When I was growing up I was obsessed with Track & Field, so much so that the very first time I created a website was to build a wikipedia style resource that listed the best athletes and their respective times & distances. Although the website was laughable, it combined two of my favourite things: Technology & Track & Field.
With this in mind, I wanted to combine these passions again and share the 5 best apps for track and field . The options move from simple to more complex and are regularly recommended by myself to others.
Improve your start technique and start speed with sprintStart The app contains three tools, two to measure your reaction time and one to record a slow motion video synchronised with the start signal. The start sequence is fully customizable and you can edit words, times and language. StartMeter is a fun and easy to use tool for athletes and coaches in sports like sprinting, swimming and short track where a first-class start is advantageous
Using nothing more than QR Codes, you can now start & stop a timer. Yep, you heard that right – essentially all you have to do is hold the QR code in front of the scanner (device )camera. The app will then automatically generate your name and a new individual stopwatch will be started for the QR Code you scanned. If you scan the code again, the timer stops. All of this is possible via the QR Stopwatch mobile app
You can see it all in action in the video below;
As shown in the video, you can generate the QR Code ID cards using the QR Code generator tool which you can then print and save. Each QR code is embedded in a student ID card in a credit card size & becomes that students timer trigger in the app.
Without a doubt one of the most game changing ways to time your students is through the app know as ‘sprintTimer‘. Essentially the app turns your iPhone or iPad into sprint timing app complete with photo finish employing the same techniques as the professional equipment used at the Olympics.
Because of this the app features as part of our annual track & field school meet replacing the hand timing that used to be conducted by 8+ volunteers. Not only did sprintTimer result in much more accurate results, but it also freed up the volunteers to assist in other events.
So with this in mind, here is a video tutorial outlining how to use this amazing tool to ensure you have nothing but success using the tool.
The app formerly known as Ubersense enables you to use your iPhone, iTouch or iPad & Android device camera to record and break down your technique for instant feedback during a practice, race or game. Analyze your students action in super slow motion, compare your performance side-by-side to a pro’s or focus frame by frame. Watch a series of video tutorials here
Available completely for FREE – With this app, you can simultaneously record and display delayed video. This means that a PE Teacher can have the app pointed towards any sort of discrete skill and after the skill has been completed the performer has adequate time to return to the screen to see their skill in action. See exactly how I use the app here.
As part of my first Physical Education Job at Boort District School, I was also responsible for organizing and managing the school’s sports program. This included the annual swimming, track & field and cross country meets, which always proved to be massive undertakings. Not only did we have to arrange the students into events, but being a true country school, we had to get by with limited resources.
One of the most obvious examples of this involved the yearly marking of the schools largest grassed area into a 300m Athletics track complete with lanes, relay exchange stations and more. Not only did this process always seem to happen in the brutal heat, but it involved me dusting out some rusty Pythagoras equations to ensure our track was nothing short of perfection.
Even though the above jobs were time-consuming and stressful, they were truly nothing in comparison to the horrendous software system that our school [and virtually all others] used to manage the carnivals. It resulted in hours of mind numbing work that often had to be re-completed after a some sort of software fail. It was the only part of the process I simply couldn’t stand. I had to build something better.
Sports Tracker is a modern tool for today’s mobile connected world, that enables you to easily setup and organize sports events for your school or district. Sports Tracker has revolutionized how teachers set up & coordinate Track & Field, Swimming or Cross Country Events. Since our launch in November of 2015 we’ve become the go-to tool for 350 schools around the globe.
You can learn more about Sports Tracker and take it for a spin here
So what track and field apps have you used? Have you tried any of these?
In this episode of The PE Geek Podcast, I set myself a challenge to come up with a list of apps that follow alphabetical order, selecting only one app from each letter. The process of compiling the list proved to be difficult, as many share the same starting letters, ultimately resulting in a need to select one between many favourites.
So what criteria did I use?
See the complete list of apps shared below
Press Play below to listen. Alternatively, download a full episode transcript here
00:30 Jarrod Robinson: Hello everyone, and welcome to episode number 57 of the PE Geek podcast, and as always thank you for tuning in. Now, in today’s episode I’ve set myself a little bit of a personal challenge to give you the A to Z of PE apps, and I mean that quite literally. What I’ve done is I’ve gone and got a piece of paper, and I’ve listed out all of the letters of the alphabet, A right through to Z, and the challenge was to assign an app that began with that particular letter and go through the entire alphabet and present to you the list of apps that are in that order. Now, it’s been quite challenging because a number of apps all share the same starting letter, and it’s been difficult for me to sort of validate and pick which ones I would share ahead of others.
01:22 JR: The letter B, for example, is quite popular, and I’ve done it. I’ve come up with the list. These are all apps that I see value in, I see teachers using, they’re either things that can assist you the teacher just to be more efficient and effective, they’re tools that you can use with a student or sort of anywhere between that. Skill based apps, so apps that help you to recall information and so on, there’s some of those in there. There’s some content based apps and things that you can use to teach content or help people research and so forth. And then there’re a lot of function based apps, apps that do something that help students take some information they have and turn it into something different. So going to go through list, and you can definitely get a list of all of these different apps in a PDF form over at the PE Geek/57 where you can download also a full episode transcript as well. Okay, let’s do it.
02:21 JR: Now, kicking us off at the very start is letter A obviously, and we’re gonna pick Anatomy 4D. Now you have heard me speak about this on numerous occasions. It’s a fantastic app as that introductory activity for teaching any sort of anatomy base concept. You’re talking about the circulatory system or any of the other systems of the body. Essentially you print out the pieces of paper which are inside of the app and you hand them out and put them around a physical room, and then when you look at the app, you get to look through the camera and you point it at that piece of paper, and basically it brings to life the human body. It’s an example of augmented reality where the actual image gets overlaid over the top of the piece of paper, and what it looks like is it looks like the piece of paper has come to life, and you get to sort of treat it as if it was a real cadaver or a real human heart sitting on the piece of paper in a sort of three dimensional plane. It’s really amazing, and you can sort of treat it like a real organ or a real human, and you get to sort of zoom in and see different perspectives. It’s always an absolute hit with my students and with teachers when I show them in the PE Geek workshops. That’s letter A.
03:39 JR: Letter B was probably, like I said, one of the most difficult to do, there’s so many apps that start with B, but I’m gonna go for BaM Video Delay. It’s no secret here, I absolutely love it. It’s so powerful. It’s just an example of what happens when technology moves ahead and you’re able to do things that you couldn’t do previously. So BaM Video Delay enables you to do up to two minutes of live video delay so that you can be recording and simultaneously showing what’s taking place on a mobile device, and that means that a student can, say, do a high jump, and they can get back to where the iPad is, and they can see their jump, and basically because the showing of that video footage is set to a delay and you can do that anywhere from 0.25 seconds all the way up to two minutes delay which gives you an amazing capacity to sort of present feedback to yourself or to your students. Absolute game changer.
04:37 JR: Letter C is, without a doubt, one of the most useful little apps, but I think it has a name that probably doesn’t resonate quite as well as I think based on the features that it lets you do, and that is Coach Note. Coach Note sounds like you have to be a coach to use it, but it’s so much more than that. Essentially it’s a white board drawing tool where you can draw on the screen, and you can move players around, and it gives you all the different sports, and I mean hundreds of different sports that you can pick as in the actual diagrams or the court dimensions. So you open up a court and then you can place players or virtual players on the field. You can move them around and show where they need to go. So if you’re teaching tactics or strategies this is ideal, but for me I often use it to leave lessons for replacement teachers or CIT teachers so that they know exactly how I wanna set up a game. So Coach Note is amazing, I’ve also used it to help explain rules and regulations of games that students have yet to play, and then you can give them the video of those rules ahead of time so that you can spend more time playing the game. So Coach Note is amazing.
05:51 JR: Now on to D. Now, this was difficult because it had a couple in here that I could’ve chosen, but I’ve gone with Decide Now. Now, Decide Now is not necessarily just a PE app. It’s very wide and open, but it’s essentially like a spinner, and you put different options on the spinner board and you can customise them to suit. And then when you spin the spinner, it basically just picks one option. Now, the thing I like about it is that there’s been some really creative teachers using it to create random exercise draws where they spin it and… Spin the spinner and a random exercise will come up, then the students perform it. So there’s a lot of different ways that you can use this random feature in a PE setting. You can have kids names. You can have activities again. And it’s just a bit of fun, and it sort of is a tool that you can use to introduce a bit of the unknown into your classroom.
06:47 JR: Now letter E. I went to Easy Portfolio for this. Now, Easy Portfolio is one of my apps, built it many years ago to make portfolio creation really quite simple. And the reason I still pick it even though there’s some really impressive portfolio apps out these days is because it’s all about offline portfolio creation. So there’s a number of teachers that I work with all over the planet, and the notion of storing files immediately to cloud devices and servers and so on really does not apply to everyone. Some people… Their schools and systems where they just won’t do that. I don’t agree with that, I think you should be able to use a cloud tool, but I’m realistic in that not every teacher is in the capacity to do so. So Easy Portfolio is for that purpose. You can take photos or videos or picture, etcetera, documents, web links, and you can store them against specific students’ names. And then over time you build up this nice library of stuff that they’ve done. So that’s Easy Portfolio.
07:47 JR: The next one, the letter F, would be Fit Radio, and I commonly get asked about music for classes. What do I recommend? Can it be clean language and all that sort of stuff. And I can’t go past Fit Radio these days. Fit Radio is a free app, you download it, you click start, and you get this DJ mixed music which is all about getting people moving and active. And it’s appropriate for activity. It’s the right sort of tempo, and it’s sort of fantastic. And inside of there, there’s actually a brand new phys-ed channel which is curated for phys-ed teachers. So it’s a one-stop shop for plugging in your iPad, iPhone, Android device into a set of speakers and hitting the channel and off you go. If you’re worried about language, then you just need to turn the setting on to make sure that it just uses clean language, and you never have to worry about that. So great thing, don’t have to pick songs; it just plays them for you and you know that you’ve always got music there to suit.
08:51 JR: Now, we’re on to letter G, and I’ve gone and picked Group Games. This is an app that I built. Essentially it’s all about doing little activities or games that you can play in groups that don’t really use equipment. So it’s little brain break activities or ice-breakers or team based challenges, things of that nature. Not necessarily phys-ed games of… Phys-ed type games, but I’ve used them in PE settings to sort of showcase and teach those important skills that are often sometimes hard to definitely set up. So Group Games is fun. It’s also been good if you’ve got a group of students, and you’ve got 20 minutes of spare time, and you haven’t got equipment to go out and get stuff. And you can just look at the app, find some really quick games that you can play then and there, instantly almost, and you know that the kids are going to enjoy it.
09:41 JR: Now, for letter H, we couldn’t go past Hudl Technique. Now, Hudl Technique used to be known as Ubersense, and it’s a video analysis app that lets you compare people side by side, you can draw on the video, you can measure angles, and so on. So it’s really quite powerful for people looking at biomechanics or high level coaching of students or athletes, etcetera. If you’re in a younger PE setting, then you can have kids compare themselves pre and post and talk about how they’ve improved in whatever it is that you’re looking at.
10:22 JR: Get us to I, and I’m gonna look at iDoceo. IDoceo is a teacher’s assistant essentially, and it’s a great iPad app that basically you can do your marking and attendance on, you can do lesson planning, you can do documentation and record keeping. Pretty much everything you would want from applications of that nature in a classroom you can get inside of iDoceo. So it’s an amazing app. You can do all your assessment in it. It’s definitely a one-stop shop. Bit of a learning curve, but for those people that spend that time to get it set up and so on, they just absolutely love it.
11:00 JR: Now for J I’ve picked Jump It. Now, Jump It is an application that I built a couple of years ago, and it’s absolutely phenomenal to see teachers all over the planet using it in their classroom. Now, Jump It stands for basically jump rope activities. It’s a collection of task cards that you can use with your students. Basically they get the application, and they progress through the different jump rope activities in difficulty, and they get harder as they go. And they are designed to, once they have completed the activity, and they’ve interpreted what it’s telling them to do, they can take a picture of it and share it with the rest of the people using the app. So Jump It’s been great. A lot of teachers who’ve just got maybe one device and they’re projecting the different images up onto the screen and then having the students work through them, so it’s a great self-directed approach.
11:53 JR: For K, I’ve picked Kahoot! . Now, Kahoot! Is a quiz-based activity that’s sort of like Play Station for your classroom. It’s absolutely amazing how engaging this can be when you’re trying to get kids to revise for any theoretical aspects to a course that you might teach. I see my students using it and just absolutely loving every second of the time we spend in Kahoot! , so essentially the teacher runs a quiz running Kahoot, completely free service. You can just pick from the millions of quizzes that are already made or you can make your own. The students then, on their screen or on their device, they visit the specific web URL which is unique to that room that you’ve just set up, and they get going. And the questions come up on the screen, and the students respond on their devices. And the net result is an absolute, absolute over-enthusiastic group of students responding, and it’s got a leader board, and you can see who’s moving up and down, and the faster you respond the more points you get. It’s absolutely great for those lesson finishes or trying to capture initial understanding on a topic. Amazing stuff.
13:06 JR: Now for L, I’ve picked Living Lung. So Living Lung is very cool because it’s sort of like Anatomy 4D in that it’s for teaching the initial aspects of anatomy. In this case, it’s the lung. And Living Lung, it’s basically just a diagram that you can view in 3D, and you can change the breathing rate, and you can see sort of what’s happening in the body related to breathing. So cool little hook for what would then lead to more in depth anatomy lessons.
13:35 JR: I’m gonna go with My Jump for M. So My Jump is an application which has been created to enable you to do and conduct the vertical jump test using nothing more than your iPad or your iPhone, and it does it with scientific level accuracy. So the people who built that app actually did so in sort of a study to see how it could translate into accurate results, and they managed to make it happen. So essentially what you do is you open the app, and it guides you through filming someone jumping, so you have to watch their feet in the air, and you watch them jump, you record that part, their feet only really, and you mark when they leave the ground, and you mark when they land on the ground on the video, and it’ll tell you exactly how high they jumped. And it uses some mathematic calculations to determine the amount of flight time and what that equates to in terms of vertical jump. So really cool stuff. If you haven’t got a place to do vertical jumps, then you’re gonna really appreciate that.
14:36 JR: Next on the list I would have Nearpod. So Nearpod is a presentation tool for teachers with more assessment based stuff included in it. But imagine you’ve got a classroom scenario where you’ve got more than one device or more than one iPad or tablet, etcetera. You can push your presentation out to every kid’s device so that they can see on their screen what you see. So really cool, amazing little tool.
15:00 JR: Next on the list, I’m gonna pick Overcast. Now Overcast is the podcasting application that I use to consume the podcasts that I listen to. So I listen to other Phys Ed podcasts through Overcast. I listen to other podcasts that I have, interesting like the Tim Ferris show and so on. And the cool part about overcast is it lets you actually use smart speed increase, and what that means is if the application recognises a gap like say this… In the podcast, so if there’s a short little gap, it will basically skip through that gap so you end up actually being able to listen to podcasts much faster. Really amazing, it has push notifications so that you know when new episodes come out. It’s absolutely, without a doubt, my favourite podcasting platform.
15:52 JR: Now for P, I’ve picked Polar Team. Now, Polar Team is useful for people who have the Polar H7 heart rate monitors. When you’ve connected those to a student or a class of students, up to 40 of them, and you open the Polar Team app, then you can actually see on the device all the heart rates happening at once with your students, and it gives you the capacity to track each student’s heart rate, see what they’re doing. And this is amazing, so I use if for senior Phys Ed. Here in Australia we do very high level Phys Ed which is anatomy and physiology and exercise science based, and it enables us to look at things like energy systems and contributions of energy systems. We can record the results and share with the students how much time they spend in each zone and dig deep into that data. I know other teachers use it to give students an idea of how hard they’re working during fitness based activities. It’s really cool. So it’s called Polar Team, but you do need the Polar H7 devices for that.
16:57 JR: For Q, I’ve gone with Qrafter so Q-R-A-F-T-E-R. It’s a QR code scanning application. Sure, there’s lots of QR code scanning applications. This is one of the best. Obviously, it lets you scan QR codes, and store where you’ve scanned them previously, go off to the websites that they link to, and so on.
17:16 JR: For R, I’m gonna pick Race Splitter. So Race Splitter is an application which you can use to do timing for cross country or triathlon based events. It’s really powerful because up until using Race Splitter in our school when we did our cross country meets we would have to have multiple stop watches for each different race, but with Race Splitter we put all the kids in, we say what races they’re in and what times those races are, and then we just set the kids off, and we can time everyone from one device. It’s really amazing. The results get pushed up to the internet live, and anyone from anywhere can follow along with their results as soon as we tap the kid’s name and then say that they’ve finished. So yeah, Race Splitter.
18:03 JR: For S, I’ve gone with Seconds Pro. Now, Seconds Pro is an interval timer, and it is by far the best interval timer that you can possibly have. So you can create different timers for different situations, everything from Tabata workouts to just straight warm-ups. It’s really simple because you set how much time for warm-up periods and work periods and rest periods, and then all you see is this nice, beautiful clock that counts down and sort of lets you know what it is that you’re going to be doing at each stage. You can also compare or add music to those particular warm-ups so that when the music is on and off, it gives you a bit of an idea. So it takes a little bit to sort of get the hang of how Seconds Pro works, but once you’ve sorta set up your different timers, then I believe it’s so much more valuable in a PE setting than you walking around with a stopwatch or looking at your watch because you got to try and keep track of that and 65 other things in your class. So this sort of lets you automate it and forget about it so that you can focus on what really matters. So that’s Seconds Pro.
19:10 JR: Now for T, it’s no surprise here, I’ve picked Team Shake. Now, Team Shake is simple. It’s a teacher tool that lets you create teams instantly by shaking your device. You put your list or your class list in, and you rate the students on their ability, so you can say that they’re either weak, strong, strongest, etcetera, and basically when you shake the device, it puts them in even teams based on the ratings and so on that you’ve given specific students. So I guess the power in this app is you can create teams instantly without having to stand there and manually do it, but it also has the benefit of being able to do it so that you end up with the students who work best together and all those sorts of things. So it’s got both benefits of different ways to pick, so completely random, that’s good, but if you do completely random with any other sort of device, then you can probably get teams that are uneven, you can get all boys, all girls. If you want a bit more control over that, then this is what the app lets you do. So it has both benefits of doing it quickly, but also having a little bit of selection criteria as to why certain people can or can not work together. So Team Shake.
20:23 JR: Now for U, I am going to go no further than picking the app called Unique Trainer. So Unique Trainer is a cool little application that basically lets you conduct a series of different work-outs and so on, all from your device, but I like the fact that it takes you through a series of tests. So I did this personally the other day for my own fitness activities, and all it did is it took me through a series of different tests that you can conduct from your device without any equipment, and from that it then produced a set of workouts that you can do that match your level of fitness. So I liked it because it broke them up into fitness components so that you could focus in on specific things that are sort of unique to you. And the other cool part about it is that it sort of brings in fit-spiration, so different little quotes and so on from sources to motivate you to get active and so on, and it sort of presents those in this really nice imagery. So that’s called Unique Trainer, and you basically don’t need anything to conduct the different warm-ups and activities that it produces.
21:34 JR: Now for V, I’ve selected Video Tagger. Now, Video Tagger is one of my apps. I built it based on my desire and my needs in a PE setting. Many years ago, I used to sit there and record students performing activities, like on a camera, and I’d film them in the final week, and then I would spend the next week sort of piecing together this highlight clip and highlight reel. And I spent hours doing this. It would take me so long. And the students loved it, but the benefit of it was probably not worth the amount of time that I spent to do it.
22:06 JR: So Video Tagger lets me tag a performance of students as things happen. So basically you create six tags, and it’s basically the six describing words of what you’re trying to actually observe during the performance. And then you start recording and you look through the camera, and overlaying over the top of the screen there’s those six words, and when you see whatever it is that takes place, whatever the student is doing, so let’s say they’re doing a basketball free throw, you would tap the free throw tag, and what it does is it stores just the free throw in a clip on its own. So when you finish recording, it’ll assemble all of the same skills or the same tags together, and you just get to watch back the highlights rather than having to focus in on the entire clip and forwarding it to the 40-second mark where this thing happened or that thing happened. It just makes a highlight reel for you automatically, without you doing anything more than just tapping the screen when certain things occur.
23:09 JR: For W, I’ve picked Work-It. So you would have noticed before I spoke about Jump It. Well, Work It is the same thing. It’s a collection of task cards in app form, but it’s all about different warm-up or exercise skills, so things like sit-ups and push-ups and different things like that. You can basically start the activity and work through it and get warmed up or get moving with students picking the activities that suit them. So, Work It for W.
23:37 JR: Now for X, I’ve gone Xender File Transfer, and that’s X-E-N-D-E-R. Xender File Transfer is exactly what the name sounds. It lets you transfer all sorts of files between your iPhone or iPad, so you’ve got a colleague, you want to get a video to them, you can send it through Xender. If you’ve got a heap of files and photos and so on and videos on your phone, one of the most annoying things you can do is have to plug it in and connect it to get those files off, but with Xender File Transfer, all you need to do is go to your web browser and type in a IP address that the app gives you, and then you can download your files and photos and videos without needing to actually use a cord, and it’s much faster. Sure, you can upload files and photos and videos and so on to cloud based tools, but then you’re gonna need an internet connection and reliable upload speed, but with this, it doesn’t use internet, it just uses the Wi-Fi network to make that happen, and it’s super quick to put gigs and gigs of files onto your iPod, or off your iPad. Whatever you need to do, Xender File Transfer will make it happen.
24:42 JR: Now, onto Y, I’ve picked Yoga Studio. Now, this is an absolute no-brainer for why Yoga Studio is like having a professional yoga instructor on an iPad. Now, for me, I had a group of students that wanted to do yoga multiple times. I couldn’t teach it, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. But with Yoga Studio, I can connect it to a nice big screen, and I can hit play and pick the different categories, whether they’re beginners, or intermediate, or whatever, and follow through with the amazing yoga activities that get presented to me. And all I need to do is assist the students one-on-one, or better yet, model what’s actually happening by joining in. And every time that I’ve done that, we’ve had tremendous lessons, focusing in on these different skills that I don’t even have, and Yoga Studio has been a big part of that.
25:33 JR: And the last one for Z is Zombies Run. Now, Zombies Run is… We’ve spoken about it before. It’s a nice way to game your physical activity. So, basically you put your phone and your headphones in, and you hit play, and you get set in this post-apocalyptic world where zombies are in-charge, and you have to run away from them. So, you hear the story through your headphones, and you’ve gotta run, and every now and then you’re gonna get chased by the zombie horde, and you can hear them getting closer, then closer and closer. And if you stop, then they will consume you, and you’ll lose, and you’ll have to start the mission again. But, if not, then you will pass the mission, and you will collect the supplies, and you’ll do whatever it is that you’re meant to do, and you’ll get to continue. So if you want to go for a run or go for a walk or a ride, and you wanna make it a little bit more exciting and sort of do interval training in disguise, then Zombies Run is for you. It’s an absolute amazingly fun tool.
26:38 JR: So, there you are. There’s the A to Z of PE apps. Bit of a challenge for me, hopefully useful to you. Like I said, I’ve picked things that I’ve actually used or know that teachers use in PE settings, whether it’s for that initial hook in an anatomy lesson, or whether it’s for helping you do something like picking teams which is a cumbersome and time-consuming process, or whether it’s an actual student tool, something that they can use to build and showcase their knowledge of a particular area, then these tools are definitely gonna fit that need.
27:15 JR: So, I’m gonna try and do it again for part 2 later on in the year, and we’ll start another A to Z of PE apps, but until then, if you have any questions, then head over to the blog at thepegeek.com, and you can get all of the episode notes as well as the PDF of different apps and so on that I’ve mentioned today, over at thepegeek.com/57. See you later.
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In this episode of The PE Geek Podcast, we reach the momentous 50th episode milestone. When I first started out on this journey way back in August of 2013, I didn’t imagine that the podcast would be as big of a hit as it has become. As such I didn’t anticipate that it would be as immensely valued by the listeners as it has grown to be. To say that I appreciate the chance to produce the podcasts would be a huge understatement as they have proven to be the simplest and most powerful way to share to a global audience. I simply love podcasting, and you all seem to follow in my appreciate through the downloads of this show.
To say that I appreciate the chance to produce each episode would be a huge understatement. I simply love podcasting, and you all seem to follow in my appreciation for the medium. So thank you for making it worthwhile.
So before we dive into the exciting 50th episode, I wanted to share with you some of the key numbers related to the first 50 episodes of The PE Geek podcast.
Top 3 Most Downloaded Episodes for the last 365 days
Daily Downloads over the last 365 days
As you can see from the last 365 days the number of downloads on a day-to-day basis appears to be trending upwards. This is evidenced by the explosion in the podcasting space as they become more mainstream forms of media.
Global distribution of downloads over the last 365 days
The map below highlights the distribution of downloads with the darker the colour evidence of the volume. The most listens came from the following places – 1st United Kingdom, 2nd United States & 3rd Australia.
To celebrate the 50th Episode of The PE Geek Podcast, I wanted to tap into the audience of Physical Education teachers across the globe and ask them one simple question “What App, Device, Tech Tool, Tip or Trick would you share with others & why“. The responses were recorded in Voxer and make up the bulk of today’s episode. It’s jam packed full of amazingness.
The 50 tips, resources, and ideas explored by the various Physical Education Teachers in today’s episode include
Press Play below to listen below. Alternatively, download a full episode transcript here
00:30 Jarrod Robinson: Hello everyone and welcome to episode number 5-0, episode 50 of The PE Geek Podcast. And I’ll tell you what, if I had thought back to when we first started the show, and the fact that we may eventually get to episode 50, I think I would have probably laughed. It wasn’t that I didn’t think that people wouldn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t think people would enjoy the podcast as much as they do. And as a result, we’re absolutely dedicated to releasing new episodes all of the time, and you can guarantee that we’re gonna continue well and truly. And hopefully, we’ll be very shortly reaching that grand 100 title. Now, just before we dive into what’s gonna be a very unique episode today, very different to anything that we’ve done before. I wanted to give you a couple of facts about the number 50, and a few very interesting ones in here from some stuff that I definitely didn’t know.
01:29 JR: So the earth has roughly, 50 times the volume of the moon. Every country has a bill or a coin, denominated in 50 units. Did you know that the 50th anniversary is known as the golden anniversary? So this is like our golden anniversary episode today. And that the 50th episode of The Simpsons was titled, “Homer Alone.” And the last one is that the word, “Fifty,” is worth 14 points in scrabble. So, there’s a couple of facts, I’m not sure how you’ve ever lived without them but, [chuckle] we’re definitely gonna dive into a very unique episode today, celebrating this nice little achievement here. 50 episode of The PE Geek Podcast, and again, I thank you for tuning in and making it all the worth while to produce.
02:20 JR: Now, for the 50th episode, I wanted to do something a little bit different. And I thought the best way to achieve that would be to invite teachers from all over the globe to share their ideas around using technology in the Physical Education space. So I went on to the amazing social network, Voxer. Which I know that we’ve spoken about numerous times here in the podcast, but for those that may not know, it’s a social network where you communicate through voice messages. And basically, you can connect in chats with people and the best part about it is that you actually hear the voice of the person responding. So when you ask a question, you can get an immediate response from people, and it’s like you’re in the room with them, having a conversation in the staff room. So there’s a really vibrant community of PE teachers on Voxer, and you can get connected to them in different groups. So, if you’re an elementary teacher, you can get an elementary related chat. If you’re interested in technology, there’s a PE technology chat. There’s chat for all sorts of different topics.
03:33 JR: So what I did was I got in touch with some people that I communicate with regularly in Voxer, and I put one question to them. And that question was to share where they’re all from, what they’re doing, what sort of age groups they’re teaching, and just to share one or two little tech tips that they enjoy and use, and find value in. And the hope is that you get to hear an amazing collective of minds, from all over the Phys Ed world. And it definitely does speak to the power of the Voxer platform. So two-fold effect here, you’re gonna hear lots of different ideas, 50 different ideas from PE teachers all over the globe. And you’re gonna get to see how powerful the Voxer platform is.
04:21 JR: Now, what you will hear is a collection of messages from people. So, you will hear sort of subtle edits between one person speaking and the next person. But that’s just how Voxer is. People leave voice messages, and the next person continues. So it won’t be a continuous smooth playback as you might normally have in The PE Geek Podcast, but it will be unique, it will be different, and you will get lots of different ideas from people covering what they love about things that they’re doing in their classroom.
04:53 JR: Now, I have made an effort to go and collect all the notes from today’s episode, including everything I mentioned, and you can find that over at thepegeek.com/50, where you’ll have a list of all the people who’ve been featured in the episode, and where you can get in touch with them, and also the things that they mentioned. So, their favourite tech tip, or their favourite piece of advice, whatever it may be.
05:19 JR: So before we dive in, I just wanna give you one more thanks for making this all possible. As I mentioned, when we started out, I had no intention of ever getting to episode 50. And now that we’re here, I just cannot imagine not producing a podcast on a regular basis. And I really, really do love doing it, and it’s just a very simple medium, something that speaks to people really effectively. And as you know it, you can complete and listen to podcast wherever you may be, and I think that’s the best part about it. So without further ado, I’m gonna hand it over to the amazing Phys Ed community to share with you their thoughts surrounding technology. And you’ll hear from me again at the end.
06:04 Adam Llevo: Hi, I’m Adam Llevo here. Currently living in Saudi Arabia, originally from England. For me, the best thing that’s changed my teaching in terms of technology, is the use of Google and especially Google Drive. Basically being able to store everything in there, from files, to pictures, and then using all of the other great Google Apps such as Google Forms for collecting data, it’s just made my life so much easier. So if you’ve not already checked it out. The second one for me has to be BaM Video Delay, it allows the students to first of all see what they’re doing wrong on their iPad screen. You can either have it on one screen, or four screens, so they can see at different times, as well as what they’ve been doing. And then that can be a great opportunity for you to speak to the student and get them to pick out what’s going right in their technique, and what might need to be improved. A really great tool that everyone should be using in their classrooms.
07:05 Andy Milne: I’m Andy Milne, a Health and Kinetic Wellness teacher in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, iBook Author allows me to ditch the textbook that was outdated as soon as printed textbooks, and I can replace it with materials that pertain directly to the needs of my students. This material is relevant, contemporary and can be updated swiftly. Engaging widgets, and a multitude of URL links, and inclusion of extended reading, listening and viewing ensure that I’m able to cater for every student, even the most voracious of learners. Examples of student-created work can be embedded, writing, posters, iMovies, podcasts, and can be used for peer-to-peer inspiration and education. Their existence within the iBooks, serves to raise the standard of future student work as they strive to create something that can be included in the next update of the book.
07:50 Alex O’Brien: Alex O’Brien, Seattle, Washington. Physical Education Trainer and director of film at Focused Fitness. My tech tip is integrating video. Whether it’s our [07:58] ____ Video Library, Jarrod’s Video Delay App, YouTube videos, or your kids just recording themselves and then reflecting on playback, video creates relatable personal experiences for your instruction, and it can be a game-changer. Video can help your students take ownership for learning, and many of them after all are visual learners. From animations of fruits and vegetables, to understanding a healthy diet, I mean, skipping patterns to help slow-motion, all of those pieces are going to relate back to your students. They relate to screen-time, it’s part of their everyday life. It’s our duty as quality Physical Education teachers to meet students where they are, and make that learning unavoidable. Video has helped me do that and I bet it can help you too.
08:37 Andy Hair: G’day team. Andy Hair from Geelong, Victoria, Australia. My tech-related tool is more of a program, it’s on my Mac, it is the Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, and I’ll probably use this on a daily basis. Now, I’m in a school that is low on technology in the Physical Education department, but certainly now, high on quality posters. And that’s what I’ve seen develop out of the Illustrator programs, and Photoshop programs, and just love putting it together. Because that way, the kids can visually see what I’m trying to teach them. And they have somewhere to go to to have reflection questions, driving questions, and get them moving forward to really, again, amplify their teaching.
09:32 Anthony Alexander: Hey everyone. I’m Tony, and I teach grade eight and nine junior high school, Phys Ed at East Brunswick, New Jersey. And I’m gonna be a little bit more specific than that, I’m gonna go Google Classroom. Two big reasons, number one, it had allowed me to flip my classroom, and introduce pertinent topics digitally before we teach them physically. And the second reason is, it gives a social media-esque discussion to my classroom, where we can talk about topics in a more robust fashion when we’re not in class. So Google Classroom, great, great help to my Phys Ed class. This is gonna sound very broad, but smartphones and tablets have made my classroom much better, they’re an irreplaceable technological tool that has allowed my office to become mobile, it has allowed me to give students immediate feedback, and it’s actually increased my workload, but at the same time it has made that increased workload easier. So fantastic technological tools, smartphones and tablets, irreplaceable.
10:31 Ben Pirillo: This is Ben Pirillo, and I am an elementary teacher in Texas. And I would say the tool that has really helped me out a lot has been my FITstep Pro pedometers. I love the fact that it tracks student’s activity time, moderate to vigorous physical activity time, and total steps. And it’s just a great tool to use, to be able to collect a bunch of data based on what the students are doing, and I can really see how active they’re being in my class. And I can also assess myself on it when I’m making sure the lesson is provided, the movement, and the activity level that I want my students. The other one I’d like to say to use is Plickers, it’s a great way for you to ask and assess your students. It’s like a QR code, and they each have a number assigned to them with a card. You ask a question, you scan it with your phone. So you really only need one device, and you could print the QR codes for the kids to use right off their website. And it is free, Plickers.
11:30 Craig Kemmlein: Hi, my name’s Craig Kemmlein, and I’m a high school Physical Education teacher in Pennsylvania. My favourite tech tool to use is the app, Hudl Technique. With this app, I have the ability to record my student’s movements and tell it straight with very strong tools in assessing the technique of movement or skill. I’m able to compare their current movement to previously recorded movements, whether it be a side-by-side comparison, or by overlaying the two movements. I also have the ability to add in audio feedback and share the assessment with my students in various ways.
11:57 Dave Carney: Hi, this is Dave Carney, from Fort Myers, Florida. I teach kindergarten through fifth grade. And my first tech tool that I use most often, is my VGA to Lightening Adaptor. This was a game changer for me, because I was able to project my apps to the overhead, so all my students can see our thinking, and demonstrate learning in a new and just positive way that they really enjoy. Along with that, the second one would be CoachNote. So, CoachNote is an app, it’s like a whiteboard for coaches that you can show plays, demonstrate how games are played and it just really increased their knowledge of tactical problems and awareness around the open court and field.
12:37 Jo Bailey: My name is Jo Bailey, I teach in Wausau, Wisconsin, but I’m originally from England. My go-to app is Team Shake. I can import all of my classes, and I can set teams up very, very quickly. Within the settings, I can make sure that certain students work together, or certain students don’t work together to make sure that my teams are balanced, fair and I can get teams sorted within just one touch of a button.
13:02 Jorge Rodriguez: Hi, my name is Jorge Rodriguez, and I’m a Physical Education teacher from Houston, Texas. And the technology that has revolutionised the way that I teach is Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality is when you take a real world environment and enhance it through computer generated graphics and images and videos. Now I have used Augmented Reality to blend my classroom, and put myself in multiple places at one time and have my students in a fun and interesting way, interact at their level with the activity. Augmented Reality has been a game changer for me.
13:34 Justin Schleider: Hey now, Justin Schleider, Physical Education teacher, Springfield, New Jersey here. I’m here to tell you about an app that you might not know about, but it’s super useful for me. It is called the Dexcom CGM. And the Dexcom app is hooked up to a child with diabetes, and sends me the glucose levels to my phone, and I get automatic updates, and it also alerts when it goes low. This is a lifesaver for me, since we have a student in my school whose blood sugar reacts different to foods, every day. So, they could eat the same thing and their body has a different reaction to it. This thing has saved my life so many times, and it’s saved his life so many times. It’s fantastic. So, I would look into that, it’s called Dexcom.
14:19 Jenny Wamsley: Jenny Wamsley, Health and Phys Ed teacher, Saint Paul, Minnesota. My favourite tech tool has to be Voxer. I love Voxer, because I’m able to ask the question, and somebody around the world is able to help me out in a matter of seconds. I love that I’ve been able to connect with other educators through Voxer, and I’m able to hear their voices, which I think is the best tool of Voxer. Because hearing someone’s voice, you have a better connection with them. So, it is helped me become a better connected educator, and I have learned more from Voxer than I have from any other tech tool right now. Thank you.
15:00 Kari Bullis: Hi, my name is Kari Bullis, and I’m a high school Physical Education teacher in Iowa. And my tech tool is Flubaroo. Flubaroo is a Google Sheets add-on that will automatically grade your assignments for you. So, if you give an assignment or a test, or even a skills test in Google Forms, it will grade that assignment, and then it will share the results via email or Google Drive to your students.
15:25 Kevin Tiller: Hello, my name is Kevin Tiller, and I teach in Andover, Massachusetts. I teach Physical Education in grades K through five. And the technology tool that has revolutionised my teaching the most is an app called Comic Life 3. I use it basically to create many different things, station signs, newsletters, different graphics that I use in classroom posters and things like that. So, that’s the app that I use the most, and that’s the one that I love the most.
15:51 Lori Minka: This is Lori Minka from New Castle, Delaware. And my two favourite tech tools are Smore and Padlet. Both are super simple to use, and make you feel as if you’re really creative, even if you’re not. Smore is an online newsletter, but I tend to use it more to build learning modules. And Padlet is a virtual bulletin board, where students and teachers can collaborate, share resources, and you can now secure them so they can’t be altered, which is really nice. Padlet is free, and Smore you get a certain number before you have to pay, so both are great tools, and I use them all the time.
16:33 Nathan Horne: I’m Nathan Horne, and I’m a Physical Educator in Singapore, and I’m also the Founder of iPhys-Ed.com. My tech tip is to think of technology as a tool. I like to think of it with four C’s, technology can help you to collect, create, connect, and celebrate learning.
16:49 Nick Spencer: My name is Nick Spencer, Physical Education teacher, Aurora, Colorado, iDoceo is something that has revolutionised the way I teach. It speeds up my assessment process, immensely. I put my students names in it, attach their photos to it, I have the outcomes that I’m assessing. I can do a quick fill all, I can take pictures and videos of students to show growth throughout the year, and then I can take this and email it to parents or students, as supplemental report cards. I can then take a template that I’ve created, and keep that from year-to-year, so I’m not having to re-create what I have already done. And it has allowed me to streamline what I do. The other piece of technology that has really helped my students and my teaching is Anatomy 4D. In our district, we teach health in our PE classes, and so when using the heart aspect of it, it has allowed my students to actually get hands on, diving in what the heart looks like, how it works and it’s an introduction into the circulatory system.
17:48 Nick Endlich: Hey everybody, Nick Endlich, elementary Health and Phys Ed teacher, York, Pennsylvania. So, my two tech tips are tools that are must haves for me. The first one has to be a bluetooth speaker, if you don’t have a bluetooth speaker you must get one. Music in the Phys Ed classroom is essential, this allows me to be mobile, play music from anywhere in the gym, I can put my speaker anywhere in the gym, and I use it on the daily basis. The second one I’m going to drop a Google Chrome extension, it’s actually a pair of them, it is Scissors and Glue. So, if you’re on a PC especially, it will split your screen in half and you can actually work on two separate screens at one time. So, I use this quite a bit, as I’m working on two separate projects, or two different documents at the same time. I can split my screen, I can do research on one side, and then just right on the same screen, just in a separate window, I can go ahead and work on the project itself. So, Scissors and Glue are Google Chrome extensions, and I use those almost everyday.
19:04 Ryan McLaughlin: My name is Ryan McLaughlin, I’m an elementary PE teacher in Western Springs, Illinois. The tech tool that has improved my teaching the most has gotta be Twitter. It’s helped me connect with more PE teachers around the world than I would have ever imagined. It’s inspiring to hear what other Physical Educators are doing in their schools. It has really helped reignite my passion for teaching. The ideas I’ve taken from Twitter have created so many more opportunities for my students, and helped me become a stronger teacher.
19:29 David Tran: David Tran, ninth grade PE teacher and instructional technology coach. The tool that I use a lot is something called a Piktochart. The Piktochart allows me to create infographics, similar to the ones that you see that people create all the time. It allows me to embed videos and in addition to that, put hyper-links, so I’m able to create a a digital hand out for students, where they are able to go directly to what materials I want them to know about, or find more details.
20:01 Lisa Bell: Hi, my name is Lisa Bell, and I’m an elementary Physical Education teacher in Northern California. I discovered the Balancing app. It’s just a great resource because it has well drawn balances, ranging from individual partner, three person, all the way up to six or more person balances. And I hook up my iPad to the projector, and the image of the balance projects onto the large screen, and it’s there for the students to refer to while they’re broken into small groups practicing those balances. It’s just an awesome tool, it’s motivating and I highly recommend it.
20:38 Dale Sidebottom: Hi guys, my name is Dale Sidebottom, I currently live and teach in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. I work for a company called SEDA, which stands for Sports Education Development Australia, where I’m lucky enough to teach the Talented Players Program for Cricket Australia. Now, two bits of tech that I would like to share with today is a brand new app that I’ve just released called FitBreak. FitBreak has nine different categories with over about 300-400 different workouts that vary from fitness games, fitness activities, circuits, boxing sessions, demonstration videos, warm-up activities. There is an endless supply of sessions and ideas planned there for you. Another thing, and my final thing I’d like to share is talking about musical workouts. So, this is where you use some sort of song and you make different workouts. So, basically you could be doing sit ups, planks, squat hold, squats, anything like that, all the information for this in on FitBreak, as well as on my YouTube channel. So, if you search Dale Sidebottom on YouTube, you will see about five or six of these different workouts. Simply put this up on your whiteboard, or just project it through your iPad, and all the instructions are there for your class or students to do a fun workout that’ll last between three to four minutes, and it’s very enjoyable to do.
21:58 Jason Levitt: Hi, my name is Jason Levitt. I’m a middle school, high school PE teacher at the American Community School in Amman, Jordan. Some tech that I like to use, just found one recently called Plickers, a really great program for formative assessment. And I used Active Globe last year, and a bit this year with my staff and my students, really great way to track movement and get people up and moving, and being physically active.
22:32 Christina Polatajko: Hi, my name is Christina Polatajko. I currently teach PE at Aitken Creek Primary School in Melbourne, Australia. Two apps that I’m gonna tell you about that that I love to use in my PE room, one’s called KaHoot! Which is a quiz that I use prior to our lessons. So I base that quiz to our learning intentions, so the students have that small prior knowledge when they’re heading to the gym. It’s very interactive and engaging, and it’s all multiple choice. And the last one is Tell a Story, and this is a good one to use, it’s a wet weather program. And students can create their own sport news, sporting interviews, they can create debates, because Tell a Story is all about creating different scenes, and it’s very engaging and interactive, and students absolutely love creating their own little script. So, KaHoot! And Tell a Story are two great apps to use in your PE class.
23:33 Mike Graham: Hello, my name is Mike Graham and I teach elementary Physical Education in Geneva, Illinois, which is a far west suburb of Chicago. And I’ve been teaching for 19 years. One tech tip that I’d like to share is Jarrod Robinson’s SpinIt app, which is a great app that can be used in a variety of ways. I use it as a warm up, where students can select different exercises that they would like to do. I’ve actually, put two exercises in there, and then they spin it and it will land on one or the other. And they get to pick which one they wanna do for a certain amount of time, and they complete the activity and then do another one. It’s great to integrate with locomotor skills, or fitness activities. If you haven’t checked it out, you definitely should get it. Spin it, by Jarrod Robinson.
24:20 Osama Abu Jafar: Hello all, this is Osama. I’m originally from Palestine, Jordan. Now I’m in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. My favourite app, or you know what? We can leave that for later. My favourite website is the Phys Ed Map. On the Phys Ed Map, you can see hundreds of PE teachers, and tens of websites and links. You have to check it out and join, so Phys Ed Map. Okay, my favourite app, besides Twitter, there’s another app called Bubbli, B-U-B-B-L-I. Check it out, it’s amazing. You can… It’s not 360 degrees, it’s more. I’ll not talk more about it, just check it and tell me what you think…
25:09 Naomi Hart: Hi everyone, my name is Naomi Hart, and I am from Saskatchewan, Canada. But currently live in Oregon in the United States of America. I’m a former Health and Physical Education teacher, but now I work for Spark and Sport Time as the PE Development and Technology Specialist. One of the things that I did a lot when I was teaching was really teaching with my iPad, or with my phone. I was always sharing something from my iPad or phone on to my computer, which was projected on to my screen, but I was always connected with a cable. And it drove me crazy, because I wanted to move around my gym, and use my iPad to help my students learning, whether it was I was videoing them, or sharing different resources with them, and really just to help facilitate my lessons. So one of the programs I had found, well, there are multiple programs that you can use, or tools or devices that you can use. So there’s Chrome cast, Apple TV, Airserver, Reflector 2, Mirroring 360, I know there’s more, but those are kind of the main ones that I talk about and that I’ve used in the past. But they’re just great ways to take whatever is on your device, and pop it up on to your screen through your computer and your projector.
26:11 Spencer Barfuss: My name is Spencer Barfuss, and I work in Cypress, Texas. And Google Slides has become an awesome technology tool for me to use in my classroom. It’s really helped me to create engaging presentations with animations, and I have the ability to change background colours. I can export the presentations as a PDF or a PowerPoint slide, or SVG file. There’s so many amazing things that you can do with Google Slide, so check it out when you have a chance.
26:41 Peter Gamble: And this is Peter Gamble, I teach pre K through sixth grade PE, at Creative Montessori School in Birmingham, Alabama. My go-to pieces of technology is Spotify Premium. I use it to create play lists for a wide variety of units and themes, especially with my pre K classes, where I use it for teaching locomotor skills. It is a piece of technology that I use every single day, and I cannot imagine not having it.
27:12 Stephanie Sandino: Hi my name is Stephanie Sandino, I am a PE teacher in Nuevo, California. And one of the apps I like to use most frequently nowadays is the Skitch app, which is a picture app that allows you to snap a photo, or import one from your photo library, and mark it up with the different tools they provide. And some of the ways that I use it is when I post pictures on Twitter of my students, I’ll have to cover up, or blur some faces, due to photo release forms that they may not have. Or special events going on in my school such as field day, or back to school night, where I can provide a Google Earth picture, or image of my campus, and then mark it up with different locations on where everything will be, whether it’s a booth or a station for that special event. So, lots of great ways you can use it, but definitely an awesome app.
28:04 Andy Paulsen: Hey there, my name is Andy Paulsen, I teach at Shullsburg, Wisconsin. And a couple of apps that I like to use are Pop Flux and BitGym. They both use the front-facing camera on your iPad or Apple device. With Pop flux, little bubbles fall down, and bombs, you’ve gotta avoid the bombs, you’ve gotta move your arms and head to pop the bubbles, score points. With BitGym, you prop it on cardio device, bike, treadmill, or whatever. And it senses your movement of your head, and you go through a virtual landscape. So instead of looking at the machine or the person in front of you the whole time, you have a little landscape you’re going through, and information pops up every now and then.
28:50 JR: Whoa, whoa, whoa! What an incredible episode this has already been. I cannot thank the people enough who contributed to making this episode 50 really unique, and for you guys listening there, I certainly hope that you’ve been able to be exposed to something new. And if you like the sound of any of the things that have been shared, then you can head along to thepegeek.com/50 for episode 50, where you’ll find links to all of the people who spoke in the exact order, as well as links to the different resources and things that they spoke about. So I wanna thank the people who contributed again. Without you guys, this episode wouldn’t have been made possible. And it really does emphasise how powerful social networks are for people, for connecting with others who share similar goals and ideas.
29:45 JR: So if you’re listening and you’re only really listening to this podcast, then I encourage you to head along and get connected to the amazing community of Physical Education teachers. And you can do that via a number of different ways, through Twitter, through Voxer, through Facebook groups and so forth. But it’s definitely a tremendously powerful thing when you know that you can ask a question, and just like I have here, assembled of collection of people to share their ideas.
30:11 JR: So one last piece of advice before we go, don’t take everything that you’ve seen here today and try and introduce it all, that won’t be successful. Have a listen to the things that really resonated with you, and piqued your interest. Go and find out more, introduce, use those, get some value, and then know that this episode is always here to come back to, should you need it. Okay. Episode 51 will be arriving shortly, and we’ll be back to our normal scheduled program, of delivering you thematic episodes around particular topics. Speak soon, see you later.
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I often get asked about my favorite apps for the PE Classroom. It’s a difficult question to answer, however, the 8 apps below regularly end up in my suggestions.
Get these above Apps in a Quick Reference form PDF & Infographic for FREE by clicking the button below.