Sport techniques on a touchscreen

12th August 2011 at 01:00
From analysing racquet sports to studying anatomy, iPods can help you squeeze much more into PE lessons.

"It is like having a number of other teachers in the classroom," says Phil Barrett, a PE teacher. He is not talking about an enthusiastic army of new teaching assistants - Mr Barrett has just got hold of a set of iPod touch devices to use in his PE classes at Bodmin College, Cornwall.

He says the iPods he has been using in his PE work at the specialist science college have transformed his teaching and, he believes, his pupils' learning.

"When I first started," says Mr Barrett, "I thought the iPods in PE would be used mainly to download apps and for pupils to use in classes when they are studying theory, such as with muscles and bones. Then we started to see that we could do our own podcasts with video and audio. We also downloaded apps to do brainstorms and PowerPoints. We found that the gcsepod website sells revision podcasts that students can download freely once the school has paid a subscription."

The camera on the iPod touch enables students to create their own videos, he adds. "They have been using this to gather evidence that can go into coursework. It's excellent for students who struggle to get things down onto paper," says Mr Barrett.

Demonstrating skills, such as how to use your racquet in badminton, is basic PE work, and lends itself well to being uploaded to an iPod touch. "It is perfectly possible to find examples of good practice in badminton, what we call `a perfect model', on YouTube," Mr Barrett says. "There are videos of prominent players, such as Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson. I can put the videos onto each of the iPods so students can analyse the techniques and acquire a mental image of what is correct."

Recording data and learning from analysis is an important part of PE, and can easily be done with the iPod. A program called EasyTag, for example, enables pupils to analyse the performance of their peers in any sport. Students create headings for things they want to analyse, tap the squares on the grid in the program to record the event and, once it is complete, they can do the post-match analysis with all the events and the time they occurred.


Easy Tag (dartfish) - analysis of performance, http:bit.lyebVgyF

Fitness Pro - good for fitness classes with minimal or no equipment, http:bit.lycgFFy8

Nike football+ team edition - analysis of performance, http:bit.lyc0DxMD

Simplemind X - great for brainstorming, http:bit.ly96oGfV

iBrainstorm - brainstorming ideas,

iBrainstorm companion - starters and plenaries with an iPad and iPod, http:bit.ly9pVQvX

Prezi - alternative to PowerPoint,

iMuscle - theory work, http:bit.lyeEpFzd

Speed anatomy - explanations of theory,

Team Bleep Test - fitness testing, http:bit.lyf6HS05

gcsepod - GCSE revision notes,

iPod touch: 8GB, 32GB, 64GB (pound;136-pound;336),

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