By Andy Chan
As a coach, I really enjoy using Schoology, SHC’s learning management system, to communicate with Cross Country and Track & Field student-athletes and their parents. Schoology allows me to post calendars, reminders and announcements, meet sheets and results. I especially appreciate that the only people with access to the information I post are members of the team.
This past Christmas break, I found another use for Schoology. I combined Schoology with everyone’s favorite pastime—selfies. I assigned the Track & Field athletes workouts to do on their own over the break. Team members were instructed to take a picture of themselves during their workout and post the photos to Schoology. It created great accountability because I was able to “take attendance,” and teammates held each other accountable for doing their workouts. It didn’t matter where the athletes were, as long as they had internet access and a phone with a camera. Utilizing Schoology created a virtual experience that brought us together as a team.
I combined Schoology with everyone’s favorite pastime—selfies.
Things started slowly. On the first day, I was in Hawaii and when I checked Schoology there were no posts. I immediately went outside and had my wife take my picture while I did the assigned handstands while leaning against a big tree. Soon after I posted that picture, the student-athlete photos started pouring in. Kids were doing planks in front of their Christmas trees, others doing pull-ups on a bar in their bedroom, one person doing squats with the added weight of his cat sitting on his back. There was even a workout music video posted. Three days later, the fun continued. Not wanting to be outdone, I posted a video of myself doing pushups on a rocky cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. When I came up with this idea, I had no idea if it would work or not. But after looking at 64 different pictures posted by 37 different team members, it’s safe to say it was a great success.
Teenagers love to take selfies (or have their picture taken) to participate in social media. With our password protected safe community space known as Schoology, this activity turned out to be the perfect combination to keep our track and field team connected and working out over the break.