CA District Uses iPads to Help Teach PE Classes

Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) in Chula Vista, California is bringing iPad use to the Physical Education classroom through the use of iPad-enabled SPARK curriculum.

SUHSD’s move to iPad use in PE came earlier this year and was funded by the Carol M. White Physical Education Program federal grant SUHSD won in 2009. This grant covered the cost of 40 iPad’s and SPARK training for 50 PE instructors. With this new technology, teachers have access to SPARK’s digital lesson plans, activity videos and interactive assessment tools, giving teachers more time to focus on keeping their students engaged and active.

The technology allows teachers to teach students skills, dances for dance units and capture video of students to show them how they are performing a skill so that they might be able to improve it. For example, if a student isn't serving a tennis ball correctly, the instructor can record a video of the student and then play it back to show him/her how to improve that skill.

"At Sweetwater we are dedicated to providing quality physical education for our students in an effort to combat childhood obesity and lay the foundation for healthy, active lives for our students,” said Danielle Cherry, Assistant PEP Grant Coordinator and Physical Education Teacher at Eastlake Middle School. “With the SPARK curriculum available on iPad’s, we are able to optimize the time we have students and ensure that they are getting the most out of every class."

With the SPARK curriculum on the iPad, teachers can take attendance while using a projector to display activities at the onset of class time, so time is not wasted on administrative processes. With this technology, teachers can also give students a visual of individual skills and display interactive dance and circuit-training videos.

"Mobile technologies are allowing physical education teachers to better manage their classes and keep students engaged. As we move to a focus on inclusion and participation of all students in PE, technology allows instructors to better track the data that addresses individual student improvement,” said Paul Rosengard, Executive Director at SPARK.