Technology Take Back

Technology is a mainstay in my class.

This unit I had my students create a game using the underhand volley. The directions were written beneath the assignment and a video was attached to the assignment so the students the lesson was “flipped”. Groups were posted in Google Classroom. I created a rubric using the google add-on Orange Slice. The students downloaded the orange slice student add-on so they could self-assess before handing in the project. I downloaded the teacher Orange Slice add-on so I could assess the project after it was turned in.

The students were to demonstrate the underhand volley and the game on video. They were then asked to pull the video into iMovie, delete the background noise, annotate over the videos explaining the game and the skills, and insert background music. They were then asked to submit the videos.


The students did a great job on the assignment. There was a problem, though. It took an extra class period than I had expected. I had crossed over into technology overload. One class, I completely canned the project and changed the lesson on the spot. This blog is not about how great technology is. It is about recognizing when I have gone too far. When the idea of technology juxtaposes with the reality of utilizing the technology.

My goal was for students to create a game using the underhand volley as well as understand and demonstrate the underhand volley. I took it too far. I fell in love with a finished product that I could show off to my PLN and say look at how great I am at having my students use technology. My students did not get the activity time they need and deserve. Technology did not enhance their learning enough to justify using it in this manner.

I could have had the students demonstrate the underhand volley using nondominant and dominant hand videotaping right into the google drive. They could have shared those videos with me. They would then go right into the game they created. This would maximize moderate to vigorous activity time and minimize time spent on technology.

My next two weeks technology will be on hiatus. I will get back to having my students move more and stand less. Our formative assessments will be done by me. We will get back to basics for a bit while I analyze and reflect how to balance the need to use technology with the need for students to move and practice skills.

Q1. Have you ever gone too far using tech? What did you do? #slowchatpe

Q2. How do you make sure you balance tech & activity time? #slowchatpe

Q3. How much teaching of technology do you do? #slowchatpe

Q4. Merry Christmas!! #slowchatpe

Q5. Merry Christmas!! #slowchatpe







1 thought on “Technology Take Back

  1. andy vasily (@andyvasily)

    Justin, firstly, I think that you wrote an open and honest reflection about your teaching which will benefit other teachers trying to integrate technology into their lessons. From what you describe in the post, I know that you had the very best of intentions for your students. The end product of such an endeavour should be shared with other teachers to show them how technology should be integrated.

    As you experienced, the use of technology can cause multiple snags in our teaching, but you showed the ability to step outside of that tech bubble and evaluate how best to move forward which meant that the learning experiences for your students needed to change. Another indicator of your ability to think on your feet and do what’s best for your students.

    I recently completed writing a chapter in a technology and pedagogy book about physical education. I was approached last year to write about how I was integrating technology in my PE classes. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about. Was it going to be something massively successful or was it going to be a moment in which I greatly struggled. At the time, I was trying to go completely digital with my Sportfolios, so I decided that I would write about that experience. However, going digital was no easy task and, to be honest, I fell flat on my face with the project. There were many things that I never considered when planning to go digital with Sportfolios. I thought that I could pull it off with ease. MAN, was I ever wrong.

    I decided that I was going to write about this experience in the book and that I had completely failed in getting digital sportfolios off the ground. I wanted to write an honest and open reflection about this experience to let other teachers know that there were many things that I failed to take into consideration before trying to launch the digital sportfolio project. In writing about this failure, I had to make myself vulnerable and admit defeat which can be bruising to the ego. However, some valuable learning took place that allowed me to fully understand the implications of going digital with student assessment. By learning from my mistakes first time around, I was putting myself in the position to be more successful the next time I tried to launch digital sportfolios as I had much more knowledge related to the authentic steps needed to be taken to roll out such an initiative. When I looked at my failure from this perspective, I realized that I truly needed to share what had happened and to write about the journey, so that teachers wanting to integrate technology could see that there are many obstacles to overcome that need to be thought about ahead of time. Such a valuable lesson.

    I’m glad I wrote about my failure to integrate tech properly and I am glad you wrote about your experience here in this blog post. As much as we want to blog about and share our successes, it is equally important to write about our struggles, obstacles that stand in our way, and how best to overcome adversity in our teaching.

    Enjoy your holidays Justin.



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