Tuesday, February 22

Active Gaming meets PE in Greensboro

What did we LEARN from Southern District NC AAHPERD?

Active Gaming (or exergaming) is basically technology meeting physical activity. Which is a good thing, unless you're a PE teacher!

Exergaming is not bad for PE, but the way it is portrayed is poor in the eyes of the quality PE professional. Physical activity, for a start, is the age old nemesis that devalues PE from a taught subject to an organized recess. This message towards schools needs to change from exergaming, and the game changers where in Greensboro to do just that!

The representation of Kymm Ballard from SPARK at the recent AAHPERD conference brought good focus to the exergaming world as to what PE really is. Setting out a curric
ulum of physical learning, and using the skills of the teacher and the resources available to meet objectives is key. PE Students should come out of a class having learned something, and understood they have learned it too!

I chose this slide out of all others from Lisa Hansen's presentation on Active Gaming because it illustrates the reaction to a poor exergaming message.

If exergaming can't speak the same language as PE or share objectives, then the old mistakes will be repeated and we will all have let the kids down.

The presentation was about technology, and asked some core questions about not just active gaming but about quality PE. The focus was learning. One demonstration held for the presentation was how an exergame, Gamercize specifically, can be applied by teachers as a tool to make learning fun! We showed how you can teach soccer tactics, and yes, the kids break a sweat while learning so!

So what did we learn from NC AAHPERD - Exergaming can be an appropriate tool to make teaching PE easier in certain respects, certainly more engaging for the hard-to-reach student, but we also learned that exergaming needs to fit in with PE, not the other way round!

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