Thursday, August 28

Flexible Technology for Physical Education

Which is better, Structured or Unstructured PE?

When looking for exergaming to supplement existing physical education there are many choices. It is all too easy to be taken in by a wow factor; but evaluation should be made just as carefully as for traditional activity.

Electronics alone don't make great fitness activities, if they did then calculators could be used in PE! What makes great activities are people - the professional teachers, trainers, instructors who supervise physical education.

It should go without saying that exergames should be tools for the professionals, and be flexible enough to be used as the instructor deems appropriate. If a goal of PE is to raise the fitness of the whole class, and that means engaging everyone, no matter what their current ability.

Unstructured PE has the advantage that individuals can apply varying effort, so all abilities can be engaged. Take team sports as an example. Each player has a part to play but is free to make individual choice and apply effort of varying degrees to match their ability.

Gamercize achieves unstructured PE easily as only physical activity is required to participate, and the level of activity does not relate to in game performance or achievement. Students can take turns to play a popular video game while others participate with the social activity of spectating.

Structured PE can be used to boost individuals performance through bettering achievements of personal bests or finishing position. Running races are a good example, as the time run can be used for recording individual performance and gives everyone the motivation to finish in a higher place than last time.

Gamercize has the ability for instructors themselves to individually raise the minimum effort required to participate to physically challenge some students. Couple this with competition in gaming and the PE becomes structured and effort based.

To use exergaming effectively the most important component is the professional delivering the class. Gamercize shows how flexibility in exergaming can be used in both unstructured physical play and highly structured sports competition.

So which is better, structured or unstructured PE? I can't answer that, neither can an exergame, the only person qualified to decide is the one with the professional qualification - and the role of the exergame, is to be flexible enough to support that decision.




4 comments:

Dr. Ernie "Exertainment Evangelist" Medina, Jr. said...

I totally agree--exergaming can help facilitate both structured and unstructured physical activity. It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive.

Jonathon said...

The educators here in BC really ought to use some of these ideas, now that more physical activity for our youngsters is mandatory. I blogged about this in Currents (current affairs, politics, life on the west coast), in the post Teaching Our Kids to be Healthy.

Jonathon said...

The educators here in BC really ought to use some of these ideas, now that more physical activity for our youngsters is mandatory. I blogged about this in Currents (current affairs, politics, life on the west coast), in the post Teaching Our Kids to be Healthy.

Bourne said...
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