Using Technology for Skill Development and Mentoring Opportunities

Technology in PE? I find it to be an interesting question because most of the people asking me the question are wearing some type of fitness tracker, whether it is a Fitbit or Garmin watch. I must say my staff and I have been beyond lucky that our administration is extremely supportive of our introduction and use of technology in our P.E. classes!  The types of technology that we utilize is nowhere near what we would like to get to, but we recognize our budget constraints and work with what we can get our hands on! We use technology for skill development, tracking activity and grading.

Coach’s Eye for Skill Analysis and Mentoring OpportunitiesTechnology for Skill Development

We use iPods and iPads during class to do skill check and evaluations with students using an app called Coach’s Eye.  It is a great tool because it allows teachers the opportunity to video students performing a skill and then the ability to sit with the student and slowly look at the skill to show both the good things they are doing and also the things they need to correct!  It is great for sports analysis, and I even use it with my track and field team!  We also have had students create short workout video clips that we then take to our elementary PE teachers who use the clips as stations during their classes.  This can be as simple as having a high school student demonstrating how to properly do a squat or an elephant walk!  Younger kids love to learn from older kids and with schedules being hard to match up utilizing video clips makes it work!

Track Participation with Pedometers

The biggest piece of technology we use in our classes is our FitStep Pro Uploadable Pedometers!  These things are an excellent way to track student participation in class and create a rubric for scoring.  The software that comes with the pedometers allows my staff to create spreadsheets for individual students to show progress to both the student and parent and to help explain the grading system we have created.  It also allows us to create whole class or whole school spreadsheets as well.  This data is very helpful for us as a staff to evaluate what we are doing and determine if it is meeting the goals we have set for our students.

Year-Round Grading Portal

Along with the pedometers, our school has grading software that is online and gives students and parents 24/7 access to grades, rubrics, assignments, calendars and any message we need to relay to our students throughout the year.  I know most schools are going to online grading software and I encourage you to take full advantage of all that your software offers!  The more contact with parents you can have the better!  It keeps everyone in the loop and reduces any confusion throughout the school year!

What Technology do You Use?

Now comes my questions for all of you!  First, do any of you use Geocaching GPS devices?  I have been looking to add Geocaching to our curriculum and would love to hear what everyone uses for this activity.  So please share your thoughts on this one!

My last question is, what else does everyone use?  I know there are tons of great ideas out there and would love for everyone to share several of their top technology tips, units, or activities!  I love learning new ideas!  And blog posts like these are a great way to add to all of our knowledge, which we can then share with our students.

Jason is a High School Physical Education Teacher at Midd-West High School in Middleburg, PA. He is also the Head Boys & Girls Track & Field Coach, and a former Head Boys Basketball Coach. Jason and Midd-West High School were one of the winners of the Carol M. White PEP Grant in 2010.

Jason is a High School Physical Education Teacher at Midd-West High School in Middleburg, PA. He is also the Head Boys & Girls Track & Field Coach, and a former Head Boys Basketball Coach. Jason and Midd-West High School were one of the winners of the Carol M. White PEP Grant in 2010.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Jason,

    I am looking for new ideas to integrate technology into our PE program for grades 7 & 8. I am looking to create a fitness/wellness log of some type in which students can create their own personal fitness program in which they can continuously update their data throughout the school year. My school district uses Schoology for online grading. I know I can make a wellness log with Google Sheets, but I thought it may be better for students to use an app such as MyFitnessPal. We do not have wearable heart rate monitors, but we do have ipad carts that I can reserve for students to use occassionally during class.
    Also, I heard there is a PE workshop in August sponsored by Gopher. Is that in Middleburg, PA? I would like some information if you know anything about it.
    Thank you!

    Mike

  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply! Technology is a great tool for our profession and there are lots of ways to utilize it in PE class. Google sheets is an option for tracking students performance that is free and you have the ability to customize the sheet to your exact specifications. The other advantage is that your kids can be given access online and have the ability to look at the information at home with their parents too. I am lucky to have an outstanding technology teacher that helps me build what I need when I need it. For example, we are in the process of building a sharable document that students can log in to and save information that I will have access to view. This is for an off-campus PE log that some of my students use because they are not in my building to take traditional PE class. I highly recommend that you find a technology/business teacher that is really familiar with building spreadsheets and forms that is willing to sit down with you to build what you need. I have been learning to do this as I have been getting help and it is actually a lot of fun. Having access to Ipads is great for your students too and will allow them to easily input their data. We do not use heart rate monitors for various reasons, but have close to 250 uploadable pedometers that have been excellent to work with during class. These come with software that allow you to see data for each individual student in your class during a class or really any given period of team you would like to see data.

    As for Apps to download, there are lots out there, but I will be honest I don’t use them because our students do not have access to ipads in class. Each of our students has a laptop, so for us it has been easier to use our grading software and the features on it to communicate in addition to the software for our pedometers. Add in the forms we can create and we feel we do not need apps.

    To answer your last question about the FREE PE Summit in Middleburg, I am hosting this event with Gopher at my high school, Midd-West High School, in Middleburg, PA. I am including my email so you can contact me and I can get you details! We would love to have you join us! You can email me at jgemberling@mwsd.cc

    Thanks,
    Jason

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