Mountain Valley teacher shares technology lessons

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RUMFORD — Mountain Valley High School physical education teacher Kristin Tyler presented a workshop on the use of technology in physical education. The workshop was part of the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance’s fall conference.

Her journey began long before the actual presentation.

Tyler said, “Last spring I had the opportunity to attend a MLTI [Maine Learning Technology Initiative] workshop that was geared for physical educators. I came away from this workshop with such a greater depth of knowledge on how to use a variety of programs as well as a number of ideas on how to use the new forms of technology in the physical education setting. MAHPERD was an opportunity for me to share some of this by showing how I have incorporated it into my classes.”

After the MLTI workshop, she and her students learned to use QR codes to explain how to use equipment in the fitness room. QR codes are black and white boxes that can be read by iPads and smart phones. In this case, the code linked to a video on proper use of a piece of equipment.

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Tyler said, “Through a Google Drive presentation at MAHPERD, I covered what a QR code is, how to create it and how I have used it as a form of assessment through student-generated work. Last year I introduced it in my fitness classes and had some advanced students create their own ‘how to’ videos. Currently I have a group of students doing the same thing.”

But that was not all. She collaborated with physical education teacher Todd Papianou and then shared that project.

Tyler explained, “Todd and I have started to work together to create some instructional videos on selected skills that we teach the students. This fall we created a ‘How to Perform the Forward Stroke in Canoeing’ video and I was very pleased with how that came out and how much it will improve our instruction for that specific topic.”

In addition to presenting, she also participated in the conference and listed two major highlights.

“First I have been a member of the MAHPERD board for this past year, serving as a co-chair of the Awards Committee,” Tyler recalled. “Throughout this past year, I had the opportunity to be involved in the planning and preparation for this conference. This was an invaluable experience in itself as it has given me a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to plan a conference, as well as a tremendous professional learning experience while collaborating with colleagues. Being a part of the awards committee afforded me the opportunity to see some of the truly outstanding work that physical education teachers are doing in this state, which drives my incentive to continue to improve as a teacher.”

She continued, “Secondly, this was the first time that I have presented at a conference. Although it may not seem like a big deal, I think this was a big professional development step for me. Presenting in front of colleagues is not the most comfortable or favorite thing for me to do. I put a lot of time into preparing for this, which I feel lead to what I believe was a very successful presentation. It gave me a great sense of confidence to see that what I had to share was valuable to others.”

While she did not receive written feedback about her presentation, her audience liked how she had her students use the technology and create products that could be used for assessment.

Back at MVHS, she is using what she learned to help her students.

Tyler said, “There are always snippets of things that I bring back and immediately use —  whether adjusting a lesson plan or assignment or introducing something new. Perhaps the most valuable thing about the conference this year was that the entire physical education department from RSU 10 was able to attend. Therefore, what we were able to bring back was a more universal vision of the work we are doing and need to do.”

According to its website, MAHPERD “is a nonprofit organization for professionals and students in related fields of health, physical education, recreation and dance. MAHPERD is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Mainers by supporting and promoting effective educational practices, quality curriculum, instruction, the Maine Learning Results, and assessment in the areas of health, physical education, recreation, dance and related fields.”

Participation for all the RSU 10 health and physical education teachers was funded by a grant through the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition that funds Coordinated School Health Programs.

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