Quite often I am asked: “With all the information that’s out there on physical education, what’s the best way to stay up-to-date and get new ideas?” While there are many good resources out there, let me share with you my personal resource toolbox, which should help get you started. My toolbox is primarily web-based, which provides me instant and constant access to a much larger PE professional development community than just my annual local and regional workshops. So, whether I am in my pajamas on a weekend morning before the household awakes, in the car during my commute, or out on a walk, I can utilize my toolbox to stay up-to-date and maximize my time.
Before you dive into the toolbox, here is the ultimate disclaimer: a web-based toolbox will not and should not replace face-to-face interaction. Be sure to attend conferences and get involved in your professional association. Face-to-face interaction helps you maintain professional relationships, strengthen your professional network, and sustains you with positive energy that lasts. Using technology is just an aide that helps you be more consistent especially in a day and age when schools are reducing professional development funds.
Although not all-inclusive, here is a sampling of my favorite web-based PE professional development resources. I grouped them into a “Big Three” by various categories. And did I mention they are all FREE?!?
Gopher Education Center
Did you know Gopher offers three incredible sources of FREE Professional Development? Check them out in the Gopher Education Center!
- Gopher Solutions Webinar Series: By far the most thorough database of quality, physical education specific webinars for physical educators. These monthly webinars also provide a certificate of contact hour credit.
- Tip: With all webinars, be sure to register no matter what. As a registered attendee, if you can’t make it you will receive the link to the recording to watch later. There is also a backlog of all of the Gopher webinars in the link above! Some of my favorites include those with Dr. Bob Pangrazi and Maria Corte.
- PE Blog: The most consistent and quality blog for physical education teachers available, written by today’s top names in the profession. You can search the blogs by topics/tags to get specific ideas or enjoy the weekly releases for your overall engagement and enjoyment.
- Tip: Schedule a reminder on your phone or calendar for your weekend or early morning reading time where you get to sit down, enjoy a cup of coffee and read over a good blog.
- PE Universe: “Where physical educators come together to share and ideas and build community.” It’s a free community network of videos, discussions, and activity ideas all in one.
Physical Education Podcasts
- SHAPE America Podcast hosted by Collin Brooks and Matt Pomeroy. Bringing you interviews with physical education champions and leaders in our community to discuss important issue and give new ideas to try in our classes.
- The PE Geek Podcast with Jarrod Robinson. “The number one destination for anyone interested in utilizing technologies within their physical education classroom.” I’ve learned so much from Jarrod on integrating technology which has inspired me to be a better teacher. I was lucky enough to be a guest on episode #43 as part of the Listener Stories of Success series.
- Voxcast Podcast with Jorge Rodriguez. A wide-array of conversations with connected educators and leading minds in our profession from around the world. I was honored to participate in a Voxcast, which you can check out here.
- *New Release: The Fundamental Movement Podcast with Aaron Beighle, Andy Vasily, Dean Dudley, Joey Feith, and Nathan Horne. “A no holds barred discussion on all things physical education…discussing the issues of the day from a range of academic and teacher perspectives.”
Physical Education Webinars
*You can view all past webinars – this provides a great list of professional development topics!
- The PhysEd Summit Webinar Series by Physedagogy has a mission to provide “digital professional learning opportunities for physical education professional by sharing, discussing, and reflecting upon best practices.” The “Summits” provide a plethora of ideas from educators across the globe. It is completely organized by teachers, put on by teachers.
- Huddle Connect: Brought to you by some of the most prominent names in physical literacy, physical education and sport through Thompson Publishing, the premier choice for Healthy, Active Living Canada. The Huddle Resources includes activities, info-graphics, and videos to support teachers.
- SHAPE America: Both live and recorded webinars for all “physical educators, health educators sport coaches, PETE and HETE professionals and students” interested in physical education and health. All SHAPE America webinars are 1 hour long, and participants can earn a certificate of 1.0 contact hour.
Physical Education Social Media
- Twitter: Most of the physical education community uses hashtags such as #physed, #PEblog, and #PEgeek to post updates and share ideas of what is going on in their classrooms along with links to other things they find useful. New to Twitter? Accept the 14-day Twitter Challenge for PE Teachers from Jarrod Robinson, The PE Geek, who walks you through each step to get started and provides a beginning list of “Who to Follow” (you can even follow me @JessicaShawley)
- Voxer: It is much like using a walkie-talkie, but better. Leave voice and text messages, and attach pictures or documents—either for a specific individual or a group. It’s an ongoing conversation you can carry on at your own pace and time. It’s an “underground professional learning lab” of support groups on a variety of Physical Education topics. I’ve been able to dive into a FITstep™ Pro Pedometers, Technology, and Secondary PE chat groups to receive support and advice. This is where Twitter users go to continue their conversations. New to Voxer? Check out the VoxerPE site to learn more, including “how-to use Voxer” videos and see the VoxerPE Chat Groups.
- SHAPE America Exchange Community: Exchange is SHAPE America’s online community that provides a daily strand discussion board where colleagues can join conversations, share ideas and ask questions. There is a library and shared file database as well as blog posts.
Physical Education Blogs
- The Physical Educator – “Rethinking what can be done in physical education” by Joey Feith (@JoeyFeith).
- The PE Geek – Physical Education and Technology. “Learning how to use game-changing technologies in your PE Classroom” by Jarrod Robinson (@mrrobbo).
- iPhys-Ed – “…Highlighting best practice in inquiry-based learning and technology integration in Physical Education…” by Nathan Horne (@PENathan).
Other Noteworthy Tools
Continue the Conversation:
- YouTube – Teachers share many video ideas. Find people you follow on Twitter and view their subscriptions to gather ideas. Some names to get started: Kevin Tiller, Benjamin Pirillo, Ryan Armstrong, Jarrod Robinson, Chad Triolet, Jo Bailey, Joey Feith.
- Google Drive – Get connected on Voxer in the General PE group and ask to join the crowd-sourced physed file being shared by others from around the world. Be sure to share and contribute.
- Periscope – Physical educators share live video feed of events (usually conference session or speaker highlights), and Periscope makes them available for a short period of time. Follow #physed people.
What is in your toolbox for technology-based PE professional development?