Top 8 “Apps” for PE Teachers – Part 4

The time between these series of blog posts is certainly becoming shorter and shorter indicating the sheer enormity of app development. Here are my latest picks that are must have items on your iPad/iPod or iPhone.

1) SprintTimer - a unique timer and photo finish app that employs the same techniques as the professional equipment used at the Olympics. Start the timer and point the camera towards the finish line. sprintTimer will build an image of narrow slices of the finish line. You can then scroll along the photo to get the time when each competitor crosses the finish line with a 0.01 s resolution. The image can then be saved for record keeping. To top it off the timer can also be activated by a button touch or automatically by sensing the gun sound. AMAZING.

2) SportsCam -  Exceptional video analysis within your pocket. Film a sports skill or action and immediately  begin an analysis that can include side by side comparisons. Users can also draw on video footage to explore biomechanics concepts or skill development. Videos can then be uploaded to YouTube from within the app.

3)PB Go - Great little app for use in Swimming and Athletic events which allows you to record the personal best times for your students/athletes etc. There is also the option to attach an image for each event.

4) TempoMagic Allows you to alter the tempo of the music on your device. Perfect for fitness circuits, running or anything where you need a consistent tempo.

5) Nike Training Club - Your own personal trainer, anytime, anywhere. Contains over 60 custom workouts that include video instructions and step by step guidance.

6) Interval Timer A app that will assist with the timing of activities by allowing you to designate a high intensity and low intensity duration along with a dedicated rest duration. Perfect for use within cycling, running, weights, exercise, workouts, stretching, boxing etc. No longer will you need to keep an eye on the stopwatch.

7) PE Plus – Created by a pair of first year teachers in Victoria featuring a solid collection of minor games. Great for teachers who feel they are playing the same games all too often.

8) WADA - Great app made by the World Anti Doping Association which lists the many prohibited substances and methods. Perfect reference guide for teaching the rationale behind anti doping codes.

Check out the other top 8 lists here  - Part 1Part 2Part 3

The Automated Twitter Scavenger Hunt

Recently I’ve been thinking about how Twitter could be integrated into a practical outdoor activity and have decided that an automated twitter scavenger hunt. See the video below to determine how this simple idea would work, giving teachers the opportunity to assess teamwork and co-operation within a fast paced race around your school or town.

To schedule your tweets, check out Twuffer

An Updated SEPEP Model

After watching the following video by Joey over at the The discussing the Sport Education Model, I was compelled to share my own experiences using the model in my Phys Ed classroom. For those unfamiliar, SEPEP is an approach towards teaching physical education that aims to maximise involvement and deepen understanding of sports by giving students dedicated roles outside of just participation. It seeks to develop leadership and other interpersonal skills valuable to all aspects of life.  Heres an example of how it worked in a recent volleyball unit.

Step 1 – The class of 18 students were broken into teams of 6, like the example below. Note you could do this for any sport and any number of teams.

Step 2 –  Each member of the team was then given a specific letter, which was associated with a particular job. (See below)

(A) Coach – Each team has a dedicated coach (usually a high level performer), who runs the warm-ups and completes the half time addresses. The coach is also responsible for meeting with the teacher at the start of each session to be briefed on the session plan.

(B) Publicity Manager – Who utilises a class twitter account or other social media platforms during the course of the games to keep an up to date account of scores, anecdotal events and other team related information. Imagine how impressive it woud be to look back over a years worth of tweets at the end of a unit.

(C) Film Crew – Using a iPad/Flip Camera students involved in this job are charged with the task of producing and editing a video of the different highlights from the sport. With an app like ‘iMovie’ the filming and editing can be done all from the device and then shared via YouTube or another video sharing service.

(D) Statistics – By utilising the TimeMotion or Easy Tag apps for iPhone/iPad the students involved in this job are responsible for providing game statistics to the coaches.

(E) Umpire – An umpire for each team is responsible for learning the basic rules and assisting the teacher in the smooth running of games.

(F)Timekeeper/Scorer/Draws- Obvious job which was assisted with the PocketScore Board App. This would also involve filling out the official results sheet and submitting it to the teacher.

Step 3 –  After the roles of each team member have been identified the tournament/round robin can begin. Depending on the number of teams you have, determines the amount of teams which will be on the sidelines involved in their jobs. In the example above their was only one volleyball court, which meant that Team 1 and Team 2 played, while Team 3 was involved in completing their off field jobs as mentioned above. This essentially means that all students are heavily involved in the smooth running of the game.

For the second round the teams swap so that Team 1 is now playing Team 3, with Team 2 involved in their off field jobs. Its important to understand that this SEPEP model can work with larger classes, however it will depend on the numbers and available spaces as to how many teams you can accomodate at once.

So go ahead and switch up the SEPEP model with some meaningful modern day  tasks.

Teaching and Learning from China

Wow, what a week that was. The learning2.0 conference in Shanghai proved to be a truly unique experience. Not only was I lucky enough to lead the PE and Health Cohort with a group of fantastic teachers, but I was able to share a week bouncing around ideas with the best educators in the world.

The conference works a little different to most in that my job really wasn’t to present content , but to provide sparks or opportunities for those within the cohort to explore and discuss pedagogy and best practice. The best sessions I had with my cohort group were those in which I had a very limited role.

While away I also had the opportunity to teach my senior VCE PE subject from over 5000 miles away. This proved to be an amazing experience and made entirely possible via Elluminate and my Vroom at learning central. The session lasted for just over 40 minutes and involved a discussion and presentation of new content surrounding anti doping measures. It really was just like being in the room with them.

Some highlights included;

  • The journey on the Maglev train
  • The wonderful experience with Roy
  • Blackmarket shopping with @thecleversheep
  • Talking rubbish/brilliance with Darren Kuropatwa
  • Jess McCulloch’s Keynote
  • Chinese Karaoke with the cohort crew
  • Kim Cofinos Keynote
  • The couros brothers entertainment
  • Kevin Honeycutts Keynote and closing words
  • Shopping and Dim Sum lunch with Gail Lovely, Wes Fryer,Anne Mirtschin and Jess McCulloch
  • Dinner at Lost Heaven with the cohort crew
  • Swimming in the hotel pool
  • The workshop with the intrepidteacher 

To put it simply learning2.0 simply rocked……. and I strongly encourage everyone to consider making the trip to learning2.012 next year in Beijing. The new connections I made will ensure that the learning will continue long after the conference has finished.