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March 8, 2009

PE and ICT – time to get with the program.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pekina @ 12:38 pm
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reebok1Okay, still getting the hang of blogging here and not really feeling like I have put in the time to read enough before writing but I won’t let that stand in the way for now!  Starting to feel like I have embarked on a personal learning journey here of mammoth proportions…..both exciting and proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  

I was sent a link from Darren Murphy who used to teach here at ISM and is now in London. It was for a podcast from the Ed Tech Crew with an interview with a second year out PE teacher Jarrod Robinson who teaches PE and ICT in a small rural school in Australia. If you get a chance listen to this inspiring podcast on the fantastic and simple devices this guy uses in his classes to bring the digital world into the classroom. He also teaches Maths and Geography so not just limited to PE.  He speaks as a true digital native and the podcast includes interesting conversation on how his students are using cell phone technology at school. Rather than banning cell phones he discusses how he managed to bring them into the classroom to enhance learning. He also talks about parent information sessions to teach parents about social networking and personal learning networks, often using the common craft shows. Interesting to note that 100% of his students have cell phones – which I am sure is the case in many schools. This guy really knows his stuff and his blog includes lots of links to share his discoveries.

He has made me think that there is a need to use technology even in Elementary Physical Education – which perhaps seems the last place that technology might infiltrate – well… so I thought.  If technology in PE will inspire and engage children to be active then maybe I need to get with the program and see how to marry the two seemingly mutually exclusive parties. We do use pedometers in our Grade 5 Amazing Race at ISM and when we introduced their use the distances covered by all students increased dramatically! The kids also love it when we roll out the Dance Dance Revolution. So if it does engage AND  increase physical activity levels then I need to get with the program and see what technology exists and how it might contribute to meeting our standards and engaging children.  I guess that for many working parents like myself who already feel short on time then it is easy to resist new learning about new technologies as it one more ‘thing’ to do in an already crowded day.  I am only now beginning to understand that this need not be a tedious process once I have set up my own personal learning network and found reliable sites that relate to what it is I need to learn. In fact it was only a few minutes work to find a newsletter dedicated to Using Technology in Physical Education.  and another site with various software and gadgets for use in physical education.

 I am starting at home base with my two children and instead of having them turn off all electronics will investigate how we can take technology out into the playground. The amount of time and effort I spend as a parent trying to get my two children off their various gadgets is obviously not working so it is time to implement Plan B. I am off to buy a couple of the new strapless heart rate monitors for my kids – online of course…

 

N.B. I am not having a complete change of heart here and I still believe that there is a time and a place for unstructured play devoid of all gadgets. Even though we can be connected 24/7 (there is no need for any dead time as you can always listen to your podcasts on your ipods, text on your cell, play Nintendo DS) …..it is still important to just be in the present (listen to your immediate surroundings – the sounds, smells, breezes.) smell the roses occasionally and daydream….keep the balance. Meditate. Stay sane.

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