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SGG #56: Professor Rich Halverson shares insights for coaches on technology and learning



Sport and the Growing Good supports Wisconsin's coaches by bringing research to practice. We interview leading researchers and experts to learn about coach-identified themes.

Rich Halverson is a professor and associate dean in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native of Manitowoc and former school principal, Professor Halverson is a scholar, author and international leader on technology, leadership, and learning. In this episode of the SGG podcast, he addressed a key question facing many coaches: How can I use technology to help members of my team learn and my team get better? In our conversation, we discussed:

1. His early interest and work in technology.

2. Adapting technology to a pre-existing practice.

3. A big problem: When technology developers don’t have a sense for the settings where practice occurs.

4. William James: “People change their practice when they have a felt need.”

5. Technologies must answer questions that people cannot answer on their own.

6. “Human centered design.” If you’re trying to change people’s practices, you must understand those practices.

7. “Old-school” coaches and leaders accepting and adapting to innovation and technology.

8. “Sometimes you can measure things that you can’t see. Sometimes you can see things that you can’t measure. Good leadership is hybrid leadership.”

9. Relationships still matter the most for learning and trust-building. But relationship-building creates closed networks. Combining relationship networks with technology can deepen and enrich networks and practice.

10. How to better use video: The key is formative feedback. Specific, just-in-time feedback. As soon as possible! Video has the power of immediacy.

11. The learning principles that can be found in TikTok videos.

12. Technology does not replace work.

13. “If I was a coach or a principal at a school, I would liberate the tools that are in kids’ pockets (phones)…The machinery is absolutely accessible.”

14. Kids’ expertise with technology – and how we can better tap into it.

15. “Our obstacles are social, not technological. The delivery mechanisms and the technologies are fully available to solve all these problems, but it’s our beliefs that hold us back.”