ICT in PDHPE

As our school pushes forward with a 1:1 laptop program in 2008, i am rushing to get my head around the place of ICT in the area of PDHPE. The laptop program has huge potential for us to engage students in quality learning experiences that are relevant and meaningful to our students. It offers the opportunity to differentiate learning for students in ways that were previously unavailable and engage students who struggle to motivate themselves with traditional teaching strategies. It will enable us to continue to utilise the practices and strategies that have proven successful for us while providing scope for a whole a new range learning experiences that have only recently become available to us.

If all we do is use the laptops to do what we have previously done then we are doing a great disservice to what the laptops are capable of. For example, if we all we get students to do is type their answers rather than write them then we achieve nothing besides improving their typing skills at the expense of their writing skills. Quality teaching practise is vital in the success of this program.

PDHPE is a unique subject area in the sense that our focus on encouraging students to lead healthy active lifestyles requires interaction in the classroom and some may argue laptops may inhibit the environment required to learn a lot of the knowledge and skills required.

The obesity epidemic has largely been atributed to poor nutrition and a decrease in physical activity and part of this decrease in physical activity could be related to an increase in time students spend watching popular media and the use of computer related technologies. It is ironic that we shall be encouraging the use of this technology to develop their health literacy, possibly at the expense students enagaging in other activities that improve their social and physical health. This needs consideration, however i believe that the we can have the ‘best of both worlds’. Through quality education we can encourage a more active and healthy lifestyle while using the technology in a positive way to help educate students.

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