So you have Track and Field day coming up for your school. What apps or devices could be used to really share your Sports Day with the school community both on and off campus? We have recently had our MS T&F day and this week our HS T&F day. I have thought about what we could do to bring more to our day, and this is the list I have come up with – feel free to add/share your experiences or ideas!
Race Splitter ($34.99) is a timing device for your longer runs Cross country or any other racing you might complete. You enter in competitor names or just bib numbers prior to the race and then as the runners finish, you type in their bib numbers and then you will have a record of the finishers by time. If you enter other information such as gender or age, you can then sort your runners by this data. This means you could run your events together (eg. boys and girls 12, 13 and 14 years 3000m) and then sort them afterwards. Race Splitter is an app for iPad, iPhone and also has a webpage so you can share your results very quickly after the completion of your race in a professional format.
SprintTimer is a nifty little app ($1.99) that allows you to take some awesome photo finish photos. You can either take photos that are linked to your start time (and so the winning time and subsequent times for 2nd place are recorded) or you can set up to record a set time (eg. over 10 seconds) and then record a 10 second time that shows your runners finishing in that window of time. The photos can then be shared on Social media or printed and put up in your PE office or blogged or whatever so that the kids can see the finish. If you don’t have a lot of money, you might like to use SprintTimer to be your official race time keeper – sync it with the starter gun or signal to record accurate results from one app and one device.
Twitter – if you don’t use Twitter you are really missing out on some of the best PD you can get! However, sharing your results, the feel and an ongoing timetable of the day is a great way to get to your community. Share a #hashtag for your event so that it can be easily tracked on other social media platforms like Twitterfall or Hootsuite and start sharing the day as it unfolds – let people know if records are broken, when the next event is or the favorite’s to watch.
Instagram – Share photos through your school created #hashtag. Share the #hashtag with your student, teacher and parent community so that everyone can see the days events with some running commentary. Be sure that your school is clear on media agreements, and don’t name anyone specifically if this is not permitted at your school. Share the guidelines for including photos so that everyone can share and enjoy the memories of the day.
If you run a swimming pool as well as Track and Field carnival/s, you might like to consider making a an expensive long term purchase to assist your program. Colorado Timing – Infinity Start system and Dolphin Wireless Stopwatch System which integrates fully with Hi-Tek Meet Management interface offer some very powerful options for starting/finishing and capturing results quickly and easily. Our school uses them for all competitive meets and they have paid themselves back with the time saved and the much more accurate results recorded.
Facebook provides an easy social media format for sharing your Sports Day with the wider community. Perhaps employ some injured or media focused students to be responsible for your school’s Facebook page or create one for the day so that you can share all the photos and events and spread goodwill to those not there at the time or for students, teachers and parents to catch up on after the event.
Burst Mode is a handy app for capturing 50 rapidly successive shots of an action – eg. javelin throw or long jump. You wait until the athlete is about to jump/throw and then capture the shots. Quickly save the ones you want to your Photo Gallery for use later with your students or if you are focused on a particular athlete, show them the progression and discuss technique before the next attempt. I will share an example of this in an upcoming Blog post.
Please do share with me and others what you used and how it went, did it take a lot of preparation and did you get any feedback from the community?