Nowadays it seems like a common response to most problems is, “There’s an App for That”. Technology has become an important part of our culture and saves us a ton of time each day. Since I got a TV installed in my gym (view my blog to learn how) I have been on a quest to find ways to integrate more technology into my classes. It can get overwhelming with everything that’s out there, but below I’ve listed a few of my Favorite Apps to use in Physical Education Class.
The summer is a great time to review these and decide which are the best ones to use for your physical education program when the new school year starts. If you want to take a deep dive into learning about these apps (and a few bonus apps as well), check out my PE Central E-Course below where I walk you through how I use each app with step by step tutorials.
(E-Course Page: https://ssww.teachable.com/p/pe-apps )
Below I’ll take you through a few of my favorite apps from the E-Course.
Youtube, Twitter or Facebook
Social media has become an essential tool in my PhysEd Toolkit. Being an active user of Twitter has allowed me to connect with PE Professionals, get great ideas and feedback that has pushed me to become a more effective educator.
If you’re not on Twitter, Youtube and Facebook for Physical Education ideas, connection and inspiration you are missing out. I recommend starting a professional account separate from your personal account so you can use one strictly for work and one for your personal life.
Next up is Sworkit Kids, this app has lots of customizable features and great examples of students performing exercises. You can design the workouts however you want and adjust the exercises or the timing. This app is perfect for Follow the Leader style warmups.
Interval Timer Pro
Another way to do quick workouts with your students is by using an interval workout app. My favorite is Interval Timer Pro. This app will allow you to set up automated rotations so that your students know how long to perform an exercise and then have a specific amount of time to get to the next exercise. I use it for quick workouts with my 25 Exercise Posters that we learn throughout the year.
Bonus: You can also use this app to do any type of station activities that you want to rotate automatically.
A huge part of advocating for your program is sharing what you’re doing. That’s one reason Twitter is such a great tool. Another good way to share what’s going on with your administration, classroom teachers and parents is by sharing video highlights of what students are learning and doing in your class.
One of my favorite apps to make quick highlights and share videos is iMovie.
There are lots of things you can do with iMovie, but I really like the “Create a Trailer” Feature. It’s an easy way to create professional looking highlights of what you’re doing in PE Class. You can see an example of how it works in the video below. Learn more about it on my blog here.
Management can be a struggle when you’re teaching tons of kids with a hectic schedule. Any tools that will help you save time and manage your responsibilities more effectively are a huge help.
My favorite team making app is Team Shake. It will give you the ability to:
- Quickly split up your class into teams
- Pick a random student from your class
- Create strengths and weaknesses to make teams fair or separate students by skill level
- Add constraints so certain students won’t be placed on the same team
If you’ve got a class that struggles to partner up or make groups, this could be a solution for you.
Round Robin an easy way to organize your Round Robin style tournaments. I usually use Teamshake and Round Robin to make any tournaments that I run in my classes quick and easy.
All you do is select the number of teams and then Round Robin App will organize the tournament for you and keep track off all the scores from each game as you enter them into the app.
Sometimes simple things can be the most powerful. I’ve found using a timer or stopwatch is helpful in motivating students and making management a little bit easier.
It’s also a good visual cue for me as a teacher to know how much time is left in each activity. There are tons of Timer Apps and you can use the built in timer on your device as well.
Every year I get feedback from my students using Google Forms to create an End of Year Survey for my students.
Google forms is a great way to use iPads or devices to allow your students to take surveys, assessments or complete peer reviews. You can connect the form to a QR Code to make it easy for students to scan the code with their device and be taken to the survey. If you don’t know how QR Codes work – don’t worry, I’ll cover that in the E-Course as well!
BAM Video Delay
This is one of my favorite apps for sure. This app will give you the ability to set up your device and replay students performing skills on the tablet or projected on a screen. This is great for automating visual feedback for your students.
FYI – BAM stands for “Bust a Move”
Imagine your students performing a skill (forward roll, overhand throw, striking a ball with a paddle) and then watching themselves on replay immediately afterwards. It’s powerful, entertaining and the kids love it.
Now go try one out!
Right now – don’t wait, just go to the app store, download any of the above apps and give it a shot. Learning something new can be tough, annoying and sometimes it’s hard to start – but learning how to use these tools will help save you time, improve your students learning and motivation and help you to become a more effective educator.
I hope this article has given you a few ideas and apps that you might be able to use in your teaching. If you want to learn about more apps and get detailed video tutorials about how I use each one, check out my PE Central E-Course at the link below.
Feel free to connect with me on my P.E. Resources website over at ThePEspecialist.com
Have Fun and Teach On!