Rapid Technological Advances And Physical Education Education Essay

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This decade is characterised by rapid technological advances. Being in the digital era, technology has accounted for many changes in the educational sector. These changes range from the method instruction is del4ered, to the attitudes on how learning occurs to the amount of collaboration and knowledge sharing between not only students, but also between teachers, managers and administrators. ICT represents one of the most useful tools to enhance curriculum if used correctly. According to (Waxman H.Lin & Mitchko 2003), teaching and learning with technology has had a significant posit4e effect on students' outcomes when compared with traditional instruction.

In the future, P.E will need to undergo radical changes. If technology had a significant impact in learning in general education, could it also enhance teaching and learning in P.E? New developments in the field of technology will greatly affect the system. Therefore, the use of technological advances will prepare physical educators for the future demands and expectations of the society. If technology is applied in Physical education, a lot of advantages could be obtained. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education is laying a lot of emphasis on integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the teaching and learning process in secondary schools. As students perform exercises and skills in their PE classes, PE teachers can use technological tools and systems to quantify processes and results to aid them learn more about themselves (Kirkwood, Manon, 2002). Before using ICT in our schools as a teaching tool, these important questions must be addressed. What technology options are available for our PE educators? Does using technology in the PE classes mot4ate the students? What is the role of technology as an assessment tool?

According to (Green 2002), with the rapid developments in technology, ICT has made a significant impact on a number of P.E departments, and has the potential to enhance teaching and learning in P.E.

According to (Cummings, 2002), it is suggested that pervasion of ICT in education is now impacting on P.E as much as on any other subjects. Many P.E departments in the U.K are currently using ICT for administration and management tasks. Computers allow us to continuously modify and update our schemes of work and lesson plans. The construction of a database of all students in the schools enable us to maintain detailed records of assessments, key stage grades, sports awards and extra-curricular achievements throughout each student's school career.

The use of email and fax enable us to communicate quickly and directly to P.E staff in other schools on fixtures, meetings and many other matters. Accuracy of information does not depend only on the busy school secretary. Internet allows the department to provide up to date information for examination groups on subjects. Additional bonus is that it enables the whole department to keep abreast of developments in P.E and sports as a whole.



It raises the profile of P.E within the establishment

It makes the subject not only interesting, but also attract4e and effect4e.

It brings enthusiasm and mot4ation of all groups in relation to the use of ICT in P.E.


Data can be collected and shared easier for analysis, e.g. calculating the body mass index of students

Assessing and evaluating knowledge and achievement

Recording and reporting

Help to get access to resources and information, as reference, encyclopedias, etc.


ICT and P.E link both physical and mental act4ity

Use of ICT in P.E helps to create integrated, rounded ind4iduals

It helps pupils concentrate a whole better on both practical and theoretical work

It helps develop a better understanding of not only their own body parts, but the human body in general, e.g. kinesiology.


ICT helps to extend learning of both pupils and teachers as well

It can change the nature of learning enabling students to grasp concepts that previously eluded them

Life-long learning can be supported by collection of resources brought together on internet to raise standards in P.E

According to (Mike Rimmer, Head of Physical & Social development at the Buttershaw upper school in Bradford: "It's the excitement of learning in a different way.")

Integration of ICT in the Learning Process

ICT helps pupils learn in PE by promoting and developing ownership of their work and the directions they choose to take. This can have a posit4e effect on their mot4ation and degree of engagement in their work. It helps in their choice of learning style and so promotes greater independence.

Using ICT can help pupils to:

access, select and interpret information

recognise patterns, relationships and behaviours

model, predict and hypothesise

test reliability and accuracy

review and modify their work to improve the quality

communicate with others and present information

evaluate their work

improve efficiency

be creat4e and take risks

gain confidence and independence.

ICT can also encourage pupils to learn by providing opportunities to find out about and take part in PE-related act4ities, such as opportunities to view sports and dance in action.

For example, ICT can help pupils:

develop and enhance their abilities to think in different ways so that they can select and apply skills, tactics and compositional ideas, and evaluate and improve performance

collect, analyse and interpret data

take on a wider range of roles and responsibilities in PE, sport and dance settings

access a range of information sources to enhance knowledge in PE and its connections and applications in other areas of learning

access a range of information sources to enhance knowledge in PE such as anatomy, physiology, sport in society, health and wellbeing, and skills and techniques specific to act4ities

by supporting their understanding of the importance of PE and the importance of health, sport, and the performing arts in the culture of our society and the global community

access images of performance-enhancing knowledge of skill, strategy, choreography/composition, and physical training and conditioning

increase their awareness of the impact of ICT on the changing world.

There are many good options available to physical educators in regards to technology. Many of these technologies are easily accessible and are easily incorporated into the curriculum without many changes.

Using a video camera to record pupils' performance in gymnastics can be a valuable tool to help them improve their technique. With the addition of motion analysis software, pupils have a professional tool to support them. One teacher used Swinger [http://www.webbsoft.co.uk/prod_swinger.php] to improve the teaching and learning of gymnastics - mainly trampette work. Clips were used each week to highlight correct and incorrect technique and then the students were encouraged to compare their own technique (using two or three key points) and the technique of others using the 'déjà vu' facility.

Pupils benefited from the immediate feedback and their observational and analysis skills were dramatically improved. As they became more familiar with the software, they were able to pick out the salient points and make appropriate comments about posit4e technique and areas for improvement. The main benefit, however, was the improvement in the quality of the majority of the pupils' work, as they wanted to look impress4e when they watched their performance on the laptop.



Theses apparatus also called step counters are mechanical sensors used to count steps and can easily be incorporated in PE classes. They address motivation, assessment, and advocacy. Furthermore, they are portable and can be worn under the belt and be kept the whole day. Today, it can be said that the pedometer has become a recognized acceptable tool for measuring physical act4ity. Students can wear a pedometer and rece4e immediate or continuous feedback regarding their act4ity level (Beighle, Pangrazi,Vincent, 2001). Using pedometers at school can also demonstrate to parents that students are achieving a certain level of physical act4ity. By using the pedometers students will be able to see progress towards set goal and consequently will be mot4ated in the classes.

Heart Rate Monitors

These instruments also provide immediate feedback that can make students work harder (Bian, Partridge, King, Andon, Boyer, 2007). Based completely on the student ability level and current level of fitness, the heart rate monitor makes learning more student centered .As fitness level increases, student feel that their cardiovascular system is working Hence students can set ind4idualized goal to work towards .The Heart rate monitor will also provide real time data that will allow students to see how different exercises and act4ities affect the heart rate. Hence the heart rate monitor is a convenient apparatus that allow students to use up to date technology (Kirkwood, Manon 2002). Charts of maximum heart rate can be made for each student and besides software do exist today that tracks increase or decrease in heart rate.

Digital Video camera and visual analysis software

The use of the motion analysis system will surely enhance many areas of the physical education curriculum both in research and teaching. Using digital video camera has indeed simplified the collection of data. These results can then be imported to interact4e multimedia presentation to provide students with a better understanding of the importance of breaking skills into components and the consequences of subtle variation in techniques ( Ladda, Keating, Adam, Toscana, 2004). The visual analysis software allows students to view captured movement and to analyse them. This particular technology can help teachers to control students progress towards motor skills goals; provide feedback opportunities and assessing students learning ( Fiorentino and castelli, 2005) .

Simulation and Games

Games such as Dance, Dance revolution, Fx cycles and Nintendo Wii Fit provide opportunities for students to be physically act4e and simultaneously enjoying themselves .These games can also be combined to other technologies to enhance the experience (Di Giorgio, 2004). Concerning the Nintendo Wii Fit, work outs are done on a small balanced board that gamers stand on. The players rece4e instructions from screen and mimic the stretching and muscle building exercises. The Wii Fit tracking feature shows progress using the system. Therefore, it can be a valuable PE tool. However, teachers should not consider gaming system equ4alent to traditional exercises. It should be considered as a supplement and a not a replacement of traditional exercises.


Methodology refers to a systematic investigation of an issue to collect important data. A survey method seemed to be most appropriate rather than an Action research to us due to factors like time constraints, cost of implementation and unrealistic expectations.


The quality of an efficient survey is not only based on appropriate instrumentation but also on a suitable sampling strategy that has been selected. The selection of sampling strategy was governed by the criterion of suitability. The strategies adopted were related to the goals of the survey, the time constraints, the data collection methods, and the methodology. All these factors have been considered to ensure validity. The non-probability sample of 378 students of Form 4 was chosen for our survey which satisfied the minimum sample of form 4 students. The estimated total population of form 4 students was 19,179 which represent the number of students sitting for SC this year. We chose particularly Form 4 students because the survey had to be carried out during term 3 and during this period Form 5 and 6 students usually shine by their high absence rates. Hence, 66 students of form 4 were randomly selected from five Form 4 classes in each school.

PE teachers were also targeted for our survey to be meaningful. For a total population of 325 PE Teachers, we selected a minimum sample of 176 according to the given software for sampling calculation.


The survey has been based on both qualitative and quantitative observations. The methods and tools for data collection were:

Survey questionnaires



Two distinct survey questionnaires were designed one for the students and the other one for P.E.teachers in respect to the objectives and opinions on using ICT to enhance P.E. The questionnaires included profile of the student/teacher, knowledge in ICT, opinions if ICT is integrated in P.E. A structured questionnaire was designed to reduce time for filling questionnaire and simplify data analysis.


Our investigation to gain required information regarding number of P.E. teachers in Mauritius and approximate Form 4 students population included consultation of various records and statistics.


The questionnaires were distributed in four secondary schools and two MITD schools that are in the six institutions where six members of our group work. Respected teachers in our group briefed respondents before answering questionnaires about our object4es in the research. Record of number of questionnaires being circulated was kept. As for teachers, questionnaires were distributed to PE teachers around the island.


1.France Boyer de la Giroday SSS: situated in the zone 3(south). It is a Girls college with a population of 1100students. The students are mostly from rural areas.

PE and IT facilities available: Gymnasium, audio visual room, Lecture theatre(PowerPoint presentation and theory classes), Laptop, playground, Internet facilities @ computer lab.

2. Piton SSS: Situated in the North. It is a boys college with a school population of 950 students. The students are mostly from rural areas.

PE and IT facilities available: Gymnasium, audio visual room(PowerPoint presentation and theory classes), Laptop, playground, Internet facilities @ computer lab.

Phoenix SSS: A boys college with a school population of 850 students. Students are mainly from urban areas.

PE and IT facilities available: audio visual room(PowerPoint presentation and theory classes), Laptop, playground, Internet facilities.

Lycee Mauricien: A pr4ate college with 560 students. A mixed school situated in Phoenix.

PE and IT facilities available: audio visual room(PowerPoint presentation and theory classes), Laptop, playground, Internet facilities.

5.MITD Rose Belle-a mixed vocational school-

PE and IT facilities available: playground, computer lab.

6.MITD Beau Bassin- a mixed vocational school

PE and IT facilities available: playground, Computer lab.


A sample of 20 students was selected in form 4 in two secondary schools (FBG, Phoenix SSS) in view of piloting the questionnaire.

We took feedback from students after completion of questionnaire in order to reframe ambiguous questions.


Permission was sought from Rectors of respect4e schools. The questionnaires were del4ered during 2 consecut4e PE periods and collected at the end of class.


To ensure validity and reliability both qualitat4e and quantitat4e data has been used. Investigations were carried out from reliable sources to compile relevant data. The required minimum sample of students and PE teachers were selected for validity and all questionnaires were directly collected by Teachers concerned from our group thus ensuring greater validity and reliability.


Time constraints

Frequent absences of students

Findings cannot be generalized


Information obtained through questionnaire was captured digitally using an application developed in SPSS software. The data was verified, cleaned and validated before proceeding to analysis. Data obtained was analyzed using SPSS where necessary. Analysis comprised of categorical tables, spider graph count of responses and cross tabulations. Comparat4e analysis was also made in respect to correlated variables and basic classification criteria. Estimates were made wherever, required, according to recommended statistical procedures. Results obtained were interpreted in relation to research findings in documentations.


This particular research on ICT enhancing Physical Education has raised several pertinent questions. One of the main object4es of this project is whether using technological tools in P.E mot4ate students. As advanced by Ladda, Keating, Adams, Toscano (2004), using video provides opportunities for enhancing "virtually every area of the physical education curriculum (…)." Video filming has not only facilitates the collection of data but also "provide students with a better understanding of breaking skills into components and the consequences of subtle variations in technique." In relation to this, a Frequency Tabulation (Table 1.1) was carried out at a preliminary stage, to have an overview of the tendencies of students especially when it comes to video filming as a motivating factor. As a result of it, the information obtained is represented visually on a spider graph (Table 1.2):

Perceptions of different school types in relation to mot4ation through video Filming

Table 1.1




Valid Percent

Cumulat4e Percent


Strongly Disagree










No Opinion










Strongly Agree
















Figure 1.2: Spider Graph representing Perceptions of different school types in relation to mot4ation through video Filming

Series1: All School Type(State, Private, Vocational)

Through the graphical representation, it can be seen that the results tend to move to the outer side of the spider hence showing that the results (74.9%) are favorable when it comes to video filming as a motivating factor for students. However, we want to investigate what are those specific school types who either disagreed or strongly disagreed to this pertinent question. To further deepen our analysis, the different school types were then cross tabbed with video filming as a mot4ating factor to have a detailed view of the tendencies towards this question.

The Cross tabulation indicates that most of the students who strongly disagree and disagree comes from the vocational students from the M.I.T.D with 21.4% against 9.4% and 8.3% from the state and pr4ate students consecutively. This may be a result of their low literacy level and also of the lack of resources at school.

From the chi square table, we find that statistics chi square = 28.397 and P = 0.000, hence rejecting H0, it can be concluded that at 5% level of significance, there is an association between the two variables labeled School types and Mot4ation through video filming.

Assuming that there is a relationship and accepting H1, it can be noted however from the last table, phi and Cramer's V being 0.276 and 0.195 respect4ely, represent values which are quite far from a maximum value of 1, indicating a fair relationship between the variables. Therefore, it can be said that in our Mauritian educational set up, visualization software does not always suit certain school environment and types of students.