I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a couple of Phys Ed teachers and explore tech integration in Health and Physical Education. We’d arranged to meet at a high school near their own to discuss, explore, observe and brainstorm together. We squeezed a lot into four and a half hours. Thought I’d share some of the discussions and resources from our time together.
Linking tech integration to teaching philosophy
I believe our personal philosophies or attitudes guide our choices and behaviours. If we’re attempting to ‘action’ something that goes against these, I think we’re less likely to ‘stick with it’ for long as it causes more angst and frustration than joy and success.
Whilst at uni I had to do an assignment that involved distinguishing our teaching philosophies and creating a behaviour management plan to align to them. Whats important to you as a teacher? What motto do you want to teach by, lead by, learn by? What theories of motivation, learning, leadership, behaviour do you connect strongly to? What are your beliefs about behaviour management and discipline? A worthwhile task that really helped form (and give me confidence using) most of the behaviour management strategies I use today.
Last year I read 10 Lessons I’ve learnt using technology in PE by the PE Geek Jarrod Robinson and it lit up a whole bunch of lightbulbs for me in terms of my attitude to tech integration. At that point I was able to pin point a few things I could do much better (in terms of my approach to it all). Ended up not only saving me a lot of time and energy, but I started to enjoy exploring and using tech much more. More recently, I participated in a webinar titled Transform you teaching through technology by Naomi Hartl within the Connected PE Community (I highly recommend HPE teachers joining this online community!!!). Was a great opportunity to reflect and refine my thoughts and attitudes a bit more.
So now I have my TEN TECH INTEGRATION TIPS that I like to refer to as a reminder and motivator:
- You are still the most important element in the classroom, not the tech that you bring into it.
- Tech will not make average teachers good, but tech in the hands of great teachers has the potential to be transformational
- Transforming teaching requires you integrate with purpose and meaning
- Don’t assume students know how to use a ‘device’ properly. If they do know how to use a ‘device’, don’t assume they know how to learn with that ‘device’.
- Focus on student use as much as possible.
- Students learn more by what you are (or do) than what you teach/tell so work to role model:
- Growth mindset
- Lifelong learner
- Positive digital literacy
- Positive digital footprint
- Healthy balance of tech use
- You will get better results if you have ongoing, genuine support
- Have an understanding and appreciation of infrastructure and tech support at your school
- Behaviour management needs to include tech management
- Remember that PE is about movement.
Discussing integration frameworks
I find frameworks useful to refer to when planning tech integration but there are quite a few out there (previous post: Integrating technology into teaching – what model or framework is best?). Much like teaching theories, I like little bits of each framework, but connect better with two in particular >> SAMR Swimming Lessons + SAMR and Blooms:
Exploring integrating within pedagogical models
We then explored how tech could be integrated into a couple of pedagogoical models suitable to the HPE learning area. The flipped classroom and the Cooperative learning model.
Flipped Classroom: The typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. Some great tips and resources on flipping the PE classroom available from @NZPETeacher. If you teach PE theory his YouTube channel is well worth a look. Below is a super brief summary of how I’ve previously flipped my practical PE lessons.
Cooperative Learning Model: A student-centred model that involves the deliberate and long-term facilitation of group work with a focus on giving students responsibility for their own and their groups learning. Check out previous post Cooperative Learning in Phys Ed – Self Reflection & Brainstorm to read more about this model and tech integration.
Perhaps something we don’t often get the opportunity to do (once we’ve graduated uni) is observe other teachers and their lessons. It can be daunting inviting observers into your class, and time consuming observing others in their classes. But it if you can, its such a valuable learning opportunity to observe both teachers and students using tech in a variety of lessons. Not only for idea sharing, but also because as an observer you tend to see different things in different ways and this gives you a different perspective – from lesson design, to behaviour management, to problem solving tech issues. The conversations we had after observing two lessons (Year 9 Fitness and Year 12 Phys Ed Studies) was invaluable. It lead nicely into our final hour of brainstorming and planning.
Brainstorming and planning potential tech integration
After our observation, we started by brainstorming other tech options and possible solutions to problems for the two classes we had obserevd. We then continued sharing tech options for the multitude of other HPE classes we teach – a bit of a real brief show and tell if you will – ended up with a nice list of apps/websites/tech.
Finally we had half an hour to start planning tech integration for our own classes. We discussed planning programs versus planning lessons and then chose one from our own timetable to brainstorm further. The purpose was not to design a NEW program or lesson but to IMPROVE an already exisiting program or lesson with tech. Each to their own when it comes to planning, but I work well with somewhat of a framework to follow. Heres what I used:
All of that in four and half hours.