Blended and Personalized Learning are major buzz words in K-12 education due to the current digital learning evolution taking place in schools across North America. Personalized learning is defined by iNACOL as “tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests–including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when and where they learn–to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.” Blended learning is simply a medium where digital technology is used to support instructors in the delivery of a personalized learning model. Much of the hype surrounding personalized learning stems from its potential impact on helping educational institutions implement a competency-based model as a replacement to the noticeably flawed "one size fits all" traditional grade-based education used in schools today. Here is a great blog post by Luis Flores that provides reference to some of the current research on various blended and personalized approaches currently being explored.
When we think about standard tests in education, let alone physical education, it may send some of us into a cold sweat. Thinking of the days when coopers 12 minute run, flexed arm hang, and push up tests were a common occurrence in physical education classrooms. A joy for few - but pain, stress, and anxiety for many. Standards however, provide us feedback of where we are comparing to expectations of others our age, size, gender etc. Do standards have a place in today’s physical education classes? Have they been replaced by participation or simply showing up? Has the pendulum swung so far away from standards that our only measure of the health of our nation is obesity rates and body mass index (BMI)?
Let's face it, running an effective physical activity session with a large group of kids can be challenging to say the least. No matter how prepared you are, things can spiral out of control quickly if you are unable to maintain student attention and engagement throughout the entire session. Once this occurs, being in a large open space such as a gymnasium or outdoors makes it even more difficult, if not impossible, to get things under control and salvage the remaining time and be productive. Don't worry, you tried your best and although stressful for you, at least your students are up moving and hopefully breaking a sweat. If you want the latter without the former, here are a few helpful tips to create more control than chaos during your physical activity sessions.
Tags: physical education
Promoting physical activity is far more simple than providing kids with a physical education. This leads to common questions like "why is physical education so much more important?" or "what is the difference between physical activity and physical education?". Simply put, physical education helps develop physical literacy. Physical activity alone, does not. Using every gimmick under the sun to get people active provides a band-aid solution at attempting to put a long-term dent in rising physical inactivity levels across our population. In comparison, physical literacy provides a cure.
Physical education matters when it comes to improving academic performance in the classroom, not to mention the positive effects on both short-term and long-term health. If you are a science nerd like myself and want some reports containing hard evidence to support this statement, I recommend reading these reports published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and UNICEF.