With the explosion of mobile apps in recent years we have seen an enormous amount of apps reach our devices that can be used within the Physical Education classroom. However with all of this in mind, some of the best apps I have ever discovered have been as a result of random searches via the app store. As a play on this idea, I present to you a random PE App.
To discover a random PE app you can: Scan the QR Code, Click the QR Code or visit thepegeek.com/peapps
Upon scanning or clicking the link you will be presented with a random app that I have previously blogged about and consider to have merit and use within the PE Classroom. At the time of writing over 180 apps have been included. If you have already downloaded the app you receive, then simply rescan or click the link to be presented with another app.
Let us know in the comments which app you discover. Happy Hunting
Another fantastic PE resource app by @GraciousWolf_PE. Featuring the instructions and playing guides to over 100 tag games . The app is broken into 4 distinct categories ranging from no equipment, to 3 required items. Another exceptional feature is the ability to shake for random games and the incorporation of a stop watch inside the app. Check out the video of the app below
Ignited software have been working hard to bring out a number of brilliant iPad apps for Sports Coach’s. This the 3rd app of its kind brings team management and statistical recording to the iPad in a big way.
Key Features of the app include
• team set up and pre-plan interchanges
• Player statistics and player game time monitoring
• Review and report match statistics and player performance
A superb app for the Soccer/Football Coach, looking to take team and player management to the next level. Checkout the others in the series: AFL Coach/ Netball Coach
Treasure Hunting Meets everyday walking with this app. To put it simply, users can create or participate in adventure walks. To create your own, open the app and take to the streets stopping at interesting locations where you can design an appropriate question. Continue this process over and over to generate a fun walking adventure that others than participate within. Earn points and track your total distance. Walking has never been so fun.
A superb Yoga app brought to you by the developers who created iMuscle. The app was produced using motion capture technology to bring the most accurate and natural movement possible. Where the app really outshines is competition is with the female model who allows you to see muscles in action as each pose is demonstrated. The app also features a distinctive viewing option which highlights muscles relevant to each pose as they contract and expand. The app comes loaded with over 80 beginner poses, with options to extend the resource with in app purchases to over 200.
Use the program feature with your students and haver them design and participate within a beginner Yoga Program. The app will seamlessly take them through the entire process with timings, voice narration and better pose animations than a real person could ever provide. Checkout the video of the app in action below.
Back in 2008 I wrote a blog post about how I intended to apply game design theory within my PE classroom. This led me down the path of modifying structures within my units to introduce concepts such as the ability to level up, and being able to repeat assessment items as many times as the student desired to achieve the desired outcome.
Flash forward to 2013 and it’s becoming very clear that the world is becoming more and more Gamified. Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. When you mention the word Gamification, its easy to think exclusively about video games, however the reality is that more traditional objects and social situations abide by these dynamics. Take for example a frequent flyer program or happy hour. Both of these reward the user and encourage participation & change.
With this in mind, I have been thinking recently about how Gamification fits into the Health and Fitness genre and more specifically within Physical Education. So here are a couple of tools and devices which employ some of the powerful game dynamics, providing opportunities for behaviour change.
Zombies, Run - This action packed game app, places you in a post apocalyptic world where you are required to run to escape an ever approaching zombie hoard. All of this action is presented to you via your headphones, making for a really powerful running experience. Read the comments and reviews left on the iTunes/Android stores for a clear insight into this games power to improve health. Check out the video of the app in action below
Mobile Adventure Walks – Treasure Hunting Meets everyday walking with this app. To put it simply, users can create or participate in adventure walks. To create your own, open the app and take to the streets stopping at interesting locations where you can design an appropriate question. Continue this process over and over to generate a fun walking adventure that others than participate within. Earn points and track your total distance. Walking has never been so fun.
SCVNGR – Available for Both iOS and Android. This game is all about going places, doing challenges and earning points. Essentially it turns your actions into real world rewards
Nintendo Wii/Xbox Kinect - These devices have created a cultural revolution, enticing an entire different cross section of users to engage in video game play. The combination of physical movement intersecting with game play has led to a number of truly innovative classroom uses.
Fuegos Adventure - Fuegos River Adventure requires the user to control the game via physical manipulation of their body. Finishing the game requires significant effort, with users advancing levels as they complete them.
Freaky Alarm - This alarm clock gamifies your morning alarm clock. Simply set your desired wake up time, and the alarm will take you through a serious of rigorous quizzes and puzzles which you need to solve in order to turn the alarm off. Alternatively you can enlist a “Get Up” mode, where you are actually required to get out of you bed and photograph a previously organised item, like your letterbox to switch the app off. See the app in action below
Carrot or Habit RPG - These task manager applications allow users to keep track of their daily to do lists with an interesting twist. With Carrot, you receive points for the tasks you complete. Don’t complete tasks and you will anger Carrot to point of it becoming increasingly rude and obnoxious. Earn points to bring him back to the good side. Habit RPG extends this even further allowing you to compete against your friends in the title of most productive. Earn points, buy virtual items and fight against your colleagues for supremacy.
So as we continue to see applications introduce the game layer into our everyday life’s, how exactly will this impact on education and the classroom? You can be assured that this is only just the beginning.
What does a Gamified Physical Education class look like?
The paid version of the popular free video analysis app “CoachMyVideo”. New features included in the paid version include the ability to analyse video direct from online streaming sources, such as YouTube. This is a super powerful addition inside of any video analysis app, especially when you utilise the app the side by side comparison feature on the iPad. Checkout the video below, showcasing how the YouTube analysis feature works.
At the present my VCE PE students are engaged in a unit of study surrounding physical activity and how it can be measured and subsequently used to motivate. This has led them to learn about a variety of both subjective and objective measuring devices, including accelerometers, pedometers and surveys. This app however has featured extensively within the course of the unit, with students downloading and using it to record their daily activity levels.
Simply download the free app, place it within your pocket and check back occasionally as the app tracks your activity, via both the GPS and internal accelerometer. At the end of everyday you will be presented with a beautiful storyline of your days activity, with metrics on aspects such as your total steps and distance accumulated in a variety of types of locomotion (see picture right).
This exceptional data can then be used to formulate discussion surrounding physical activity and national activity guidelines. A super simple and unobtrusive means of gathering activity data. The only real downside is the extra pressure background running will place on your battery. However if your a light to medium iPhone user, you shouldn’t notice too much of a difference.
A video delay app with the ability to set a delay time of up to 4 minutes. This will provide plenty of time for review and subsequent analysis of physical skills. The Pro version of the app brings a new, yet widely requested feature to delay apps allowing users to save the delayed video to the camera roll.
An app that has been getting a heap of use within my personal life. An exceptional mediation app, that takes you through a daily 10 minute routine. The best part about this app is the fact that it actually takes the time to teach the user how to meditate in a very open and friendly manner.
In the PE classroom, this app finds its place within sports psychology units or as a means of finishing off practical sessions and reducing over aroused students to a more calmer and focus state before their next class. Something their next teacher will thank you for.
Lets face it, Google is absolutely killing it at the moment in every manner of their digital products. From apps to devices and online products everything is of incredible quality. This is certainly the case with the Google Drive app. Although its not technically a PE app, its wide variety of uses make it incredibly powerful in all contexts. Essentially the app allows you to view, edit and add to your online files and documents located at www.google.com/drive. Checkout how Nathan Horne of iPhys-Ed is using Google Drive to create student portfolios. If your unsure of what Google Drive is, checkout this video here
After years of careful consideration, I have finally pieced together an Attendance app that I am more than happy to release to the world. The app is called “Easy Attendance” and is a logical partner to the other Easy Teacher series of apps previously released. The app itself includes a vast array of features that will help mobilise and improve the record keeping and register process for teachers in all subject areas, particularly those in PE.
With the Easy Attendance App You Can:
Easily send reports in a variety of formats to email and Dropbox® including;
✓ Daily Attendance & Missing Students
✓ Full Semester Reports
✓ Summary Reports
Other Features of Easy Attendance include
✓ Customizable Statuses
✓ Easily add observations and notes for each student creating an excellent record of progress or points of interest.
✓ Review these observations or email them to a parent or colleague
✓Easily generate random teams and groups of up to 30 students per group
So what do people think of the Easy Attendance App? I’ll let Lenny The PE Teacher tell you some more…
With the upcoming 2013 Google Teacher Academy being held again this year in Sydney, I thought I would take up the opportunity and trial my luck at an application. Heres an abstract from the Google Teacher Academy Website
The GTA is a FREE professional development experience designed to help primary and secondary educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Produced by CUE, each Academy is an intensive, two-day event during which participants get hands-on experience with Google’s free products and other technologies, learn about innovative instructional strategies, receive resources to share with colleagues, and immerse themselves in a supportive community of educators making impact.
One of the most important aspects of the application is accompanying video, which must go for no more than 1minute and address one of the following areas - ”Motivation and Learning”, “Classroom Innovation,” or “Positive Change in My Community.” So without further a do, here is my video application which focuses on Innovation within the Physical Education Classroom.
I’ve always been interested in sport and technology, ever since I received my first ever sports watch as a teenager making it possible to time my laps and splits during athletic training. However while my passion for physical activity has remained, technology sure has advanced in leaps and bounds. Its truly unbelievable and with every new device, we move closer and closer towards the quantitative self.
So what exactly is this Quantitative self that everyone is talking about? Gary Wolf best describes it in the video below;
My journey on this quantitative self journey began with a Polar Heart Rate monitor many years ago. The ability to exercise, while simultaneously observing my heart rate was something that motivated me to improve my overall health in ways I never thought possible. These same motivational qualities are reflected in our students, who revel at the ability to identify their physiological response to a lesson. The theoretical concepts that can also be explored are fantastic opening up a myriad of laboratory activities to improve student understanding.
Not too long after receiving my first iPod Nano, I found myself purchasing a Nike+ iPod sports kit which enabled me to track the distance and relative speed of my runs with a reasonable level of accuracy. However it wasn’t until the iPhone 3GS arrived that my obsession with tracking activity went to a whole different level.
The first ‘app’ that I downloaded on my new iPhone was Runkeeper. I found the whole idea of activity tracking truly out of this world, making it possible to accurately track all of the important metrics one would want within activity. My fitness levels rose to new heights and I began blogging on all of the ways in which activity tracking could be used in the PE Classroom. To this day, GPS apps have been used to teach senior PE concepts such as energy systems, training principles and acute responses in ways I could never have imagined when I was learning. Taking this even further saw the development of Heart Rate sensors such as the Wahoo Blue HR or the Polar H7 which would enable HR tracking inside of the GPS apps. The data from these activities is full of rich goodness.
In recent months, my pursuits of health data has led me to purchase a groundbreaking device called a FitBit One. Which is an all in one tiny device that allows fluid wireless physical activity and sleep tracking. This has resulted in me being 100% aware of the total steps, total distance, stairs climbed and much more. I’m even informed of my sleep cycles and gently woken by a vibrating alarm when I’m in a light sleep phase. All of this data is wirelessly accessible via the FitBit website or app allowing me to keep track of everything I do.
To extend my data tracking even further I have recently purchased a FitBit Aria Wifi Smart Scale, which allows me to track my daily weight, BMI and body fat percentages all of which are also uploaded to my FitBit account. This combined with theMy Fitness Pal app enable me to keep an eye on my food intake and subsequent energy expenditure in a completely social environment.
This whole world of data collection and mapping truly excites me, making it possible to track health and teach health concepts in ways we could of only dreamed of in years gone by. I’m excited by where these opportunities might take Physical Education and the message we seek to instill in our students. With tremendous growth occurring in wearable technology you can be rest assured that as we gain access to even more data, the data itself will become even more readable and useable by all. This is the space I cannot wait to be in.
Bring on the Quantitative Self
What are you currently tracking? Where do you see this type of technology taking health and physical education as it becomes even less obtrusive and affordable?
A superb FREE app that helps teachers showcase the internal workings of the human lungs. Users can modify the breaths per minute to see how this varies the lung volume. Use it with students learning anatomy, or during practical activities to help students visualise the acute responses they are experiencing.
The gamification of learning continues to excite me and this app is no exception. “The game is designed to draw beginners into the curious and fascinating world of anatomy, guiding them toward a commanding recall of the major bones of the human body”.
Two excellent resource apps made by PE Teacher Nicholas Stratigopz. Each app features over 100 games and activities to help students learn concepts, skills and strategies within both respective sports. Check out the video below highlighting the many features BasketballPE app.
An incredibly diverse iPhone/iPad app that makes it easy to annotate and markup anything you like. Use shapes, arrows, sketches and text annotation to get your point across fast. Mark up photos, screenshots, maps, and webpages then share them with anyone you like. A brilliant FREE addition to the PE practical classroom. Use Skitch to;
Annotate skill performance and tactics within game play
Showcase player position understanding of rules and playing areas
In this version of POMT, zoom into human bones, see how broken bones heal, and investigate some of the cool and weird cells found in the middle of our most sturdy organs. Another useful tool for exploring a wide variety of theoretical concepts in the PE or Health Classrooms.
Last year I discovered two brilliant podcast series geared towards younger students involved in dance and fundamental movement units. The episodes which appear weekly are produced by the BBC and available to everyone worldwide for free via number of channels. If your unfamiliar with how podcasts work I suggest you check out this video
The most exciting aspect of these podcasts is that they combine simple dance elements with storytelling in a completely engaging manner. A simple way to make them available for your students is via subscription within the Podcasts App or to download them your computer as MP3. You might also like to check out the mobile web app I built last year to house all the series (Visit it on your mobile device)
Dance resources for children aged 6 to 8 covering popular cross-curricular topics, primarily for school use. Presented by Diane Louise Jordan and featuring music specially-composed for the series. Programmes available on Thursdays with new episodes added the same day each week, during term time. Programme duration: 20 minutes.
Dance resources for children aged 5 to 7 covering popular cross-curricular topics, primarily for school use. Presented by Katy Ashworth and featuring music specially-composed for the series. Programmes available on Wednesdays with new episodes added the same day each week, during term time. Programme duration: 20 minutes
One of my favourite tools of recent years has been IFTTT which has been so deeply integrated into my personal organisation that I often forget how powerful it truly is. If your not familiar with IFTTT.COM then essentially it enables you to automate a wide variety of tasks throughout the internet. . The essential underpinning to the web service is as follows “If this occurs, then do that”. These automations, know as ‘recipes’ can be incredibly complex in nature or as simple as you like
One of my most widely used recipes is below. Basically the recipe means that whenever I upload a video direct to my YouTube channel, it will send out a tweet to my followers on Twitter. Making this process automatic means I can spend less time online.
Within the recipe below when a given time occurs, (in this example Wednesdays at 12.30pm) I receive a free Text Message from ifttt.com reminding me that I have Yard Duty. Another one of my recipes sends me an SMS message at 1.00pm daily asking the question “How Much Water Have You Drank Today?”. A simple reminder that often results in immediate consumption.
However these examples are just the beginning. There are literally millions of combinations and connections that can be made with the over 50 services know as ‘channels’ that you can activate and connect to. For a comprehensive list of the most popular recipes used by people feel free to check out the list here
What recipes do you use? How are you using it to automate the web and free up valuable time?