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?