And How Heart Zones Can Help
As schools face unprecedented circumstances amidst a rapidly changing world, physical education and K-12 programs continue to evolve in order to keep students motivated and engaged. Whether students are in an online PE class away from school, or participating in a hybrid program, it is important to leverage current trends and find creative ways to inspire kids regardless of where they are—because tackling personal fitness goals and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle is more important than ever before.
1. Crafting Creative Lesson Plans
In order to keep students in K-12 programs interested while learning virtually, physical education teachers must get creative with lesson plans and distanced curriculum. There are a number of online forums and groups where teachers can exchange ideas and swap stories about what works best in an online PE class. If you’re struggling for fresh ideas, learn more about the Heart Zones ePE solution and explore how you could infuse technology into your current curriculum, or use it as the base of your program.
2. Maintaining Program Accountability
When students are learning in an online PE class, accountability can be a huge challenge and may lead school superintendents to question the value of physical education as a whole. Without any data to prove that your K-12 programs are working, they could be the first to go if a big budget cut threatens your school. Check out our article on the importance of physical education in schools, and see how Heart Zones can help you lay the groundwork for program accountability and provide meaningful fitness data from a distance.
3. Incorporating New Technology
As physical educators across the country were faced with a quick pivot to online instruction, many schools opted to incorporate new technology to enhance the effectiveness of their K-12 programs. And while catchy new dance trends or a simple workout video can be enticing and easy to implement, an online PE class demands a more robust tech solution which can be challenging for schools to fund. However, there is free money waiting to help you. Learn more about the CARES Act and ESSER Fund by reading our 4 part blog series here. Referring back to our earlier point about accountability, schools who take PE seriously must provide students with wearable sensors that can capture and monitor their activity. The sensors should be able to send the captured data to a cloud portal where teachers can review each student’s progress and save it as proof of activity and class completion. If you’re interested in learning more about how our ePE technology works, request a free demo today—because without proper data-based technology, virtual PE is nearly impossible.
4. Engaging in Conversation
Sometimes it can seem like we are rushing through the days just to get to the next—cut off from much of our “normal” communication which can lead to feelings of isolation. Students in virtual K-12 programs can also be susceptible to this feeling, so it’s important to be mindful of scheduling regular conversations with your students. Once you collect valuable fitness data from them, you can (and should) set up a Zoom call or video chat to review and discuss class performance. This would be an opportune time to answer their questions and explain the meaning behind key metrics. You should also ask them questions like:
- Do you feel like this data reflects your personal best effort?
- How did your heart rate change when you did specific activities?
- What activities did you most enjoy from our last lesson?
- What goals would you like to set for our next lesson?
It’s no secret that designing successful virtual K-12 programs can be a difficult task. However, there are things that you should consider like getting creative with lesson planning, finding ways to build program accountability, discovering new technology, and engaging in more conversations with your students. Want more information on creating an online environment that fosters real education? Learn more about the Heart Zones ePE solution and be sure to explore our COVID-19 resources if your school has been affected by the current crisis.