As educators I feel we are role models with the students we teach. We have a responsibility to educate and change a very unhealthy trend that young Australians and other students around the world are facing. A recent figure in Australia has been released that we have the highest rate of children using some form of technology device daily for two hours plus. This means that the students we are teaching are spending at least two hours, on iPads, computers playing games or watching TV daily. This figure has shocked me, and also saddened me. What does this mean?

This means that children are spending a lot less time been active doing physical activity. It also means that they are spending less time socialising and building relationships through sport and social settings. Instead they are sitting on Facebook, Twitter, Watsapp, Instagram and communicating through text, email and messages. Does this mean that in 50 years time people will struggle to have a conversation without texting or messaging? Are children today missing out on learning vital social skills from playing recreational sports and in other social settings?

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I understand that this is just an average and that not all children spend this much time each night on a device, but as a country and generations who have grown up with a device as a baby we have the highest rate’s in the world. Lets have a flash back to my generation and my parents generation before we were brought up with an iPhone in one hand and an iPad in the other. We didn’t have the choice as they were not around, therefore we would make up games, play out in the streets with the neighbours until it became dark and so on.

My plan is simple; we must work with technology to improve student’s becoming more active, socialising and building relationships through different apps. As technology and devices are here to stay, we need to figure out ways to use them to benefit physical and social activity.

 

How to improve running and walking with students?

Zombie Run

The Walk

Moves

Students simply have these apps on an iPhone, and use the head phones to have the sounds playing while they are walking or running. Zombie Run and The Walk make running and walking fun. They basically turn a normal walk or run into an arcade game like experience. Fantastic apps to promote walking and running with student’s.

Moves is great as it shows student’s how active they have been for the day. For example how many steps they have completed for the day. Students can see if they are achieving the recommended daily number of 10,000 steps.

How to improve group and class fitness?

Teemo

Yoga Studio

These two apps are great fitness challengers to complete together as a class. I use one ipad and project this on my white board. Then we complete the workout altogether, taking between 5 to 10 minutes to complete. The end result is the class working together completing a number of different movements in a short period of time.

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How to improve team building and forming relationships?

Bird Up!

Recurse

Bit Breaker

Pop Flux

Two mornings a week I break the students into four even teams. Then in each team students have to decide which interactive game app they will compete in for their team. The four apps above use the camera on front of the ipad to make it as though the student’s are inside the game. I feel these have been fantastic to help socialising and working as a team. All students sit together and cheer and support their team member’s who are competing in the activities. Without the students even been aware of what they are doing, they are active and engaged while playing the games. These four apps are some of the best active lesson starters I have come across.

I think as a nation we need to look at devices in a different way, we need to think how we can use the engagement power these devices have and channel that through physical, social and emotional activities for our students. I feel the following apps have been designed in such a way to do this. Good luck hopefully this gives you a few new ideas.