We’re living in an increasingly technology-centric world, where students are constantly interacting with digital platforms and using technology for social, leisure and study purposes.

Whilst many other subjects have found ways to bring new technology into the classroom, it can be a bit more challenging for practical PE lessons. However, when done well, it can add a lot of value and motivation to lessons.

Here are some suggestions for incorporating new technology into your PE lessons.

Videos

Students spend a huge amount of time watching videos on YouTube and Facebook etc. because they are engaged by that form of media.

Therefore, using the popularity of the medium is a great way to develop more effective PE lessons. You can use videos to show demonstrations of techniques, or you can play inspirational videos that encourage students to participate in sports.

Some YouTube channels that offer ideas for lessons and coaching tips for PE include Prime Coaching SportThe PE Specialist and Physical Education Games.

You can also find channels like Adapted Physical Activity that offer advice for teaching PE for SEND pupils.

If you’re looking for a video analysis solution that is incorporated into an online platform with thousands of lesson plans, schemes of work, and an assessment framework, why not sign up for a free demo of our own PE Office?

Wall projections

You might have seen some videos on social media where wall projections are used to produce targets for students to hit with balls or similar.

Essentially, these work in the same way as Wii Sports, with a 3D camera that detects when a ball hits an area. You can take a look at this video to see it in action:

Creating a gaming environment in your gym can help increase participation levels as children see exercise as an enjoyable activity with their friends.

Fitness apps

Most students love using apps on their smartphones and you can take advantage of this in PE lessons by using fitness apps that count steps or other data. Of course, if your school’s mobile phone policy isn’t very flexible then this could be a stumbling block.

Depending on what activities you are covering, you might be able to find an app that works well in your session like Strava for tracking running or cycling. You can also use apps to aid your lessons – such as the HIIT Interval Timer (iOS, Android) that times sessions for you and records relevant data.

VR

You might need to be creative with your PE budget to allocate some money for VR but virtual reality accessories are becoming more affordable and more popular in sports.

You might have seen examples where a treadmill has an option on the screen to choose a location and as the person is running, they run through the streets of a city or up a mountain. On modern treadmills and exercise bikes, the video can be linked to inclines and resistance settings to mimic the course being shown in VR.

Using VR headsets is becoming popular with children and will help to increase the interest and participation in PE lessons…if you are looking for a way to justify the costs!

Health monitors

The use of pedometers and other types of trackers can help students to collect health data about themselves.

This can help students to understand the principles of burning calories and how much exercise it takes to burn off the equivalent of a Big Mac, for example. You can also incorporate how heart rate is impacted by exercise and the effects of training on the heart rate.

Many schools are already starting to adopt some of these new ways of using technology but over the next few years, we expect that the usage of technology in PE is going to soar. Getting on board now with the emerging technology trends will ensure that you increase or maintain participation levels and even improve learning outcomes.