Its almost that time again where we start reflecting on this years programs and start adapting them for the coming year. Next year our school is introducing iPads to our Year 7 cohort (previously they each had MacBooks) so our Health Program is due for an update and revamp – or in the words of the SAMR model, its due for some enhancement and transformation.
Integrating technology is not as simple as ‘bring in the iPads!!’ Brand new shiny toys can become distractions and gaming devices if not introduced and implemented effectively. When going ‘one-to-one’ I believe it has to be a whole school approach – with structure, support and consistency. Read more about all this here
But I digress. Lets focus back on ‘transforming’ our health program.
STEP ONE: Understand the SAMR model. This model helps explain how to approach integrating technology into your teaching. This video explains it in bit more detail.
STEP TWO: Understand good programs don’t use technology all the time. Sometimes technology shouldn’t be used. Humans should learn from one another, not just computers. I believe Health Education should include elements of social interaction and as such I love a health classroom where students are questioning, sharing, discussing, debating, exploring, asking and answering together…. whilst making noise…. and sometimes moving about the room or even the school. Read more about when NOT to use technology here
STEP THREE: Apply step one and two into current health program.
I’ll just brainstorm ideas within three of our year 7 health units – keeping in mind students are using iPads.
- Healthy Lifestyle and Personal Skills Unit
- SUMMARY: Transition to high school, respectful relationships, communication, organisation
- ASSESSMENT: None.
- Set up online discussion forum activity with older students at the school (ie. student leaders) to discuss issues surrounding ‘transition to high school’ (could be a question and answer, or, advice column type set up). Monitored by teacher.
- Fitness Unit
- SUMMARY: Components of health and fitness, fitness testing & goal setting
- ASSESSMENT: Assignment. Pages document. Keep an exercise diary, complete fitness tests, set exercise goals.
- Set up fitness testing equipment in open area for students to work through in small groups. Create instructional videos for the tests with audio, visual and text (i.e. captions) – enabling students to play, replay, pause etc. Use QR codes as means of students accessing the instructions (ie. student scan QR code with their iPad which opens the video for them to watch). Would be great to also have videos (linked by QR code) that demonstrates the ‘component of fitness’ in action – specifically in an action that is connected to the Phys Ed program (ie. agility demonstrated in touch rugby).
- Use google doc spreadsheet for students to enter their results into and compare their results to other students in the school. Potentially have a neighbouring school also add their results into this spreadsheet.
- Allow students freedom to chose how they ‘keep’ their exercise diary. Typed, video, audio (i.e. voice recordings). Ensure simple checklist of what to cover/capture is provided (ie. structure and scaffold task).
- Nutrition Unit
- SUMMARY: Healthy eating guidelines, food groups, nutrients, reading labels to make healthier choices (focus on cereals and drinks).
- ASSESSMENT: Hand written in class test. Explain the healthy eating guidelines, compare two products in order to make ‘healthier’ choice (interpret food labels), offer advice on the eating habits of young people (scenarios)
- When teaching about reading food labels ask students to take photos of processed food they have in their pantry/fridge (and that they eat). In class use annotation app to draw/highlight key aspects of the food labels of products. Have students compare their product (via face to face discussion) with other students – focus on one aspect of the food at a time (ie. sugar, fat, sodium, natural ingredients etc) – decide who is the healthier choice. Those students who were decided to be the ‘healthier’ option to find another ‘healthier’ option and compare again – those students who lost the round to find another student who lost their round. Teacher to monitor and record progress of each round so can rank products. Less time consuming way would be to create google spreadsheet that all students can input relevant product information into. Products could then be ranked automatically. Can then focus on finding the absolute healthiest option via discussion/debate (ie. one product might have the least amount of sugar but highest amount of fat etc).
- Create a google spreadsheet that students input what they ate for breakfast over a certain time frame (ie. every lesson for three weeks). Once have this data, get students to decide on criteria for a ‘healthy breakfast’. Use the data collected to find which class has collectively been eating the ‘healthiest breakfasts’. Allow discussion between the classes (discussion forum) that enables students to offer advice on how classes (including their own) can improve.
- Scaffold a group task that enables students to record, compare, rate and rank food labels of products within the school canteen. Students to create summary of their findings that can then be put on display for other students at the school to view and consider.
- Create a ‘live’ healthy recipe book students can access and add to (monitored by teacher). Perhaps something visual like ‘Pinterest’. Each recipe comes with a quick ‘summary’ checklist that gives basic information about the food (ie. food groups or allergy information – tie this into content covered in ‘food labels’ but keep simple!). Focus on simple recipes that don’t require a lot of time to make. Recipes to connect to the ‘food’ the unit is focusing on (ie. if focusing on cereals, create ‘book’ of healthy breakfast recipes)
STEP FOUR: Discuss with department. I wouldn’t go any further without chatting to your team. That being, the team of teachers that will teach this ‘transformed’ health program next year…. unless you’re the sole teacher of this program then go nuts! Its important everyones involved in the process or at least invited to contribute. Technology won’t work if teachers don’t understand why we’re using it, how to use it, and/or agree with how it can transform the program.
STEP FIVE: Be resourceful about finding resources. Don’t start from scratch – be smart with your time. Use what you had this year as the ‘base’ and build from there. Finding websites/videos/apps/worksheets/games that compliment and connect to your content is awesome but can be time consuming if you don’t know where to look – starting to ‘collate’ resources ‘now’ via something like pinterest can help. Set up a shared file that teachers in your department can add potential resources into. Connect with other teachers (at neighbouring schools or on twitter). If you are missing ‘content’ (i.e. a video that defines or explains key content) then consider programming this INTO the program (ie. video yourself in a lesson, or have students create a short video or screen grab summary).
My next step….. take these ideas to the department and discuss with the team.