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Gym class wherever, whenever

2020.01.14
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SOME schools in the US are moving physical education classes online.

This enables students to do exercises at a place and time of their own choosing, instead of having to do it in the school gym on a fixed timetable.

The concept may sound strange but it is being helped along by the availability of wearable fitness trackers, which let teachers ensure that the students have actually done the workout to get school credit.

While online physical education classes have been around for some time, technology has made possible a new level of accountability.

Grace Brown, a student at West Potomac High School, wears a school-issued Fitbit on her wrist while getting in at least three 30-minute workouts a week outside of school hours.

She has an app on her computer that screenshots her activity so she can turn it in for credit. “There’s a lot of standing around in regular PE. Online, I do much harder workouts,” she said.

The head of a school online physical education department explained, “We’re asking kids to wear this [tracker] while they do an activity of their choice, and they can change the activity as they desire, as long as it’s something that they understand is probably going to get their heart rate up.”

Such virtual physical education is often blended with face-to-face instructions. For example, students at one school are required to sign in for a weekly 60-minute to 90-minute classroom session with the teacher. Teachers do guide assignments by setting goals, relying on the technology to be their eyes and ears.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 14 January 2020)

 

How has technology changed education?

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Virtual classroom – Techopedia

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