“The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.”

Douglas Engelbart

As pre-service teachers, when we analyse our teaching practice and reflect on where we can improve, I’m sure providing effective demonstrations is something a lot of pre-service teachers try and work on at some stage or another. Why? Because in order to teach a skill, it’s important to explain (verbally) and demonstrate (visually) to assist students various learning needs, as stated in Michael Metzler’s 2005 book ‘Instructional Models for Physical Education’. But if we don’t know a particular sport, how might we learn how to demonstrate it?

No doubt there’d be a range of responses to this question from speaking to peers, colleagues and supervisors, to researching on the Internet and watching videos online. I’m particularly interested in the latter.

As most of us are aware, the Internet can provide us with information to thousands of different questions, literally at our fingertips. When we need information, whether it’s the daily news, the weather, academic literature, or so on, we most commonly turn to the Internet. As I mentioned in my last post, the new generation of ‘digital natives’ have grown up in a world where this is commonplace. Even nowadays in most classrooms, it’s typical for the teacher, and even students to have access to a mobile device or computer. This provides an exceptional amount of accessibility to an extremely valuable learning resource (given the right conditions, of course).

internet

Classrooms are also equipped to facilitate this access through the presence of previously mentioned computers, as well as projectors for students to see the teacher’s computer screen. More advanced than this is the smart board- an interactive whiteboard which projects a computer screen and allows teachers (or students) to write on them in certain programs (see below).smartboard

In terms of PE, theory classes often have access to some, if not all of these devices (of course this will vary depending on the school’s policies, context, and so on). Though evidently, technology such as computers and the Internet are utilised in classrooms for learning purposes, and can play a significant role in the learning process.

Though back to my original question… its aim was to highlight that video in particular has an important place in the PE classroom, whether theoretical or practical. Jarrod Robinson, perhaps better known as ‘The P.E Geek’, emphasises exactly this in his article Digital Video in Physical Education, stating “the digital age has brought about a host of new sharing options with none of them easier than YouTube”. Further, he recommends integrating videos into classes for the purpose of providing visual demonstrations of a sport.

Though hang on a minute… how do we actually achieve that if we’re down on Oval 2B at the furthest outskirts of the school and possibly humanity?

As stated in the Metzler article earlier, students do actually benefit from viewing demonstrations- rationalising the role of video demonstrations which are perhaps more accurate than our own visual demo’s. Though as PE teachers in a practical, outdoor setting, we often don’t have access to the internet and other technological devices that we would if we were indoors.  Wouldn’t it be great if there was something that could be done to change this?…

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