What does technology-rich Physical Education look like?
In Physical Education, ICT has become an integral part of the curriculum. It has the potential to contribute at various stages of learning (Papastergiou, 2010). Technologies are used to develop a student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject, and improve their skills and techniques in a particular sport. Students could also use technology to assist in the review and evaluation of their performance (Ciolca, Stoicescu, & Stanescu, 2011). The development of Web 2.0 technologies has allowed for an increasing use of blogs, wikis, and social media networks for collaboration in Physical Education classrooms (Papastergious, Gerodimos, & Antonios, 2011). Other positive examples of technology integration include delivering a podcast on training principles or using the ‘Coach’s Eye’ app on the iPad to visually assess a peer’s throwing technique.
A technology-rich Physical Education classroom can promote and enhance learning by:
· Accommodating the various paces of learning (Hall & Leigh, 2001).
· Transcend time and space – learning can occur anytime, anywhere (Prajapati, 2012).
· Involvement with technologies distinct from conventional methods (Hall & Leigh, 2001).
· Encouraging students to access and evaluate information from various reliable sources (Hall & Leigh, 2001).
· Improves the amount of information students retain through visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning channels.
Teachers who effectively integrate technology ask the following questions during their planning: How will technology improve teacher efficiency? How will the integration of technology foster learning? How does the technology accomplish something that previously could not be accomplished? The learning outcomes are carefully and purposefully considered first, and then there is consideration on how the technology can contribute to the lesson (Castelli & Fioretino, 2008).
The Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education outlines students’ ability to use ICT to access information and communicate, as well as analyse, measure, and enhance movement performances.
Effective Physical Education programs have regular communication with students and parents; integrate student choice in the curriculum; and link the national standards to student learning (Castelli & Rink, 2003). Technology can play a role in each of these characteristics. Teachers could use emails and social media networks for communication. They can also create blogs or wikis that contain information about the curriculum. Portable devices such as the iPad could be used to collect assessment data and therefore track student attainment of specific benchmarks related to the Australian Curriculum.
It is suggested in Castelli & Fioretino (2008) that teachers in effective ICT programs “select, master, and integrate” one technology at a time. Teachers should select a technology, plan for the acquisition of the technology, become comfortable with it, and then integrate it into their classroom. Students are more engaged and motivated when such ICT program is executed effectively (Prajapati, 2012).