Reclaiming Physical Activity Time

One of the biggest problems teaching Senior Physical Education is the fact that practical activity becomes increasingly more difficult to complete given the immense theoretical requirements. Part of the reason is because of the pressure to ensure that all students understand the content in the lead up to the traditional exam. Now this is all well and good, however as we know students take their understanding to the next level when they have the chance to apply it to a real world practical setting. Therein lies our problem.

So how exactly do we go about changing the mode of content delivery to “Reclaim our Physical Activity Time”?

Well, during the holidays I decided to explore the Khan Academy in more detail. For those of you unfamiliar with the academy, it is basically an online school consisting of thousands of high quality YouTube videos across popular subject areas of maths, biology, physics etc. The website is aimed at “providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”. So I share with you the first video I watched at the academy, which was without doubt the best PD I have completed all year.


So here I am sitting at my computer in the holidays completing professional development, thinking to myself that this method of delivery could easily be applied to my senior physical education class to solve the problem mentioned above. Heres how;

  1. Start by developing a series of podcasts and tutorials focusing on different theoretical aspects.
  2. Have students watch/listen to these as homework with an attached worksheet/task
  3. Use class time to participate in practical activity and games that seeks to link together the theoretical content to develop their real world understanding.

The reasons I know this could work are that

  • Students would have access to lessons outside of school hours and they would still have the scheduled class time resulting in an increase in time spent studying the subject. This however would not increase the subject workload as students at this level are already completing homework in their own time. The benefit here is that this new style homework would now be teacher assisted, resulting in an improved understanding.
  • Students are engaged in mobile technologies, making it possible for them to complete the tutorial side of the class in what was once wasted time, such as travelling or waiting for a bus.

So what are your thoughts? Could this new switched method of delivery reclaim our ‘Physical Activity Time’ and give my students the chance to explore their understanding in a deeper sense?

6 thoughts on “Reclaiming Physical Activity Time”

  1. Hi Jarrod,

    I think you will find a lot of support for this teaching method and it is one I have also recently come across here:

    It is an interesting concept and one with great potential. I’d be interested to hear how this works and whether all students complete the ‘homework’ part of the course. Certainly worth exploring!!



  2. Hi Jarrod,
    Having been inspired by Sal Khan’s video for some time, I finally decided to give it a try for myself. I’ve now produced two videos for Unit 1 PE and you can check them out at my YouTube channel,
    I’d love to hear some feedback. It would be great if a few teachers could build up these videos and stick them on this channel for our students to view.

  3. Hi Jarrod-

    I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I enjoyed reading your post. I am delighted to see PE being integrated with technology. I think the students would love to do their theoretical learning on their phones and computers! I am very impressed with the idea.


  4. Hi Jarrod

    I think you are onto it and the key is the interactiveness of the material for the students. If they can add to or give more examples it becomes even more powerful. I am trying it with Mindmaps but it is a diffinitely a work in progress.

    I watched a class a couple weeks back where the teacher had loaded the material online with questions that the class assigned among themselves. They used google docs to work on the answers shared the information then came in and did a class on the practical side followed two days later by a formulative test question. It was a Maths class but I could see it working for us in P.E. as well.

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