Physical education moves online with remote learning

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Enzo Carvalho

Students use at-home materials to participate in activities while attending class via Zoom, now that PE classes are online.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and Carlmont’s decision to begin the school year in distance learning, the physical education (PE) department was forced to find creative ways to maintain their classes in an online setting. 

Despite the lack of physical interaction between students and teachers, PE at Carlmont developed a game plan for distance learning during the pandemic.

Many of the teachers had to rewrite lesson plans and create new ideas to engage the students.

“We had to rewrite the tests, we had to rewrite the study guides, we had to figure out a way for kids to be accounted for,” said David Heck, the head of the PE department.

Carlmont initially closed on Mar. 13 when the COVID-19 outbreak first hit, and teachers had little to no time to prepare for remote learning.

This year, teachers attended training and had time to prepare to teach more effectively with online tools. 

With over a thousand PE students and only five teachers and limited class periods, the department faced an unprecedented challenge: how to track student’s physical activity. They were able to find a solution called FitLife, an app that allows teachers to see the student’s workouts and progress over time.

“[The FitLife app] didn’t have many users… I said we can get 600 kids on this right now, and their eyes lit up, so it was a match made in heaven,” Heck said.

However, FitLife is not the only tool that PE teachers rely on; Carlmont classes use Zoom, the video conferencing software, that teachers use to meet their students online.

“The engagement when we are in class is good, and the teacher normally has conversations with us… We do yoga some days, running and push-ups, sit-ups, and other physical activities,” said Nathan Chan, a freshman.

The dance PE class has also found a solution, using resources like YouTube to learn choreography and technique.

“Next week, we are experimenting with Zoom to see if we can do some type of performance for the spring show,” said Ruhi Koppula, a sophomore in the dance program.

The pandemic’s future is still unknown, and only time will tell when it will be safe for students to return to school or how much longer students will have to learn remotely.

“I think we’re hitting a groove, I think we’re hitting a stride, we’re getting into a routine and everybody’s been great,” Heck said.

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