So often I get asked “What’s your favourite app for #PhysEd?” or “What one app do you use all the time with you students?”
A few years ago when I started iPhys-Ed.com as a place to talk about technology in physical education I probably would have responded with Ubersense or Coach’s Eye, however through my professional journey I have come to see that there is no ONE app that I use all the time or ONE favourite app that serves my students the best. Most of the time when I use any app it is to serve a very particular purpose and to make it easier for my students to achieve the knowledge, skills or understanding that they require.
Recently during our health related fitness unit, as some of my Grade 4 students were working on developing fitness circuits workouts I realised that actually quite a lot of the time we actually use more than one app to achieve our purpose. One of my colleagues calls it “App Smashing.”
App Smashing is the process of using multiple apps to create projects or complete tasks. Below I will attempt to give you an example of how I used App Smashing in my #PhysEd class.
The questions came rolling in; “Where does sweat come from when we are hot?" "Why do we get tired after we exercise?" "What happens when you don't stretch before you exercise?" "Why do we burn energy?"We agreed as a group to start inquiring together into the answers to these questions. As we did, further questions began to emerge; “How many calories does the average person burn?" "Do you need energy to sleep?" "What happens to my heart rate when I exercise?" "If you sweat too much will you get dehydrated?"As we began to inquire further into how exercise can affect our body some of the students decided that they would like to create their own fitness circuit workouts.
Students actually filled this template in and designed their circuits workouts with a sub teacher as I was having wisdom tooth surgery and was out of school for a week. Upon my return I took a look at the work they had done on their circuits and thought that although they had done a great job on the paper template that we could take it even further. Our Grade 3 health related fitness unit is coming up in February and I thought it would be really cool if rather than using other fitness workout videos/apps the Grade 3’s could do the workouts that the Grade 4’s had created.
I had recently had the chance to catch up with my buddy Adam Llevo at APPEC in Hong Kong and we were chatting about how he had used GIFs to design activities for cover teachers. I had also been using the wonderful Sworkit Kids app with my students. Suddenly I had an idea! How cool would it be if my students workouts were sort of like a mini Sworkit Kids workout and we used GIFs instead of video. That way the movements would constantly repeat without needing to push play at the end of the video.