It is no surprise that technology has found its way into every facet of our students’ lives. This next generation,
Generation Alpha, is growing up as “digital natives”, much like Generation Z before them. They are interacting with technology from childhood and becoming tech reliant. With exposure to more screens than ever before, physical activity is on the decline. “Alphas” will be the most formally educated generation and the most technically supplied generation ever; unlike previous generations, who have simply used technology.
Many seasoned teachers find themselves as “digital immigrants” adapting to this digital age. Growing up before the digital age meant playing outside until the street lights came on. Watching television was the only source of screen time for many!
Teaching Technology in Physical Education to “Digital Natives”
What does this mean for Health and Physical Education? This is a critical time to pause and consider the implications for teaching HPE.
- In what ways will the use of technology affect students’ behaviors, attitudes, and understanding to adopt physical activity as an integral part of their lives?
- How can technology be integrated in PE to support student learning in meaningful and purposeful ways?
- In what ways can PE teachers increase awareness about a responsible use of technology within our school communities?
As a ‘digital immigrant’, I have adapted my teaching practice over the years to include technology in Physical Eduaction in various forms; many of which we see as a norm in PE programs today.
Apps for PE Teachers.
There are a wide variety of apps that can be used in PE. The following apps are excellent technology resources. The SworkIt app will signal time changes during circuit training activities. Guided meditation apps help increase self-awareness and mindfulness. Apps like Hudl Technique or BaM Video Delay allow students to analyze movement/skills to help them learn, practice and refine various movements.
Devices such as iPads and smart phones can be used to collect data on movement patterns and movement skills for self-assessment, along with peer and teacher feedback.
Self-Assessment Google Forms
I have increased my confidence using technology in PE to engage students with fun gadgets, devices, and apps. Technology can be used to foster a “growth mind set” and help students develop a capacity to learn and solve problems related to their own health and physical well-being. Using Google Forms to collect evidence of student learning in PE increases student autonomy in their learning process. It helps them develop a positive sense of self and use critical and creative thinking processes to set goals, make decisions, and solve problems.
I invite you to explore this sample Google Form I used with a high school PE class as a consolidation learning activity within a net wall games unit. The learning goals and activities are focused on active participation, developing interpersonal skills and movement competence.
Students can use a personal device or a class set of electronic devices to self-assess and monitor their learning. If you don’t want students bringing devices to PE class and you don’t have a class set, provide the link to the google form for your students to complete outside of class.
Personally, my observations of the benefits of using Google Forms are many. They increase student engagement in self-assessment and allow for easy tracking of student learning for the teacher. They are also user friendly and paperless as they replace the old paper/pencil tracking log system!
What does the adage “out with the old, in with the new” mean for you and the use of technology in Physical Education? What tips or ideas do you have for using technology to increase student learning in PE? Please share in the comment section below!