pegeeks,  Professional Development,  Teacher Reflection,  Technology in PE

When things don’t go to plan…

The Penguins of Madagascar YouTube clip by Dreamworks TV

Spring Break and I have had the chance to catch up on many things including movies that my children enjoy.  It is challenging to find movies that the whole family will get something out of and keep parents from crying of boredom or just being totally over the hypes of the moment.

The scene that I have above is from the Penguins movie where the villain of the movie calls the hero headquarters over Skype, and of course the call doesn’t go to plan.  Technology fails a few times based on octopus error.  It is funny because of how close to real this is and I believe this is some of the frustration that I feel in the use of technology in my classroom.

I am a very lucky teacher.  I work in a school that has very limited behavioural issues (compared to other places I have worked) and my students are supplied with a computer and soon an iPad mini each.  I have wifi in the Gym and a projector in two of our work spaces and we have wifi pods for use on the Turf outside.  This means that I can use a number of different technology options in every lesson of my day.

The lessons I feel captured in this video are to do with being flexible and learning to use the tools you want to well in advance or asking for help in advance so you can trouble shoot the major parts out together with others.

Technology is just one of the many tools that teachers can use in their work, but it is another layer of planning to prepare and use and I think for me this is where I come a bit undone.  I do plan and like to plan quite meticulously for my lessons, but often the lesson will turn in a direction of inquiry I hadn’t seen or wasn’t prepared for and so the amazing planning can fall by the wayside.  I don’t see an issue with this, but often I feel that the direction we go would be awesome to use ‘this’ or ‘that’ or ‘this app’ or other and sadly, it isn’t always ready to go like that.  Or our internet connection will be super slow, meaning that the dance video we were going to watch and work from is no longer working or the google document I had shared isn’t available in a real time situation.  This is a new-age struggle but I don’t think an old struggle for teachers.  I think that this makes us have to adapt to a new space or situation pretty quickly and we get good at it (well I think I am over time).  However, it has also meant that I am not relying on technology or possibly planning to use it as much as I might for fear that it doesn’t work.

The other part is playing with apps on iPads or over the web considering the purpose of them and how they are going to work in your lessons.  Recently we had some in-school professional development about SAMR model of technology – it is about how we can use technology to Substitute something (eg. type it up instead of pen and paper); Augmentation (sub + added functionality eg. Google docs has auto save and saves to the cloud so you can access everywhere) ; Modification so the task is redesigned for a new outcome (eg. type up using Google docs and then have people comment on your work and offer direct feedback and shared editing) and Redefinition – to change something so that it uses tech in a way that non-tech really couldn’t (eg. share with a classroom across the World over Skype or Google or other or collaborate jointly on that project with students in another class in real time).

SAMR model explained for Teachers in 120 seconds

The discussion with my colleagues, over SAMR and what we do and would like to do in our classes, made me think about what I am currently doing and what I would like to evolve to.  I feel like I tend to have so many ideas that I can’t possibly do them all in the unit I set up, so I need to ensure that I have a clear purpose that aligns with movement concepts and lifelong conceptual motivation for what I hope my students can learn or inquire into in this time.  I also want to ensure that any apps I plan to use will be useful and keep in line with this learning philosophy and that I am not just throwing them in because it will be an added extra.  I hope to keep my students moving and learning through movement so need to consider apps or ways to ensure that they are able to learn collaboratively through all of these mediums too and that I am confident to give them a go and trouble shoot along the way.

Next year I plan to incorporate CoachNote into my classroom.  This app is designed for Coach’s and Teachers and Athletes.  It allows you to do a lot of things but I hope to record set plays or plan ideas for your team/class, record a voice over to explain them and then have my students watch them prior to coming to my class.  I then hope my students will be able to make their own and share them with the class as part of their growth in different games.   I also hope that we can then transfer some of the ideas from game to game (eg. from Basketball to Handball or Futsal) so that they can see the cross over of core concepts in these invasion games.  I know that like the Skype call above, there are lots of places I will make errors, but I also know that with planning and perseverance, this will be a great way to Modify my present unit and use technology in a meaningful way.


I look forward to sharing with others about the ways in which they are using Technology and other tools and the obstacles which they are overcoming in their spaces.

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