While entering the education field, I never put Physical Education (PE) and Technology in the same sentence. However, as I completed my MAT (Masters of Arts in Teaching) program I noticed the impact that technology could have in the classroom during my internships and made it a point to include technology once I accepted my first PE position. Throughout my first two years of teaching in the gym, I noticed two apps/programs that made an immediate impact. The two programs were ClassDojo and Plickers. I used both programs for assessments and students were more active and engaged throughout my lessons.
ClassDojo is a program that can be used for communication with parents and is a type of assessment for a student’s behavior. ClassDojo (2020) states that “ClassDojo is a school communication platform that teachers, students, and families use every day to build close-knit communities by sharing what’s being learned in the classroom home through photos, videos, and messages.” It also allows teachers to give out points to students that are showing positive behavior when it comes to listening, following directions, helping others, etc. I used it in my classroom for routine classroom management techniques. During my lessons I would give out points to students that came into the gym and participant and complete the warm-up properly. A student could earn points by showing positive sportsmanship and gain points for lining up at the end of the class in a straight line and waiting for further instructions. I used Mike Graham’s ClassDojo’s Positive and Negative categories to provide these points. Graham (2019) states that students can earn points or lose points by:
- Entering the Gym Properly
- On Task
- Discussion Contributor
- Choosing to Sit Out of an Activity
- Not Being Safe
- Not Following Directions
- Not Stopping on Signal
These were just a few of the categories that I used and aligned with the Physical Education setting.
When I began incorporating this into my class, I saw a number of students turn behavior around immediately so they could gain the most points throughout a nine-week period. At the end of that period, I would give the student with the most points ClassDojo certificates to show the hard work that was completed.
Plickers Cards are a great way to assess students quickly and provide the teacher the overall data for the class and each student in a matter of minutes by using small plicker cards and the Plickers program. Plickers (2020) states, “Plickers is a revolutionary way to collect instant multiple-choice responses from your students, without requiring students to have clickers, computers or tablets. Students are given a question regarding the skill or activity that students are completing and then answer that question using their Plickers cards (each student has a designated card based on their class number).” According to the website (2020), students will answer their questions by:
- Rotate their card so that their chosen answer choice is at the top
- Ensure that their Plickers card is facing the teacher while answering
- Hold their card still and straight until it is scanned
After students have answered their question, students go back to their gameplay while the teacher scans in each student’s results. Based on the data, a teacher can modify specific lessons or group students for a better success in future lessons. After I incorporated Plickers Cards into my lessons, students were immediately interested and invested in their progress for each lesson. Students that were not invested in my PE program, should have an immediate interest in their results and wanted to succeed with certain skills such as overhand throws when throwing a football, dribbling a basketball, or underhand throws during cornhole.
McVicker (2018) states that incorporating technology in the physical education classes produces an individual oriented experience for students who feel reluctant about the subject. Additionally, it also has the potential to reduce stress on the students’ bodies, improves confidence, and makes them more efficient and prepared for their classes. PE teachers that are able to use technology in their classroom shouldn’t put technology in place of activity but if we sprinkle tech into the PE lessons, students are going to be more engaged and will allow students to be more active in the PE setting and show positive behavior outside the PE setting as well.
ClassDojo: About Us (2020). Retrieved from https://www.classdojo.com/about/.
Graham, M. (2019). ClassDojo: Positive & Negative Behaviors. Retrieved from https://pe4everykid.weebly.com/class-dojo.html.
McVicker, D. (2018). How Technology Changes Physical Education Classes. Retrieved from https://learn.g2.com/technology-in-physical-education.
Plickers: What is Plickers? (2020). Retrieved from https://help.plickers.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009395854-What-is-Plickers-.
Plickers: Cards Overview (2020). Retrieved from https://help.plickers.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009089113-Cards-Overview.