When Dave Bach first turned to a tech powered PE solution, it was out of immediate need. Like many schools across the country, Quincy High School in Michigan had to deal with virtual and hybrid learning demands during Covid. But when Quincy High School went back to normal, long-time PE teacher Dave Bach decided to keep technology as an integral part of the physical education experience.
As a result, Quincy’s weightlifting elective classes navigate personalized workouts, have supplemental learning resources with a single click, and gain valuable insights into progress and improvement.
Quincy’s Weightlifting PE Elective
As more states and school districts change physical education graduation requirements, PE becomes a choice or elective after 9th grade. For example, schools like Quincy High School have a 9th-grade PE requirement and offer elective-based PE for 10th-12th graders.
Because of this shift, PE teachers like Dave Bach have to consider what elective classes should consist of,
“When PE becomes a class students can sign up for in 10th-12th grade, we want to be sure that it is interesting and engaging so that they actually take the elective.”
One popular PE elective offered at Quincy High School is a weightlifting-focused class. With three sections of a weightlifting elective, Dave sees a wide range of students who come to class looking to expand their fitness and strength training knowledge.
Tech Powered PE – Personalized Weightlifting Experience
Because Quincy’s weightlifting classes have students with a wide range of experiences in the weight room, Dave wants to ensure every student gets a personalized experience,
“We have 10th-grade very beginner-level students and seniors who are student-athletes looking for a challenge….all in one class. So we want to make sure each student has a positive experience, so we personalize through technology to achieve that.”
To personalize, Dave has adopted a tech powered PE approach by utilizing Ipads and PLT4M. After warming up as a group, students log in to PLT4M on the Ipads to see individualized workouts and weights for different barbell and dumbbell movements.
Dave says that the tech transformation has led to a positive experience for students,
“When we first started out, we let students use their phones. And while that worked well, we took the next step by adding Ipads. Better yet, we didn’t need one for every student because they can share and work together while still getting a personalized workout.”
The Power of Instructional Videos
While personalized weights and workouts have been a staple of the tech powered PE elective, Dave believes the instructional videos have been one of the most significant advantages of going digital,
“Every single exercise has an instructional video, and it makes a huge difference with form and technique for students. I teach and demonstrate, but when every exercise has a video right there in the workout, students can take learning to the next level.”
Outside of just using the videos during weightlifting, because the class meets five times a week, Dave takes a day out of the weight room to introduce students to different types of fitness via videos,
“This semester, we introduced the students to yoga. At first, some students were a little unsure of trying yoga, but they like the different workout style and are really embracing it.”
Tech Powered PE Leads To More Insights
Because students are accessing workouts and lessons via technology, Dave can also gain insights into students’ progress. As a recent semester wrapped up, Dave was curious to see just how much progress his students had made. With a click of a button, Dave ran a report for his weightlifting elective classes that highlighted students’ progress across a whole slate of different metrics,
“There are students who have improved anywhere from 5% to 65% across the different exercises we track.”
Through PLT4M’s reports, Dave could see how much his group and individual students had improved. This data provides a powerful tool for providing feedback and insights to students.
Teacher & Technology Working Together
Technology in physical education is still a relatively new concept. As a result, concerns arise around student distractions, ease of use, and technology replacing teachers.
But Dave Bach, now in his 31st year of teaching, sees technology as a supplemental tool that can only enhance the PE experience,
“My biggest goal is for students to learn good movement and technique. With technology in the class, I can spend more time focusing on students who need hands-on attention. And I can pair my instruction with helpful resources loaded right into the app and workouts.”
In addition, Dave has seen students embrace technology and what it has done for their overall learning,
“There is something powerful about students seeing their progress and being proud of their accomplishments. It has made for a lot of great classroom conversations about what they are capable of.”
As Quincy High School continues to pursue a tech powered PE program, they are excited to implement and introduce PLT4M and technology into middle school and 9th-grade PE.
Check out more images from inside Quincy High Schools tech power PE elective!