In Gregg Agena’s physical education classroom at Ewa Makai Middle School in Honolulu, students are ready for the day’s lesson on basic tumbling: mats on the floor, tennis shoes off—and iPads up and at the ready.
As Agena blows his whistle, half of the students perform “logrolls” and “shoulder rolls.”
The other half uses an iPad to film their partner.
Then students switch places. iPads change hands. And Agena’s whistle blows again.
Ewa Makai started using iPads in all of its phys-ed courses last week as part of a pilot project aimed at helping teachers figure out new ways to engage modern students who thrive on hands-on learning.
“It keeps them more on task,” says Agena.
Once the exercises are done, the students break off into pairs to watch themselves performing the exercises. Then, using a second iPad and a special application the school’s ed-tech department created, the students determine whether they hit all the steps needed to perform the moves correctly.
For a forward roll, did the student finish by standing—hands above the head? If so, check the box for a point. For a logroll, did the student veer off course and end up rolling off the mat? If so, that’s one point deducted.
When the points are added up, students click “submit.” Instantly, each child’s score is sent to Agena’s computer, where he can quickly see how his students are doing—and what kind of progress they’re making over time.