How EdTech is Shaping K-12 Athletics
Physical education teachers have their work cut out for them, and not just because it can be challenging to convince kids to play nice with their peers. They deal with a variety issues, from lack of interest to body issues. As a result, many educators are turning to educational technology to improve not just physical education classes, but entire K-12 athletic programs. The following is a list of tools and strategies that are proving to be transformational at all levels of athletics.
- Using fitness trackers– Fitness trackers, such as pedometers, health monitors, and other health trackers, helps keep students actively involved in their health and fitness. Through these inexpensive devices, students can track steps and monitor their progress, empowering them to continue with fitness and be aware of the implications of their daily health choices.
- Downloading apps– For students and schools that don’t have the resources to provide physical education classes or sports teams with fitness trackers, free mobile applications are an excellent alternative. MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal provide movement tracking and nutritional services, allowing students to keep track of their health just as easily as with a fitness tracker.
- Video services– A considerable benefit of videos is that many can be found free online, offering educators and coaches a vast range of easy-to-access resources. If you want to teach something, whether it’s a particular pitch, a yoga move, or a weightlifting maneuver, it can almost certainly be found on YouTube. These are often tailored towards specific age groups, allowing for ultimate modification and adaptation of instruction.
- Games– Games are the future wave of physical education and athletics, allowing trainers to teach through fun activities such as Wii Sports. These can be used as a whole class or independently, and allow more introverted and less motivated students to interact with athletics with their peers.
- Outreach– Educational technology enables greater innovation and classroom modifications at the school-wide level, but also provides an excellent networking opportunity between schools as well. Through using sharing platforms such as Google Docs or Google Sheets, or via other interactive software, coaches can share game schedules, strategies, and other tools. Some schools are even using technology as they prepare to send students on to the next level. Many are utilizing virtual reality to help student-athletes see what it will be like to play on a college field or to help them connect with college recruiters.
As education technology continues to evolve, it will no doubt continue to impact all aspects of the school day. Education technology isn’t just about classroom learning. It’s about training all students to be active members of the digital world–even as they are working to stay healthy and fit.