One of the aspects I really like about the Barron Park Maker Studio is that several people come by and use it as a work room. What that means is that when I am around in the room, we get to interact and really collaborate. On one such occasion two weeks ago, the P.E. teacher for our site, Selena R., saw that students had their own iPads. So she asked a very natural question – Why do students have their own iPads? What do they do with them?
Very honestly, if I were not a parent in the field of education, I would have been as clueless. My knowledge would have been confined to the game apps on the iPad. I gave her a few examples and then we talked about how they could be used effectively in P.E.. She liked the idea so much that last week she said to me she was going to implement the push up lesson with 4th and 5th graders using iPads the following week on doing push ups.
She thought about the lesson details (it involved taking pictures of the right and wrong positions for push ups), created an album on her Schoology course for students to upload their push up pictures and comment on as to which ones were wrong and why. She emailed the teachers before hand to let them know that she would like the students to bring their iPads for that day’s lesson.
- Students walked in with their iPads and had to place them away while Selena reviewed with them what they had previously done (pullups) with the muscle groups used, crunches and had them stretch their upper body (it so happened that it was a rainy day and the students were indoors. Given that we haven’t had rainy days in a long time, this was welcome. Also, because of that and the fact that other classrooms hadn’t reserved the Maker Studio until lunch, I was able to observe a couple of the lessons when I happened to be around).
2. She then went on to draw the various pushup postures – what is a right posture and what are wrong postures (sagging horse and mountain peak). She also had pictures for reference that she handed out as they paired up.
3. She had them pair up. Informed them about the pictures they would take of each other with their iPads, pictures of each other doing the right way of push ups once, the wrong postures (not doing pushups).
4. She instructed them on where the pictures were to be uploaded and what the labelling should look like informing them that they had two days to complete the assignment.
5. Not only did the students happily go through the various postures working on taking each other’s pictures well, the pictures are now documented with appropriate captions. The picture albums are there for the students to review, not just in the P.E. class but also in their classrooms if the classroom teachers were to use this for various other discussions as also later in the year for reteaching.
Kudos to Selena for trying out something different and to the students for being on task and engaged! True cross-curricular integration of education technology.
On another note, this lesson can be done with a small set of iPads as well. It doesn’t have to be 1:1.