Tag Archives: Technology in Physical Education

iPads/iPods in PE – Practical Workflow with Edmodo

Yesterday I participated in EdmodoCon 2012 (Edmodo’s annual conference). The online conference had a large number of sessions spread over a full day from a number of contributors. I dipped in and out of the conference all day but a session on using Edmodo and iPads in the classroom from Jason Buck (@jasonhbuck), Matt Tobin (@mattytobin) and Matt Spears (@matthewIspears) really got me thinking how powerful combining Edmodo with the iPad or iPod touch could be within PE. In this blog post I’ll give my current thoughts and a workflow idea I’m looking to implement in the new term.

Edmodo can be thought of as a social media interface specifically devised for education. Teachers can create groups for classes, set assignments, upload quizzes, polls and a wide variety of files for students to access. Students can sign up and join groups (once they have a joining code) and participate in the tasks or discussions on going. These tools alone have large scope within PE, especially for examination classes.

The features which excited me yesterday however were to do with the iPad/iPod touch app. The mobile nature of these devices make them ideal for use in PE. The camera feature in combination with apps such as CoachsEye allow students to capture and analyse footage instantly providing meaningful feedback with video evidence. This not only helps students develop their physical skills but also wider skills such as communication & technological.

Much of my previous uses of iPads in PE have involved using the camera feature with @CoachsEye on a lesson by lesson basis. Transferring footage from the devices to a central base for students to access at anytime, anywhere for future evidence or further work has been an issue. Edmodo has now become a solution to this. Once students have captured their footage and done their analysis on @CoachsEye they can export it to the devices photo roll and then upload it to their Edmodo library via the Edmodo app. This can allow a portfolio of evidence to be gathered or further work to be undertaken on the video.

Workflow (for ipod touch)

1. Capture footage using just the camera or @CoachsEye app.

2. Export footage to device’s photo roll

3. Open Edmodo app

4. Click Library icon

5. Click add icon (top right corner) to open the add screen. From here click album to open your photo roll. Alternatively you could open the camera and capturestraight into edmodo.

6. Video/Photo is now in the students library and exported from the device.

7. You should ensure students delete any footage no longer required from the device to save space, and also that they sign out of their edmodo accounts as they will remain logged in.

If students are using iPads they will be able to write a post and attach their video so all the group (created by teacher) can see. This can also be done from a laptop or PC.

One idea I had for using this workflow was with my GCSE PE group during the fitness testing unit. I plan to get students to create video protocols for each test (a how to… video for agility, power tests…). Once completed these could be uploaded to their Edmodo and shared. Once shared groups can assess other groups videos ensuring they have the correct protocols.

I think the combination of Edmodo and the iPad/iPod touch can be invaluable for PE. It can allow students to capture, analyse and export work anywhere and at anytime.

I’d love to hear if anyone else is using or planning to use this set up or something similar. Comments welcome…

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Exerise Tracking in PE (part 2-list of apps)

I posted a while back on using Map my Fitness to track exercise levels in PE. In trying to find the best tool for the job I’ve put together a list of apps & programmes that might be of interest. I’m currently working my way through trying them out.

1. My Fitness Pal – this app monitors your progress toward a weight goal by tracking your exercise and diet. This might be a great tool for examination level (GCSE, BTEC) to aid the learning of nutrition, energy balance and training.

2. Adidas MiCoach – allows cardiovascular work to be logged with their app. They’re extending its use to football boots now too. 

3. Runkeeper – My favoured app for recording my personal cardiovascular training. I’ve tried it with students in school and it works well given its ease of use however students were unable to sync their runs to their accounts. I think this was due to the school system blocking their server. I’m  looking into resolving this issue. Combining this app with the Strongerapp programme allows students to log other types of training too (e.g. resistance training). They then get a full timeline of activities undertaken.

4. Nexercise – this app rewards you for exercising by giving you points which earn you unlockable badges/bonuses. The app detects movement and uses a timer to work out when your exercising.

5. Endomondo – I had this app on my iPhone but had missed it untill @mrrobbo made me aware of it once more. This allows all activity to be logged either via their site (manually) or their app (GPS compatible). The app is free however there is a pro upgrade for further features. On initial look this looks a great tool as it allows activities to be logged manually (so students can do it outside of lesson time if it is not possible in PE lessons) or automatically, using the app.

When trying the apps out I feel the following are important features if they are to be implemented in a school based setting:

  • An ability to log activities via app on handheld device and online
  • GPS to log runs/cycles (which will sync to students accounts in and out of school)
  • A simple log in process, preferably via Gmail (our students have school Gmail addresses)
  • A wide variety of activities available to be logged (large list of sports, resistance training and cardiovascular activities)
  • A quick and simple process for logging activities (possible with the option to input more detail e.g. reps, sets, HR…)

As always-would be great to hear if anyone else has tried some of these tools and what you feel are important features for an exercise/activity tracker.

Audiboo for GCSE & A Level PE

Just a quick post on my recent use of Audiboo. I’ve been looking for a tool which would allow me to create short & sharp podcasts for students to listen to as a quick revision of certain topics. Audiboo has been perfect for this. It’s quick and easy to use iphone app allows you to post within a couple of clicks. It’s perfect for creating & posting “on the go!” You can also post using the Audioboo website on your computer.

I signed in using my department twitter account meaning no extra usernames and passwords are required. Also linking the audioboo account to twitter also means that when a “boo” is created you can automatically post it to twitter. As our twitter account is linked to our facebook page it will appear here too, maximising the number of students it reaches. Initial feedback from students has been positive, many stating it is an easy quick recap on topics covered.

One downside is that a free account only allows 3 minutes of recording per clip and for any more recording time you have to sign up for a pro account which costs £60 per year.

I’ve introduced it to other department members and if they wish to use it I aim to link them to the department account meaning enabling a large resource base to develop on a range of topics. In coming weeks I aim to use it in combination with our class set of ipod touch’s and get students to create their own recap of lessons as a plenary. Other students could then listen to the posts and discuss whether the major points have been covered.

We’ll see how it goes!

 

 

 

What’s your REACTION with the iPod Touch?

The iPod touch has become an invaluable tool for use within Physical Education. The camera has many uses and combining it with the Sportscam app allows for detailed performance analysis. One idea I’ve recently used is to use the app to measure reaction times when delivering the topic to my Year 12 A/S PE students.

I used the app to help students learn basic definitions for reaction time, movement time & response time. I got them to film each other sprinting in reaction to a clap stimulus. By filming the clap in the background, students were then able to measure reaction time by calculating the time from onset of stimulus (hands of clap together) to the initiation of movement (student pushing against the floor). The app allows footage to be played in slow motion and frame by frame (see buttons in screenshot below).

After this I introduced a new activity where there were 4 stimulus and 4 possible responses. On various hand signals the student had to sprint in a certain direction. Reaction time was again calculated and recorded. The results revealed that increasing the number of stimulus-response alternatives increased reaction time. Reasons why were discussed and Hick’s Law introduced. Anomalies were also discussed. Most were caused by anticipation of the stimulus which is also part of the syllabus and thus further enhanced student learning.

I felt teaching the topic through practical using the technology available made it more engaging for the students whilst also allowing them to experience the topics being discussed. One drawback was the fact that the app only allows time gaps of 0.03 secs to be measured so accuracy of timing is limited, however for the purpose of introducing reaction time and explaining Hick’s law it did suffice.

Using Google Docs in Physical Education

The ability to have several inputs into the same document via google docs has fantastic uses within PE. Here’s a few I’ve used recently which might be of interest.

I’m currently delivering a fitness testing unit to my GCSE students and through creating a google spreadsheet, all students are able to input test results into the class document. In a gym or sportshall environment, students have conducted several tests with a laptop or handheld device at each station. As they complete a test, scores are inputted to the google spreadsheet. This is projected on a screen so students can monitor their and their peers progress.

Secondly, in a recent open evening we used a google spreadsheet to record various challenge results within our gym. (e.g. 100m row on cencept 2 rower) Projecting these results on screen allowed parents and prospective students to view who’d been involved so far and gave the pupils a sense of satisfaction of seeing their scores broadcasted if they wished.

Finally, heart rate data can be collected in a spreadsheet and graphed accordingly during various intensities of exercise. This practical approach to monitoring changes in heart rate during exercise allows students to input their own data and view the class graph for this as exercise is taking place

As always it’d be great to hear what people think and gain some further ideas of how google docs could be integrated in education

Technology in Physical Education

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been presenting on our use of technology within Physical Education. I decided to use a diagram approach to my presentation then discuss each element and its use. Here’s the main slide from the presentation showing the tools we currently use within our subject.

Over the next few weeks I’ll try to post on how we currently use each tool.

It’ll be great to hear some ideas of how others are using these tools within education and also of any other tools that might be worth integrating into our programme.

New School Year Education Technologies Resolutions

On reading what @colport wrote on his blog it got me thinking of what tech i’d use with my classes next year. Here’s what I came up with:

1. iPads

We’re lucky in that the school will have 5 iPads ready for use next year!! After I’ve got over my initial excitement I’m aiming to implement them initially with my examination classes. Having mobile technologies available in PE will be invaluable as we can use them in a number of different learning environments (Gym, Field, Classroom). My current ideas are to use them to log training sessions using apps such as Flex workout log or Fitness log. Monitoring heart rates during different intensities of exercise using numbers for iPad-this will allow the class to create graphs instantly, for evaluations. I will also look at the possibility of using spreadsheets within google docs for this, to allow further collaboration. Apps such as Navy SEAL physical fitness apps would help students learn what exercises work certain muscles at GCSE and A Level, and also provide an instant resources for those who want to train but are unsure of what exercises to do.

2. Blogs

I’ll continue with my use of blogs with A Level students as a means for allowing them opportunities to publish work and collaborate on certain topics. Progress with the blogs has been slightly frustrating towards the end of term due to so many different activities going on in school and students being away from lessons. I aim to extend their use by getting pupils to collaborate with students from other schools, hopefully overseas.

3. Google Docs

Hopefully my school is turning to google to provide students with email addresses. This will open up the use of google docs and the collaboration they offer.  As mentioned earlier-live input of heart rate information during training sessions is one way I’ll look to integrate this into the classroom/gym.

4. Prezi

Prezi’s greater use of motion and non-linear presentation format make it appear an excellent tool for introducing and explaining certain topics. As yet I have not used it, however I have signed up for an account and aim to start by doing an introduction to A Level PE to embed on my departments web site.

5. Wallwisher

I’ve started using it with my A Level students however as always was left frustrated after finding it was blocked in school! Hopefully this won’t be the case next term. I see it as an excellent tool for gathering student ideas on certain topics-it could form an excellent starter activity at GCSE and A Level by looking at students posts and getting them to discuss their ideas.

6. Youtube

Getting a department youtube channel up and running and using it to post footage from school matches created by the school’s media team. These could be embedded onto the school’s website-definitely something I’d like to do to celebrate the sporting successes of our students.