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Me, Myself and I

Hi everyone,

My name is Jayme-Lee Lazorko.  I am a physical education specialist at Elsie Mironuck School.  This really has been my dream job, I have been in this position for the past five years and have enjoyed growing personally and professionally.  This technology stuff is all new to me.  I can say I am nervous and excited to learn ways in which I can incorporate my learning from this class into my everyday life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher. I am very excited to start the blogging process professionally and hopefully once I get the hang of it I can continue to use it for personal adventures as well. I look forward to working and learning with all of you!

THE END!

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Let’s take a quick look at our journey over the course of 6 weeks.  It has been a wonderful experience and I have really enjoyed being able to work with such amazing colleagues researching and reading about things we are so passionate about.  If we glance back at the beginning of this course I was full of excitement, eager to learn about an area of study that I am so passionate about.  Excited to take on the challenge of finding ideas, resources, answers, solutions etc.  Hesitant about what might come of my findings, but optimistic that change can occur.  This is my very last class in my master’s degree and glad I got to end it this way as it has been quite the journey.  Over the past 6 weeks, I have gone from feeling really good about incorporating tech into my classroom to moments of uncertainty.  Now that we have come to the end of our journey I can say that I am confident walking way from this course with many ideas, resources, connections, solutions, answers etc. of how to incorporate technology into my physical education classes.

 

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 Week 2 we discussed the con’s that can be involved when incorporating technology into our classrooms.  A physical education classroom is a very different atmosphere in comparison to the typical classroom, however it was interesting to see that many of the negative aspects of technology in our classrooms could overlap from one classroom to the next.  Teachable moments are a big thing for me, when something arises I like to take advantage of those situations to teach our students something that might not typically be learned in a classroom.  I am very thankful to have taken several classes from Alec and Katia and have been able to witness this first hand.  While being a technology focused class they both have the ability to take a comment, question etc. and run with it to ensure their students are getting the full learning experience.  If I have learned anything from my 2 year old son, one would be that you learn from watching, then by doing.  Many people fear that by incorporating tech into the classroom we will lessen the chances of these teachable moments arising, I think it doesn’t necessarily change how often these moments will happen, however it may change the context of the conversation.  Perhaps our conversations will revolve around our devices, perhaps not. I guess it is something that we will have to wait out, time will tell!  It has been a focus of conversation all semester, tech as a distraction.  Like I mentioned earlier, I am a very optimistic person and there are just some battles that aren’t worth picking.  Why not use the tech to our advantage.  If our students are excited about using it for their learning then we need to find ways of incorporating it appropriately and not just for the sake of incorporating it.  I think if we allow chances for our students to be engaged and use tech on a daily basis we will minimize the distraction piece.  Liz mentioned earlier in the semester about tech check ins.  It is my goal when I get back to work after my maternity leave to incorporate tech check in’s into my classroom, I think this will also help minimize the distraction.  Another goal of mine upon returning to work is to find a way to communicate with students and parents online.  I think this leaves opportunity for students and parents to see what is happening in our classroom as well as seeing how their child is progressing.

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In my list of con’s I listed several apps that had both pro’s and con’s, like anything there are always negatives to go along with the positives.  I am going to try several of these apps in my classroom and hope that with trial and error we can perfect how they are being used and integrated into my classroom.  All the apps that I plan to incorporate into my classroom will hopefully provide a different, fun, engaging, challenging, interesting learning experience for all my students.

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Prior to incorporating technology into my classroom I think it is essential for my students and myself to come up with some guidelines of how and when our devices can be used appropriately. It is essential that I teach them to how to be good digital citizens.  The one thing that I am still pondering is I don’t want students to have their devices in the change room.  I think for privacy and safety of everyone devices should be left outside of these areas, in saying that I am left with “do I have a bin where devices are kept until used?” “Do I have like a mail slot type thing where they each have their own spot to keep their device?” How do I ensure for the safety of everyone that no devices are making their way into the change rooms?  This is definitely something I need to think about and perhaps even having a conversation with the students and hearing their thoughts/opinions would be helpful.

Throughout the semester a hot topic of conversation was also that of funding.  I was always under the impression that SCC was unable to purchase technology for the classrooms.  However, upon conversing with colleagues etc. the SCC would be able to purchase a variety tech pieces that would work wonderfully in my classroom (ex. Pedometers, heart rate monitors etc.)

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Upon my return to work I hope to write a proposal to our SCC asking them so if they would like to help expand our physical education program.  In my proposal I plan to address why I think it is essential that we have these pieces of equipment and how it will benefit our students.  Our SCC has been very generous with things in the past, so I am very hopeful that they will be willing to help a physical education teacher who is on a mission to make a difference.

I have been very fortunate to have read many wonderful things both positive and negative in regards to technology in classrooms over the course of this semester.  Through these readings it has been evident that technology in our classrooms has been doing some pretty great things and many teachers and students are loving the variety of opportunities that come along with using tech in our classroom.

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I am a firm believer that with using technology in our classroom we are able to meet the needs of all of our learners.  We are able to make adaptations, provide differentiated instruction etc.  One thing I really struggle with in my physical education classroom with grades 5-8 is to motivate each and every individual to actively participate in every class.  Some students simply aren’t interested in participating and I struggle with constantly finding ways to encourage them to participate.  Now that I have had a semester of simply focusing on tech in physical education I do believe that tech could definitely be a motivating factor.  If I find ways of incorporating tech into my classroom that interests them perhaps they will be willing to participate in the activities.

I am confident that with tech being a revolving door like our society

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Regina Pubic Schools will begin to expand their shared visions.  My colleagues this semester have been able to point me in the right direction as to who I need to talk to in regards to tech related things in my classroom which has been very helpful.  I hope to be able to use this contact in the future to successfully implement technology into my own teaching and learning.

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Overall this semester has been quite the whirlwind, from ups to downs, to challenging moments to wonderful ideas.  I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to learn alongside these amazing people who have given me such a great experience.  My colleagues have supported me throughout the last leg of this journey and encouraged me to find new ways of teaching physical education.  I hope that once I get back to work we can get a tech support group started and begin to put all my wonderful ideas into motion.  Physical education has always been a passion of mine and I want my students have the necessary tools and resources to live healthy active lifestyles outside of school in their community, home, workplace etc.  I am optimistic that with some changes, some trial and error, some ups and downs that the integration of technology and what is has to offer will be a success in our school.  Thank you so much for a wonderful semester and I look forward to staying in touch with all of you and seeing how your tech journeys are coming along!

Pro’s To Incorporating Technology Into Our Classrooms

Our world is ever revolving and technology is becoming a big part of that.  Technology has slowly made its entrance by replacing textbooks, resources to now being fully integrated into our classrooms and is used as a teaching/learning tool.

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When I think back to my school experience we had and overhead projectors where we’d copy notes and if you could write faster than your classmates you would sit there waiting until the teacher moved the page up so you could continue writing your notes (not necessarily the most effective way of teaching in my opinion).  We had chalkboards, not even white boards and had never heard of a smart board before!  We had one computer lab in the school that was shared amongst classrooms.

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In the computer lab I remember using All the Right Type to practicing our keyboarding skills and if you finished early you were allowed to indulge and play number munchers.  We have come a long way since then and many classrooms now have access to smart boards, iPads, lap tops, cell phones etc.  It has been reported that 75% of educators think that technology has made a positive impact within the education system.  Educators are aware that technology has become a big part of our world and it is our job to ensure our students are technologically literate and ready to enter the workforce.  Technology has transformed the way our teachers teach and how our students learn.  Teachers are able to teach using a variety of means and our students are able to learn in ways that are able to meet their individual needs and interests.  Some of the benefits to using technology in our classroom could include:

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  1. It makes learning more fun and engaging. Students have reported that with the use of technology in their classrooms they are more engaged, lessons are interesting and fun.
  2. Technology prepares our students for the future, for a world outside of our schools. Many jobs if not all jobs require some type of technological component, therefore by learning and using it in our classrooms we are already on the right track to ensuring our students are successful citizens in our society.
  3. Many students have reported that technology has helped them to retain information. A study done amongst grade 2 students asked them to complete about power point project about an animal.  16 out of 18 students were able to remember more facts about the animal upon completing the PowerPoint presentation.  This is a perfect example of technology helping students to learn/retain information in another fashion.
  4. Technology gives students an opportunity to learn at their own pace and provides opportunities for differentiated instruction. Students are able to use technology as a means of learning in ways that meet their individual needs and abilities. It allows the teacher to be able to work one on one with students and provide feedback and support when necessary.
  5. Technology connects with students. Many students are surrounded by technology every day and it is a part of their world, so why not bring their world into our classrooms. I would much rather use technology in my classroom as a teaching/learning tool then avoid it and it becomes a distraction.  Cell phones for example, with Facebook, snap chat, Instagram, twitter etc. students are often wanting to be on their phones to stay updated in the social world, so why not turn this “distraction” into a teaching and learning tool.
  6. Technology allows us as teachers to keep tabs on our students. It allows us to combing information about individual students such as attendance, test results, etc.  We are then able to see how students are performing as individuals and a whole.  This is beneficial to us as educators because it gives us a glimpse of where one or two students may be struggling or where the whole class is struggling and perhaps not understanding a concept.
  7. The concept of choice. Technology provides different learning modalities so students are able to choose how they learn best and meet their own individual needs.  From my own teaching experience, I have found great success in offering choice, gives the students some responsibility and freedom.  It allows them to choose what they are interested in it, how it applies to our learning and run with it…. Kind of like what we are doing with a directed reading course!
  8. Technology offers opportunities for students with special needs to gain access to a variety of apps and resources that will help them in being successful in their educational journey. It also offers opportunities for students with language barriers to over come those boundaries and to learn alongside their peers.

A few weeks ago I took a look at several apps/resources that could be used specifically in a physical education classroom.  If you take a brief look back, I was able to address how the app could be used in a physical education setting as well as the con’s that may arise when incorporating this app into your classroom.

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I saved addressing the pro’s until this week as this week as we are discussing the pro’s to incorporating technology into the classroom, so here it goes:

Coach’s Eye– The pro’s of using the specific app are the student is able to playback their recording.  So for example, I could have a student practicing how to do a lay up and verbal feedback just isn’t cutting it.  We can use coach’s eye to record the student doing their lay up, play back the recording and I am able to show them what they are doing incorrectly.  The bonus of this app is that it can work on any device, there is no need to use the school computers etc. therefore if student’s have access to their cell phones, iPad etc. we can download the app and use it that way.

Camtasia– This app provides opportunities for teachers to create lessons while explaining the rules.  The students are able to view the lessons at home or on their own time so when they get into the gymnasium it leaves more time for being physically active and less time for passively listening.

Xbox Kinect– This type of resource allows those students who are not always enthusiastic about physical education to perhaps feel excited about it as we incorporate a form of ‘gaming’.  Xbox Kinect can help with coordination and other gross motor/fine motor skills.  It also provides opportunities for students with disabilities or limitations to be able to fully participate in a physical education classroom.

Heart rate monitor– Heart rate monitors can continuously encourage our students to be physically active as they want to be within the optimal heart rate target zones.  If we allow our students to wear the monitors outside of our classrooms it may encourage them to be physically active for the remainder of the day.

Fitness Tracker– Similar to a heart rate monitor it can encourage our students to be physically active in and out of school.  Some fitness trackers allow students the opportunity to log exercise and other features that they are able to do at home as well.

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Overall, in my opinion I see the benefits to incorporating technology into the classroom.  I see both positive and negative sides however I do feel that with our world ever so changing in a way where technology has become a major aspect I think if we don’t include technology into our own teaching and learning we are doing our students an injustice.  With support, resources, professional development etc. in regards to technology I do think that all of us could successfully incorporate it into our classrooms to benefit our students.

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Interesting Finds This Week!!

 

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This week we decided to look at some interesting finds.  These statistics from our Canadian public schools are quite interesting.  Technology as we can see is becoming part of our every day lives starting at a young age. As educators I do feel it is our job to ensure that our students have the necessary tools and resources to be successful citizens in our society, teaching them the ins and outs of technology is definitely needed in today’s society.  Many jobs now days our taking to the online world… look at teacher’s for example.  In my experience at my school we are expected to check email daily, check google drive for announcements, book computers/other resources online, communicate with one another via online tools as we don’t always have the time to meet face to face, and the list goes on.

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To be honest, I have my computer and my phone attached to my hip daily, with the expectations and responsibilities of my job I need both my phone and my computer to get through my day successfully. This is just the beginning, I’m sure technology is going to continue to revolve and we need to start preparing and teaching our students how to use it properly, safely and most importantly how to be good digital citizens.

As I have been reading a variety of materials over the past few weeks I decided to look a little further into what Regina Public Schools believe in regards to technology.  To be honest, prior to this class I have thought lots about technology and incorporating it into my classroom, the how to, the different apps, resources etc. but it was not until now that I realized “hey I have all they great ideas, but now I need to make sure that I am following the guidelines of my employers and ensuring that I am implementing it in an appropriate manner.”

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Shared Vision:

Regina Public Schools believe:

  • curriculum framework and pedagogy
  • professional learning
  • bring your own device
  • innovation
  • digital citizenship
  • assistive technology
  • IT infrastructure and services
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Equitable access
  • Policies and procedures
  • Links were found at: http://www.rbe.sk.ca/technology_in_learning

I also decided to take a look at some interesting things that were both technology and physical education related this week.  All schools within Regina Public Schools should have access to a physical education resource called sparkSpark can be a very useful resource especially for beginner physical education teachers.  Spark has some updated information on their site that would be useful to beginner teachers and veteran teachers in the physical education world.  Many physical education teachers have the experience in the content however do not have any experience in incorporating technology into our classrooms.  The Spark Blog offers some insight and a variety of ways/tools that can be used along with the spark manual in including these resources in our class.  Some examples provided were:

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pedometers (ability to measure steps which is conveniently one of the easiest ways of measuring activity levels.  It is essential that teachers who plan to use pedometers in their classrooms that there are different targets based on children, abilities etc. therefore it is essential to keep this in mind when planning lessons.

heart rate monitors (again based on student’s target heart rate will vary.  This can be challenging to use but fun as we have more freedom to individualize programs, activities etc. to meet the needs of our students)

various apps (my fitness pal- can aid students in tracking physical activity as well as nutrition.  There are also other apps such as blastinmotion that may be helpful in improving specific skills for a particular sport and/or activity)

video resources (how to videos, YouTube etc. can be helpful in teaching our students a variety of activities, skills etc.  Video resources also allow our students opportunities to create their own videos for class as well.)

Games– Wii Sports, Dance Dance etc.  We can have a few students using the controllers while the other students follow along with the activity/movement on the screen.

Although technology can be challenging, especially to physical education teachers as often times we are faced with the dilemma of how to incorporate and does it really apply to our subject area, it is essential that we make an effort in including it into our classrooms and lessons as it creates a more dynamic classroom. By incorporating technology into our classrooms we might be meeting the interests and needs of all students rather than our students who are “natural athletes”.

Another great find this week was the creating animations through keynote.  Through this site you are able to sign up for an online class that will aid you in learning how to create animations through keynote.  By completing this course you will be able to:

“The course is comprised of 5 lessons containing 17 topics. Each topic will teach you a new skill and includes video explanations to help you step by step through the process. No experience using Keynote is necessary. The only requirement is that you have a Mac Computer with Keynote installed (that’s pretty much all of them).”

This online course offers an opportunity to create custom animations that will help our students discover and learn tactical concepts.  They will also be able to learn rules, and will allow the teacher a chance to access our student’s knowledge and understanding in regards to the material being taught.

Preach it!!!

“Since technology is so prevalent in many students’ lives today, integrating it into their exercise routines during PE class will help them set a good habit of allotting time out of their day to exercise even outside of the classroom. By teaching students how to use various forms of technology for their health, students are able to make use of the devices they own to maximize health benefits outside of the classroom on weekends, for example. Informing students of the available resources they have also eliminates them needing to go out of their way and find these resources to help them sustain a healthy lifestyle in the long run”  I love this quote and it is totally something I live by!! I want all my students to be able to live healthy active lifestyles in and out of school and by providing them with the essential tools and resources to do so will help them in being successful not only in my classroom but outside of my classroom, at home, and in the community as well!

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I have been over the moon excited to be able to focus my last class on something I am so passionate about.  I hope that with all my new findings, resources, tools and support from my colleagues I will be able to successfully use technology in my classroom to benefit the teaching and learning that is happening in my classroom!

If There Is A Will There Is A Way!

Last week we talked about the con’s of technology in our classrooms, today we are going to take a glimpse of some preventative measures to these cons.  If you need to refresh your memory in regards to the con’s we talked about last class please refer to my post from last week.

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According to this blog https://blog.cengage.com/technology-classroom-distraction-asset/

“60% claimed that texting is a major cause for distraction.”

“59% said that students are busy checking out their favorite social-media sites.”

“45% noted that students are distracted by games.”

“25% revealed that some students use the search functionality of their tech tools to search for answers (that is, cheat) during class.”

My colleague Elizabeth was doing some reading this week and came across an article that provided some great ideas.  One idea that I took away from Elizabeth’s blog post this week that I absolutely loved was the idea of a tech check in.  With a tech check in I believe that we don’t eliminate tech as a whole, we simply provide less opportunities for student’s devices to be a distraction.  With a tech check in we begin by setting an alarm every 15 min, when the alarm goes off students have one min to to check their device.

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As time goes on we begin to increase the amount of time between check ins, hopefully by providing this opportunity to check in our students will learn to check social media, texts, snap chat etc. during this one minute that is available to them rather than during important instruction time.  As an educator I do believe that we also need to find ways of incorporating their devices into our classrooms and encouraging our students to use their devices in appropriate ways.  We need to encourage our students to stay focused on the task at hand and provide positive feedback when the devices are being used appropriately.  If we continue to do this then students will be able to continue using their devices to benefit their learning in our classrooms.  It is essential that we promote good digital citizenship, that we discuss/provide opportunities and model our expectations.  Lastly, rather than eliminating as a whole we need to manage these distractions; in order to manage we need to provide resources, apps, and tools for our students to self regulate.

Another way to avoid distraction would be to draw our students in.

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With tech we can provide opportunities for discovery, discussion and learning.  Some ways of doing this could be through a facebook page, students are able to post, discuss, share via our class page.  Students could use an app called Dipity (Dipity.com), with this app they would be able to create a timeline that focuses on their learning in the course at that particular moment in time.  Finding different apps and resources to encourage the use of tech in a positive manner is sure to be a game changer in our classrooms.

Research has proven that many educators use video resources within their classroom to support the curricular material already being taught.

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According to a survey 94% of teachers have effectively incorporated some type of video in their classrooms within the past year.  Most teachers admitted to using video frequently, perhaps even once a week… why is this?

“As educators, our aim is to get students energized and engaged in the hands-on learning process, and video is clearly an instructional medium that is compelling and generates a much greater amount of interest and enjoyment than the more traditional printed material. Using sight and sound, video is the perfect medium for students who are auditory or visual learners. With the added use of subtitles each child then has the choice to watch, listen to, or read each presentation. Video stimulates and engages students creating interest and maintaining that interest for longer periods of time, and it provides an innovative and effective means for educators to address and deliver the required curriculum content”. As educators it is our job to ensure that we are incorporating the video’s because we feel it will enhance the learning experience for our students, not just because we feel like incorporating a different means of teaching.  Once we have established that we are incorporating the use of videos in our teaching for the right reasons then we need to ensure that the video we selected is appropriate and meaningful to the lesson being taught.  Videos provide authentic learning opportunities for our students and can be useful in engaging our students, possibilities for deeper level of understanding and increased motivation.

How does technology affect the socialization of our children??

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Although many people think technology is taking over and our children are spending too much time on their phones, gaming etc. it hasn’t taken away all opportunities for socialization.  First and foremost we need to ensure that our students learn appropriate manners in face to face interactions before we throw them into online interactions with their peers.  We can ensure our students are good digital citizens by promoting positive socialization skills.  We can provide opportunities for our students to work on their socialization on the playground, in the hallway, in group activities etc.  Students are able to learn how to socialize appropriately through interactions with their teachers and classmates on a daily basis.  They are able to learn by doing, encourage them to ask questions, discuss… we need to model what we expect.

Funding also becomes a huge problem when talking about involving tech into our classrooms.  Many classrooms, school divisions etc. simply do not have the necessary funding to be able to successfully incorporate technology into their classrooms.  I’m sure there are some rules in regards to the types of funding and technology that we are able to access however I was able to find a best buy school tech grant which seemed like a great way of accessing the funds necessary to incorporate tech into our classrooms.  Grants for Elementary schools should: help introduce or improve the technology available to all students in the school from Kindergarten to Grade 8”  If we are able to prove to our school divisions how beneficial technology can be for our teaching and learning perhaps funding could be a possibility.

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We could use Kyle’s idea of bring your own device, students continue bringing their own devices to class to be used for learning purposes.  Possible donations may also be a good idea, if people have different devices at home that aren’t being used then our schools could make use of them!

Coach’s Eye App in response to cons: Plan lessons where you have the opportunity to pull students aside and have that one on one time where you can analyze and discuss the students movement together.  Some students noted that they felt embarrassed when critiqued by the app in front of peers, so finding time and critiquing individually rather than in front of peers is essential in ensuring this app has a positive outcome.

Camtasia in response to cons:  If students do not have access to technology at home to complete assigned homework, encourage them to use the technology available to them at school.  As the teacher make yourself available at times outside of class time to ensure the students can come complete assignments using the technology within school hours.

Xbox in response to cons: Again, maybe by donation if someone had a system not being used.  Have alternate things planned for students not engaged in the xbox Kinect activity.  Allow transition between xbox Kinect activities and other activities so that others can play as well.

Heart rate monitor in response to cons: Leave devices at school, only to be used during class time.

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Overall, I think there is a lot to consider when incorporating tech into our classrooms, all of which will not be solved immediately.  It is essential that we plan and come up with solutions to these con’s as it is a positive way of showing others how important incorporating tech into our teaching and learning can be.  If we work together this is definitely a possibility, I look forward to working with my colleagues this semester to come up with solutions to our con’s/problems and move forward in a positive direction.

Con’s To Technology In A Physical Education Classroom

 

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Pro’s and Con’s of technology are something to be considered when deciding to use technology in our classrooms and in our lessons.  Today’s blog will focus on the con’s of technology in a physical education setting and at a later date we will take a look at the pro’s.  Huffington Post published an article in 2012 looking at whether technology would be beneficial in our classrooms or if it would hinder the success of our students.  Some of the arguments presented in this article that were noted are as follows:

This article also mentioned that how we view technology in the classroom will depend on how we prioritize funding.  With all the recent budget cuts in our school is technology really what we should be spending our money on?

After reading through many different articles, blogs etc. I came across a blog that had some con’s that were worth discussing.  Technology can be a distraction, if students are taught how to use it in an appropriate manner and have access to it all the time it can become essential that they check their Facebook, twitter, snap chat, text messages etc. rather than focusing on the work that they are supposed to be doing using the technology as a tool.  Are we using technology for the right reasons or purpose?  Are we simply incorporating technology for the sake of incorporating it or are we doing this with purpose? Something worth looking into and thinking about when planning our own lessons that revolve around or involve technology.  Again as mentioned before students miss out on that social interaction, which in turn could hinder their verbal communication and their social skills with peers/others.  Technology has the possibility of fostering more cheating.  Students have access to a variety of resources/tools that may be tempting to use.  Not all students in the classroom will have equal access to technological resources.

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Students that do not have access will be unable to complete assignments and will be at a disadvantage.  When introducing technology in the beginning students may not have the ability do differentiate between quality research and resources therefore are their assignments going to be up to par?  Technology in our classrooms and our lessons can prove to make things a little more challenging, booking out the computer cart, making sure everyone has access to a tech tool, logging on, do we have internet connection etc.

Some apps that can be used in a physical education classroom and the con’s that come along with using those apps are as follows:

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Coach’s Eye– An app that has the ability to record the students and provide immediate feedback on their performance.  Con to using this app is it only analyzes one student at a time, so unless you are working one on one with the students and have other activities planned for the rest of the class it makes using this app impossible.  Some students have also noted feelings of embarrassment when critiqued by the app in front of their peers.

Camtasia–  A tool that allows instructors to record their computer screen and add in voice overs and other effects so students are able to absorb information and lessons virtually.  Con: Traditionally students don’t have homework in physical education class so assigning using this tool may add to their workload at home.  Not all students will have access to internet making it difficult for everyone to complete the assignments.  If students aren’t completing assignments then the teacher has to repeat the instructions in class, this resources has the potential however, allows for many opportunities for students and teachers to be left on different pages.

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Xbox Kinect– A gaming system that is used worldwide that promotes full body movement that is tracked by sensors. Con: Not all schools will have the finances required to purchase one of these systems.  If a system is available it limits the number of students that can be participating at one time, therefore the teacher would still need to have alternate activities planned for the other class members.

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Heart Rate Monitor– A tracking device that is worn by the students that has the ability to display their heart rate electronically.  Many of these devices also have the ability to calculate optimal heart rate based on the students age, weight and activity level.  Con: If purchased for each individual within the classroom this can become very costly, so unless the finances are available then this tool wouldn’t be an option.

Fitness Tracker– There are a variety of fitness trackers out there, from pedometers to fitbits.  These fitness trackers have the ability to track steps and some of the higher end trackers can track different modes of physical activity.  Con: If purchased for every student in the classroom it can become very costly.  If students have been granted permission to wear their fitness trackers at home there is the possibility that some may go missing or students may forget to wear it to school which gives inaccurate results when trying to log an individuals fitness levels/hours.

Overall, like anything there are challenges that come along with using technology in our classroom.  As educators we need to take a step back and value the pro’s and con’s and make decisions that will be best suited for our students.  Although there are many con’s associated with using technology in the classroom there are many pro’s that may potentially outweigh the con’s.  I look forward to looking at the pro’s with you guys in a few weeks and hopefully coming out with some great ideas to use in my own classroom.

Feel Free to read more at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-rosenberg/technology-in-the-classro_2_b_2018558.html

https://blog.tophat.com/6-pros-cons-using-technology-classroom/

http://www.edudemic.com/lets-get-digitally-physical-technology-gym-class/

Last One Best One!

Last one best one is what they always say.  I am really looking forward to the last leg of my journey in the master’s program and even more excited to be finishing off with an ED Tech class.  I am very fortunate that Alec has so willingly taken a group of us under his wing,

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with his expertise in ED Tech I see this semester being fun, challenging, informational and eye opening to the possibilities that technology can bring to our teaching and learning.  As Liz mentioned she was disappointed when she realized there were no ED Tech classes being offered in the spring/summer sessions as she wanted to finish her master’s degree with with one of these classes.  I can totally relate, waiting up… oh wait don’t kid yourself I didn’t wait up until 12 to register, I went to bed.. set my alarm…. Woke up at 12:55 p.m. and logged on to realize there were no classes that were of interest to me…. Disappointment quickly set in.  It was then that I was discussing with Jen about how I need one more class and was hoping to finish my journey in this program with an ED Tech class.  She had mentioned that there was a possibility of taking a directed reading or independent study and we should look into it.  As we began looking into this possibility it became evident how much I have learned from these ED Tech classes in previous semesters and wanted to continue learning more.  I am very excited to be on this journey with such wonderful colleagues, Liz, Andres, Jen, and Kyle.

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I look forward to learning with and from them throughout the semester and hope that we can all walk away with ideas, resources, etc. to aid in our tech journeys.

I am very excited to be taking this directed reading course as we are all able to look at specific areas involving ED Tech.  I have been at an elementary school since I graduated from the education program at the University.  I was hired as a physical education specialist and have taught that for the past 7 years.. well with a half time French kindergarten in there at one point too!

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I am very passionate about physical education and finding ways for our students to be physically active in and out of school.  To be honest my undergrad didn’t really focus or even discuss the possibility of incorporating technology into a physical education classroom.

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Perhaps society has taken such a turn where many things we do and rely on somehow involve technology.  I am all about using things to our advantage, there are certain battles I am not willing to pick and the use of phones/tech in my classroom definitely wouldn’t be considered a battle as I think that we can be using these tools in a manner where they will benefit our learners and encourage them to use their technology in appropriate ways.  As educators it is obviously essential that we take baby steps and ensure our students have proper background knowledge in regards to technology in our classrooms, like anything we cannot throw it at them without teaching them first, we need to focus on teaching good digital citizenship in our classrooms in order for our students to be successful.

It is my hope that throughout this course I will be able to find a variety of tools, resources, suggestions, tried experiences etc. that will aid me in finding ways of incorporating technology into my physical education classroom.

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Like everything there are always challenges and pro’s and con’s that come along with technology and I hope to be able to touch upon these things as I do some research in the weeks to come.  It is my hope that with my findings throughout this course that I will be able to successfully implement technology into my physical education classrooms with ease for myself and for my students.  I want to be able to encourage my students to be physically active in and out of school and technology might be one way of encouraging our students to maintain their physically active healthy lifestyles outside of school as well.

Another goal for this semester is to find a way using technology that I can maintain communication with parents/students.

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I teach close to 400 different students which poses as a challenge in communicating with both parents and students.  I would love to find a way of communicating and keeping parents up to date on their child’s progress throughout the year.

Overall, I think this course offers so many possibilities and options and I am really looking forward to exploring my topic in depth. Finding fun ways of incorporating tech. With the help of research and feedback from my colleagues through our weekly meetings I see this course being a stepping stone to many great things to come in my future teaching and learning.

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I look forward to working with all of you this semester and am hopeful that we all walk away with what we were looking for.  Cheers to one last class together!!!

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EC&I 834 Summary of Learning

Once again this semester I had the privilege or working on my summary of learning with a great friend and colleague, Roxanne Leung.  We decided to create our summary of learning using GoAnimate.  A few weeks back we were asked to explore a digital tool, both of us decided to test out GoAnimate.  We both walked away with a positive experience and felt comfortable and confident in using GoAnimate to represent our learning.  We had a great semester, it was fun, engaging and was often challenging us in our tech savvy ways….. or lack there of.  If you’d like to check out what we learned this semester, check out our summary of learning below.  Have a great Spring/Summer and I look forward to seeing many of you in classes, in the halls and online!