Improving ICT use in Physical Education
Effective integration of ICT in the curriculum is a complex, challenging, and multifaceted process that involves not just technology, but also curriculum and pedagogy, and teacher competencies (Prajapati, 2012). ICT should be utilised selectively within the learning context and should focus on improving students’ learning. To ensure effective use of ICT in PE, educators must satisfy the following criteria:
· Feel confident and competent about using ICT.
· Convinced of what ICT has to offer to education.
· Realise the potential of ICT tools already available in schools.
· Diminish concerns about the expense, difficulties, and the amount of time needed to incorporate ICT into teaching practice.
· Ensure materials and software meet the teaching and learning outcomes of the curriculum (Hall & Leigh, 2001).
It is important for educators to realise that technology should not replace the teacher. Multiple examples of teachers “watching a DVD or YouTube video” and “reading the paper” have been observed in PE classrooms (Sanders & Witherspoon, 2012). Technology should only be used to supplement teaching instructions in a way that cannot be replicated by face-to-face instruction. For example, a teacher gives instructions on how to handball in an AFL football unit, providing interventions, and using a video clip of a professional AFL player to reinforce concepts.
Teacher training plays a pivotal role in improving the use of ICT in Physical Education. Educators who might be ‘tech-savvy’ also need to be able to apply their ICT knowledge in lessons (Meredith, 2011). They must learn to choose technology to aid their teaching, rather than designing lessons to fit the available technology (Juniu, 2011). Lockyer (2007) argues that ICT must be integrated with curriculum, pedagogy and field experience to model what teachers might use in their classes.
Creating policies that not only provide professional development for teachers, but make it compulsory, would help the level of comfort that some educators may lack when confronted with integrating ICT into lessons (Sanders & Witherspoon, 2012). University Physical Education teacher program must also be updated to provide beginning teachers with the knowledge and practical experience needed to incorporate ICT into their teaching (Sobral, Faro, Edginton, 2008). Hall & Leigh (2001) detail a plan to improve integration of ICT in Physical Education:
1. Planning the use of ICT within PE
a. Equipment audit
b. Setting priorities
2. Developing departmental policy
a. Set out aims and values
b. Explain principles underlying the use of ICT in PE
c. Identify issues which need to be addressed
3. Managing issues
a. Audit of ICT skills
b. Training to be provided
c. Continual monitoring and reviewing the use of ICT in PE