Search form

How Physical Education Teachers are Bringing Technology to the Gym

When we think about technology and education, most of us picture computers in classrooms. However, as modern technology advances, physical education teachers are finding more and more ways to bring technology to the gym.

Gym classes are the latest to receive a technological upgrade in school. Thanks to various creative ways gym teachers can integrate technology into their physical education courses, it's proving to be a very successful endeavor.

Let's take a look at some of them now.

Video Game Systems

Video games aren't just about sitting in front of the TV with a controller anymore. Teachers can now bring physically demanding games like Dance Dance Revolution or Ring Fit Adventure.

Using the motion controls of the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Switch consoles or the motion detection of the Xbox Kinect can get students up and moving. Students can also engage with songs they love or a colorful adventure.

Other great options to include in gym class are Wii Fit and Just Dance. You can find both games on earlier generation consoles for a relatively affordable price. Even better, both Wii Fit and Xbox offer physical education program packages of these games and devices at a discounted price.

Pedometers and Heart Rate Monitors

Kicking cardiovascular exercises up a notch, pedometers and heart rate monitors offer students and teachers alike in-depth statistics on a student's performance and progress.

While pedometers track step-count, heart rate monitors measure an individual's pulse over the course of physical activity. When combined, these two technologies can help teachers and students better set, track, and reach physical education goals. This may motivate students, as they can see their progress.

Video-Sharing Websites

Although websites like YouTube and Vimeo may appear to be the opposite of gym class, you can still find plenty of physical education aids within the websites' massive libraries.

For example, PE Buddy provides interactive student-focused videos covering topics such as health, fitness, and sports sciences, as well as accessible physical education challenges. Meanwhile, you can find a more teacher-oriented channel with Coach Gelardi, a physical education teacher with more than 15 years of experience. He provides everything from warm-up ideas, PE teaching tips, and more.

Smartphone Applications

Teachers may be endlessly trying to get their students to look away from their phones, but a variety of physical education applications have begun making their way into gym class.

Coach's Eye, for instance, provides athletes a more detailed look at their performance thanks to slow-motion video playback, instantaneous sharing, and offline viewing capability. Sworkit, on the other hand, provides a whole host of exercises and tutorials, with the app's kid-focused content being completely free.

And for gymnastic students seeking to improve their balance, Balance It brings over 60 hand-drawn task cards to help introduce and develop students' individual, paired, and group balance abilities in a series of progressively difficult activities.

Virtual Classrooms

For less physical and more educational means, several virtual classroom platforms are readily available to help students better connect, focus, and interact with PE content from wherever they may be.

While video chat programs like SkypeZoom, or Oovoo help teachers bridge the gap between the classroom and virtual learning, blogging platforms like Edublogs and Kidblog can similarly provide a great virtual classroom experience.

Develoeprs designed both blogging platforms to be both teacher and student-friendly. The blogs allow for integrated media content, use an easily navigable user interface, and include robust tools for collaboration. So, when PE takes students out of the gym, virtual classrooms are an increasingly popular means of organizing and teaching students from just about anywhere.


Although considerably more expensive than other wearable tech, modern smartwatches provide significantly more in-depth health and wellness tracking than, say, a pedometer. Whether it's an Apple Watch, a Samsung Galaxy Watch, or a Fitbit, the smartwatches of today provide a range of benefits to any physical education class. 

From letting students listen to their music as they exercise, to tracking their sleeping hours, to even logging their moods and running distance and speed, the last thing students will want to do on these handy little devices is check the time.

Lesson Plans

Physical education teachers looking for an efficient way to not only outline but share the content of their course with both students and parents in an easily digestible way should look no further than these online lesson plans. 

The Sanford Fit lesson plan includes hundreds of ways to help kids maintain a healthy lifestyle with a range of activities, lessons, videos, and brain breaks. Alternatively, the Shape America lesson plan provides access to activity ideas designed for PE alongside physical activity calendars. The Carone Learning lesson plan offers a more comprehensive package through its accredited Fitness Academy program. 

Lastly, the Gopher Sport lesson plan is perhaps the most popular of these digital resources. The software compiles helpful articles and several weeks' worth of wellness-focused lesson plans for middle school and high school students.


How was that for a glimpse into twenty-first-century gym class? 

As you can see, physical education teachers are bringing technology to the gym in various impactful and innovative ways. There seems to be no end in sight to what technology can do to keep students fit, focused, and their feet moving. Gym teachers can incorporate motion-controlled video games, pedometers and heart rate monitors, instructional videos, handy smartphone apps, interactive virtual classrooms, amazing smartwatches, and accessible lesson plans. 

And so, whether you're a teacher trying to take advantage of new technologies or a student looking to stay active during these increasingly digital times, you can't go wrong by introducing any of these gadgets, resources, and activities into your next gym class. 

Just remember to keep your head up!


Written by Adam Parks

Education World Contributor

Copyright© 2021 Education World