The market for iPad apps in Physical Education has exploded in 2014. The iPad is being utilised by teachers and students, replacing Flip video, digital cameras and assessment worksheets.
Initially photographic and sound bite apps were being used as a best fit for PE teachers experimenting with their own iPads. However recently apps are being produced by PE teachers for PE teachers, enhancing and personalising learning for all.
In our department we having been using and trialling the apps seen to the right:
Let's take a better look at some of them.
Photographic applications, such as Fotobabble allow PE teachers and students to capture, annotate and display skills and actions to whole class via AppleTV link up.
However apps such as Ubersense, where you can use slow motion video, compare ideal to real in techniques is by far the number one choice for students when covering motion analysis.
Ubersense has a large stock of footage from a range of sports that you can use when comparing video’s of students. The Ubersense app is easy to use for all and has many options for direct sharing of work.
Muscles 2 and Virtual Heart
iPad apps have also been developed as visual aids to help add context to explanations, Muscles 2 and Virtual Heart bring the body into the hand of the children.
The students can add layers in both apps and in the case of the Virtual Heart, they can increase the pulse and watch how the heart is affected by exercise.
The iMuscle2 app peels back the skin on the human body to reveal the muscles underneath and their working. The display is excellent and fully interactive with many layers and 360 degree rotation. Once you have selected a muscle or group of muslces, the app will find exercises applicable and stretches for that particular area. This is a great application for older students studying muscles and movements as part of anatomy and physiology units or biomechanics of movement. The app can be opened up to create a training and progress recorder.
Socrative is an app that we have been trialling recently by using the app as a plenary/mini plenary checker. Socrative allows us to set up questionnaires for students and it provides instant feedback to us as teachers. This type of assessment is excellent when covering topics, especially when experiencing new sports.
Another app that is regularly enjoyed by the students, especially looking at tactics and leadership is CoachNote. It’s an easy to use app with many outstanding features, such a animations and voice recording. Tactics can be saved and easily shared between students and teachers.
Young leaders have enjoyed using CoachNote to plan sessions and demonstrate ideas to their groups. The platform allows for almost every sport to be displayed and used to convey tactical ideas and formations. The ability to add audio and animate tactics through phases of play is also a concept that is universally enjoyed by both teachers and students. Saved formations and short videos can be easily shared with other app users.
The PE shake app is a good example of a fun app designed by PE teachers for PE teachers and students to use in PE lessons. This app is great for helping with ideas for warm up games when planning lessons. The app contains hundreds of different warm up games, a simple shake of the ipad changes the warm up. This app is also great when introducing young leadership. We have used this app with small groups sharing an ipad, shaking and playing the warm up game for a few minutes, before another leader takes over, shakes the app and leads on the next warm up.
The Beep Test
The Beep test app is a nice take on the traditional CD/tape that the this test commonly comes on. This app also allows the user to insert data (class lists) and save the results for further testing comparison at a later date. It's a modern take on a classic fitness test.
The Fitness Test app is another example of PE teachers creating a simple yet affective app to help PE teachers and students. This app displays many different tests under the components of fitness headings. The tests are all well explained and contain norm values for comparison. All the information from this app has been taken from a popular PE website, Brianmac.co.uk
Another option is Fitness HD which is an app that provides ready made workouts for specific needs and muscle groups. It provides visual aids to show the students how to perform each exercise as well as explanations giving key teaching points. The app also allows students/users to create their own workouts by selecting exercises of their choice. Students have enjoyed using this app in sports leadership when leading fitness sessions.
The Tabata app is a basic timing app for tabata training. The app allows the user to change the timing periods for exercise and rest. The app will also create a history to log work outs.
Swim Plan and Stroke Builder
Swim plan is an app that will help to plan specific swimming sessions to meet individual or group needs. You have the option of 5 different sessions per day that are tailored to meet specific needs. The app allows you to choose speed and stroke specific workouts, which will be created for you on a daily basis.
Stroke Builder is a front crawl specific app that allows you to build up the stroke, fix faults and gives a variety of drills dependent on the individual’s needs. The app uses a lot of videos so the teacher and child can compare their technique to the correct model. It also lists suitable drills for each fault and suggests when each drill should be used.
In this special article by guest poster and PE teacher Olly Blundell, he takes a look at some of the apps he is currently harnessing in his department.