Physical Education Classes and Distance Learning: Can They Coexist?

The Coronavirus is creating serious challenges for educators across the country, and physical education teachers are far from immune. New social distancing standards and mask mandates make it difficult for school districts to provide meaningful in-school learning experiences both in regular classrooms and during physical education. While some states and cities are back to in-person schooling, others chose to adopt hybrid or entirely distanced learning environments.

Participating in online learning for physical education is uncharted territory for most teachers, students, and families. So, can P.E. classes and distance learning genuinely coexist? The answer is a definitive yes. In fact, running virtual physical activity programs can actually help improve other areas of a student’s life. Let’s take a closer look at how distance learning during Coronavirus can help keep students engaged and healthy in such strange, uncertain times.

Physical Education Facilitates Learning

It’s proven that physical education can positively impact student’s learning in other areas of study. Having a healthy and fit body during formative years can help improve other aspects of education. An active lifestyle is often responsible for:

  • Better brain cognition
  • Improved test scores
  • Higher grades overall
  • Increased concentration and attention span
  • Keeping kids engaged during other classes
  • Fostering confidence to answer questions
  • More accurate responses to in-class questions

Physical activity helps the brain function more efficiently and effectively overall. Plus, science shows that fitness plays a significant role in keeping kids mentally fit as well. Quarantine and isolation are attributed to negatively impacting young people’s mental wellbeing. Many children went weeks or months without seeing their school friends and favorite teachers. It’s no surprise that so many students are experiencing mental health struggles during the pandemic.

That’s why it’s crucial that children continue to participate in physical education classes during the pandemic, even if an online environment is the only outlet. Healthy minds and bodies will motivate students to make it through this strange time in the world’s history.

Adapting to the Difficulties of Distance Learning

Some physical educators are struggling with the switch to distance learning. Although at first, it may seem difficult to adapt to online learning, there is an abundance of resources available for physical education providers. For the most part, schools are sticking to these three main tools to supply schooling online:

  • Google Classroom or Google Meets
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams

With any of these tools, it’s easy to integrate engaging virtual learning activities into your online physical education curriculum. If you need new ways to get kids excited about online physical education, there is no shortage of services to assist you. Explore these unique options to find fun features for your online classroom:

1. YouTube

One of the most accessible online tools available to teachers is YouTube. Although it’s not entirely dedicated to educational resources, you can still search this site for engaging videos that keep kids active and involved during online learning sessions.

Utilize YouTube to find fitness videos ranging from guided yoga or pilates to more intense exercise routines. With so much variety available, it’s easy to incorporate unique activities into your virtual curriculum. Switch things up and show students highlights from history-making sports games or teach them a new skill with comprehensive how-to videos. There’s no question that kids are already acquainted with the online tool, so they’ll enjoy having access to a familiar application during this time of uncertainty. The downside to these videos is that they may not be directed to students, and may be inconsistent rather than a consistent progression of learning.  Always keep this in mind when researching these resources.

2. Virtual Physical Activity Programming From Skillastics

Finding an online tool that easily integrates with online and in-person learning might seem challenging, but it’s quite simple in reality. Thanks to Skillastics’ innovative Virtual Physical Activity Programming, physical education providers can offer a wide variety of virtual activities that easily transfer to on-site learning.

This virtual tool is designed to accommodate an array of online learning platforms, including Google Classroom or Meets, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even Canvas. Transform your physical education curriculum with an impressive range of offerings from Skillastics. Virtual physical activity programs available include:

  • Kickboxing
  • Basketball
  • Mindfulness
  • Martial Arts
  • Move N’ Groove
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Sport Stacking
  • STEM and Sports
  • And many more!

Your students will love to play with Skillastics’ virtual physical activity programs during online sessions. Plus, when transitioning back to an on-site environment, they’ll be happy to recognize the virtual games as part of their daily routine.

3. SHAPE America

If you’re still struggling with the transition to online learning, there’s no need to worry. With help from SHAPE America, you can easily find resources to assist you in adapting to online physical education classes. This organization supplies excellent ideas and unique methods to help transition to teaching through a screen.

The SHAPE America site offers helpful tips and tools to physical education teachers. Content is regularly updated, so educators can always find something fresh to get kids up and moving during online physical education classes.

Conclusion

Adapting to the challenges presented by the pandemic has posed serious difficulties for physical education providers. Luckily, there is a wide range of resources available to help teachers transition to distance learning.

With all of these fantastic tools and fun online activities, it’s evident that physical education and distance learning are coexisting just fine. Although it’s not the ideal situation, it is better to be safe than sorry and keep students secure at home as the pandemic continues to affect our country. Share the benefits of being active with your students even while remaining out of the classroom using virtual activities from platforms like YouTube or providers such as Skillastics. Students will soon be back in their typical learning environments, but physical education and online classrooms can continue to coexist until then.

CLICK HERE for the Skillastics® COVID Safety Guidelines.

To learn more about social distancing while staying physically active, email mailto:info@skillastics.com or call us today at (888) 842-7746.  For more resources to manage remote physical activity programs, head to www.skillastics.com.

About the Author

Sandy Slade is the CEO & Founder of Skillastics®, the #1 on-site and virtual physical activity resource for groups of children of all sizes.  The on-site programs are designed around Skillatsics Activity Kits.  These Activity kits include an innovative technique of play, executed on an oversize mat, where up to 100 children can play at one time.

The virtual programs provide students with an amazing variety of physical activity experiences that consist of 30 days of content lasting 30-40 minutes a day taught by national experts.

Skillastics® is enjoyed by over 10 million students in more than 25,000 Physical Education and After School settings nationwide.

For more information, email info@skillastics.com or check out www.skillastics.com.

>