To have tech or not to have tech in the PE classroom? That is the question. And like anything in life it should be a balance. After researching the effects of video analysis in skill development and it being successful for student learning, I believe there is a place for tech in the PE classroom.
Admittedly I was very skeptical prior to implementing iPad use during our badminton unit in high school PE mostly due to the time it would take away from physical activity. Initially it did take a chunk of time to teach the students how to use the Ubersense app for video analysis but after the first time they practiced it only took minimal time to record and analyze the skill being taught. The students today are very tech savvy and not only learn new apps quickly but become very proficient at them as well. Check out this student analyzing his smash shot and how he uses lines to draw on his body when comparing himself to how he previously executed the shot.
I also considered what would the students think about using iPads during PE. Would they think it was a waste of time, helpful in learning the skills, or would rather be playing than using another tech device? Watch what one student had to say.
Next I wanted to think about if using iPads in the PE classroom made learning transformative. Did it change the way kids learn and could they learn the same thing as well without the iPads? According to the research Luke LaBaw, Liz Halina, and I did using iPads we believe it was transformative; in other words redefined how kids learn. According to the SAMR Model using iPads fits the definition of redefinition in that “tech allows for creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.” Prior to iPads video analysis was only done with athletes at the college and professional levels. The tools used were bulky cameras and large computers which all cost an arm and an leg. The iPad opened doors for school aged kids in a regular classroom to see themselves executing a skill and making the necessary adjustments for change and improvement as you saw in the video above. Liz Halina and I believe the use of iPads in PE was, pedagogically, a step in the right direction.
After all these considerations I believe using tech, specifically iPads due to portability, in the PE classroom is an advantage to kids learning and skill development. Although every PE unit does not need to be analyzed I do plan on implementing the use of iPads and video analysis into more units next year. I also plan to use them in my Personal Fitness class so that students can analyze their form while lifting weights, running on the treadmill, riding the stationary bikes, and rowing (this one is a biggie). I believe the time it takes on the front end is worth the benefits it provides in the long run. If I take the time at the beginning of the semester to teach the Ubersense app then they have the skills to use it in any unit throughout the school year and into the following years. Also if this app or any other video analysis app is taught in middle school or earlier that knowledge would help in saving time during class in the future. I have seen first hand a less skilled student become a skilled one in just a few class meetings and the joy of success on just one kids face is worth the time it takes to teach and use tech in PE.