PHYSICAL WAYS OR TECH WAYS- MAY BE BOTH…
Some rights reserved by kjarrett
While reading the horizon report on new and upcoming tech trends in education I came across an interesting finding about gaming. Picture this:
“In the most recent National Education Technology Plan,
gaming was named as an ideal method of assessing
student knowledge comprehension, citing the ability
of games to provide immediate performance feedback
to the players. Students are engaged because they
are motivated to do better, get to the next level, and
succeed. Proponents also underscore the productive
role of play, which allows for experimentation, the
exploration of identities, and even failure.”
If we use the finding about tech games and compare them to the process and outcomes of a PE class and physical games, we will find huge similarities in the effects and benefits of PE classes on the ESPE kids, even in low tech or no- tech environment plus PE class promotes health benefits. Now the question arise what level of technology integration is still needed, for already stimulating, engaging, challenging, progressive, performance task based, problem solving based, grouping and collaboration based, teamwork based, social values and creativity based discipline like PE.
Currently, I am in the transition phase of moving from no-tech to grow-tech and alongside that I am in the process to explore and find answers to the question above. My efforts these days are focused towards understanding the needs, tech-tools, rational, acceptance, logistics, student, parent and our departments preparedness,ES tech preparedness and support towards new tech ways of providing enriching PE experiences.
Before we move towards the complexities of integrating tech in ESPE, I would like to shed some light on the rationale for tech use and integrating tech:
Let’s take the discussion forward with the definition which we synthesized as COETAIL class for “Technology Integration”:
“Technology Integration is the use of technology tools in education in order to promote the ethical application of technology skills while learning subject area standards and benchmarks. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. The focus in each lesson or unit is the curriculum outcome, not the technology itself.”
Going by this definition, embracing technology comes to me naturally. My intent as a teacher is to learn and teach latest and most appropriate content and use most appropriate strategies and tools to empower my students with knowledge & understanding of PE specific content and technology and assess their understanding and application of it, in a novel situation. My intent is to produce producers and not consumers of knowledge. And this is exactly what tech-integration is all about. So I am up for it.
HOW DID I SEE THE NEEDS
So far I used to see tech needs to Integrate technology in three different categories: A) “tech needed to enhance student learning, understanding and application” for students. B) “tech needed to enhance teaching experience” for teachers and C) “tech tools and experiences which should be accessible to both teachers and students, which connect them outside the PE class so that integration could be realistic and fruitful” these tech tools are needed by both learner and teachers for an enriching process and a decent product to demonstrate understanding and application. So, my efforts till now were directed to find tech ways towards these three needs.
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION SO FAR
A) Enhancing Student’s learning: For last two years I have made consistent effort towards using tech tools to enhance student’s participation and learning. Some consistent integration is happening in the form of pitching the unit with a video instead of talking about it, playing music from I-pod during activities, presenting unit goals using info-graph, sending You Tube video links to the students to refer to, for skill development and then focusing on the problem areas they identified during viewing. I have also in the past used videotaping successfully to address the needs and to enhance the quality of dance/activity performance by students. They are usually tasked to identify the elements of dance in a video they view, and then create their own routine using these elements. Some of these experiences enabled higher order thinking, some did not, depending on the unit I am in, and the time I have to take the unit deeper for the understanding. I have created digital videos using expert interview and visuals to give students understanding essential elements of Choreography and Dance. I have also used HR Monitors for my HS students during coaching seasons. Pedometer is a tool we have used for deeper understanding of the nature of activities and there effect on the body. I have also used essential questions as part of my units to foster discussion about responsible online conducts and behaviors.
B) Enhancing teaching experience: I have been using projector, Laptops, I-pod and Now I pads for creating experiences for the kids in the form of presentations, feedback forms using Google Docs, rubrics, planning Units on Atlas-rubicon curriculum mapping, embedding Videos in the UBD templates. These experiences were also made easy for me by these tech tools, providing me with a teaching experience which otherwise would have not been possible without tech, and I value that.
C) Enhancing learning by mating both ends: I have so far been able to create experiences, through which, tech was used during my classes to analyze, evaluate and then create (higher order in Bloom’s Taxonomy ) performances using cognitive domain, but I am not sure how to take this outside my PE classes. I am not sure the tech tools I have access to, do they have the same. Or if giving assignments after school, will only be encouraging the tech- misbehavior as mentioned in the article “23 Things about Classroom Laptops”. I am yet not sure how appropriate and practical an online assignment may be, or a collaborative performance task for PE grades 3-5. If I ask my kids to go online and write or tick a reflection sheet, search for teamwork skills or a sport skills and then make a class contract collaboratively online: will that be a good Idea for their physical self or a bad idea, as it will force them to be online and inactive even for PE. Do they have access to an internet enabled gadget to themselves? do they have time during school hours or after-school? These are some of my current dilemma about asking students to go ahead and use tech beyond classroom. Unfortunately there have not been many examples of tech integration in ESPE so far which extends outside the PE class or. People find these grades too elementary to start any integration. I personally do not believe that, so my search for the right answer continues.
I am of an opinion that tech integration should not be a hindrance to the core-course objectives. Unfortunately there are some complex challenges which an ESPE teacher faces as he/she attempts to integrate technology. One of the major goals for PE is physical activity with focus on aerobic endurance. Students come to PE only 2 times a week for 45 min. Therefore one rule is to be followed: Minimizing inactivity time during the class. All my efforts in future will have to be such that it does not take away prescribed 80% of physical activity time out of 45 min. Thus so far tech tools like pedometers, HR monitors, presentation videos etc. are used and not the wikis and explain everything or I-movie etc.
Thanks to this course I have better ways in the form of TIM , TPAK and SAMR MODEL to evaluate my integration efforts. Going over the Reading also has strengthened my belief in these latest tech tools like like iPad, , iPad apps and gaming.
Keeping in mind the core PE objective “teaching through physical activity” here is what I will focus on:
1.) Integration using TPACK and SAMR model: I will try to plan Units and lessons using TPACK and SAMR model of curriculum and lesson analysis. Looking at SAMR, I found most of my tech integration efforts in the range of “substitution”, “Augmentation” and Modification. I will have to find ways to integrate tech experiences along with pedagogy and content during planning stages so I can take my unit further with focus on achieving “redefinition” stage. I am sure the tools mentioned next will be a good bridge to fill the gap.
2.) Using iPad and iPad apps: Apart from the usual use of tech, I am learning new trick of this wonderful gadget every day. I have already used one of the app called Badminton coach with my MS kids, which have elaborate videos of stroke demonstration now on their fingertips. This is definitely making it possible for them to take charge of their own learning. . I have already started to look at available apps for ES kids I plan to learn hoto use apps like screen chomp for kids to do comparative study of there skills. Numbers have a very good feature of creating forms, which then have easy input options. I plan to use it for formative and summative assessment. I am already using an app called Attendance with my MS Badminton kids. This is not only convenient, but it also helps me to share the reports with them easily. Apple TV’s are installed in most of our indoor Venues now where I plan to substitute and supplement my instructions and verbal communications and use my I-pad to show you-tube videos, my observations, students performances and there efforts using projector.
3.) Fitness gram: I have long been looking for ways to collect fitness data about the kids and store and share it with the kids in kid’s friendly way to provide intrinsic motivation to them. Finally our tech head has cleared the way for it. Fitness gram will not only enable me to do so but will also help kids analyze their fitness levels, create a personal improvement plan and then help them reevaluate there success and failure to do so.
4.) Web-conferences: A performance task when designed for a live audience has the potential to bring the best out of the kids. I want to venture into creating live audience for my students on the web and via the web. I plan to collaborate with schools in our sub-continent, like ASD(American School of Dhaka, Bangladesh), ASB(American School of Bombay) who have access to technology and they are ready to share their classes and in return be ready to be audience for some of our classes, using conferencing tech. like SKYPE. In addition to that I hope to be able to rope some of the HS students and ports coaches I know to give a short tutorial while my class is going on. I clearly see it as an effective medium to expose kids to the greater world.
5.) E-Portfolios: PE portfolios have always been my focus. The only hitch I have is about the time and the support students will need outside the PE class. I still need to work closely alongside our tech integrators to find ways where we can create PE –E portfolios, where student can share their work, collaborate with others, look at our observations, class videos, and their own growth and constantly monitor it.
6.) Motion Gaming : Here is what horizon report have to say about gaming :
“In recent years, the Serious Games movement has
focused on uniting significant educational content
with play. The games within this genre layer social
issues or problems with game play, helping players
gain a new perspective through active engagement.
Research shows that players readily connect with
learning material when doing so will help them achieve
personally meaningful goals. Purdue University’s
Serious Games Center is just one of the many programs
dedicated to conducting research and finding new
means of collaboration with Serious Games in virtual
If the education world is accepting the benefits of gaming then PE will have to adapt the latest offerings i.e. motion gaming. Most popular version of motion gaming is Nintendo Wii In this motion gaming unit, player have to actually move their limbs to interact with the virtual environment. When we know that players readily connect with learning material ( in our case may be Tennis) and doing so help them achieve meaningful goal, then I will like to pitch for few units of Wii in a specialized PE pod where kids could once a year go through a unit on virtual yet physical games, which they do not get to experience within the school year .
I believe 21st century calls for an integrated tech experience for the kids during PE. I am positive I will be able to strike that perfect balance in coming years between all three circles of TPACK. And my constant endeavor now on will be to integrate experiences for “redefining” stage of SAMR model both in planning and execution of my curriculum.