Saturday, November 17, 2012

RunKeeper Application

The RunKeeper application is beneficial to those who are trying to track their work out progress. This application offers a GPS Activity tracker, iPod integration, Audio Cues, Calorie Burn Counts and Activity sharing on social Networks. Additionally, you can manually enter your workout into the application.

One of the best features of this application is the Audio Cues. While you are running, the application will speak to you, letting you know the distance you have completed and how long you have been running. Additionally, you can set a playlist of songs from your iPod to play while you are using the application.

As this application is entirely free, I would encourage anyone who can benefit from the application to give it a try.

How I would use it in my classroom:

This application can be used in a cross country unit or any other unit that involves running. Students  can track their progress and set goals for their future workouts.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Vimeo is an excellent site that allows users to upload and create videos for sharing. My colleagues and I created the video below, which was played during our morning announcements, to remind students of our school's expectations. Enjoy!

**This site is supported by iPad, iPhones, Flash and Beyond.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Handheld Learning in Physical Education

How I plan to use this in my class:

My school was chosen to participate in an iPad pilot program. My school was chosen because our enrollment is representative of Howard County as a whole. In the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, each of my 7th grade students will receive an Apple iPad as part of  the two-year pilot program. They chose the 7th grade because it provides the opportunity to observe and follow the same group for a two-year period. The goal of the pilot program, as stated in the introductory letter sent to teachers, was "to provide students with access to digital content and  production tools, in and outside of school, giving them the ability to learn anytime, anywhere."  This pilot program will help the school system assess the effectiveness of iPad devices in school and how said devices can impact teaching and learning.  Ultimately, it will inform and shape future curriculum development as well as funding needs.

The handheld learning website, listed above, provides various tools and resources that will assist my personal efforts when utilizing iPads with my students in physical education class. For example, the below link offers useful ebooks I can download on my iPad.

One book, Handheld Learning in Physical Education, includes a simple six-step guide on the ways to implement technologies into physical education (applications, videos, podcasts and ebooks). I am looking forward to receiving my iPad and implementing it in my classes. 

Bodymedia Armband

Last year I received a Bodymedia armband as a gift. The Bodymedia armband is a device that tracks the number of calories burned throughout each day, even during sleep.  Unfortunately, the Bodymedia armband is expensive, ranging from $179 to $199. The monthly cost for the “required” website subscription is $6.95, although the first three months of a subscription are free. Also available is a free application on your iphone or droid to view daily progress.  The Bodymedia device pops out of the armband and can be plugged it into a USB drive to sync with and the Bodymedia software. The software, called the “Activity Manager,” allows a user to set goals (i.e., how many calories you want to consume, how many you want to burn, how many steps you want to take, etc.).  Additionally, a user can enter the foods consumed through the day into the food log via phone or computer, as well as check to see if the calorie goals have been met.  Calorie counting and food tracking takes some additional effort; consequently, the device can simply be used to monitor activity.  What I find annoying about the armband, however, is that it is supposed to be worn 23 hours a day. During the winter, this was not an issue, as it is covered by clothing. During summertime, however, it is a bit unsightly on exposed arms and leaves a tan line. Overall, this armband is a great motivational tool and I personally enjoy tracking my calories and setting goals for myself. It is certainly worth the money in my opinion.
Here are some sites about the Bodymedia armband:

How I would use this device in my class:
I think it would be very interesting to see how many calories an average middle school student burns in a 24-hour period. This device would help students become aware of their activity levels. The difficulty with the device is that it is cost-prohibitive to implement on a full-class scale.  Purchasing the device for all the students would run in the thousands.  Unless a grant to purchase the devices was provided, it is unlikely that the students will see any benefit that they have to offer.  That being said, perhaps a more practical approach would be to select three students out of my class (one with high activity, one with medium activity and one with low activity) and use the three as test subjects to see how many calories each of these students burn on an average in a week. I could compare these results and help students come up with individual goals and plans to increase or maintain their activity levels.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I came across the above application during a Professional Development. This application helps design a class profile and find resources to meet students’ needs. In the resources section of the application, teachers can search for lesson plans, multimedia, practice, games, tutorials or by topic and unique search terms.

How I use this application in my classroom:
I was very pleased to see an application that can be used for Physical Education. I downloaded this application as soon as I heard about it (**it is free!) and started to create my class profile. When creating your profile, the app asked you 5 questions:
  1. What subject you are interested in.
  2. What grade level you teach.
  3. What you are looking for (lesson plans, tutorials, practice, simulations, multimedia presentations, collaborative tools, and games).
  4. What you want to accomplish (engage students, find out what they know, and/ or teach a content in a new way).
  5. How you want to teach (present information in a new way, find new approaches, help students develop a deeper understanding of the topic. 
After completing the profile, the application lists the recommended resources for teaching. This application has helped me create lesson plans utilizing some of the resources it provided. UDlinks sent me to the website:  This website provided me with some cooperative game ideas.
One such cooperative activity was called "People Pyramids."

For the activity, my students had to form a pyramid using all the students in the class. This challenge took almost the entire 90 minutes of the class period. My 7th graders worked together and decided to create a different pyramid.

Check out my pictures:

Here is attempt one: (a little more than half of my students are attempting)
Here is attempt two: (almost all of my students)

After multiple attempts to include the entire class, they decided to design their own pyramid. I was pleasantly surprised with their problem solving skills. I think their creation looked great!

I was pleasantly surprised with this lesson. Every student in my class participated and worked with each other to create this pyramid.

UDlinks provides links for EVERY subject matter and it is easy to use. Download it today!

SloPro Application

This application produces beautiful slow motion videos.

This youtube video demonstrates what SloPro does. Check it out:

This application can provide students with a tool to correct form (as it pertains to physical education) and develop an understanding of a certain skill. This application can be used as an assessment tool (self or peer) to evaluate and critique individualized performance and others. 

How I will use this in my classroom:

I can use this application to video my students performing a certain skill. For example, a forward roll in gymnastics. I would first video myself or an experienced student to depict the proper way of performing the skill. After receiving verbal instructing, the students would watch the video. The video itself would be played at normal speed, after which I would use the SloPro application to slow the movements down for a better understanding of how to perform the skill.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

runWithMe App

This application costs $.99 on itunes.

The “runWithme” application is an amazing tool because it motivates users to compete or race against one another without having to physically run together.  Two people in completely different states or even countries can race against or run with one another. A user simply has to send an invitation to another person who has the application.   Each user enters the time that he or she wants to start the run, and then let it begin. The application will verbally indicate who is in the lead and by how much. What a great way to motivate you while you are running. Check it out!!

How I would use this application:

This app would be great to use during a cross country unit. My students could partner up with someone and use this application to track their progress and motivate one another to work harder. My students love competing against each other!