Episode 24 – Big Screen PE

In this episode we explore the power of the Big Screen in your PE Classroom. We touch on how to set it up, how to protect it from damage and how best to connect your devices.

We also explore 10 of the ways I use it within my classroom to do everything from warm ups, scoring and teachable moments. Apps and resources explored in this episode include

1. Scoring & TimeKeeping Apps

2. Video Resources such as Fitness Blender, Cosmic Kids Yoga, GoNoodle & Just Dance PE

3. Video Based Apps such as BaM Video Delay, Ubersense & Collabracam

4. Plus much much more

Press Play below to listen or visit the podcast here


00:28 Jarrod Robinson: Hello everyone, and welcome to Episode 24 of the PE Geek Podcast, and as I always say, it’s an absolute pleasure to be here. And I mean, I really mean that, and I say that also every episode, but over the last couple of months, this podcast’s audience has grown by an enormous amount. And that’s great, because it means that people are finding it useful, and I keep getting requests from people to make more episodes, which you can do, if you head to the podcast page, there’s a button that you click on and it sends me an email saying that, “Your audience wants more.” So, obviously people are enjoying it, I’m enjoying putting them together, and we have the next sort of six episodes ready to go. This is actually the first episode that I have recorded in 2015, so you will have been listening to episodes over the last few weeks, they were all recorded prior to Christmas in 2014 and released like that. So, that’s sort of the way I work, and that’s the best way to ensure that there’s always an episode coming out fortnightly or thereabouts, and I’m looking forward to sending out the next sort of six episodes, because I really think that you’re gonna enjoy them.

01:41 JR: A couple of things that are happening outside of the podcast space at the moment. We have just released a new webinar which has been really well-received from PE teachers on a whole host of different scales, elementary and high school and so on. And you can access that, it’s completely free at connectedpe.com/webinar. And when you visit that you can just sign up, you pick the date and time that best suits your needs, and then you’ll get reminder emails so that you don’t forget, as well as be able to get all the notes and a replay link if you do happen to miss it. So, over 500 teachers have accessed that webinar already, which is really nice, and the webinar is actually focusing entirely on how you can motivate physical activity in things such as dance, and gymnastics, and running, and so forth, with technology. I mean, these are things that we do every day, and the podcast is 60 minutes of how you can use tech to motivate those things as best as possible.

02:44 JR: I also just wanted to mention that my website, Fund My PE, is now live. And that website, if you’ve heard me talk about it, is a place where you can go to put down your ideas for projects in your gym. And people from all over the planet have the opportunity to contribute to those projects and help you raise the funds you need to bring them to life. We’re in the initial stages and we’ve already connected with a lot of sponsors that are going to help bring those to life and help fund projects, so if yours is on there, you never know, it just may get funded. And already there’s some amazing projects that are being put up by teachers all around the planet that are certainly really interesting to see. So head over to fundmype.com and put your project up for free, and you never know, you might get all the funds you need to bring it to life.

03:33 JR: Anyway, let’s dive into today’s content. In today’s episode, we’re gonna be exploring how the big screen PE concept has changed the game for me and my gym. I thought about doing this episode towards the end of last year, but I’ve just been reminded of how valuable this is based on the amount of emails I get from people wanting me to assist with getting something like this set up in their gymnasium or their practical spaces. And I also wanted to share the ideas and ways in which that I use my big screen in my PE space, based on the results from the World Tech & PE Survey, where there was quite a majority of people that were actually lucky enough to have this in their stadium or gymnasium, but they just weren’t quite sure how to use it, so let’s get into it. Now, if you’ve been following me for the last couple of years, it’s no secret that I really support the idea of practical spaces having some sort of large screen display. Now, I don’t necessarily mean that it has to be a big projector, an elaborate setup, any of that sort of thing. It just needs to be something that you can share with a group of people, so that you can do all sorts of things, rather than just crowding around a laptop or an iPad.

04:56 JR: The value in being able to share this en masse is really apparent when you can move to that large screen. Pretty fortunate to have been in a lot of schools now that have worked towards getting this in their school, and there’s lots of different ways that you can achieve this. There’s people that are putting in LCD screens that have like a plexiglass sliding element, so that if the ball hits it, it’s completely safe. There’s the approach that my school has taken, which is, place a short-throw projector on the wall, up nice and high, at one of the ends in our gymnasium. And if you wanna see a video of what it looks like, you can head to bigscreenpe.com. And the best part about ours is that the projector is actually mounted to the wall where the projection occurs, and that’s the whole idea of a short-throw projector. And then we have a box surrounding the actual projector to keep it safe. And then I know of a lot of people who have actually gone down the line of having a projector mounted in the roof, with the projector sort of floating through to a wall. And then final, the other addition is people who have a cart that they can wheel in when they need to utilize it.

06:07 JR: Or it might be there permanently, but it’s sort of on a cart stand. So, if you can get a situation where you can have a large green PE setup, then there is an enormous amount of opportunities that you can sort of use it for. And the most logical and obvious thing that you can possibly use it for straightaway, without too much fuss and that everyone can achieve, is as a scoreboard. And let’s say you’re teaching any sort of game, sport or activity and there’s a number of apps, there’s probably thousands of them that are scoreboards and with a couple of clicks, you can have it up on your screen and you can be visually showing that scoreboard to the group. And that’s a really motivational thing. And every time that I’ve used it in a PE setting, it’s been very clear. It’s got a countdown timer and people can see what’s going on. Now in terms of getting your iPad up onto the screen, there’s a couple of ways you can achieve it.

07:09 JR: You can achieve it via an Apple TV, which will allow you to do it wirelessly. And if you just search for Apple TV in Google you’ll find them. And they’re round about $100, and they enable you to connect your tripod, your projector or your TV to the Apple TV unit. And then your iPad can connect to the Apple TV wirelessly, and whatever’s on your iPad screen goes up onto the projector. The other option is to look at getting some sort of VGA or HDMI adapter, which means that you can connect your iPad directly to your iPad… Connect your projector I should say, directly to your iPad, and then the same process occurs. So we’re fortunate to have the Apple TV set up which means that we’re completely wireless in our gym. However you can achieve very much the same thing. In fact, exactly the same, just without the mobility, with the actual physical setup.

08:07 JR: Now if you don’t have an iPad, then you can connect your laptop directly to a projector in a very similar sort of physical connection sort of set-up. Or if you have an Apple TV and you want to connect your laptop to it, then there’s a software called Reflector app which will let you do that wirelessly. And I do use that occasionally as well when I need to project a laptop. So once you’ve physically got it set up, as I said you can use it for a scoreboard or you can install an app such as Seconds Pro, which is probably one of my favourite timer apps, and it’s designed for workouts. Very visual, probably designed more so for people doing fitness training and personal training and that sort of thing, but it’s really appropriate for physical activity classrooms where time is important and you’ve got groups that are rotating, and you need people to be able to physically see what’s happening up on the screen and be able to sort of be aware of when its time to rotate and move and those sorts of things. So Seconds Pro is fantastic. And if you head to the thepegeek.com/seconds, it’ll take you to the store where you can download it.

09:17 JR: Other than that, other than the obvious management of scores and time and so on, there’s lots of resources which were about getting people moving and getting them warmed up. And I think one of my absolute favourites, and I’ve mentioned it multiple times in the podcast, is fitnessblender.com. And it’s no secret that I use Fitness Blender a lot. You simply go to the website, you can search through their indexed category of activities that are appropriate for all sorts of fitness exercises and so forth. And basically, their full-length workout videos, shot professionally and basically explained and all those sorts of things, so that you can basically just press “Play” on them and people can stand back from the screen and follow along. And I think that’s a fantastic way to flip the instruction in your classroom. I’m sure you can probably take a circuit session or a warm-up session and you could be the instructor, but why? Why not have someone else replicate that particular aspect of the performance, which is replicatable. Let’s be honest, there’s so many people that can take it. And I’ll be honest and say that the people in Fitness Blender teach it better than I do. So, my role changes. They’re the ones that are now taking the session and I get to be able to impose my expertise by working through the group to help motivate and to correct form and give feedback on a personal scale.

10:49 JR: You cannot do that when you’re the one at the front of the class trying to go through the activities. That’s one of the main reasons why I tend to use Fitness Blender a lot. I actually used it this week, and there’s a nice little five-minute cardio warm-up that the students enjoyed, and the best part is I get to join in and I get to model at the front of the room how these things are supposed to work. And it sort of works to break down a lot of barriers as well. So Fitness Blender is great. And it’s just a website so you don’t need to have an iPad or anything else, just connect your laptop to your big screen and go from there. Don’t have a big screen? Well, that’s completely fine, just use the laptop screen and if kids have their own devices then they can load up Fitness Blender and I’ll be working on something a little bit different. But I definitely vouch for the fact that it works really well in that big screen setting. On the same token of warm-up and getting people active, I am a really big fan of using the Just Dance PE videos. They’re not really called Just Dance PE, they’re Just Dance videos but I have created a web address that will send you to them which is justdancepe.com.

12:00 JR: And when you head there, it’s gonna redirect you to YouTube, where there’s over 400 step-by-step dance videos. That are around about four minutes in length and they’re done to the popular songs, and they’re all animated and they’re great energisers and reinvigoraters. And they’re a really good way to get kids moving just before the start of a lesson, get them to have a bit of a dance-off competition between each other and then move into your classroom activity. And I’d be surprised if you have students who don’t enjoy that particular way of getting people warmed up. I had a year 10 group, which I thought, “You know what? They are probably not gonna enjoy dancing like this.” But I was absolutely wrong, because we switched up that it was about the dancing, and made it about everything else that goes around the dancing. So, it was a retro style song that we were dancing to, we got them to dress-up in ’70s and ’80s dress, which they raided from their parents’ cupboards and it became an event.

13:00 JR: And all of a sudden, the event was dictating that they were actually dancing, and it wasn’t me saying, “I want you to dance.” They were dancing, which they probably wouldn’t normally do, and it was a great way to get that into our program. So, yeah, justdancepe.com, head along there, it’s constantly being updated. It’s basically just YouTube and all the dance moves come up on the screen and you can follow along. Another thing that I have played with and enjoyed is Cosmic Kids Yoga, and if you head along to thepegeek.com/cosmic, as in C-O-S-M-I-C. And it will take you to a YouTube page where there is an instructor who takes young kids through little mini yoga sessions, in this really fun and exciting manner. And it’s great way to project that up on the screen and then have kids involved in the sort of yoga activities that follow. On that same vein, I also use regularly the website GoNoodle, which is a free resource at gonoodle.com. And it has a collection of videos that work for all sorts of brain breaks, and things that of nature which work perfectly when they’re on a large screen and you’ve got an audience that assembles to watch that.

14:19 JR: They’re sort of three to five-minute little videos of things such as Zumba for kids, and little activities where you have to run and jump, and interact with what’s happening on the screen and follow along with those actions. So, I highly recommend GoNoodle and Cosmic Kids Yoga for those sit, watch and replicate style activities. Now, I also love using our large screen project for video, and for sharing video to a group. Whether that simply is, simply recording something and having it like a live stream of that appear up on the screen in its most simplest version. Or utilising, I mean, my favourite app ever, BaM Video Delay, which enables you to set a delay period on your iPad, so that whatever gets recorded doesn’t get shown on the iPad until the set delay period has elapsed. So for example, you can set 10 second delay on your iPad, and it’ll record, and just continually record everything, but it’ll only show that particular section 10 seconds later.

15:31 JR: So, what you basically do is timeshift the feedback that you could be providing. So for example, you could use a five-second replay or delay in your class, that was being projected to the large screen in your room for instant replays. So, the other day we were playing Korfball with my year 11 PE class, and we had set up the projector, turned it on, and we had our tripod sitting in the corner with an iPad on it and we’re using the BaM video app with a five-second delay. And what it meant was that whenever something occurred in the game that was worthwhile sharing with the students, I simply stopped the game, directed their attention to the screen and was able to very quickly point out what it was that was making that particular action occur. Now, in this particular instance, we were using that model to explore the different anatomical movements that exist, such as pronation, and elevation, and abduction, and adduction. So, they were learning about functional anatomy type ideas and we were using BaM Video Delay to create the replay and set the scene for the teachable moment.

16:52 JR: So, without a doubt, BaM Video Delay is a game changer, sure you don’t need the large screen projector, but it certainly means that you don’t have to run around to the back of an iPad to view it, you can just stop and glance from where you are. And if you wanna see that in effect, head along to bigscreenpe.com and you can see a video that I put together showing how I usually set up that arrangement. Aside from BaM Video Delay, I mean I’ve also used Ubersense in much the same way, kids will be involved in, let’s say, badminton, for example. And I’ll be walking along, recording a couple of high performers, stopping, bringing them into the screen and then going through and showcasing what it is that makes that particular student able to perform well. What they’ve done that worked good based on our learning objectives. Now, if you’ve never played with Ubersense, just head along to thepegeek.com/ubersense, and you can see that there is a redirect… Redirect you to the app store I should say. And basically it’s a video analysis tool that lets you go slow motion, frame-by-frame and you can go back in time and keep focusing in on a specific point.

18:04 JR: You can draw on the screen, you can zoom in and highlight particular pieces of the performance that make sense and best of all, you can complete a recording over the top of it where you showcase your understanding. It is now my preferred video analysis app and it’s free. It’s now available on android which is why it’s now my preferred device, my preferred app ’cause it’s available across all platforms and it’s an absolute game changer. And the model that I tend to use is that I would do exactly that: Film students, stop play, showcase it nice and large up on the screen, and emphasise something and then everyone can head back to what it is that they were doing. Now, aside from the use of video for performance aspects, I’ve also played around with the app called CollabraCam. And CollabraCam is really powerful because what it lets you do is connect multiple iPads together, and by that, basically you have a multi camera recording device that lets you switch angles to get the best view.

19:11 JR: So think of a basketball court where there’s a student on each corner of the basketball court, now CollabraCam will let you actually record the view of each of those whenever it’s appropriate to record from that particular view. So, a director sits in a chair somewhere else and to select the feed of the student that they wish to record from. So let’s say a ball goes into the top right corner of the basketball court, well, the director would choose to use that particular feed to record and if the video changes and the ball goes to the other end, and the director can pick the other feed. What happens is when you finish the recording session, all of those different clips gets stitched together on the director’s feed and you end up with one video which is like a seamless sort of progression of what people have done. It’s really powerful stuff and it certainly works to bring the whole viewing to life. So why have we used it with a big screen PE model? Well, I mean, once we recorded it, I can put it up on the screen and sort of highlight particular things of interest that have happened.

20:25 JR: And the kids really just love seeing themselves into that sort of motivational aspect is really powerful. Now, without a doubt I probably receive an email once a week, at least, surrounding the concept of projecting people’s heart rates up onto a external screen that everyone can see during the particular session or the class activity. And I blogged about this last year and it was one of the most visited blog posts throughout the year, and it was about how I used that particular concept of having each student with a heart rate device and having those get projected up onto the screen, so that they could actually see their exertion levels during the beep test. So think of the beep of the pacer test, you’ve got your students active and they all got a Polar H7 heart rate monitor which I love because these devices enable you to connect to an iPad so that the iPad can track the heart rate. Anyway, so in this particular instance, I use the app Polar Team, which allows you to connect up to 40 students to one iPad. So you’ve got 40 students with Polar H7 devices on, they’re being channelled into one iPad and quite literally that’s being projected up onto the screen.

21:39 JR: So, at a glance while they’re actually performing, they could just look up and they could see what percentage of their heart rate max they were in. They could see what sort of zone they were in, and they could sort of pinpoint where their aerobic contribution was switching to anaerobic contribution ’cause we were learning about energy systems in this instance. And they could sort of also work out whether or not it was time to drop out of the activity. If I had a student who was up there and their heart rate was at 70% and they went, “No, hang on, no that’s enough, I’m gonna stop.” Then, they obviously are just choosing to do so as long as they’re medically sound and so forth but, yeah, it was very clear to them that they could not sort of just skip out of doing it, not that I had students who do that but some people would and this makes it very clear. Now, in my school every kid had their name up on the screen and they could see each other’s heart rates and who was doing what and there was a great form of discussion as well. You don’t have to do that, you could give each kid a number and those numbers are already known to them and they can see their number and their heart rate and go from there.

22:46 JR: Now, the Polar Team app, if you wanted to head on to the blog and see it, I’ll have a link in the episode notes which is thepegeek.com/episode24 or just thepegeek.com/24, that’s much easier to do and you can see a video of how it worked for me and what I used to make that possible. Now the final thing I wanna share before we finish today’s episode is the app called CoachNote. Now, CoachNote is one of the apps that I shared during the workshops that I run and you can go and see all the upcoming workshops from me at thepegeek.com/events, we are all over the planet this year. But one of the most popular apps that I share is CoachNote and I continue to use it because I love it in my classroom and I think it has an unfortunate name, it’s not just about coaching for me, it’s more about instruction and sort of helping me explain things. But basically CoachNote is a coach’s white board. So if you can imagine a coach standing on the side of the game and they’ve got a white board and they’re drawing plays and so on, that’s basically what CoachNote lets you do.

23:55 JR: However, you start with the actual backing of whatever sport that you’re doing. So if you’re playing basketball then you can import a basketball court. If you’re playing korfball, you can import a korfball court and then you can start to drag players on and then you can show their movement between different areas. So CoachNote is really good for getting it up on to that large screen, having people assemble and talking through various rules that are appropriate to that particular game, like the korfball example. I mean that’s a little bit unique but I was using CoachNote to explain where people could run and where they could go. I also use it to showcase strategies, different strategies that we’re trying to get across to students. How do you encourage people to run to space? You can show them up on the screen and reinforce it with actual practical activities, well what really works in my situation to sort of get across that message.

24:51 JR: But for me, the ultimate reason I use CoachNote is to help me explain the setup of various games that we’re going to play. So think of the minor games concept, where you’ve got little activities and you want to try and get across the rules of those, well, you can very quickly piece together how they are set up and then show them how they need to participate in that activity. Or better yet, physically draw the collection of equipment that needs to be put in place. And then have the students work together to set it up. And I’ve found that to be a really great way for them to sort of try and interpret what’s up on the screen and then put it into action. And sitting back and watching them try to do that is actually really rewarding. You can see how they work as a group and so on. If you wanted to see that, on my blog, there’s a link in the show notes, thepegeek.com/24 and I have a link to a picture that I took recently that actually shows exactly how I did that in my space and it was a really cool rewarding experience. You don’t have to have the large screen to make that possible but it certainly, certainly benefits it.

26:05 JR: Anyway, that brings us to the end of Episode 24. I really hope that you’ve got a couple of ideas about how you can use a large screen in your program. If you don’t have one, then maybe this particular episode is more about advocacy for why you should. Now I’ve found that the best way to advocate for this, in all of the schools that I’ve worked in to help support them and help them get to this particular point, has been wrapped around them exploring the myriad of uses that don’t just occur in the PE classroom. So, if your gymnasium is used for other things, so, assemblies or community events and those sorts of things, tap into that particular avenue because the more you can sell it with a multi-level purpose that doesn’t just apply to PE, the better off you’ll be.


The easiest way to listen to The PE Geek Podcast is via our dedicated mobile app, which you can download for FREE for iPhone/iPad & Android. The app will let you know when new episodes go LIVE & allow you to listen to all of the episodes while on the go. We even let you store files for offline playback so you don’t need to use your mobile data. Go download here.

Scroll to Top