Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blog Post #12 - Create Your Own Blog Post Assignment

***Instructions: "Create an assignment for a Blog Post I should have created in your area of speciality (math, history, elementary ed, special ed, whatever). Write the instructions that I should have put here. Then do it."

My area of "specialty" is Physical Education (NOT) Physical Activities.
Survey of PE classes

***My instructions to Project #12
     Instructions: Think very hard and creatively on why and how Physical Education classes and not just Physical Activity classes are important in the school system. You may use any resources you can find. The goal is this: you are in a scenario in which the school system is trying to get rid of "Physical Education" (physical activity) classes and your job is to persuade the school board why they couldn't be any more wrong than they already are. Put together a presentation from any visual aid presentation tool such as:
--Your very own Video with some formatting from iMovie,
--*SlideRocket: A revolutionary new approach to communications designed from the start to help you make great presentations that engage your audience and deliver tangible results.
--*Vuvox: Music video app.
--*Zoho: The online tool for making powerful presentations. Whether you are a professional, a teacher, a student, a businessman, a salesman or anyone looking to put together a cool presentation, you have come to the right place. Zoho Show's pre-built themes, clipart and shapes coupled with features like drag-and-drop makes it an easy application to use.
--Empressr: The rich media presentation tool. Tell your story anyway you like. Add photos, music, video, and audio, and share it publicly or privately in an instant
--OneTrueMedia: We took this one for a try this week – definitely easier to use than Vuvox (but I was also a little dissapointed by some of the limitations in the free version).
--SlideShare: A very popular tool for sharing Powerpoint presentations and more, online, or embed them in your blog or website.
--Glogster: A different way of expressing things, yourself, and viewpoints.
--*Vcasmo: A multimedia presentation solution for personal photo-video slide show, business presentation, training, academic teaching, sales pitching, seminar.
     Before making your decision on what presentation tool to use, I recommend searching through CoolToolsForSchools; try not to use the lame, boring routine PowerPoint Presentation. Then compose an article that goes into depth as to why the school boards is wrong and explain all the benefits you can think of for PE classes. When you run out of ideas search the web again and look for some more reasons to use in your document. This document should be substantative and as professional as possible. Upload your presentation to YouTube and attach the document as the "description" part of the video.
     If done successfully, your paper and presentation should provide inspiration and motivation while captivating the attention of your audience (the school board and others who oppose PE in school) and persuading them to not just void there motion, but to put more resources into the Physical Education department. Be sure to properly credit your sources for any and all of the information you borrow. I want you to be as creative as you can, within proper reason. If you want, you can use green screens, iMovie, or other tools that you have used in EDM310 already.

***My assignment of Project #12 (Note, I have not created my visual presentation yet, this is just the Document).

To the School Board,
     Right now I am a second year student at the University of South Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. During my years in high school and throughout my tenure in college, I have heard time and time again that the School Board has suggested removing Physical Education classes from the Public School System curriculum. I believe it would be wise for both parties to openly express and communicate our thoughts to reach a proper conclusion to this troublesome dilemma.

     My first motion is for us to take a step back, together, and go back to the drawing board. Yes, I think that the curriculum itself, the way it is now, is a main source of the problem we are facing here today. In a class I took at South Alabama, EDM310, I learned what it means to be an educator, and not a teacher. My entire outlook on what it meant to be a teacher was transformed because of this class. Being involved with the school system, in any way, is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Education is not a joking matter, it should be a job that people are proud to be apart of. With that said, we all should be as professional and creative as possible, and in all that we do we should strive to educate students in an understandable manner, encouraging them to be successful in the future.

     I believe the very curriculum itself is flawed. We as educators hold the responsibility of ensuring that our students retain certain knowledge and skills needed for life in the "real world." Math, Science, Social Studies and Literature are all very necessary courses to maintain in high school. In Alabama public high schools, every single student that intends to graduate from high school is required to take and pass certain “graduation exams” for the following categories: Math, Reading, Language, Social Studies and Biology. This kind of bugs me, why isn’t there a “graduation exam” for physical fitness/health? If it's our responsibility to ensure that the kids we pass on know how to think critically and write, then why shouldn't we take on the responsibility of educating our students about the significance of healthy living and proper diet and exercise? Shouldn't we also be teaching our kids how to take care of their bodies as well?

     There are many many reasons why people argue that PE classes are not needed and should not be mandatory; the reasons vary and can and typically do include any and all the excuses a person can come up with to get out of PE class. On the other side of the coin, why should somebody on the chess team be made to play baseball for an hour a day? Why should an uncoordinated adolescent be made to play basketball? Why should an artist, a painter, have to dress out for dodgeball? WHY? I have done some research and found several reasons as to why people want to rid themselves of PE classes, or for a lack of a better word, Physical Activity classes. This article contains points and counterpoints pertaining to several controversial statements.

     Some people may argue that students should have the right to abstain from physical activity. While I fully acknowledge this argument, understand this: statistics show that if kids aren’t encouraged to exercise in their youth they don’t make exercise a practice after childhood and teen years. Individuals have no right to choose to attend school and take the classes the state says they should take. The state doesn’t just impose a curricular compulsion, since physical attendance is forced—there’s nothing unique in principle about enforced PE.

     Other’s may argue that physical education classes aren’t important and not worth their time. My counterpoint to that is this: Physical Education classes are just as important as mathematics and social studies. While physical activity classes may not be the most delicious flavor out there, it would be beneficial to remodel our thoughts behind the design for the PE courses in the school’s curriculum.  The motion is this: For the State School Board to rewrite and submit a standard course curriculum to their schools to follow. Then each school revises said curriculum, with supervision and approval of the school board, in the schools best attempt to most accurately draft each type of students curriculum (Honors Student, College Prep, IB, Advanced Placement, Special Ed; if it’s legal to categorize students like that).

     Kids and parents love the idea of recess and physical education on the elementary level, but most kids and parents disapprove of physical education on the secondary level. Why do you think this is? I have several ideas to explain the exclusion of physical education on the secondary level. When kids our young they are full of energy, and at times it even seems that they will never run out of energy. High school students, on the other hand, are starting to experience puberty and hormones raging out of control. This is a time in students lives when the girls start to worry about what they will wear to school, and guys start worrying about which girl to ask out. They just don’t have as much energy to expel, nor the gumption to get hot and sweaty everyday of high school. That fact helped me to orchestrate a conclusion for the problem: physical education classes don’t have to be physical activity.

     My proposed revisions include: Physical Education as subject category, like English, Math, Science and Social Studies. The Physical Education category shall include all of the following classes: Core: Human Anatomy and Physiology, Concepts of Fitness and 1st Aid, and 1 Physical Activity class. Electives: Drug Education, Diet and Nutrition, Weight Training with Kinesiology (how to put a workout routine together), Personal Health, Basics of Exercise and Weightlifting, and Physical Activity classes.

     As I was doing research, I came across an article that said something like this: “The facts seem to show that physical education is not really helping any. While it remains a requirement, childhood obesity is steadily climbing.” I figured obesity would be an interesting topic to talk about because the way the PE curriculum is set up now does not appear to be working. Even though I am making a motion to expand upon making PE a core education category doesn’t necessarily mean that more people will want to get more active, but at least they will know how to take care of their bodies because they have been taught.

     I know this is a lot to ask of our teachers, but after all, aren’t they supposed to be professional educators and life coaches? This motion is not to make more work for us, but for us to collaborate in an effort to attain a better, more creative, and more efficient education system for our children. When we retire, who’s going to be taking care of us? Will they know how? In closing, I remember that this letter is a letter of proposal. It is intended to spark ideas, create collaboration to reach a mutual goal in fixing a problem. I hope to hear from you soon.
--Travis D. Snyder


  1. I will post my assignment soon. I posted my post to let you know that I have put it together. I will post my assignment when it is done. As I said before, this will take up a good amount of time. Please be patient.

  2. What if someone doing this assignment doesn't believe Physical Education classes are important and therefore they cannot think up any solid reasons to keep it? Their paper and presentation will be weak. There isn't any source of information from which a student doing this assignment can absorb any information on the topic.

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    2. If someone doesn't believe PE is important and therefor can't think of any reasons to keep it, then they would go to the next step I stated in the post: surf the web for answers.

      PE is taken for granted, when it shouldn't be. This project is not busy work, it's actually meant for people with all opinions. Say if someone is a PE Major, they would understand what my point is; people who aren't PE major's might not. The OVERALL GOAL of this assignment is to build awareness for the importance of PE. Let me say that again: THE OVERALL GOAL OF THIS ASSIGNMENT IS TO BUILD AWARENESS FOR THE IMPORTANCE OF PE.
      The sources are everywhere! All one has to do is read. I felt and still kind of feel the same way about this class.

    3. Also, for the people who don't find PE important, this assignment forces them to look at the other side of things.
      I was the same way about this class when it started. I saw absolutely no point for this class. I don't know why, but I just didn't. Over time, and through research and projects and reading, my opinion changed. I still think I probably wont use nearly half the stuff gone over in this class, but the PLN and some other tools I found are pretty interesting. I wouldn't have found them if it weren't for this class. And honestly, I probably would be "an old fashioned" teacher that lectures from the straight from the books. Since the concept of this class is far more complex as compared to the concept of my assignment, it will naturally take much more time to understand.
      It just takes research, critical thinking and application, all of which are in the assignment instructions.

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