Tuesday, March 19

Where is the Education in P.E for Exergaming?

Active Video Gaming uses in Physical Education

I've just spotted a new comment on a Gamercize YouTube video that opens a critisim of exergaming that a lot of active games struggle to answer - where's the education component? The overriding answer to this question is there is none, as the game is just a tool for the PE teacher to use. However - some games give the teacher more to work with.

Here's the video that was commented on:

The comment says "I like the overall idea and objective of this, but how are kids working on fundamental movement skills and such. Sure this is getting heart rates up, but not actually teaching them any skills or ways to stay active throughout their lives."

Yes, Gamercize does raise HR to moderate to vigorous levels, so that's a tick in the box for physical activity, but what of  the skill component? True, Gamercize is not teaching kids how to catch, but we're looking at more advanced kids - the ones that are engaged by video games.

Gamercize in this implementation is being used to teach

  • Sport strategy - seeing the big picture of team interaction and how tactics can be employed
  • Team play - co-operation and communication between teams of 2 to achieve a sports objective
  • Physiology - which muscles are working and how energy is being created for them 

I'm not a PE teacher, so that is just first impression view and I'm sure those more experience in PE will be able to find different modes of implementation that lever the power of engagement into video games to reach lesson objectives!

As for the second part of the question above, kids are like wind-up toys - just give them the opportunity to get moving and give them a start and they'll keep on moving :)