Hundreds of teens in the Pittsburgh region are taking cyber gym courses, despite critics who say there is no substitute for real physical education classes, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. About 600 students are enrolled at Pennsylvania Learners Online, a cyber charter school where online gym is a requirement. Twelve others are enrolled in a program called e-Cademy to make up a failed credit. Rich Campsie, who teaches phys ed at e-Cademy and at Pennsylvania Learners Online, said he works with students one-on-one online to teach concepts ranging from lifelong physical activities and exercise to game strategies. They report back to Campsie via worksheets and written reports. He acknowledges there is no way to know if a student is completing the physical requirements of the course. The state Education Department requires high school students complete a phys ed program and accepts an online credit to fulfill the mandate. Some students take phys ed online to free up time in their course schedule or to replace the credit after failing gym. For others, changing in a locker room or having to meet certain requirements in a room filled with classmates makes traditional gym impossible. But "nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction with a role model," said Mark Gartner, a middle school health and phys ed teacher in the Hampton Township School District in Allegheny County…

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