Since communication is an integral part of teamwork, My eCoach provides numerous ways to communicate with one another:
all members have the ability to communicate in public and private spaces depending on their needs
team members have designated private spaces for confidential conversations
team members have the ability to communicate with other My eCoach members with community tools
eCoaches have communication tools to provide virtual support
Below are the multiple ways you can communicate with everyone and anyone in My eCoach:
My eCoach Communication Features
Best Use of Features for Teams and individuals
Share your ideas with your team in a private space. You cannot add files, so this is the best place to introduce yourselves, brainstorm ideas, do an icebreaker even if you are in the same room, and put up requests or needs. The eCoach starts topics and members add and title a post. Other members can reply to any post and reply.
All posts and replies can be exported as .rtf documents for evaluation purposes.
Share ideas, resources, any type of file, and links in a private space. The eCoach can set up a team blog allowing team members to add posts so they can start a thread or can set up the posts. Some teams use this area to put up videos of students working for lesson study or for performance assessment. The blog uses the text editor so you can upload and share any type of file.
Remember, as a team blog, only the members of the team have access. However, if there are League eCoaches, they have access to all the team blogs. Some teams invite administrators or partners to be League eCoaches so they can provide any feedback or monitor progress. This needs to be shared with all members who has access so they are aware before they share any confidential information.
The team eCoach is the team manager and controls the team page. This is the page the team members should go to first for announcements, links, promotions, agendas, etc. We suggest the Team Manager update this page weekly.
The team eCoach can add events to the calendar that everyone on the team can see on their calendar by selecting their team for event type. Some eCoaches use the calendar to put agendas, handouts, and directions and send out an email notification to all the members. Anyone on the team can add to the calendar different types of events so only one person should be designated as the one to add team events.
If more than one event is added, then turning the email notification off will keep the team members from being bombarded with email. If adding only one event and the team members need to be notified, leave the email notification on.
Click on My Community to My Chat Room and then select your team. The Chat Room is like you are walking into a room and talking to people in the room similar to instant messaging. When you first go to the chat room, you walk into the All Community room, so be aware if you start sending messages in this room, everyone in the community could see what you wrote.
What you write stays in the room for 2 hours. Some team members schedule chats with the calendar. It is best to keep the chats to under 10 people. Actually 4-5 is best but you may want to try it. After you complete your chat, you can assign someone to copy and paste to archive your chat into a team forum.
Members use the message center as internal mail. It works instantly between any individual member. You can search for members, send to all of the people on your team under your contact list, or choose one or more people to send a message. The message center uses the text editor so you can add any file to a message.
There is a way to make folders and archive your messages. When you add Friends to your profile, they appear in your contact list where you can set up groups of friends. You can use the groups as a way to send all the friends in a group one message.
After members feel comfortable commenting on the team blog, they may want to create their own blog and publish it to the Internet. It works the same, except now you have a mini-profile to fill out, a sidebar you can add links or embed other tools, choose from a variety of templates, and have RSS feed. Everyone in the eCoach community has access to your blog, if you want, and can comment on your posts. Some people like to create blogs and link to them from their school website or their own class site. The author has to monitor comments.
Community mini-blog where anyone in the eCoach community can ask and answer questions.
Members can add co-authors who can collaborate in developing a project and can leave author comments at the bottom of each page. eCoaches can provide input as eCoach comments at the bottom on each page. Some districts are using the Univeral builder to upload curriculum, do lesson study, and share videos of their classrooms.
Authors can allow comments on specific pages from members and non-members including students by giving them a passcode.
Surveys and Quizzes
Members can create team or public surveys, add co-authors, and share results in graph and table view. Surveys and quizzes can be embedded in the Universal builder.
Personal and Shared Calendar
Every member has access to the calendar under My Community on the left and can add any type of event. If they add a shared event, they access their contact list in the message center to invite a member to their calendar.
If you are not on a team, you can invite another member to join you in the community Chat Room. This is like walking into a room and talking with the words left in the air. The words stay in the room for 2 hours so be aware what you write since anyone in the community can see it.
Members can create an individual learning plan (ILP) and invite their eCoach to comment on it or leave a comment on their reflection blog. Members can create multiple ILPs for each learning goal along with an action plan.
Embed Web 2.0 Tools
Members can embed interactive tools like VoiceThread and eCoach surveys so others in and outside of eCoach can participate.
Here is an example of a forum:
"My eCoach is an amazing resource. There are many features which are extremely beneficial to a site leader. I feel more empowered to develop resources for my staff."
Valley Center Primary - Valley Center, CA