As my year 12 students are busy preparing for their end of year theoretical examination, I thought it would be a good opportunity to start an SMS Mailing list in which students sign up to receive one SMS message per day. The purpose of the mailing list is to teach mini concepts via 160 character text messages with the aim of further discussion on return to class. Occasionally, the SMS might contain a question in which the students need to respond to on the spot. The great thing about sending spontaneous messages of this nature is that students are forced to apply their understanding in a more real life setting, in which they may not have access to their resources.
See the picture below for an example of what the messages look like
To make this possible I have been using a service called www.smsglobal.com in which you can sign up for a free trial (25 credits). The great aspect of the service is the capacity to send multiple messages to groups with the push of a button. You can also schedule messages ahead of time, minimising your need to log in and out of the web portal.
So why SMS over other internet services such as Twitter? Well to be honest, SMS is simple, no fuss and available to all.
While teaching PE today, I utilised the incredible and free iMotion HD app for iPod/iPhone/iPad. The app is perfect for producing time lapse or stop motion videos. Today the iPad was set to capture a photo every 5 seconds throughout the entire 80 minute session. The final result was indeed very cool, and reinforced my opinion that movement and physical activity is our number one priority. Check out the video below.
Collabracam - This is an absolute incredible app perfect for any class, including PE. Collabracam allows you to link up to four iPhone, iPod or iPad cameras streaming to a fifth device in real time over the local wifi. The fifth device is considered the director and has the capacity to switch between all video feeds and record the footage coming from each. Imagine a group of students in a PE class filming a match from different angles, with a director switching between the feeds to record an amazing professional quality video .
SpeedClock - A fantastic app that allows users to record the speed of anything. Simply set the distance between you and the object you wish to record and the speed is displayed. There are also a few other tools which can be helpful for a host of situations.
Sports Rules - An app for PE teachers who desire quick reference of rules in over 17 popular sports. More sports will be added making this a one stop shop for busy teachers. Give it to your students and have them quickly review rules before giving them the umpiring role.
Knots Guide - A simple app containing reference of over 92 knots. Especially great for outdoor ed teachers.
Nike Boom - This app lets you use your own music to help guide your workouts. Within it you can set your workout time, rest time and number of sets. Another one of the cool features is the ability to have the app post to Facebook . Once this is done, anyone who ‘likes’ or comments on the posts during the exercise period sends an audible encouragement known as a ‘boom’ to those completing the workout. Great app to co-ordinate circuit training or warmups.
Show Me - This free app allows users to record the drawings they make on their screen while completing a narration. Perfect little tool for students to share their understanding of game strategies. This app has amazing potential in all subjects, with the capacity for the recordings to be shared via the Show Me website
CoachBuddy - An incredible app that allows for statistical recording of sports performance during soccer matches. Allows you to get information on your distance travelled, number of passes, direction of passes, scattermaps etc. Great tool for senior PE data analysis sessions.
QuickVoice Recorder - A great free app for recording voice memos during practical activity. Teachers could use it to take audio notes on student skill development. Students could use it to record observations during sport and link these to theoretical concepts. The possibilities are endless and it is much much faster than handwriting or typing into the device.
As a PE Teacher, I often find myself searching the internet for the rules of different sports as a refresher when I chose to play them in practical classes. So with this in mind I set out to develop an application that would speed up this process for myself and hopefully assist others in similar situations.
As a result I have come up with ‘Sports Rules’, the perfect app for PE Teachers, Coaches, Athletes or anyone interested in swift easy reference of popular sports and their associated rules.
The app contains 17 of the most common sports played in Physical Education classrooms with the fundamental rules and other important information required to play a game. Teachers can confidently and quickly review rules in preparation for their classes or share the app with students to involve them in the umpiring role.
Available for the iPad/iPhone from the app store here
One of the features I’m most intrigued about within the excellent siliconcoach live video analysis software is the discussion component. Check out the video below as I explain how this aspect will be a major player in my classes in term 4, 2011.