Over the years running this website & working with schools & teachers around the globe It’s become seriously noticeable that there is no correlation between being well resourced & effective usage of technologies in PE.
I cannot even begin to explain the number of schools I’ve worked or communicated with that have unlimited resources and capacity to purchase, yet wind up never using what they’ve invested in. Worse still they end up using them with no direction simply to satisfy some checklist. It’s super frustrating.
- It quickly finds its way in the too hard basket
- It becomes a nice to have rather than an essential element of a lesson
- All but the super keen teachers begin to dread using it
- It winds up being placed in the storeroom for the “next unit”
- It gets dispersed to other areas of school
- Tech gets in the way & seems to interrupt your classroom rather than aiding
- It gets broken & not replaced
Sounds terrible? It is & sadly its a common occurrence in schools that have jumped on board the technology in PE train without any real planning or conscious thought behind why. So how do we avoid this happening in our schools? What can we do to ensure what we do is meaningful and everlasting?
1.Start With Why
One of the biggest indicators in a successful rollout of emerging technologies, is the use of purposeful planning. Everything you do should be mapped to a reason or purpose that drives the technologies usage in the classroom. This can take many forms, however, always leads teachers down the right path needed to ensure they truly consider the ‘WHY‘ behind their use. To assist with this I developed a lesson planning framework which takes teachers through some of the thought processes they need for successful implementation. See how it works in the video below;
As you can see from the video, the lesson planning document takes into consideration many of the elements that need to be considered when planning any lesson. It also seeks to remain as generic as possible by avoiding specific state or country curriculum terminologies.
Download the lesson planning template below
While this might seem obvious I see over and over again where schools spend thousands on new devices, then balk spending a few hundred on attending some professional learning events such as the PE Geek Workshops or ConnectedPE Community. This cost saving mentality comes back to bite them when the devices find their way in the too hard basket & ultimately never get used.
3. Keep It Simple
Too often there is a tendency to try and do far too much, leading to paralysis. My advice is to keep it simple & focus on a few key areas which can truly benefit with the usage. From this point its easy to scale to more as success tends to lead to more success.
Do Resources Really Matter?
Some of the absolute best usage I’ve been fortunate enough to witness has come from teachers working in difficult situations with very little available resources. They might only have access to their own personal device & are ultimately forced to reflect deeply on what they want to achieve. It also forces them down a path of thought and creativity that quite often results in more meaningful usage.
So to answer the question, do resources really matter? Does a high resourced private school implement technology better? Does that expensive tuition fee lead to deeper thought and attention from the teachers?
……..The answer in all cases is NO…..None of these variables make a dent or impact in the way we think they would.
At end of the day, the only thing that truly makes a difference is YOU & the care and attention you place into providing meaningful experiences for your students. A lack of resources cannot stop a passionate teacher who cares deeply about the learning of their students. On that basis, it’s a much more level playing field than we tend to think.