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    Before starting my masters program I really didn't believe that I had any use for Excel or any type of statistics program.  Now I am looking for a good stats program that we can use for our various stats during the season.  All of the programs that I viewed had one big collective advantage and that was that they were all free.  The programs that I viewed were on the page "statpages.org".  This site is devoted to making free statistics programs available to anyone.  
    The first program that caught my eye was the 2nd version of "Salstat".  This program offers many different statistical features.  The other attractive feature of this program was the fact that charts can be saved to fit many formats which can be convenient when sharing data.   "SOFA" is a user friendly program that performs the basic stat functions One of the draws of the program is the attractive looking report tables.  The best feature of this program is that it promotes learning through using it.  Overall a very cool program.  PSPP is SPSS with the ability to run on different computers and different operating systems.  An improvement on the program is the ability to be translated into multiple languages.  The most enticing feature and biggest improvent of this program is that it does not expire in a certain number of days as the SPSS did.  MicOsiris is a stats program that was designed by students at the University of Michigan specifically for Windows.  It is designed for students in college, student labs as well as large-scale research programs.   Its biggest draws are the fact that it is costs nothing, it is fast and that it does not take up a lot of memory on a computer.
    All of these programs can be productive for a user who wishes to analyze data.  The biggest advantage to all of these programs is that they are all free and they are all (for the most part) available on Mac or PC.
 
 
 
 
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    With personal/professional websites and social tools like LinkedIn and "Prezi" to post a resume paper is becoming a thing of a past.  Sending in a resume can be as easy as emailing a link to a personal webpage or "Presume" and if the potential employer has a LinkedIn account a person can also make their resume information available through linking with that employer.  
    We live in an age where information is sent and received instantaneously, so why not resumes as well?  With the job market today being the most competitive and fierce that it has ever been prospective employees need to be able to get their information out to as many potential employers as possible as quickly as possible.  Because we are in a technologically advanced era everyone has the ability to get their resume out quickly and with great frequency and the task of getting noticed in the crowd becomes imperative.  Thankfully there are programs such as "Prezi' which create various templates for visual resumes.   Visual resumes demand attention and have a personal touch to them that puts the applicant's creativity on display.  
    There are many advantages to having an electronic portfolio, however I do feel that there is one big disadvantage to them.  Nothing can replace the one on one, face to face time that is required in interviewing and I believe that with so much technology people who are seeking jobs rely on their resume to get them a job and are not ready to give in depth defenses to questions by employers.  A good example is a person with impeccable skills on the computer, but poor communication skills.  They may put together a stellar personal website posting their incredible resume, but have no social skills what-so-ever.  What if the job they are applying for is in costumer service?  How are they supposed to calm and deal with an angry customer.  Showing them their awesome website is not going to solve the problem or go over well with the irate customer.
    This does not erase the fact that professional portfolios through personal websites or professional networks are a valuable tool.  With the mass submission of resumes for quality job openings the most important step in the job seeking process is

 
 
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     I am a firm believer that it does not take much to network in your profession.  Networking can simply be calling a colleague on the phone, sending them an email or just talking face to face.  There are many opportunities to any one of these things in the field of coaching.
     This weekend I had a great opportunity to network with college baseball coaches from every level while working the Trosky Summer Kickoff  baseball camp.  I was able to talk to one coach about a player that we had sent to their school and ask how he was doing and then another coach would be asking me if we had any players in a certain position they needed for the next year.  There were also coaches talking about offensive philosophies and asking each other questions about what they tell their players to do so that they might improve their own philosophy.  Professional Networking does not need to be a really high tech process, all that is needed are people who are in the same field of work in the same place and networking is bound to happen.  Of course, technology will be present through exchanging of phone numbers and  emails, watching videos on phones. Another topic that always seems to be discussed is education and "picking the brains" of coaches who have earned their masters degree and finding out their thoughts and maybe getting a little advice on starting education back up. 
     In my opinion the only thing that is needed for Professional Networking is the right situation.  This can be created by a website or a coaching conference.  I am not going to say that using technology or not using technology provides better strategies for professional networking because like I said earlier all that is needed are people of the same field in the same place together to discuss topics related to their field.

 
 
     I was surprised to hear that wikis aren't just comprised of what is on the site Wikipedia.  My experience through Wikipedia has always been a good one, however I remember the day when I found out that I wasn't able to use the site as a credible reference for research papers due to the nature of the content.  I believe that it is a great idea to have semiprivate or private wikis where a group or class of students is able to collaborate and contribute pieces of information to create their own topic. 

     The first use that comes to mind is using a wiki for a group research project or paper because of the easy access.  Students would be able to complete their part of the paper and just post it on the wiki rather than e mailing it to the group head.  This way all of the students in their group are able to see what their group members' work right away rather than waiting for an e mail.  Another cool use for a wiki that was talked about in Professor Sailor's article "I Thought Wikis Were Creatures in "Star Wars"!" were wiki study guides.  This is a great idea mainly because of the availability of the information for students and the collaboration aspect.  Each student in the group could be assigned a chapter or a topic to create study notes for and this way a study guide is put together in a fraction of the time it would normally take and there would be more time for studying.

     I have had experience with Wikipedia in the past and I really like using that website save the fact that anyone who thinks they are an expert on a topic can get onto the site and make changes which makes the information unreliable.  The best way to implement wikis into a class setting would be for classes to have their own private wiki site where the number of contributors is limited and consists of students from the class so that the information they provide is correct, co
 
 
There were several applications that I found to be both innovative and have the ability to be mobile as well.  The app. that I felt was the most effective while being mobile was the "Teacher's Assistant Pro".  This is an IPad based application and is easy for teachers to carry around assess student behavior, student achievement or deal with student misconduct quickly and easily.

I am not sure where Google documents stand as far as being mobile, but they provide an advantage for coaches that can be extremely helpful with collaboration.  An example of this collaboration could be a recruiting list that is set up on Google documents so that every person on the coaching staff can be recruiting and updating  the recruiting list from anywhere.  What this does is not only put the coaches on the same built page for who they have talked to, so they are able to collaborate at anytime of the day rather than having to wait till the next day when they are able to meet in person and talk.  Decisions can be made quicker and less time will be spent trying to get on the right page rather than actually working.
 
 
In my younger days I would not have seen the need for a professional networking.  Today I meet new people everyday through coaching and need to find a better way to stay updated with them in a professional sense.  LinkedIn allows me to do this because it's sole purpose is networking professionally and updating others on new jobs or changes in one's careers.  The only form of networking I had had prior to this class was Facebook and the only reason that I had kept it around was to keep in touch with friends from across the country and because of all of the photos that I had accumulated over the years.

These two networks are different in nature and in set up.  First of all, Facebook is personally based while LinkedIn is professionally based.  Facebook is for sharing your personal life with your friends through statuses and photos and often the information that is shared is totally and completely in the present.  LinkedIn is designed to chronicle the professional aspect of someone's  life.  Profiles are built around a person's education, previous jobs, current job, and future career objectives.  Both are great tools for communicating and networking in their aspects of life.
 

    Kyle Wise

    I am 25 years old, in my 3rd season as an assistant baseball coach at the Junior College level and love guiding young adults as they chase down their dreams.

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