At the moment my senior Physical Education students are embarking on a major assessment task that will see them designing and participating within a 6 week training program. This particular assessment is by far my favourite components of the VCE PE Course given the increased level of practical activity, as well as the possibility to utilise the latest technology to help analyse, track and interpret the training.
One of the biggest issues the students face across the course of the 6 weeks is the two week holiday period, which falls right in the middle of the program. This often means that the students are required to embark on the program individually, leading to more of a chance of missing a session or straying outside of their requirements. With this in mind, we are introducing a number of simple approaches to allow the students to stay connected and help motivate one another.
All of the students within this subject are very keen users of Instagram and as such we have setup a mutual hashtag that we they will use throughout the course of the 6 week program. They then set the challenge of ensuring they capture an inspiring and motivational photo before or after their training session. The other students can then utilise the mutual hashtag to see and be inspired by the activity of others. Also to make it more interesting the best and most creative/artistic photos judged by the students each fortnight will win iTunes Giftcards.
At the end of each week during the holiday period we will also be participating within a Google Hangout as a chance to catch up, reflect on the training they have completed and seek clarification surrounding their learning. For those unfamiliar a Google Hangout is a live face-to-face video call with up to 10 people at once. The possibility even exists to conduct the hangouts via a mobile device, which will enable me to conduct the group chat while being physically active.
As part of my own fitness efforts, I to have also elected to also participate within the program. This gives me the chance to utilise a wide variety technological gadgets, as well as model how the students should seek to complete their training logs. My Training Diary can be accessed via www.mrrobbo.com/vcepe/ and contains all of my physiological training responses as well as my thoughts and improvements for each session. The students will then use this to help shape and develop their understanding throughout the 6 week period. The fact that I’m being watched also works to help motivate myself to stay compliant.
Although the following tools are quite simple, they do serve the very real purpose of helping the students build a community surrounding this important aspect of their senior PE studies. It then hopefully leads the way for them to feel inspired by each other .
So how does technology motivate your physical activity? How could it motivate your students?