Integrating Technology into Physical Education Classes

Post in News, Resources by JessicaWenke on 5th October 2016

When I was younger I could always expect to play dodgeball, kickball, or some other form of a team sport when going to Phys Ed class. However, there were the occasional days when we would practice running a timed mile for the physical fitness test, but that wasn’t nearly often enough for me, as woman who has always preferred individual sports like running. Now if I walked into a Phys Ed class it may take me a moment to recognize it as such. With the technology and education movement upon us and the need for differentiation Phys Ed teachers are now finding innovative ways to incorporate apps and other technologies into the classroom. Gone are the times when Phys Ed teachers believed that technology didn’t affect their subject! Listed below are a few apps and technologies being used in the Phys Ed classroom:



image011. Coach’s Eye

This is an app that allows users to get an instant video replay and performance analysis of various sports related actions. This means that a student who is working on their golf swing, pole vault, or baseball pitch can now watch their form and get suggestions to make improvements. A phys ed class also doesn’t need too many devices to use this app. The teacher themselves can have an iPad and schedule some 1:1 time with each student, or students can download the app on their own phones!



2. My Fitness Pal

This app is a calorie counter and diet tracker. Most often phys ed class and health class are easily grouped with cross-curricular integration. This app allows users to input how many calories they’re consuming and what exercises they’ve been doing making students more aware of how calories work. Student can access this platform with an iPad, Smartphone, or computer.


Fitness Trackers

1. Fitbit

This option is an individual wristband tracker, while not feasible for most districts to equip every student with their own it is a great for students to monitor their steps and heart rates while in phys ed class depending on the version purchased. Students can also monitor how many calories they’ve burned! If a school can purchase enough for one class a teacher could let students use them for a few weeks to see what their current step and calories stats are and then work with them to find ways to improve that. Once their time period is up another class can then do the same project.



2. Zone

Zone is one of the only wrist fitness trackers on the market specifically made for education. This tracker was developed by Adidas and allows students to track their fitness progress, however instead of timing their mile run their progress is measured by heart rate! This tracker allows students to set up goals with teachers and allows the teacher and parents see how a student is progressing weekly! Through preliminary studies it has been found that engagement increased by 140% when students used these trackers!




Gaming Consoles

1. Kinect for Xbox

Kinect is a sensor bar that is used in conjunction with an Xbox One console. This sensor makes the user the controller allowing their body, voice and gestures to control the entire system. Not only are there plenty of emerging educational applications for the core subjects but there are so many for phys ed as well! Having students acting as the controller helps them develop their motor skills in a way that is relatable to them. There are video games that involve dancing, baseball, boxing, golf, you name it!



2. Wii Fit + Sports

Ask any student in your classroom what a Wii is and I’m sure they could explain it in detail and name at least five games for it. The Wii console is similar to the Kinect console in that the user participates in games through motion. However, the user does have to hold a controller while playing unlike the Kinect for Xbox. Although, this doesn’t slow users down! If anything it makes the system a little bit easier to grasp at first. Wii Fit and Wii Sports are the two best games for phys ed classes because they offer options like yoga, strength training, aerobics, baseball, tennis and more!


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