Health Education and Physical Education are important aspects of school curriculum that students often feel disengaged from. These subjects are crucial for students to develop healthy lifestyles and have the tools to make healthy choices.
Educating them on how to recognise unhealthy behaviours and how to seek help is the first and most important step to prevention.
How can EduTech help students to learn healthy behaviours?
As it has been already proven with other subjects, EduTech can significantly improve engagement among students by making them feel more active and empowered in the learning process.
College students report that EduTech helps them reduce stress, improve confidence and efficiency, and makes preparing for classes easier.
Health Education and Physical Education have a very direct impact on students’ lives, and integrating EduTech can help students of all ages understand that. Tracking and monitoring devices, fitness apps and even gaming can easily become a part of the curriculum. Students will not just be more interested in the subject, they will be more interested in their own health.
What kind of technology can be used?
Videos from platform such as Youtube, Vimeo or FlipGrid can give students access to lectures and demonstrations by experts, Olympians, even their favourite sportsmen.
Classroom blogs with additional information on fitness principles and nutrition are a great way to maintain the engagement alive after school hours and start new interesting conversations on the topics learned in class.
These tools can also be used to share the consequences of taking part in high risk behaviours, through to first hand testimonies and interviews. Students will be more receptive if they hear about these topics from a Youtube creator they are already familiar with, than if they read about it in a book or hear it in a scripted video.
Active videogames (AVGs) like the Nintendo Wii or Dance Dance Revolution have been observed to have an incredibly positive impact on promoting physical activity, improving balance and even helping rehabilitation after an injury. Their introduction as part of the Physical Education curriculum has the potential to help childhood obesity, which is becoming one of the most serious health concerns of our times.
Fitness monitors and trackers can help students set goals for themselves and commit to an exercise routine with real time feedback.
It is important to mention that these trackers also monitor calories. Students should be aware of the importance of an adequate caloric intake based on each individual’s weight, physical built and level of activity. Teachers could use the information trackers provide on each student’s caloric consumption to discuss how to avoid a diet too high in calories, but also why excessively restrictive diets can become just as much of a health risk.
The first step teachers have to take: keeping an open mind
Some teachers are still skeptical when it comes to bringing technology into their classroom, many think it could become a distraction. The first step each teacher should take is keeping an open mind, getting to know more about the available technologies and how they can be complementary to their own teaching method.