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  • D. Barkes

Technology in Physical Education



Over the past several years, classrooms have gone through dramatic changes. Workbooks, handouts, and PowerPoints have become a thing of the past. They have been replaced by tablets, student devices, and amazing educational technology tools like Nearpod.

While all these things have changed in the classroom, physical education, for the most part, has stayed the same. Why? Why is the classroom becoming an amazing place filled with student engagement, and the gym is still tether ball and 4 square?

When I was a kid, physical education was my favorite class of the day. We always did cool stuff. Unfortunately, now, many students do not like going to PE. Given the choice between walking around the track or playing a sport, at least half of my class would choose to simply walk. How do we as teachers, and physical educators change that? How do we get kids engaged in what we are doing, and get them excited about our physical education content?

Why Technology?

As a former classroom teacher, I went back to my roots in educational technology. Since I was already very familiar with classroom ed tech tools like Nearpod, I actively helped teachers around the building to incorporate Nearpod into their classrooms. New teachers in my building also received training from me. However, I had not taken my favorite ed tech tool to PE.

In the classroom, Nearpod is a game changer. So, I thought if it worked so great in the classroom, why can’t it work great in physical education? I planned a unit on soccer for my students, and, using Nearpod, created an introduction to the unit. The Nearpod presentation incorporated survey questions, a video, VR field trip to a junior World Cup stadium, a draw it activity, and several multiple choice questions. Check out the Nearpod presentation I used here. Going in I was nervous. I was worried that the kids who loved PE would hate it, and I worried the kids who already hate PE would not care.

Student Responses

Well, I was wrong in both cases. The kids who love PE liked the instructions. It was an opportunity to share what they already knew. Even better, the kids who normally do not enjoy PE really liked the opportunity to learn how to properly play. They thought the VR Field trip was cool and had a blast drawing the markings on a soccer field.

I was so excited my introduction was a success! However, I would not know how truly successful the lesson was until the next day when we started to play soccer. Well, the awesomeness continued. Every student was excited to play, and after one week were disappointed to end the unit. The students said they felt more comfortable playing because they had a better understanding of how to play.

I hope that my story of success with Nearpod in physical education will encourage you to incorporate Nearpod into your class. Whether you teach Social Studies, Physical Education, Health, Art, Family and Consumer Science, or any other class, I encourage you to bring Nearpod to your students. It is an amazing platform that engages students at every level and increases student understanding and achievement.

Contact me using the information below if you are interested in incorporating Nearpod into your PE class. Also, be sure to check out Nearpod + Zumba lessons, or take your class on a VR Field Trip to amazing places all over the world.

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! I hope you learned something that you can take back to your school or classroom! If you would like more great content sent directly to your inbox, please subscribe. You can also find me on Twitter @teachandcoachga. Nearpod was awesome enough to share this post on their blog. So, go check out all the other awesome content from amazing educators.

Have a great day!

D. Barkes

#Nearpod

Cumming, GA 30028

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