I’ve always felt that one of the biggest impediment to using technology on the pool deck was getting it to work quickly. swimminglessonsideas.com has been an excellent resource and tool I frequent when I’m running swim lessons or training new staff.
Recently I purchased a television and mounted it on wheels so that I could pull up the website during lessons and display videos and training materials for my instructors.
I’ve also been using it for the swim team instead of writing on the tiny whiteboard that is about 1 foot by 2 ft which I’ve been using for the last 4 years.
While my drawing and whiteboard writing has improved, the legibility and difficulty of using such a small space needed to improve.
Last week was the first time that I used the television as a teaching tool. For the last year, I’ve been publishing practices that you can purchase with the developmental swim practices subscription where you see every activity and every practice I ever do with my groups.
Developmental Swim Practices$9.99 / month
My favorite part was that the drawings and illustrations I’ve done are immediately available to my swimmers. They can read the television, look at the pictures and emulate what they’re seeing, and when I’m able to embed videos I can play it on the screen and have them watch it immediately all pre-planned and organized in advance when I’m building the practice in my office or at home.
One of the major difficulties I found was that the text was a little bit too small for kids to read despite the large screen and the blowing up nature of a website on a television.
That means I’m going to have to go back and change the font settings to make it more legible for kids to read in the pool.
I’m extremely hopeful and excited about this new development. Already I see benefits to using a television at practice. During swim lessons, I pulled up lesson plans and save myself the trouble of handing out laminated sheets. Like I’ve been doing with the developmental practices I’ll also believe creating lesson plans for my instructors to follow on a day-to-day basis using the same process as I do for developmental practices.
I’ve encountered a few problems with the television so far that I’m still working out.
I already mentioned that the font is a little too small which I can quickly rectified by going through my files and making sure that the font is large enough to be legible even from a distance.
The second issue is that the television screen goes to sleep. I can’t figure out how to change the setting to keep the image on, though I know it’s somewhere buried in the power settings or elsewhere. I have to look at the manufacturer or check the specifics packs to get it to work as I’m sure its a common need for commercial use.
For those of you interested I’m using a Insignia 55-inch fire enabled television purchased from Amazon for $300, and a sturdy metal stand that cost about $150.
Throughout the next few weeks, I’ll be using the television exclusively at lessons and practices. Just like anything else that you implement that’s new whether it’s lesson plans or a new way of speaking or a new format to your program, things will take time and require massaging and iteration to improve both the quality and the effectiveness of your new Direction.
I highly recommend using the television with the built-in Amazon Fire stick because you get easy access to web browsers like Firefox or whatever built-in browser exists. You can quickly save a bookmark to swimming lessons ideas.com and specifically the practices page which outlines both all of the practices and swim lesson plans for easy navigation.
Pull up the day’s activities and you immediately have a scrollable page filled with activities ready to be viewed from the water without worry of looking down at a laminated sheet of paper or searching your memory while you pause in uncertainty.
It’s also a great resource for swimmers to view and look at videos and pictures so that they can understand what you’re asking them to do without trying to imagine that first.
Do you use a television at your swimming program? What software are you using? How do you make sure that is quick and effective without being distracted for the coach or our swim instructor? I’d love to hear your input and look forward to sharing more examples of this powerful and exciting new tool.