Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Software: Fatworld

FATWORLD is a video game about the politics of nutrition. It explores the relationships between obesity, nutrition, and socioeconomics in the contemporary U.S. The game's goal is not to tell people what to eat or how to exercise, but to demonstrate the complex, interwoven relationships between nutrition and factors like budgets, the physical world, subsidies, and regulations. Existing approaches to nutrition advocacy fail to communicate the aggregate effect of everyday health practices. It's one thing to explain that daily exercise and nutrition are important, but people, young and old, have a very hard time wrapping their heads around outcomes five, 10, 50 years away.

This is a new program we are looking at using in our health classes to help our young people make better decisions and choices about life style. It is a free program that you have to download. They have both pc and mac downloads.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Software Evaluations of Polar Heart Rate Monitors

Polar has software that goes with the watches so that workouts can be downloaded and analyzed by students and PE teachers.

It's called Polar ProTrainer 5 Software. You try it for free for thirty days or you can buy it for $79.69. It can only be used on a Windows operating system, which is a draw back. It can be purchased as a single user or group.

This is a very good software that goes along with the watches, but the watches themselves can be expensive ranging from $150-300 for the ones that are compatible with the software.

With this software students are able to download workouts and program workouts that they designed into their watches. The software is fairly easy for anyone to use and their is support provided online or by phone. Teachers and students can print off reports of individual workouts or a semesters worth with charts and graphs that help students and parents understand what benefits are gain from various activities.

I would not recommend this software unless you already have the polar watches that can record the workouts to be downloaded to the software.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Assistive Technologies

There are many ways that technology can assist families and teachers. A basic feature of apple computers that many people many not know about is the text-to-speech app. Once the feature is activated all one has to do is highlight text from any application on your screen and it will be read out loud by the computer. This could be with students with hearing problems. Teachers notes or student notes could be download and then with headphones could be listened to.

I also recently learned about an application call Proloquo2Go is product from AssistiveWare that provides a full-featured communication solution for people who have difficulty speaking. It brings natural sounding text-to-speech voices, close to 8000 up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a large default vocabulary, full expandability and extreme ease of use to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Talk to Me Technologies is a local store that assists people with significant speech impairments in obtaining assistive communication technology known as “augmentative communication” or AAC.

PE Central is website that offers lessons, ideas, and suggestions on various sport activities for students with special needs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Teen Health & Wellness

Teen Health & Wellness is a website that I found AEA 267's website. I found this to be a very relevant website that can help me out as resource for teaching, as I am 6-12 physical educator at Iowa's Research and Development School, formerly Malcolm Price Lab School.

I am unable to have access to the website for the time being, but I like the layout of the website it was simple to see the links to various topics it covered on teen health and wellness issues.

There are more that fifteen topics ranging from drugs and alcohol to safety issues that any PE or health educator could access to help them increase their knowledge or find resources to use in their classes.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Most schools do not allow Wikipedia to be used

I believe that presented in the correct way to students, that wikipedia can and should be used as valid source of information. This is why: In the text book Literacy 2.0 Reading and Writing in 21st Century Classrooms by Nancy Frey she provides two examples of how if done correctly teachers can actually teach students how to determine whether or not information is valid or not.

She gives the example of a teacher Margaret Santori who uses wikipedia to build students' understanding of discussing ideas and show them that disagreements can arise during these type of discussions. Santori shows the discussion that took place on T.S. Elliot's wiki page and even though people who were adding information disagreed with each other, they did it civilly among themselves. By show students this example she was able to demonstrate an expectation she wanted for class discussions.

Would you use Wikipedia like Margaret Santori with your students? Why?

Frey, N., Fisher, D., & Gonzalez, A. Literacy 2.0: Reading and Writing in the 21st century classroom. Solution Tree Press, Bloomington Indiana, c 2010 ISBN: 978-1-935249-80-1

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teachers and Students using cell phones to text information to each other about a class?

Active College Students by edesignpics
A photo by edesignpics on Flickr.

I think texting between teachers and students about a class is acceptable as long as it is at a professional level. In fact, I do it now in a program called Healthy Active Lifestyles. This fitness program has no seat time so I utilize wiki’s and websites to get information to my students. I found that texting them assignment due dates and where to get the assignments has been really effective. What do you think?

Good CNN video called Teacher vs. Texting. Talks about a school who is piloting a program that issued cell phones to students to use during class.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Educational Gaming

is a game created by MIT and the Smithsonian Institution for students ages 10-14.5. They have created senarios where environmental disasters have happened and they need help. Students race against time to solve
games, puzzles, and other online challenges. This would be a great game for students to simulate real world situations and have to use problems solving skills. The only problem is that only 10-14 year olds can participate. If you are interested in this education game click on the either picture to take you the website.