Episode 42 – Android Apps in PE

In this episode of The PE Geek Podcast, we explore a collection of Android apps and accessories that are powerful inclusions in any Physical Education classroom. So if you or your school has gone down the Android route, then you need to check this out.

Resources explored in this episode include

  1. Video Coach & Hudl Technique, SloPro
  2. Anatomy 4D, iMuscle
  3. Team Shake, Book Creator, FitRadio, SworkIt
  4. Mirroring 360 & Chromecast

Press Play below to listen or visit the podcast page. Alternatively download a full episode transcript here


00:29 Jarrod Robinson: Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of the PE Geek Podcast, episode number 42. Now, I really wanna thank you for tuning in, and I hope that you can get something from the episode in the same way that, hopefully, you have with previous episodes in the past. Now, if you are tuning in for the first time, the PE Geek Podcast is all about different ways in which you can utilize emerging technologies in your physical education space. And that’s all centered around things that are taking place on the PE Geek Blog at thepegeek.com.

01:05 JR: Now, in today’s episode, we’re going to be focusing in on a particular question that I get asked a lot. That question is, “Okay, I have an Android device. What apps and so on, should I be using to try and maximize the use of mobile technologies and so on, in my space?” Now I get asked this question probably weekly, and in the years gone by, it’s been pretty difficult to sort of answer this. Because Android devices are great personal devices. They’re great for people who are travelling. They want to consume entertainment and all those sorts of things. If you’re doing it just for that, they’re comparable to iPads and any other tablet.

01:48 JR: However, in the years gone by, when people asked, “How can I use my Android tablet in a PE setting?”, the options were pretty limited. Now I say that as an Android developer, and as someone who has built Android apps for PE teachers. However, quite happily, we’ve got to a stage now where there are definite substitutes for lots of the apps that I talk and blog about that are available on iPad. And I’m looking forward to sharing a few of those today in today’s episodes, so that people who have got an Android device can feel confident knowing that the apps we talk about today are gonna be useful in their PE settings. So, let’s dive into it.

02:34 JR: Now, the first app I really want to share with you is sort of an analogue of one of my favorite apps ever, and that is BaM Video Delay. You would have hear me talk about it probably nearly every single episode. Essentially, it is an app that enables you to create instant replays in your PE setting. For many years, there wasn’t an alternative to this in an Android setting, however, I’m very please to say that there is now, and the app is called Video Coach. Now, the developer of this particular application has reached out to me in a couple of occasions and shares all of the updates that are happening. I must say, I’m particularly impressed with what it offers, and there’s a number of blog posts on my site focusing in on it now.

03:27 JR: So, basically with Video Coach, what you get is the ability to set a delay value on your screen, and that delay value enables you to perform a skill, or your students to perform a skill, and then they have that amount of time to get back to their device to review it. However, it continuously is recording. So, what it means is you can have a group of students who are watching their replay from what happened previously, while another group of students are actually performing their action. And it creates this incredible feedback loop where something like high jump, long jump, triple jump, or any sort of closed discrete skill would benefit.

04:08 JR: In this particular instance, the thing that I love about it is the fact that it has four potential screens that you can utilize. By that, I mean you can have four screens set up inside the app, and each of those has a different delay. So you can potentially see something four times. However, it also has a live box which floats over the top and makes it possible for you to see what’s happening live, as well as four screens set for different delays, which is quite impressive.

04:39 JR: Now, more recently, they’ve actually integrated Go Pro support. So you could have a Go Pro connected to your Android device, and people could be, say, Go Pro Wi-fi version, could be wearing it in-game, and that could be streamed out to people who are using the app. So, it’s pretty impressive stuff, really powerful, and actually goes well and beyond what the BaM Video Delay app does on its own.

05:08 JR: Aside from using a video delay type app, I’m really impressed with how Ubersense, or more recently, Hudl, has progressed, enabling it to have a really all-in-one video analysis app on an Android device. Now, up until recently, I would’ve recommended that people use Coach’s Eye in an Android setting when it comes to video analysis. More recently, the advance of Ubersense, and then eventually what became Hudl, has been quite impressive, and it’s been great to see that it’s no longer the second… We’ll get to it to develop on Android. People are actually building stuff with Android in mind, and this is an example of that. So this app will let you do frame by frame video analysis, slow motion, draw on the video, et cetera, and send that out as feedback to people who are performing a skill set. So, highly recommended in terms of video analysis.

06:13 JR: Now, if you really want to dive into a slow motion solution, then I highly recommend checking out SloPro. SloPro is available on the Google Play Store, and it does one thing, and it does it really well, and that is, enables you to do slow motion right down to 500 frames per second, which is quite impressive in terms of being able to play that back, and where you see something that you would normally wouldn’t see. But best of all, you get a timeline at the bottom of your video, and you can edit different segments to different speeds and so on. So, SloPro is highly recommended.

06:55 JR: Now, moving on from video, there’s a number of tools that I would absolutely recommend anyone with an Android device goes and downloads, and one of those would be Anatomy 4D. Now, Anatomy 4D is insane. It enables you to teach anatomy concepts, such as the human body and the heart, through augmented reality. Now, basically, you get a piece of paper, which comes from inside the app, you print that piece of paper out, and then you hover the app over the top of the piece of paper, and it brings to life that piece of paper into an actual immersive anatomical experience.

07:33 JR: So, as you pan and zoom your device, the body which you are looking at pans and zooms to suit your orientation, which is really cool. So, you can have people exploring it as if it was an actual human body sitting on the table. So, if you want to dive in and check that out, then be sure to head along to thepegeek.com/42, where you’ll find all the links and resources from today’s episode, including links to Anatomy 4D, and the download sheets, which are available in the app, but you can click and get them from my website with one easy to download document.

08:14 JR: Now, aside from the Anatomy 4D, I would also recommend checking out iMuscle. Now, iMuscle is, and has an equivalent of an app on the app store, the Google Play Store, which enables you to do 3D, sort of immersive exploration of the muscular system. Now, I wish I had this when I was at university. Basically, it brings your tablet to life so that you can click on a 3D representation of the body, tap any muscle; it brings up a list of exercises and stretches that you can use to engage that particular muscle set. So, if you’ve got students who have their own Android tablet, get them to download this, and then have them use it to build a workout that actually activates a series of muscles. That’s exactly something that we’ve done at my school with my students. And we did have people who had Android devices. And because of the fact that this is available, they were able to participate with it in the same way that everyone else in the class did.

09:18 JR: Now, aside from anatomy, a couple of essential apps that I think everyone should download, and the fact that they’re available on Android is fantastic, so Team Shake. Now, we’ve spoken about this before in the past, with a number of people on the show and myself included, but Team Shake obviously let’s you create class lists, and then very easily, shake the device to automatically break people up into groups, which is quite useful if you want to get people, an entire class roster into a group quickly and fairly. Because, you can grade students, it becomes a really powerful tool. So, Team Shake, head along and download that one at the Show Notes.

10:01 JR: Now, aside from that, Book Creator is also available on Android. Now, Book Creator is one of my favorite applications; the big part of The PE Geek workshops. It enables you to create, as it sounds, a book. Now, that book can include photos and videos, and some information that’s quite useful for creating sort of student portfolios. And then those books can be shared with parents. So, lots of opportunities there for Book Creator to be used, and I just love the fact that it’s now fully available on an Android space.

10:33 JR: Also available on the Android, and something that I think every teacher should get is Fit Radio. Now, Fit Radio is as it sounds, a radio station designed specifically around fitness and exercise and activity, and it’s basically a streaming music service designed purely for those types of activities. Move in, open the app up, tap on the type of activity that you want, whether you want some hip-hop or you want some aerobic upbeat exercise, and music will just play for you. You don’t need to choose songs. You don’t need to do anything. You just need to sit back and listen to it, and get moving, which is really nice to know.

11:10 JR: There’s also a Phys Ed channel which curates music for PE programs, making it really easy for you to get started with those things in your sitting. And then the final app that I really want to mention, that I think is a must have is Sworkit. Now, Sworkit is, without a doubt, one of the best apps available on any platform, and it is available on Android. It makes it possible for you to have students click on one of the four key attributes that they’d like to create or participate on a workout around, and they would be cardio, strength, stretching, and yoga. And, they basically click that, and then they select the amount of time they have, and then they get a randomly created workout for them to complete, which I think is fantastic for anyone.

12:05 JR: Now, obviously, given it’s a free app, anyone can download this on any device because it’s available for Android or iPhone or whatever. And then you can spend the first couple minutes of a session basically diving into how to create a workout. And the cool part about it is, because students pick the style of workout they want and how much time they have, they all get given something a little bit different. They can focus in on their strengths, and you’ve just differentiated the whole group in a really impressive way. So with that in mind, there’s a brief overview of some of the amazing Android-centric apps that I reckon everyone can find a use for in their space. Most of them are completely free. A couple of them have paid elements to them, but I still highly recommend it. Now if you would like to dive in a little bit deeper into the use of these apps in a PE setting, then I recommend heading along to the Android webinar, which is presented by me, it goes for 60 minutes, and focuses in on the use of the apps that we’ve spoken on, with pictures and so on, and the examples, as well as a few more which we haven’t looked at today, in fact, quite a lot more which we haven’t looked at today as well.

13:22 JR: And you can get access to that at connectedpe.com/android. And when you visit that page, you can register for the webinar in your time to suit your situation, and then you’ll get reminded of the webinar and all that sort of stuff before, eventually you’ll appear and I’ll take you through 60 minutes of ways in which you can use those Android apps in your PE setting. If you want the iPad version of that, if for some reason you’re listening and you’re listening to it but have an iPad, then connectedpe.com/ipad is the same webinar, but geared around the stuff that we can do in a iPad setting. Now, before we leave, obviously, all these apps are fantastic, but there’s is obviously a desire for these to be projected up onto some sort of large screen. And the thing I love to do that with in an Android setting is, or it’s called an Apple TV. Now you might be thinking Apple TVs only work with iPhones or iPads, but that’s not entirely true. If you can get an Apple TV, connect it to a TV or a projector, and then use the app called Mirroring 360, which is available for your Android device, then you can mirror that Android device to your Apple TV in the same way that you would do an iPhone or an iPad, which is really impressive. So by doing that, you’re obviously able to share the things that are happening on your Android screen with everyone, which means that you can make one device go a little bit further than you normally would.

15:05 JR: Now, if Apple TV is not something that you wanted to get access to, you can do the same thing with a Chromecast. Now Chromecast, they’re a little bit more affordable, they’re available at thepegeek.com/chromecast, and when you visit that, you’ll find, it look like a little USB thumb drive, and you connect them to your HDMI device, and then you can project content from your Android device to the Chromecast. And obviously because it’s connected to the TV or whatever you’ve got it connected to, you can see what’s happening. So a couple of choices there to get your content to a larger screen. Now I’m gonna leave it at that point for now. If you have any questions about your Android device and things that you would like to have answers to, including apps that might exist on the iPad, et cetera, that you haven’t managed to find in an Android space, then feel free to let me know. You can even drop me a voicemail at thepegeek.com/voicemail, and I’d be more than happy to answer them. Alright, enjoy your Android devices, and stay tuned to episode 43 coming soon. See you later.



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