One of the greatest challenges of teaching PE is engaging students of all skill levels and interest. If we’re to achieve our overall goal to create a love of physical activity and movement, then it is so important to have early positive experiences in lessons. It’s important that students understand that sport isn’t just about being the best, winning or scoring goals. One big way to achieve this is through the use of technology.
Our older students tried to create fitness video games using keynote and a green screen. In our first attempt, the students faced the camera and had objects flying in from different parts of the screen. While this was fun to create, the students struggled to follow unpredictable animations while playing the games they created.
By rotating the experience 90 degrees and having the students running in a side-on direction, (like the old-school Mario games!), the animations the students created were more interesting, could be more complex and easier to follow for the child who was excercising.
In order to build the illusion of movement, we created a background video in Keynote which objects that moved at different speed. This was exported and then reimported as a background loop.
One area of concern was how to manage students as they waited for their turn. After assigning a few roles to the students (green screen helpers, iPad duty) I found that all the students joined in behind the scenes and copied the actions even if they weren’t on camera!
Once you find your way around the animations, you simply chose a theme and let your imagination go!