30-Day Challenge - Writing

Day 10: Comic relief or spot-on?

This video was shared on Facebook inside of a PE and Health group that I frequent. I wasn’t sure what I would get when I hit ‘play’ as PE is often portrayed so negatively in a Video or TV medium and so I was pleasantly surprised to watch and laugh along with this frustrated and articulate father. Two pieces of string learning German, I will be chortling for some time.

How do PE teachers keep the ‘E’ part real during eLearning, and then translate that back afterwards? I am hoping that with time for discussion about what we want to ‘keep’ and what could be ‘removed’ or how we could do things differently and more E focused, that we will see more conversations cropping up between colleagues, districts, PE Teacher Education institutions and more people asking about what is valuable. This is a wonderful space to try different things and focus beyond Fitness and explore the other amazing domains of learning and thinking.

This article made me ponder what I am doing as a teacher this week. It explains the difference between ‘remote’ and ‘elearning’ suggesting that Remote learning (which is what we are doing now) is a “quick, ad hoc, low-fidelity mitigation strategy.” and that well written online or elearning follows four main pillars:

  1. Engagement is the priority – use of real-world and recent topics as well as case studies to stir discussion and emotion while incorporating interactivity and immediate measurable achievement.
  2. Is easy to organise and navigate, fewer clicks and busy work that don’t contribute to the learning.
  3. Assessment is encouraged by research and thinking over memorization
  4. works around the “what’s in it for me?” question, learning is intentional and straight to the point.

The article suggests that we might be best running asychronous courses that allow students, teachers and parents to go at our own pace, but include discussion boards, and assessment check-ins with direct assessment feedback, but that there is no reason not to include synchronous lessons with students each week – maybe via Zoom or another medium.

Educating young people is a gift but it is hard and time-consuming. I read this blog post this week about ‘hero’ teachers. I am sorry to say that after reading it I felt really sad that I know so many teachers in this boat, I meet them at every conference and they lurk around twitter Facebook and at every school, I have worked at. I always find myself in awe but also I make a comparison – am I doing enough or could I do things better to be more like that person. I think that this mentality is so dangerous, and in recognising it, I realise that I need to do more to take care of myself and not be so hard on what I try to do and be more supportive of others with words and actions.

So, like the father in the video we started with – I apologise, I will try harder to be supportive and to not work so hard that it is unsustainable. I will work to try and provide online/remote learning that is engaging and allows more for peer engagement and more fun. Rant over.

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