on his compound. This application was later referred to as “a real killer app.”

What I find relevant about this application to information sharing, is that the more information entered the better it is. The more people are willing to share their ideas, particularly through online formats such as blogs that can be read by many people, the more information that becomes available for people to find and assist their learning. Someone might be hesitant about publishing a blog post because they don’t think people will read it, which could happen…

However, that same blog post might be found be someone who has similar views and interests as them, and it could be the beginning of a successful working relationship. In the end, you never really know the importance that your information has to someone else.

Overall, I think that people should be happy and confident in sharing their thoughts and content. I think that there are many opportunities that can arise from the sharing of information, and that there is no point in limiting these by a reluctance to share. Coaching and teaching is all about information sharing, by passing out what you know to others for them to implement, be it a skill or other piece of information.

Since you cannot tell how much someone may appreciate your content, if you are happy and confident with what you have produced, I can only see benefits from sharing it with the world! The more people do this, the more we can all learn from each other and develop ourselves.