Let's Move in Schools

Please make sure to register your school for the Let's Move in School initiative.  

  • Click the red button that says sign up now or look to the right where it says sign up or log in.
  • Fill out the information and click submit (once this is done,you will receive a confirmation email).
  • When your account is confirmed, you will  need to add your school
    •  then add yourself as a school leader.
  • Click on the link in your confirmation email and sign back in.
  • Complete the inventory, decide on some action steps, make sure you save and continue to dashboard, then submit it. 

If your school is  healthy schools program school, use the same username and password and import the data over.

If you have any questions related to registering and associating with your school, please feel free to contact the help desk or contact Penny Edwards penny.edwards@healthiergeneration.org  or  205 434 4302.

Technology in Physical Education 

I asked Dr. Wendy Cowan at Athens State University to be a guest blogger on technology this week.  Dr. Cowan is my go-to-person when I need advice on using technology in physical education and a great presenter on the 21st Century Classroom.

Have you ever heard a grandparent, or someone older, talk about school back in the "good ol' days"? And heard the tall tale about walking 5 miles to school, barefooted, through the snow, rain, wind and hail, to a one-room school house in the middle of Nowhereville? Whether your grandparent has told you this same story or not, I'm sure you've heard of it being told to children. And while we like to assume that never happened, for some people, it is probably a fairly accurate account of going to school many, many years ago. Fortunately, in the United States, that's not typically the case today.
Schools are no longer isolated one-room buildings in the middle of "Nowhereville". Most schools consist of multi-structure facilities with administrators, counselors, teachers and support staff. And while the students are still traveling to schools, to sit inside classrooms designed for teaching and learning, neither the teaching nor the learning should be confined to the four walls of the classroom! With the abundance of technology today, a teacher's classroom is only limited by the limits he/she places upon it.
We have come a long way since the long, cold walk to school. Today, a "21st century" classroom has the potential to reach students, parents, friends, relatives, peers, etc. for collaboration, teaching and learning 24/7.This is all possible when the Internet is used to expand your classroom and advocate your program. We will use the umbrella term "eMarketing" as a descriptor of this process.

What is eMarketing?

Very simply put, eMarketing or electronic marketing refers to the application of marketing principles and techniques via electronic media and more specifically the Internet.
eMarketing is the process of marketing a brand using the Internet. It includes both direct response marketing and indirect marketing elements and uses a range of technologies to help connect businesses to their customers.
By such a definition, eMarketing encompasses all the activities a business conducts via the worldwide Web with the aim of attracting new business, retaining current business and developing its brand identity.

What does this have to do with education?

Who says we can't or shouldn't apply successful business strategies to the classroom situation? I'm going to take the same text from above and change a few words... see if it makes sense to you.
eMarketing is the process of marketing a brand using the Internet. It includes both direct response marketing and indirect marketing elements and uses a range of technologies to help connect schools and teachers to their students and parents.
By such a definition, eMarketing encompasses all the activities a school or teacher conducts via the worldwide Web with the aim of communicating with students and parents, expanding classroom teaching and learning and advocating for the school and classroom programs.
Now, doesn't that sound like something you should be doing, as a 21st century classroom teacher?

Why is eMarketing important?

When implemented correctly, the return on investment from eMarketing can far exceed that of traditional marketing strategies.
Whether you're a "bricks and mortar" business (school/classroom) or a concern operating purely online, the Internet is a force that cannot be ignored. It can be a means to reach literally millions of people every year. It's at the forefront of a redefinition of the way businesses (schools/teachers) interact with their customers (parents/students).

What is a good e-marketing plan?

A good eMarketing plan for your classroom may begin with the following:
  • Social media in and out of the classroom
  • Advocacy for your program through e-newsletters
  • Program evaluation through online surveys and polls
  • Collaborative tools for organizing and managing

Social Media

You may be wondering, how social media can be used in your classroom – Here are just a few suggestions and best practices that will get you started:
  1. Use social media for teaching and learning - today's Web-savvy students will appreciate your efforts! Check out this list of 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom
  2. Keep your teaching and your personal social media sites SEPARATE
  3. Learn about privacy settings and set yours appropriately
  4. Investigate resources such as HootSuiteSeesmic and Tweetdeck to help you manage your social media sites.
  5. Keep parents informed about field days, parent-teacher conferences and other events

Advocacy for Your Program

As I'm sure you are well aware, the more supportive the parents are of your program, classroom instruction, etc., the greater the chances are that you will receive tenure AND CLASSROOM DONATIONS! And even in the best of times, there is never enough money to do all of the great things that you will want to do.
With that being said, using the Internet to generate advocacy for your program is a step in the right direction. This can be done with NO expense and maximum benefits.
eNewsletters can be used to communicate with parents anything from homework notices to school program dates, to fundraising notices. And this can all be done expense free and sent via email in the blink of an eye and/or posted to your teacher web site.
Great resources for creating eNewletters include:
1.       MailChimp
2.      GroupMail
3.      Mad Mimi
4.      Send Emails

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about classroom curricula, projects, policies and programs, - particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency.

With the wealth of technological advancements, program evaluation is a very easy process that can be completed expense free! There are a variety of surveys and polls available to you absolutely free that will make this process very manageable.
Great resources for program evaluation:
  1. Google Forms
  2. Polldaddy
  3. Poll Everywhere

 Collaborative Tools for Organizing and Managing

Using collaborative tools to organize and manage the daily tasks associated with being a teacher will greatly simplify your life. There are tools available for everything from organizing meetings to collaborating with other physical education instructors to sign-up lists for field day.
Great resources for organizing and managing:
  1. Timebridge
  2. Google Hangouts
  3. Doodle
  4. Symbaloo
  5. Padlet
Long story short – whether you decide to implement one or all of these strategies in your classroom, you are a step closer to creating a 21st century classroom in which you are making class activities, communication and access open and available to all 24/7.