The William Penn Journalism II Class - aka "The Journal Squad" Their Perspective on #EdCampPEClass - An 18-Week Curriculum
Davinson Ariza - Student Contributions To #EdCampPEClass
The ‘EdCampPE’ program is based on the premise that the original creators from Oregon University of the ISTE Standards for technology over 40 years ago who wanted to see in education, students taking control of their learning and following their passions while working with peers to achieve a goal. A pioneer in implementing new ideas, Physical Education teacher Ms.Minka brought this concept to William Penn High School. Minka changed her PE Curriculum this year by letting her students select the activities and sports they want to play and by doing that she believed that the participation levels would increase in each class. Minka states, “By giving students choices, and ways to demonstrate their learning I believe that students will continue to participate in, and advocate for, meaningful physical activity.” As a result, more students did participate in the EdCamp and they loved it. Some of them ended up exploring new sports they never thought they would like. There was one student who did a lacrosse unit and he had never even played lacrosse in his life until The EdCamp. That student ended up trying out for the lacrosse team. Minka is bringing this innovative idea to Penn because she wants the students to have a love and passion for being physically active in their future. Minka states, “My ultimate goal is to create an experience for students that is more enjoyable by fostering a lifelong love of being physically active!”
The EdCamp has been so effective that other students want to collaborate in every way they can - great or small. A student recently made a poster for the EdCamp and Ms.Minka loved it and so did her other classes. Minka recalls, “The poster is very beautiful and creative. I loved it! It is also motivating my other classes to participate and have a better understanding of the EdCamp. “It has also inspired other students to help and contribute making this program even better than it already is while influencing other students to help as well.” The student said, “I created this poster because I love art and I also wanted to see this program progress. I also love this class and I wanted to give the students a better idea of what this program stands for and how it can benefit others. I hope other students can understand the message of the poster.”
Our very own Journalism II student, Trish Vo, also made a small contribution to the EdCamp when she designed the EdCamp Logo in her Graphic Design class. Trish didn’t really understand what she was contributing to, but she still gave a couple of suggestions to a friend who was mainly designing the logo. Trish stated, “I just gave a couple suggestions to make it look a bit more creative and eye-catching to other people. I am very happy. Ms.Minka liked the logo and used it for the EdCamp.” The student contributions that are happening in this EdCamp is nothing short of amazing and the love for the program is growing day by day. I hope to keep following the progress and see what exciting heights this program achieves with all the collaboration. It appears as if the possibilities are endless.
Jada Pitts - An Overall Introduction to #EdCampPEClass
Physical Education is a class that every student is required to take. However, the memories of having to climb ropes or trying to perfect your kick may not always leave a smile on your face. PE class was simply difficult for some people, and some have always wished that maybe they could change the way gym works, and their prayers may have been answered. There is a new rising star or model within the PE community. EdCampPE changes the face of PE class in many different and exciting ways. It allows the students to have a gratifying experience, as they volunteer to coach/facilitate a sport or activity of their choosing, while the rest of the class follows through with the sport that they have chosen. If adults have the chance to do any type of physical activity they would like, why can’t the students choose what they would like do? EdCampPE allows the students to experience a wonderful new way of becoming active, to learn a new activity, and to simply have fun in the process.
EdCamp is truly an innovative way to motivate students and many others to become active outside of school and build up their interest in physical education. EdCamp goes well beyond the regular PE class. EdCamp gives students the opportunity to mold their gym class around their interests. If you haven’t tried EdCampPE please do, as it is a great way to “hook” students into leading a happy and healthy lifestyle!
EdCamps are quickly becoming an instant hit in the educational world. It is truly an inspiring creation that many teachers are incorporating into their courses. EDCamp has received amazing reviews and students in Ms. Minka’s classes are loving every second of it. EDCamps help students successfully reach any fitness goal that they may have while providing an enjoyable experience doing activities that they choose to do. EdCampPE class is a win for everybody in the process: the students, teachers, coaches, and even the parents!
Brenden Berg - The Inspiration Behind #EdCampPE Class
“Out With the Old and In With the New”
The Inspiration Behind #EdCampPE Class
As with any generation, the idea of new concepts being created to further advance success has always been a viable option. Many examples, such as the implementation of Schoology (online homework), smartphones, and changing school assignments have become widespread in the current generation. Many ideas have been tweaked to allow for more success in changing times. However, one of the most important and vital institutions has not kept up with the times. Education, which plays a critical role in the growth and development of children has missed the mark. The current generation is still using 20th-century ideas for instruction. However, these outdated methods have proven to be ineffective allowing ideas such as #EdCampPE to be considered a viable option.
Sitting in straight rows, being lectured by teachers, and not being encouraged to express new ideas has been the norm. The days of students being stuck in their own minds and not having a say in the education process are long gone. New standards, such as the ISTE Student Standards are a step in the right direction with making a big part of education effective. ISTE Student Standards encourage the students to be innovative thinkers, communicate effectively, and use technology in an effective way within a physical education class. The current ISTE Students Standards are as follows: Empowered Learner, Digital Citizen, Knowledge Constructor, Innovative Designer, Computational Thinker, Creative Communicator, and Global Collaborator. These innovative standards bring a breath of fresh air to the physical education class by allowing students to be more engaged. Implementation of these standards would provide a new direction for the #EdCampPE program. In today’s workplace, technology and collaboration are required skills in current job industries. Likewise, this is also more important to the current generation as well. Teaching with these ISTE standards will empower and help the current generation to keep pace with the diverse job markets. By the time students are looking into future employment, they will be better prepared with the new skillset the world expects them to possess. Implementing the new standards into physical education will not only be more engaging to the students, but will also allow them to be more active as well.
“You simply need to understand that the world is changing, and, if you don’t change with it, the world will decide that it doesn’t need you anymore,” said Dan Brown, creator of the controversial video entitled An Open Letter to Educators.
This quote couldn’t be any more true. Change needs to happen within the education system. One of the great changes implemented into the physical education system is the concept of “Genius Hour.” This concept allows for 20% student time and 80% instructor time, letting students have more time to engage within each other and their ideas. However, this idea was flipped to give more time for students to explore and discover on their on time. For example,
The educator is allowed 20% of the time. This educator will introduce big ideas and important concepts to get the ball rolling. Keep in mind, this is only 20% of the class, unlike the current education standards where this could take up to 70%-90% of the class time. In turn, 80% of the class time goes towards students participating in activities they enjoy. Combine this with collaborating ideas, student-to-student teaching, and an increased use of technology to engage students and one has a recipe for success. The new way of teaching can range from learning skills, drills, and practices to a final activity to showcase what they have learned (such as a tournament). The student-driven way of teaching will better benefit themselves (as well as others around them) rather than the traditional teacher-led way. This was a great fit for the #EdCampPE program, allowing students to connect and reflect on their learning.
In the end, the students will inevitably win if the new standards are adopted to prepare them for the future. The old days of education are clearly outdated and are not empowering children appropriately for the changing ways of the job markets. In order to be successful in today’s ever-changing world, the concept of education needs to be overhauled. Students need more collaboration, innovation, and technology being utilized in the classroom to prepare them for evolving industries and workplaces. Applying the new way of teaching (EdCamp) in physical education will change habits and prepare the students for a bright future. Currently, William Penn High School is the only school executing these innovative concepts by combining the ISTE Standards with the PE standards, and incorporating other elements from successful models such as Genius Hour. We can only hope that one day, this method of teaching will become the norm and not the exception.
Jaden Reed - A Compilation of Questions In Preparation for our 2018 Greenscreen Project on Touchcast!
Trish Vo - A Shift in Thinking in How We Teach
A Shift in Thinking
While physical education classes play an important role in getting students to get up and move, the 90 minute class sessions held every other school day that William Penn does not provide students enough time to keep them healthy if that is the only physical activity they are getting. Students need to exercise; they should want to do it frequently and enjoy it. The days of using physical activity as punishment are over - no longer should running the mile be a penalty for students to dread, no longer should running suicides be rendered as a punishment. Students need to stop thinking of physical activity as something negative, something to avoid, and start thinking of it as an enjoyable way to get their heart pumping and their blood rushing.
Ms. Minka has changed the way she conducts her physical education classes. Instead of an instructor based teaching-environment, where the teacher leads the students, she has implemented student-led classes where students help each other and learn together, and the teacher will interject when needed.
She has found that letting students motivate students creates a sense of community, an environment that makes students want to move because it’s fun rather than forcing students to exercise for a grade. If students find exercise a fun pastime rather than a task that they have to do for school, it’s more likely that they will exercise at home on their own accord.
Student-led classes also have the benefit of pooling knowledge for a more comprehensive learning experience. Students may have more experience in certain areas or sports than the instructor and be better suited to teach their peers.
“With this new model, teachers stop being the ‘sage on the stage’ and become the ‘guide on the side,’” Minka said. “The room is smarter overall and the class becomes less about what we teach and more about getting the kids hooked on and passionate about sports and movement. Schools shouldn’t be preparing us to be factory workers anymore, we’re creative! Innovation is what the students strive for and will need in the future to be successful.”
Minka’s shift in the way she conducts her classroom has been a passion project of hers. She’s researched teaching methods how other schools have changed and what will motivate students, and she’s been slowly implementing her ‘guide on the side’ mentality to her classrooms. She has been testing what works and which methods need revision. She asks her students what they think of the new gym class procedures and what they think needs to change.
PE teachers who are reflective about their craft, who genuinely want their students to enjoy the sport and improve and have fun, those who want to get through to their student - those are the types of teachers Minka wants to reach out to. Physical education classes should be designed to make students want to move. They should try to get everyone in the class to get involved and participate and improve, and a shift in thinking is the first step towards that goal.
NaTanya Mitchell - Capturing Student Reflecton
#EdCamp PE Student Reflections
#EdCampPE is a creative new model of instruction where the students create their own units made up of activities that they want to do. Based off of results and how students responded to this innovative idea, there has been positive feedback. Some students have been eager to share the excitement about Edcamp. A student that I interviewed told me that he felt that this program helped him with his autism and made him feel normal enough to relate to the “normal” kids in his class.
Peter Ayotte said, “What I like most about #EdCamp PE is to hang out with friends. I like to learn new things, to understand how to work with a group, and to understand how different people talk and learn. I have a hard time getting to know new things about my autism disability. Doing #EdCamp PE has really helped me learn new things and hang out with people who I never thought I would work within a group. It helped me with my disability and made me a better person by helping me to learn new things in school. That is what I like most about #Edcamp PE.”
When I interviewed this student he told me that his only negative opinion was that he would prefer a demonstration of the exercise/ workout first.
I think that overall this program makes all students want to participate more because they are in control of what activities they participate in. Marissa Stambaugh said, “EdCamps PE give us a chance to try new sports for a short period of time. You don’t have to go very deep because chances are the coaches have no idea what they’re doing either, so you get to learn together. We get to be active and it’s not just us running laps.”
Students feel more comfortable in an environment where they are in control. Since students have a say in the activities they participate in, it makes these students want to be more involved. Most of them say it’s more fun because no one wants to be told what to do all the time, especially in school when most of the day you are just taking orders from teachers and administrators. Overall, Ed Camp is an effective program and makes students want to get active.