Learning in PE: digital technology as a teaching tool
Yoann Tomaszower, PE teacher, academic contact for digital technology, GREID EPS
Many studies show that fewer and fewer adolescents take part in a physical activity
Two main reasons are given to explain the rise in the sedentary lifestyle: the development of transport and also of digital technology. Combining PE teaching and the use of digital technology may then seem surprising.
However, the potential benefits are very real. With the help of neurosciences we have tried to show how information and communication technology for teaching could have an important part to play in the four pillars of learning defined by S. Dehaene. Capturing and focusing pupils’ attention on relevant cues using statistics, giving them the chance to get actively involved, at their own level, with the help of applications offering graded, progressive exercises, enhancing feedback by means of images, or helping learners to consolidate what they have acquired by comparing successive repetitions: these are some of the possibilities available to the PE teacher.
There are numerous applications for tablets nowadays which are real teaching tools for helping pupils acquire motor skills and concentration and developing their motivation. For example, pupils could access precise quantitative feedback in team sports which could then be analysed so that the team can improve (time in possession of the ball, goal attempts, goals scored and so on). In gym or artistic activities, using videos, through analysis or time lapse applications, will be valuable for allowing pupils to see themselves and measure the gap between performance and aspiration (we are talking about self filming here). Using GPS in an orienteering run, or pulse monitors in middle distance running, will give better follow-up of performance. There are many examples, and you can find several of them on the TICEPS website (www.ticeps.fr).
Although the advantages of using digital technology in PE lessons depend on how it is selected and used by the teacher, new perspectives are definitely opening up for our discipline. These are certainly not magic tools, and we are not arguing for them to be used all the time, as this would reduce the time for motor activity, but we are still convinced that they can help pupils to a better understanding of what is to be learnt, get them more implicated in their work and improve cooperation with their peers. Here is an additional aid for the teacher, to give meaning to learning and encourage our teenagers to extend their participation in sport outside PE lessons.
 Dauphas (E.), Dumont (P.), Lacroix (S.), Tomaszower (Y.), Les quatre piliers de l’apprentissage au filtre du numérique éducatif en EPS, Revue EPS 376, Juillet-Août 2017
2Citons pour exemple « Bam Vidéo Delay » ou « Hudl Technique »
3Voir en ce sens Le numérique, coordonnée par Dauphas (E.), Lacroix (S.), Tomaszower (Y.), collection « Pour l’Action », Editions EPS, 2018