Physical education for youth is challenging for educators who wrestle with budget constraints, rising rates of obesity in children and hurdles to informing adults about the benefits of exercise and activity for kids. To tackle the challenges head on, educators are focusing on new technology which creates opportunities for students of all ages and fitness levels. Learn more about how technology is shaping the face of physical education for youth and how to engage kids to be more active.
Technology has come a long way towards engaging individuals and youth in physical activity, particularly when it comes to tracking personal data. Measuring steps is one of the easiest ways to measure physical activity. Pedometers are able to be used by a wide range of age groups which support a variety of tasks such as household chores or fun games such as scavenger hunts.
Heart Rate Monitors
Students are able to measure beats per minute and heart rate using handheld monitors. Educators are able to challenge youth without over exertion. Customization is possible to target specific student goals so the youth feels more empowered to engage in physical fitness. Heart rates vary depending on age and ability so teachers and develop programs which are age appropriate.
Mobile technology is on the rise among youth but also in educational environments such as physical fitness classes. Movement tracking, nutritional support and more are just some of the examples of how mobile apps are changing the way young people exercise. Students are able to compare data with the app and challenge youth to hit goals which can be tracked and verified by the teacher.
YouTube, Vimeo and other video resources provide educational tools for teachers. If a child is enrolled in a tennis camp, for example, educators can create video projects for student groups to work on which demonstrate skills in a certain area or challenge students in a group setting. The students can then present the final project to the team or even make it available for others to learn from by viewing it online.
Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution changed the way kids exercise. Some students will use a controller, take turns and encourage the rest of a group to follow along. Games, video resources and more can be projected on a screen or wall to show others what is happening. The advent of 3-D technology and virtual reality is also changing the landscape of personal fitness for youth and adults.
Educators and students must adapt an increasing levels to the changes in how physical education is taught. Technology such as mobile apps, heart rate monitors and more encourage young people to pursue activity outside of a classroom, with friends and peer groups. Students can learn to build healthy habits for a lifetime while using fun, innovative technologies.