Blog post

Technology in Physical Education

June 5, 2018Daniel Barkes

Over the past several years, classrooms have gone through dramatic changes. Workbooks, handouts, and PowerPoints have become a thing of the past. They have been replaced by tablets, student devices, and amazing educational technology tools like Nearpod.

While all these things have changed in the classroom, physical education, for the most part, has stayed the same. Why? Why is the classroom becoming an amazing place filled with student engagement, and the gym is still tetherball and 4 square?

When I was a kid, physical education was my favorite class of the day. We always did cool stuff. Unfortunately, now, many students do not like going to PE. Given the choice between walking around the track or playing a sport, at least half of my class would choose to simply walk. How do we as teachers, and physical educators change that? How do we get kids engaged in what we are doing, and get them excited about our physical education content?

In the classroom, Nearpod is a game changer. So, I thought, why can’t it work great in physical education? - @CoachBarkes

Why Technology?

As a former classroom teacher, I went back to my roots in educational technology. Since I was already very familiar with classroom edtech tools like Nearpod,  I actively helped teachers around the building incorporate Nearpod into their classrooms. New teachers in my building also received training from me. However, I had not taken my favorite ed tech tool to PE.

In the classroom, Nearpod is a game changer. So, I thought if it worked so great in the classroom, why can’t it work great in physical education? I planned a unit on soccer for my students, and, using Nearpod, created an introduction to the unit. The Nearpod presentation incorporated survey questions, a video, VR field trip to a junior World Cup stadium, a draw it activity, and several multiple choice questions. Check out the Nearpod presentation I used here. Going in I was nervous. I was worried that the kids who loved PE would hate it, and I worried the kids who already hate PE would not care.

 

Student Responses

Well, I was wrong in both cases. The kids who love PE liked the instructions. It was an opportunity to share what they already knew. Even better, the kids who normally do not enjoy PE really liked the opportunity to learn how to properly play. They thought the VR Field trip was cool and had a blast drawing the markings on a soccer field.

I was so excited my introduction was a success! However, I would not know how truly successful the lesson was until the next day when we started to play soccer. Well, the awesomeness continued. Every student was excited to play, and after one week were disappointed to end the unit. The students said they felt more comfortable playing because they had a better understanding of how to play.

I hope that my story of success with Nearpod in physical education will encourage you to incorporate Nearpod into your class. Whether you teach Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, Art, Family and Consumer Science, or any other class, I encourage you to bring Nearpod to your students. It is an amazing platform that engages students at every level and increases student understanding and achievement.

Contact me using the information below if you are interested in incorporating Nearpod into your PE class. Also, be sure to check out Nearpod + Zumba lessons, or take your class on a VR Field Trip to amazing places all over the world.

As always, thank you for reading! If you want more great content from me, follow my accounts below.

I have a passion for education and educational technology. For the past eight years, I have worked in Social Studies, Physical Education, and coached basketball, at the middle school level. I love working with teachers, and sharing educational technology tips, and advice on my website: www.teachandcoachga.com.

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