The Journey To My First Innovation Award

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I thought I should celebrate my award with a quick reflection about the steps that brought me here.

  •  2012 I receive an e-mail from a colleague and I sign up for a PE technology based workshop in Dubai. I have no clue about technology in PE but this looks interesting.
  • I buy an iPad and tomorrow I travel to Dubai. Still figuring out the basic functions of my new gadget.
  • The workshop is led by Jarrod Robinson. Now understand why he calls himself The PE Geek. I am blown away about the amount of innovative skills and strategies he uses to improve learning.image
  • Back to school with no Wi-Fi network. The challenge starts here.
  • Celebrating my successes and failures becomes a new way of improving myself. I am introducing various tools in the planning process as well as new assessment strategies. It is hard to share my work with the students and parents so I design a website, on a free platform but with limited space to use.
  • I am in a brand new school and the Wi-Fi is covering even the outdoor courts.
  • I introduce iPads in the PE lessons in the Early Years. My students are scanning QR codes and they participate with their own reflection during the individual video analysis assessment in the Adventure Challenge unit.
  • We are creating resources (videos, digital portfolios, assessments) and the feedback from students and parents is enthusiastic.
  • Signing up for a life membership and mentorship at www.thepegeek.com. I am attending webinars and online courses on how mobile technology can be integrated in the PE lesson.
  • My first presentation at the Qatar National Convention Center during the Education Forum, April 2014. I share successful practices with my colleagues from all around the country.DSC_0559
  • My first PD session with the school staff, presenting various digital tools and strategies to improve learning.
  • October 2014. After two years it is time for another PE Geek workshop, in Dubai. Great experience and a good chance to connect with other educators.
  • November 2014. I am awarded for The Best Work of Educational Innovation and Best Educational Practice in Preschool, among all SEK schools from Spain, France, Ireland and Qatar. I guess my Christmas gift arrives earlier this year.

I am already lucky to be awarded by my students on daily basis. They ask questions, they are not shy to express what they like or don’t like about what we do. We experience a climate filled with their creativity, enthusiasm and energy. Their knowledge is an inspiration for me.

This special award is topping up the daily reward I get from my students. This is why each and one of us is still in this game. It is the game of change. We influence them, inspire them and shape a future that we’ll probably not even see.

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Injured Student Participating

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There are many ways to engage the injured or non-participant students in the PE lesson, but often we can’t resist the temptation to have them seated and to “protect” them. Erika, a pre 4 student, had to wear a cast during the school hours and her participation in the PE lesson would have been limited.

So I decided to assign her with the task of observing some of her colleagues during the Individual Pursuits unit. All we needed was an iPad and the Easy Tag app. She enjoyed her new role and she was able to access the prior knowledge gained throughout the unit while performing this formative assessment on basic movement skills.

What is your way to engage students who can’t participate from various reasons?

ConnectedPE – Technology and Innovation in Physical Education

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As a fan of implementing technology in Physical Education being part in any of Jarrod’s Robinson ConnectedPE workshops is a must. I have joined a group of dedicated educators and for a full day we had immersed ourselves into the endless possibilities that present technology tools

Here are some of the most important skills and strategies that I am already applying with my students:

  •  Using Coach’s Eye app in the formative and summative assessment with students aged 4 and 5. I do this by recording them performing a skill and using the analysing tools and graphics of this app. The outcomes can be shared instantly and then exported to their portfolios or to their parents.

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  • I often record live my lesson with the help of Bam Video Delay app. Students love the opportunity being offered to them to reflect on their own skills immediately. I set a delay of two minutes and that is the exact amount of time we’ll inquire efficiently on a specific topic before we give it another go.
  • CoachNote is another great app that helps us to introduce various activities by challenging our students. Whenever we introduce a new activity I take a picture with the entire set up of the game prepared in the gym. Then I will load the picture in the CoachNote app and mirror it with my iPad on the screen outside the gym. I can start explaining the activity while I edit live and we inquire about the expected objectives and outcomes. We then move to the gym and I can observe the way their understanding builds up.

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  •  Easy Tag is another app I have been using recently even with four years old students. It offers to possibility to engage students as observers in the lesson and gives them the chance to experience new roles and responsibilities. I often assign injured students to observe various skills performed by a team, small group or individuals and this can be done by simply tapping on the screen when the skill is being performed.
  • Other exciting apps that I have tried in the workshop and my students love by now are: PopFlux, Bit Breaker and Dance Party.

The present technologies teach our children how to make sense of the world, how to think about knowledge and information, and how to relate to themselves and to one another. Making sure we agree, in principle, with the tool’s implicit messaging is the most important question we can ask at the moment. Being part of an active #pegeeks community on Twitter is one of the best ways to ensure that we facilitate meaningful learning experiences that our students can transfer into their every day life.

 

 

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Mobile Technology In Physical Education

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It all started three years ago when I joined a “PE Geek Workshop”, done by Jarrod Robinson, an enthusiastic educator and true innovator in the PE community. At that time I bought an iPad right before the workshop and I was definitely the dumbest in the room, being exposed to technology in PE and in the same time learning how to use this device. Fast forward to the present: I am doing a presentation about the use of mobile technology in education. Thanks, Jarrod! You can read more about his brilliant work at http://thepegeek.com/ and make sure you don’t miss his webinars or workshops.

Recently, the Supreme Education Council from Qatar offered to our school the opportunity to have some of us present different topics that can impact learning. After an initial application process, the presentations were accepted and we were very excited to face the challenge.

This three days event gathered educators from international and public schools, and it took place at Qatar National Convention Center. The set up was excellent with everything ready in hand.

The title of my presentation was “Mobile Technology In Physical Education”. I have been using iPads and iPhones in my lessons for more than three years now and it feels extraordinary when I see the outcomes of using these tools. With practice it turned quickly into a passion, so I feel comfortable when talking about it.

For almost an hour or so, I have shared with other physical educators the good examples of practice and the challenges I’ve been facing in planning, facilitating or assessing the learning. During the presentation we have inquired into how:

  • The power of Twitter is connecting enthusiastic educators from all over the world. I am happy to be inspired by them and to be part of a very strong and growing community. I used an example of how just simply tweeting a topic or addressing a question it will connect you to others’ perspectives.
  • Attendance, assessment and behavior can be monitored while students, parents and teachers are involved. The Class Dojo app that I am using is a great tool that can award and record real-time feedback.
  • Assessment has never been so exciting for students, educators and parents. Using apps such as Coach’s Eye empowered us with a video recording and analysis tool that we never dreamed of having it 10 – 15 years ago.
  • QR codes can be used in a variety of ways with students of any age. I showed the example of a summative assessment done with my Kindergarten students in their stand-alone Adventure Challenge unit.  By the end of the unit (8 weeks) they were able to use the iPads and scan QR codes, play and watch a content prepared for them, and also perform the exercise shown in the video.

With everyone present in the room we then scanned QR codes and went through the process of planning an activity and how to use them.

  • How to use other apps such as: Coach Note, Stretch It, Spin It, Easy Portfolio, iMuscle, Video Tagger, etc.

It was great to meet with new educators, share the good practice and brainstorm about the ways we can better facilitate learning. I learned about the challenges they are facing – not having enough iPads, Wi-Fi connection or even permission to use photos or videos) and we also inquired about how these challenges offer us the opportunities to experience failure, tension or success, and how they finally lead to a potential growth as professionals.

Our students, the so called “digital natives”, prefer receiving information quickly and from multiple sources. They prefer pictures, sounds and videos before text and they love to interact in “real time”. They also enjoy learning that is instant, relevant and fun and I am very excited when they find meaning in what I have planned for them. It is time consuming preparing a unit and sometimes it takes forever to have a lesson prepared the way I think it will impact my purpose. There is tension when I apply something new with them, but in almost all situations I am blown away about how quickly they can shape ideas, using their imagination and creativity. It is the moment when I feel I am only moderating and I become a learner too! What can be better than this?