Georgia STEM is pleased to have Bryan Minish share his expertise in Health Education and Technology. Coach Minish has been involved in Education for the last 20 years. He currently serves as a Defensive Coordinator for Cobb County Schools and also works with Special Education. To find out more about Coach Minish, click here to visit his LinkedIn profile.
Top Technology Uses in Health Education
Technology has grown leaps and bounds over the last 20 years that I have been a Health and Physical Education Teacher. Our youth have so much knowledge about technology that I even have to ask my students and own kids to assist me with some of the newest forms. If we are not utilizing technology in our health classrooms then we could be missing a great opportunity to help make a difference in some students, because technology is what their lives revolve around.
Technology use is a skill set used to enhance learning capabilities. Information and communication technology has quickly become an abundant and crucial support tool for well-crafted health education programs and also enriches the quality of education by delivering content through multi-modalities (Lee, Park, Whyte, & Jeong, 2013). There are a lot of great types of technology to use in your health education programs, but to find the ones that work the best for you might take a little trial and error.
The biggest help to me in my health and physical education classes over the years have been in the following forms:
A regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style (Dictionary, 2018). There are many different Blogs out there where you can find information for your classes. Creating your own blog is also a great way to communicate course materials and lessons. Teachers find Edmodo and CourseSites to be useful. For a good example, check out The Physical Educator.
A location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web (Dictionary, 2018). There are many great websites that have tons of information about health and wellness out there. You can use these for yourself and also your students can access them when doing class projects or just want more information. This will be where you might have to do some trial and error as to which ones might fit you and your classroom the best. Some websites you might want to check out are CDC, Shape America, Kids Health and Health Teacher.
These are also websites, but they are specifically designed to share videos. You can find videos to use in your classroom or to find information that you need to share with kids. This is one of the newest types of technology that kids really enjoy. You can find some excellent sources of information, but also have to find reputable sources to watch. The most widely known of these is obviously YouTube, but the ones that I have found to be the best source of information for my classes are Teacher Tube and Watch Know Learn. Below is a great example of PE Games and Team Memory
Phone or Tablet Apps
An application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device (Dictionary, 2018). Apps are the latest and greatest things on the market. These can be used for various functions in the world of health and wellness. Here are some that have been helpful to me and my students over that last few years:
- Footsteps: a useful Pedometer,
- MyFitnessPal: a Calorie counter and Data Tracker,
- Eat This Not That: alternative foods/lower calorie choices/food comparisons
- Timer Tools: different timing uses.
- For more information apps, check out this post on 7 Apps Essential for Health Educators
I hope this helps you in your goals of helping us create a healthy and more well balanced youth in our world. I have been in the health and physical education business for over 20 years and I have had to adapt to the times to better serve my students. Technology can be a very distracting to our young people, but if we embrace it and show them how they can use it positively, then it is worth the little extra work on us old teachers to sort of get with the times.
Dictionary, (2018), www.dictionary.com
Lee, E., Park, H., Whyte, J., & Jeong, E. (2013). Information and communication technology: Students’ health education in 1st-to-6th-grade South Korea elementary schools. Journal of School Health, 83 (9), 647-653.