Using Technology in Phys Ed Classes

By Naomi Dillon

For today’s students, technology has made life easier and more exciting. It has created more opportunities for learning. At the same time, the Internet, instant messaging, video games, and cellphones have contributed to a generation that is far less active and more obese than ever.

With health officials predicting a child obesity rate of 20 percent by 2010, the consequences of doing nothing are dire. Kids who are overweight or obese by the age 8 are 80 percent more likely to remain overweight or obese as adults.

So, for schools, the question is how to use the power of technology to drive students toward a healthier lifestyle. From pedometers and heart rate monitors to computerized assessment programs and video exercise games, more and more educators are exploring and turning to technology to improve the health and wellness of their students.

“Right now people appreciate the fact that we have an obesity issue, that there is a relationship between physical activity and cognitive ability,” says Bonnie Mohnsen, who operates a California-based online business that provides schools with technology tools to improve physical education programs. “We could have someone incredibly intelligent and well-educated but if they die of coronary heart disease at 25, what good would we be doing as a school system?”

Make it matter

Mohnsen’s career began well before educators thought about using technology to stimulate learning. A former P.E. teacher, she has witnessed the evolution that now incorporates technology as a viable teaching instrument. 

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