From Discovery Educator Lynda Hoffman:
Okay, I’ll admit, my idea of high fashion is Reebok and Nike! The idea of computers in the gymnasium next to the basketball was unheard of, until recently that is. Okay, so I am in the classroom, nice and safe teaching Health and Spanish, but really, who needs the most help with technology, besides myself and then I remembered from my days in college, my professors of the “Teaching and Coaching classes reminding us… “Those who can’t teach – teach Physical Education”. It was then and there that I decided that I wasn’t going to be the kind of teacher who taught skills, rolled out the ball, and left it at that. My Dad is so into computers and I inherited that buzz, that excitement of making a computer do what I wanted it to do. I had to figure out a way to connect the two. Somehow, not only was I going to teach myself, but help my fellow gymnasium co-workers to see the connection between technology and the “gym”. I admit, this was a daunting task, teaching coaches, physical educators how to use technology that was as foreign to them as dangling participles. But, I have managed to help them see the light stream, unitedstreaming that is.
We figured out a way to connect the computer to the stereo, so as those lovely dressed students were running their warm-up, they could listen to music. Yes, it has expanded and I don’t hear “We Will Rock You” a six times a day for the entire week! Thank you iTunes with sharing capabilities.
Recently, the Presidential Physical Fitness tests were being administered, and that awful task of tabulating the results for the separate tests, and comparing to a chart for 770 students became a spreadsheet in Excel.
However, the neatest thing we have done, is connected the learning of the Health class with the gymnasium through our nutrition unit. I created a nutrition unit as part of my Health class, but the students needed a place to test a theory, so off to unitedstreaming and the classroom learning tools I went. Right now, I have created a quiz on nutrition, linked it to the video clips, and am now developing an assignment that can be used to put some of those nutrition concepts into practice – right in the gymnasium, and in the fitness room.
Another way to connect is with the “writing” assignments for those students who are unable to participate for some reason or another. The kid who broke his leg is now reading, watching video clips about physical rehab, the human body, and the nutrition needed to help his leg heal completely. We have had students watch various clips, and then report on their subject in a “written assignment” sent to the teacher on-line. This has helped with the paper work, and made it easier to reuse assignments, especially during a paper shortage!
So, yes, even a former coach, physical educator who hasn’t entirely left the gymnasium, has found a way to connect to the world wide web, through the gym that is!