Being Connected – thanks ConnectedPE

This week has been full of opportunities to connect online with Physical Educators from all over the world, thanks to Jarrod Robinson and the Connected PE Online Conference.  I have loved listening to what amazing things people are doing to ensure quality physical education and physical activity experiences for our young people.

I haven’t had a chance to watch them all yet, but these are some highlights from those I have watched so far:

Making Physical Education Addictive – Andy Hair

Loved his quote – “Be Different – not so you stand out as an educator, but so your kids get an experience that is unique to them.”

He talked about the importance of fun, freedom to explore, and creativity in PE lessons.

He gave some fantastic examples of using provocations to begin units of work and really tap into students curiosity.  Examples were Dude Perfect and Angry Birds for target units.  Throughout the units of work it was emphasised to students that it was all about trial and error and that it was okay to fail over and over before achieving success.  There was an emphasis on reflection to grow knowledge and success.

Lessons took the format – Driving question, learning intention, success criteria, challenge activity.

“We are not teaching children to pass a test.  We are educating children to be successful in life.” – Andy Hair


The Physical Educator as a Resource for the Classroom Teacher – Mike Kuczala

This session resonated with me, because it connects with the work we have been doing as part of the Sport in Education Project and in particular the work that Craig Reddington, Kaikourai Valley College, and Karen Palmer, Queens High School are doing with regard to Active Education.

With many high schools in NZ moving to longer teaching periods, the ability for all teachers to incorporate active learning pedagogies is critical.

Mike talked about the 6 Brain Principles that support using movement/physical activity in the classroom:

  1. The brain responds to novelty
  2. The brain responds to movement
  3. The brain is always trying to make meaning
  4. The brain thrives on concrete experiences
  5. Emotions help the brain remember ‘experiences’
  6. The brain needs social and environmental interaction

He then went on to talk about why movement enhances the learning process:

  1. Provides break from learning
  2. Enhances episodic memory (memory association)
  3. Provides opportunity for implicit learning
  4. Provides an opportunity for differentiating instruction (through different learning styles)
  5. Sensory engagement
  6. It’s the best available manager of state
  7. Provides motivation and the meeting of basic human needs

Check out the following for further inspiration to get your students moving:

TED-Ed “Why sitting is bad for you” – Murat Dalkilinc

2017 5 minute per hour challenge (Primary age)

The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and learning through movement


Using Data to inform Teaching Practice and Student Learning – Pat Coleman

This was a great presentation that encourages us to expand the concept of what counts as ‘data’ – think beyond the numbers.  (Do we perhaps need to use the word evidence more?)

There were lots of practical ideas through out the presentation and these were some of my favourites:

Plickers – provides data on a class level, and also at an individual student level.  What do we as a class need to go back and address?  What gaps are there still in the students knowledge and understanding?  I loved the application of Plickers as an exit card – in the photo below the Plickers stuck to the wall and as the students pass on the way to the changing rooms they turn their own numbered Plicker to the orientation that represents their answer.  Then the teacher can scan the wall and get instant feedback.


Quizizz – this is very similar to Kahoot!, students get points for speed and accuracy of answers, however the advantage this has over Kahoot! is that it can be accessed at anytime.  The teacher sets up the ‘game’ and then once the students have the code they can take the quiz when it suits.  It could be built into a practical lesson as a ‘station’ where students take time to reflect on learning, could be taken in the classroom, or at home.

SOLO taxonomy and QR codes – Pat gave a great example of how he had used SOLO in his Sport Education unit.  Throughout the unit all students had to at some point take a turn at the five different roles, and there was a SOLO rubric for each role.  This was all on the wall of the gym and students had to place their number next to the SOLO level they considered themselves to be at for each of the roles; when they moved up a level they then had to scan the QR code on the wall to fill out an explanation/justification  of why they had moved up a level.  SOLO provides feedback for students about their learning and makes it clear what they need to do to progress to the next level ie. next steps in their learning.


Disrupting Traditional PE – Finding your Passion and Purpose through Play – Will Vreugdenhil

This was so on point, and again really resonated with me due to the work that I am doing with Primary and Intermediate teachers at the moment and challenging them to rethink their teaching practices in PE.

So where does the disruption lie between Traditional PE and Innovative and Modern PE?

Teacher centric -> Student centric

Movement focused -> Understanding focused

Units of Sport -> Conceptual units

Fitness testing (comparing to standards) -> Fitness testing (measure against self)

Repetition = mastery -> repetition is isolation of mastery

Competitive -> collaborative

Teacher determines pace -> student determines pace

Only certain ‘mold’ of student/athlete experiences success -> everyone succeeds

Designed to free up other teachers -> designed for student learning

Technology is the devil -> Technology is our friend

Students treated the same -> differentiated



“Research has shown us that human beings are born with an innate desire to explore, experiment and imagine new possibilities.” (Wagner, 2012)

“The start and end of purposeful PE is play, but it isn’t in my opinion a panacea.  We must watch the children in our care play and then decide how best to support them” (@ImSporticus)

Passion is not just an emotion.  It is the drive to push forward, to try something new, to master a skill or reach the next level.  Passion is usually a product of play, where success was experienced and confidence grew.  Passion is more powerful when intrinsic.

Purpose evolves from passion and play.  It is an intrinsically motivated state, reinforced by passions.  It is about making a difference.


So some quick ‘Innovative PE’ suggestions from Pat:

Give students choice between being in a competitive group vs a non-competitive group: the expectation of the competitive group is that they are skilled and have a mindset of competition, the non-competitive group is not about winning, but participating with purpose.

Integrate technology with a purpose.

Allow for more thought/reflection time.

Co-create with students – which rules would you change and why?

Let students choose what they want to be assessed on (from a range of options)

Be empathetic – give students a ‘day off’


Of course another highlight of the week for me was being able to present during the Connected PE Online Conference on ‘The Value of Sport in Education’.  Thanks Carl Condliffe for suggesting I give it a go and supporting me with the preparation.

Interestingly during this same week of celebrating being able to be connected globally, and seeing the immense benefits, I spent some time in a room of educators who still have a level of anxiety with connecting and collaborating with others online.  We were introducing this group of people to the safety of collaborating within a closed group on Google+ Community; but even within this relative ‘safety’ they expressed their fears about what people might think, how people might respond etc.  We had some great dialogue about the value of the different online platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Virtual Learning Network, blogging.  It was a great reminder to me that it is important not to dismiss people’s anxiety, and to remember how I felt when I first entered the world of Twitter.  It was also affirming for me to realise how far I have come – from contributing to twitter, to moderating twitter chats, writing a blog, and this past week for the first time presenting at an Online Conference.  Another facilitator and I talked about how now our fear is not that people will respond when we post something on line, to that people won’t respond!

Thanks again to Jarrod Robinson and the Connected PE Online Conference for the chance to access FREE professional learning and connect with Physical Educators the world over.


One thought on “Being Connected – thanks ConnectedPE

  1. Go Celia, I am sure your thoughts and reflections weee well received..
    As always you have then passed on lots of stuff that you found beneficial.
    Good stuff


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