Thursday Links Round Up: Physical Education edition

 Using technology in physical education to promote a healthy lifestyle

Using technology in physical education to promote a healthy lifestyleWelcome! As a former collegiate coach, I know first-hand how invaluable technology can be in fostering athletic growth, while also aiding educators’ decision-making around student-athlete welfare and success. Within the educational setting, there are many creative ways of implementing technology innovation without sacrificing the main goal of keeping students amovin’ and a-groovin’.

 What We’re Reading

1) “Using Technology to Promote Physical Activity” in Human Kinetics by Vivian Heyward

How about a refresher on the tech gear that is available and is used to promote an active lifestyle? And yes, I’m talking Dance Dance Revolution here people.

This article is a quick “cheat sheet” or possibly a creative refresher of the technology that we could be using in physical education classes to promote activity. Whether we feel that our time dedicated to being active is too valuable to bother to use technology integration or not, one thing is for certain: people love to see a visual representation of their results. Whether in the form of a graph, competitive score, or a goal number of counting steps, students like to see their hard work quantified – and who knows, it may motivate them along the way to increase the quality of their activity as well.

Ok, maybe most school budgets cannot absorb something like 1:1 heart rate monitors. But maybe there is a Wii in the back of a closet somewhere, or a GPS on your smartphone. Remember when McDonald’s gave out pedometers with the purchase of a salad? What ever happened to all of those? I saw one on eBay with a starting bid of two cents. Technologies such as these do not have to replace what students experience in physical education classes. Instead, they can be used to compliment and motivate their experiences.

2) Live Scoring School Sports Events Using Google Sheets

Using technology in physical education to promote a healthy lifestyle

Do you help run after school sporting events? How about on the weekends when your kid’s coach grabs you to “just record some times”? This handy Google sheet helps calculate the overall score of teams at a track meet.The creator of this sheet, Nathan Horne, explains his formulas and comparisons based upon attempts of the individuals on the team. He also encourages his blog readers to use his template and asks only that you not alter the master version that he has posted. He has also created a ranking form for a swimming event in his original posting of a live scoring sheet.

3) The PE Geek

Visiting the PE Geek’s blog will yield a slew of creative ways to incorporate technology into your physical education class. In his “Top Apps for PE Teachers – Part 36,” he makes reference to an app called Superhero Workout for motivating your students through a superhero simulation with their movements. Also listed in his Part 36 is a video editing tool called Video Tagger that bookmarks locations in a video to create quick analysis, similar to some of the more advanced video editing software. The PE Geek also highlights an app called Assessmate, which allows for organized course planning options and retrieval.

What We’re Watching

Check out this middle school physical education class incorporating technology into what they refer to as “The Xrkade” – an area within their gym geared toward offering an additional option for student success. They have a kickboxing station, which resembles a large-scale classic Simon game concept, a skateboarding / snowboarding area, and a NASCAR / motorcross station, which looks similar to an arcade race car, only using a stationary bike with a steering wheel.

Robin Merritt

Robin Merritt joined the Tarrant Institute in November 2014 as a program support specialist. She previously held a position as an associate head field hockey coach at UVM providing her with a unique educator's experience and a love of teaching. Robin brings an array of skills to the Tarrant Institute with her background in team-building, In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, traveling, exploring the world with her three kids and middle school teacher husband, and engaging in activities that have a good ol' competitive spirit.

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