Monday, March 01, 2010

Fw: Using Technology in Physical Education - March 2010

From: "Bonnie Mohnsen

Public Address (PA) Systems for Teaching Physical Education

by Stuart Ryan

Physical education teaching settings have been viewed as "hostile listening environments" that can undermine the learning of children in school (Ryan, 2009). Physical education students are often spread out over a large activity area and Leavitt & Flexer (1991) demonstrated that students experience significant loss of speech intelligibility when seated anywhere in the classroom other than very near the teacher. High levels of background noise (e.g. dribbling basketballs, loud music) may have a harmful effect on the students including poor speech understanding, listener distraction, and exhaustion while the teachers may also experience fatigue and even vocal abuse (Boothroyd, 2005). Poor acoustically designed gymnasiums, covered areas, and loud outdoor teaching environments can be challenging to the voice of physical education teachers. A recent study shows that over 85% of physical education teachers surveyed reported a strained voice due to teaching (Ryan, 2010).
One cost-effective, appropriate, and acceptable strategy for maximizing the learning environment is through the use of PA systems. Research has shown that PA systems let the teachers control, stabilize, and equalize the acoustic environment so their voices can be heard above the background noise at all locations in the learning environment (Mainstream Amplification Resource Study, 2005; Flexer, 2002; Ross & Levitt, 2002) and has a positive effect on word and sentence recognition, speech intelligibility, and attending behaviors (Mendel, Roberts, & Walton, 2003; Ryan, et al., 2002, Ryan, 2009). This type of equipment is already used by over 50% of 150 physical education teachers surveyed (Ryan, 2010).
A public address (PA) system, sometimes called a sound field amplification device typically consists of a small microphone and a FM transmitter worn by the teacher, an amplifier, and a stationary or portable FM receiver with one or more speakers. Some are rechargeable with remote control and a have built-in CD player for music while other systems will fit around your waist which will keep your hands free. More powerful models may also have wheels for rolling out and storing. The cost for this type of equipment may vary from $150 to $800 or more and are advertised on many web-sites.
Placement of the system during class should be considered. Locating the PA system away from students for safety but also opposite from the primary location of the teacher may be helpful. This setting establishes a "stereo effect" and gives the students the feeling that the teacher is in two places at one time (with-it-ness). Teachers should also consider the type of feedback while using a PA system. A PA system is a great way of ensuring that all students hear positive, specific, congruent skill related feedback and any management directions. However, teachers should use caution when giving corrective or discipline related feedback that may embarrass students. The teachers should turn off or cover the mic when there may be a situation(s) where student feelings may be jeopardized.
Physical education teachers often have acoustic challenges that no other teacher has to face and using PA system technology in physical education settings can only enhance the learning environment.
Boothroyd, A. (2005). Modeling the Effects of Room Acoustics on Speech Reception and Perception. In Crandell, C.C., Smaldino, J.J. and Flexer, C. (Eds.), Sound Field amplification: Applications to speech perception and classroom acoustics 2nd Ed., (pp. 23-48). Clifton Park, NY; Thomson Delmar Learning.
Flexer, C. (2002). Rational and use of sound field system: An update. Hearing Journal, 55(8), 10, 14, 16-18.
Leavitt, R., & Flexer, C. (1991). Speech degradation as measured by the Rapid Speech Transmission Index (RASTI). Ear and Hearing, 12, 115-118.
Mainstream Amplification Resource Room Study (2005). Tuning up our classrooms. Retrieved May 3, 2008, from
Mendel, L. L., Roberts, R. A., & Walton, J. H. (2003). Speech perception benefits from sound field FM amplification. American Journal of Audiology, 12(2), 114-124.
Ross, M., & Levitt, H. (2002). Classroom sound field systems. Retrieved on May 3, 2008 from
Ryan, S. (2009a). The Effects of a Sound-Field Amplification System on Management Time in Middle School Physical Education Settings. Journal of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40 (2), 131-137.
Ryan, S. (2009b). Can your students hear you? Florida Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, & Driver Education, 47(1), 26-27.
Ryan, S. (2010). The Prevalence and Impact of Voice Problems in Physical Education Teachers. Unpublished raw data.
Ryan, S., Ormond, T., Imwold, C., & Rotunda, R.J. (2002). The effects of a public address system on the off-task behavior of elementary physical education students. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 305-308
Ryan, S., Grube, D., & Mokgwati, M. Signal-to-Noise Ratio in Physical Education Settings. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport (in press).

Comment from a PA User - Eric Herald

I used a wireless microphone today during my physical education class. We're doing a basketball unit and you know how noisy 28 bouncing basketball can be. Now I don't allow my students to dribble a ball while I'm giving instructions I blow the whistle one time and have them put the balls on the floor. However my 7th grade PE class is a different kind of animal about 10-12 of the students come to class thinking they can do as they please, when they please.
It did take them long to notice that something was different... the first time they heard my voice through the microphone they reacted like the voice was coming from the man up above. Wow what a difference it made. It was truly amazing the way students reacted they followed directions it was like I was standing right next to him/her and the class ran much smoother than any other that I've had this year.

Using Technology in Physical Education Podcast

Our first podcast was a great success. Thank you for the positive feedback - and let us know what else you want. Our next podcast will be posted on March 15, 2010. We will start vodcasting (adding video to our audio) in our May 2010 podcast. The topic for March is mobile devices and their use in physical education. Additionally we will answer listener's questions and provide up-to-date news along with how-tos. So, don't miss out. You can find out podcast here.

California Fitness Report Users

Those of you who are using Bonnie's Fitware Fitness Report for exporting fitness results for state testing need to contact Bonnie ( for an updated version. Be sure to include the name of your school (if the purchase was made through a purchase order.
Remember: The costs incurred to administer, score, analyze, and report PFT results may be recoverable as "state-mandated" costs." The California State Controller's Office administers cost recovery. This office may be contacted at 916-445-2636. Detailed mandated cost claim instructions are found on the California State Controller's Office State Mandated Costs Web page at (Outside Source). Under the heading of "Annual Manuals," click the most current fiscal year under "School Districts." Next, under the "State Mandated Cost Programs" heading, scroll down and click on "Physical Performance Tests - Program No. 173."

Why?: Page Cannot be Found

Common reasons for receiving this image when going to a web page include:
Your Internet connection may be down. Try accessing another site to see if this is the problem.
Check your typing - you may have mistyped the URL or click a bad hyperlink.
The site may be temporarily down.

The Future is Now!

Digital Bandage Monitors Vital Signs
A wireless digital bandage that would continuously monitor patients' vital signs and transmit the data in real time to health-care professionals is currently being tested in the UK. The Sensium disposable adhesive bandage is non-intrusive and affixes easily and painlessly to a patient's chest. Doctors and nurses would be notified instantly of any changes in a patient's body temperature, heart rate, and respiration on any digital device, from desktop computers to cell phones. This would enable them to respond faster to any changes or complications. The patient's medical records would also be automatically updated with the data. The bandage, developed by Toumaz Technology, is part of a growing medical trend toward integrating wireless technology in patient care.
Source: The Futurist

PowerPoint: Quick Tips

Importing Tables

Last month we looked at creating tables. However, in many case, the table you want already exists in Word or Excel. You can import tables into a PowerPoint slide without re-entering all the data. Start by selecting the table in the original program. Then, right-click (control-click for Mac users) and choose Copy. Next, go to the PowerPoint slide and right-click again, and choose Paste. Once the table is in place, each cell becomes a text box. So, you can click in the box and edit the information. You also can move the boundaries within the table by clicking them and dragging them. Rest the mouse pointer over a border until it becomes a double-headed arrow and drag the border.

Top 5 Cell Phones

  • Motorola Droid

  • Apple iPhone

  • Motorola Clia

  • Blackberry Bold

  • T-Mobile My Touch


Texas Goes for Digital Textbooks
Texas has become the latest state to begin building a repository of digital textbooks. The Texas Educational Agency is soliciting bids for online materials and officials plan to have the first open-source textbooks and other materials online for students next fall, according to the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. A digital repository would allow teachers and students to view textbooks online and also print customized versions. The advantages of to digital books, aside from lower costs, would be having the abilities to customize and update the data-base and incorporate other features, such as videos, into lessons.
Source: The American School Board Journal

Learning Opportunities

The spring semester started January 15, but you can still sign up. Each course is the equivalent of one semester unit (Emporia State University) or two continuing education credits (California State University, Los Angeles). You have until March 15 to sign up for one of these courses!
Fitness Software
Record Book Technology
Web Design/Activities
Instructional Software
Technology Devices
Electronic Portfolios
Teaching Online Physical Education
The cost of the course ($100) includes a letter of completion when you finish. This may be used in some districts to verify hours of participation in meeting continuing education requirements.
If your district won't accept a letter of completion, but will accept Continuing Education credit - you can receive two units of CE credit for each course from CSU Los Angeles. The cost is $95 per credit or $190 per course. For more information on Continuing Education credits, contact Joann Edmond at
If your district won't accept a letter of completion or Continuing Education credits, then you can receive one semester unit of 700-level college credit. The additional cost for college credit is $373 for out-of-state residence and $290 for Kansas residence. (Pricing for college credit is subject to change). After enrolling in the online course, you contact Kathy Ermler at 620-481-3816 to register for 700-level credit.

iPod Apps

Heartbeat Monitored
A new application for your smart phone will let you send your heart rate directly to your doctor's office. The iStethoscope, developed by University College London computer scientist Peter Bentley, comprises an audio amplifier that filters sound from the built-in microphone to transmit clear signals of your heartbeat to the cardiologist. Bently foresees such devices becoming more powerful and cheaper than traditional medical equipment, eventually putting an array of monitoring and diagnostic instruments in everyone's pockets.
Source: University College Londone,

Windows Short Cuts

<Windows>-L - locks yours computer's screen so that no one can access your computer without entering your account password.
<Windows>-R - provides access to the Run command line.
<Windows>-E - opens a new Windows Explorer window.
<Windows>-D - hides all open windows to clear your desktop.
Right click on any application icon - brings up the Properties menu. Click the Shortcuts tab and you can specify a keystroke combination to start your application.

New Device: Treadmill Traveling

The NordicTrack X7i Incline Trainer raises and lowers itself to mimic the dips and hills of real-world topography. The X7i downloads maps over Wi-Fi form a Web site called iFit, which lets you pick popular routes, as well as treks you have designed on your computer across any territory covered by Google Maps. As you run a seven-inch screen scrolls the map and shows snapshots of passing landmarks. Afterward, the console sends workout data to the Web, where you can analyze it and plot your next run anywhere on the planet or beyond, since Google Moon is open for hikes as well.
Source: Popular Science

New Device: WiFi Body Scale

This scale is designed to add peer pressure to your battle against the bulge. It uses Wi-Fi to send your weight, body-fat percentage, and body-mass index to your computer, iPhone, or even your Twitter followers. Designed by Withings ( Some folks even twitter their weight loss - check it out:
Source: Popular Science

Tapped In

Our presence on the social network TappedIn focuses on high-quality standards-based physical edu-cation. I am happy to announce that Brenna Barringer, National Board Certified Physical Educator has agreed to co- facilitate the site with me. The site will now take a more active role in the National Board Candidates community. Discussions will expand to focus on candidate preparation. We anticipate that the addition of this group of highly-qualified physical educators will improve the quality of our discussions. If you are preparing for national board certification or just want to improve your teaching skills, then please join us at Tapped In. Once registered (free), search for physical education or ask the receptionist for directions to the physical education group. Here are step-by-step directions:
Go to
Click on "Sign up" for free membership
Complete the form
Click on submit application
Click on Search
Click on Places
Type in physical education
Click on Find It
Click on Physical Education
Click on Actions and select Join

New Edition of Using Technology in Physical Education - 7th edition

The seventh edition of the popular book Using Technology in Physical Education is now available. Everything you need to know about technology in the field of physical education. Includes information on spreadsheets, word processing, desktop publishing, web, pedometers, heart monitors, virtual reality-based exercise equipment, software, electronic portfolios, e-learning, and much much more! Lots of step-by-step directions and photographs showing how things work! Cost $45. Click here for more information.
Check out our support page with videos and agendas for undergraduate and graduate courses.
Order bookSupport Page
Chapter 1 - Introduction to Technology in Physical Education
Chapter 2 - Computer 101
Chapter 3 - Text-Based Documents
Chapter 4 - Data Manipulation
Chapter 5 - Using Images
Chapter 6 - Using Videos
Chapter 7 - Using Audio
Chapter 8 - Using Telecommunications
Chapter 9 - Instructional Software
Chapter 10 - Assessing Student Learning
Chapter 11 - Measuring Devices
Chapter 12 - Interactive Devices
Chapter 13 - Online Physical Education
Chapter 14 - Improving Instructional Delivery
Chapter 15 - The Future of Technology


NASPE Announces 2010 Grant Cycle for ING Run For Something Better School Awards Program
The school awards program will provide 50 - $2,000 grants to schools that desire to establish a school-based running program or expand an existing one. Programs must target 4th-8th grade students. Visit for more information or email with any questions. Deadline for applications is April 15, 2010.

Web Sites to Explore

AppReview - reviews of Apps for the iPod Touch and iPhone.
Bowling instruction.
Basketball drills.
Science of baseball.

Questions and Answers

I have been following along with your Excel articles. However, when I create a spreadsheet and print it out, the column letters and row numbers are visible. Is there a way to hide the letters and numbers when printing?
Yes you can. Simple click Page Layout on the ribbon and locate the Sheet Options section. Uncheck the box next to Print under the Headings option. If you are using Excel 2003, then go to File and choose Page Setup. Click the Sheet tab and under the Print section, uncheck Row And Column Headings.
What is the best way to back up my computer?
Consider employing multiple back-up methods. If you have more than one computer, then back up your files to those computers. Also, consider purchasing external hard drives or usb drives to back up your data. Finally, consider an online back up service like Carbonite (
I have been purchasing batteries online but they die quickly - what might be the cause?
Typically when batteries are sold at an inexpensive price it is because they are close to their expiration date. Be sure to purchase batteries from a reliable vendor. Bonnie's Fitware Inc. does sell "fresh" batteries for pedometers and heart monitors.

PEP Grants, Fitness Labs, and Technology Devices

Dates have been released for the 2010 Carol M. White PEP Grant. The US Department of Education will open requests for proposals on April 7, 2010 with a due date of May 21, 2010.
Let us design a lab for you - check it out. Or, email us for quote on technology-based equipment (including high quality pedometers, acceler- ometers, heart monitors) and we will also provide you with a list of the research to submit the use of the equipment in your program.
Also, take a look at our brochures for additional software and devices for your PEP grant.

Standards-Based Physical Education Curriculum

See the alignment between our standards-based physical education curriculum (grades 5 - high school) and your state standards at We also have updated our presentations on our curriculum and on technology so that they are smaller. Each topic has a Part 1 and a Part 2 - and each movie is no larger than 8 megabytes, so they will download quickly.

College Level Assessment in Physical Education Course

Standards-Based Assessment and Grading in Physical Education, K-12
Check out our support page:
Includes hundreds of assessment ideas and rubrics for all six national standards. Adaptable to state standards.


Anonymous said...

Good writing. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed my Google News Reader..
Virtual Receptionist

vishal said...
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