Academic journal article VAHPERD Journal

Teaching with Technology Resources in Physical Education

Academic journal article VAHPERD Journal

Teaching with Technology Resources in Physical Education

Article excerpt

Using technology resources in a physical education environment can be exciting and stimulating for teachers and their students. However, teachers must keep their 'eyes wide open' regarding how they will manage and provide instruction to students when using technology resources within physical education lessons. The purpose of this paper is to guide teachers in making informed choices when deciding to purchase and utilize technology resources with students. Three aspects can assist teachers to inform the decision making process of whether to purchase technology: pre-technology (i.e. technology capabilities and student benefits), management considerations (i.e. storing and distributing technology resources), and pedagogical considerations (i.e. instructional practices).

Specifics regarding how to use any one type of technology resource are beyond the scope of this paper. However, technology resources such as wearable technology (pedometers or heart rate monitors), the internet, ipods, digital video cameras, Dance Dance Revolution games, Cateye bike computers, personal digital assistants (PDA), or Tablet PCs require teachers to make similar planning considerations.


The evolving world of technology can be exciting yet overwhelming for teachers with the constant bombardment of newage technology resources. When purchasing a new technology resource to utilize in a physical education setting, it is important to decide whether the technology resource is appropriate for student use. To help with this decision, there are several questions to consider. Below contains information for teacher's related to the technology's capabilities, cost, and student benefits.

1. What are the technology's capabilities? The technology capabilities include elements that can attract or motivate students to the technology's functions. The technology attractors, also known as the 'bells and whistles', include colors, graphics, sounds, etc. These attractors can be a way to capture students' attention and get students excited about learning a specific content. For example, when introducing students to pedometers, they can become engrossed with the desire to increase their step counts. The newness and attraction of the pedometer can capture students' attention and motivate them to acquire as many steps as possible.

The technology capabilities include the specifics of what the resource can do. For example, does the resource measure a student's heart rate, count steps, or take digital images. To truly understand the technology's capabilities, a teacher would need to personally experience the technology. The teacher would need to become comfortable and confident with the technology in order to make judgments about its effectiveness as a useful instructional tool. A teacher's understanding of the functions enables a deeper knowledge for how the resource could be used with students. This confidence and knowledge will then allow teachers to anticipate problems that may arise when students begin using the technology. Knowing the capabilities will also enable a teacher to understand how the technology resource can be linked to the lesson's educational objectives.

2. What are the cost and maintenance requirements of the technology resource?

The cost of the technology is one the first considerations when you plan to purchase a technology resource. Physical education budgets are minimal for many schools and technology purchases can exceed many of these budgets. One option when attempting to secure funding is to inquire about your school's educational technology budget. Most schools allocate funds to purchase technology resources for academic purposes. A second option is to apply for grants through local or state educational organizations. For example, your local PTA organization may have innovation grants where a teacher could present their technology idea. …

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