Flipping for fitness

If you’re a PE teacher interested in flipping, here’s how I recommend you get started.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this: Do what makes sense for your program! At The Joseph Sears School, we don’t flip every day because once the students understand an activity, they don’t require as much lead-in instruction. But when we start a new unit, like Pickleball, I create a video on the rules and have the students watch that video and take an online quiz outside of class. The quiz helps me confirm that students know the rules, reducing the number of times that I need to pause class to provide more instruction. Typically, flipping at the beginning of every unit works best.

While the concept of flipping PE is pretty cool in itself, I like to use technology to engage my students in ways that extend beyond the classroom. I use mobile technology in other aspects of my teaching and coaching as well, which enhances my ability to provide guidance and feedback to students in real-time–this has immediate impact.

In my work as a coach and teacher, I use Coach’s Eye, a mobile instant video analysis tool by TechSmith. Instead of lugging around a camera, I use my iPad to film my students and athletes as they practice and play. In seconds, I can review video frame-by-frame with them so they can instantly see what they are doing and make any necessary technique adjustments. It’s been especially helpful in our volleyball unit–there’s nothing more effective than being able to show a student exactly what to do to improve their serving technique seconds after a serve hits the net. I could never have done that before!

Because I’ve seen the impact technology has on students in my school and on the field, I know that other PE educators can definitely benefit from what I’ve learned on my journey in flipping. That’s why I created an online resource to connect with other educators and help share my flipped PE and coaching insights with those who need them.

You can catch up with me and my flipped learning through my “Flipped Coach” blog and YouTube channel, and Twitter (@flippedcoach). While flipped learning is a new passion for me, it’s really all about the students and helping them be the best athletes possible. I hope that other PE teachers and athletic coaches will be inspired by my students’ successes and give flipping a try in PE class and on the athletic field.

Truly, we are at the forefront of an emerging technology renaissance in physical education. Here’s hoping I can encourage more “Flipped Coaches” through my learnings to keep up the momentum and make flipping PE a common practice in the U.S. After all, what better way to get students moving in school than to give them more time to move in class? It’s not rocket science – in fact, it’s as easy as Pickleball!

After graduating from Ball State University with an MA in Physical Education, Jason Hahnstadt has been a physical education teacher at The Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, Ill. since 2005. He has taught all grade levels from K – 8 in Physical Education.

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