Top 8 ‘Apps’ for PE Teachers – Part 2

1 – Superbodies HD – Peel away the human skin to see reveal exactly what takes place at a physiological level amongst elite athletes. The app is available for either iPhone/iPod/iPad and starts off with the users selecting a focus sport. The app then launches an introductory video narrated by Dr Greg Wells, before it takes to inside the body. From this point on the app really excels as you navigate through the blood stream via a simple yet exciting navigation system. As you approach points of interest related to the focus sport, the app switches to a video explanation or tidbit of information. The net result of this app is a totally immersive experience for students and teachers which dramatically enhances the learning of human bodies in movement. A must have, grab it here.

2 – CricketCoach – Don’t let the name fool you. This app is a full scale video analysis tool that allows for dual screen analysis. Although the inbuilt library includes videos of various cricket shots, users are able to record and use their own videos. This ultimately means that you can film and analyse your recordings from any sport you desire. In recent weeks we have been using this amazing app to analyse student performance in a variety of athletic field events with a high level of success.  Cricket coach is available here

3 – Burst Mode – Burst mode is an excellent app that allows you to capture the perfect image in a fast moving activity. Simply set the amount of frames to be captured and the timing of these frames and hit the record button to capture a burst of pictures. The user can then go through the frames one by one to review the execution of a specific skill or movement pattern. Great for coaches or students interested in improving their performance.


5 - Tempo Perfect – This app turns your mobile device into a fully functional metronome that can be used by PE teachers to allow timing of all sorts of exercise. Simply set your desired temp and your away. We used this recently in senior physical education to time a step test that allowed students to explore the physiological response to exercise.

6- YoYo tEST – This app allows people to undertake the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test completely from their mobile device. Not only does it guide your through the setup of the test, but it allows users to keep a record of their performance  and compare their performance to associate norms. A must have for anyone looking to develop a student understanding of fitness components and training programs.

7- eClicker Host – This nifty little application allows teachers to setup and administer a multiple choice quiz directly from the mobile device. The app also produces a direct URL that students enter in their internet browser to complete the test. As students complete the questions, the app produces an excellent breakdown analysis of results which they can use to frame further teaching and discussion.

8- iPadio – This app is perfect for mobile blogging allowing students to record their thoughts, feelings, responses to questions and anything else that they desire in a flash. Use it in practical classes or excursions to share student understanding and connect learning from the outdoors with theoretical content. For a similar mobile blogging project check out a ‘Journey through the Grampians’

Accelerometers In Schools

Accelerometers have long been a pipe dream in schools given there high price tags and use of speciality equipment. This is a problem for PE teachers in Victoria when it comes to teaching and meeting the following curriculum outcome.

” an understanding of subjective and objective methods of assessing physical activity and sedentary behaviour, including recall surveys or diaries, pedometry, accelerometry and observational tools, in relation to the National Physical Activity Guidelines”

In a subject that is heavily practical based, it meant that students never really get to explore accelerometry unless they visited a university . This ultimately meant that students rarely get the chance to experience the benefits of measuring Physical Activity with this device.

The great thing about advancements in mobile technology is that accelerometers in schools are now a complete reality.  Check out the video demonstration below;

Heres how it works

  1. Download and install the free iPod touch/iPhone application called ‘Context Logger’
  2. Run the application and complete physical activity etc
  3. Send the accelerometer record to your computer via the applications internal upload system

Once the accelerometer record is on your computer;

  1. Run ‘Context Logger Analyzer 1.0′ shown in the video demonstration above
  2. Open the accelerometer record
  3. Run playback of data/Graph data etc

You can even take it the next step by filming the physical activity that you are recording with the ‘context logger’ application and syncing this to the data, allowing for an intense analysis of movement.This tool would also be an excellent addition to any science or physics classes

If you are interested in receiving an email when the software and student worksheets are ready for delivery, then register your interest on the online form here and you will receive a discount price of $30.

Teaching in High Definition

Teaching students how to use a compass to navigate has always been a difficult task. The reason being is that even if students had access to their own personal compass they needed a clear demonstration by the teacher before they were able to grasp the concept. Students tend to pick it up well during one-to-one instruction, however with large classes this can prove timely and may arise in students becoming disengaged. The other problem was that with a class group it is difficult to present to a large group at once, given that a compass is small and not a very sharable object amongst the masses. Well that was the case,  until now….enter the HUE HD Webcam

Today my year 7 students (13 year olds) were learning how to navigate using the cardinal points so we can participate in an orienteering running race. To ensure that all students had access to a really easy to see, clear demonstration I did the following.

  1. Connect a HD Hue Webcam to my computer
  2. Run the AMCAP software bundled with the camera which sets up a live stream from the webcam
  3. Turn on an interactive whiteboard and enlarge the live video stream to full size
  4. Complete the demonstrations with the compass in full HD on a 70 inch plus screen for all students to see and replicate.

This basically meant that as a teacher, I didn’t have to struggle to hold the compass in a more viewable manner, meaning that my demonstration was ultimately much clearer and easier to follow.

So how might I use this in the future?

  • Explore models of hearts, muscles, bones, lungs etc
  • During Science experiments
  • Within home economics cooking demonstrations.

How have you used a similar technology to improve your demonstrations? Share your experiences in the comment box below

New Possibilities in Physical Education

Recently, I presented at the Discovery 2011 Physical Education conference on the topic of new possibilities in PE. After receiving a few emails asking if the presentation was available online anywhere, I decided I should blog about it to help point people in the right direction. The Prezi presentation can now be found at the link below. Feel free to use it/remix it and share it as you see fit.