Math versus English, English versus Math. Which school subject would you consider to be more important? This debate has been going on for decades and will likely remind a topic of discussion for many years to come.
Teacher of the Month, Stephen Ford, chooses not to engage in this argument for he knows the importance of his own underrated subject. You might find yourself asking: “What does he teach?” and you would be surprised to discover that he is a Physical Educational teacher at Farmersville Junior High School in Farmersville, CA!
However, Ford isn’t your average PE teacher. He has transformed his PE class by integrating education technology and creating fitness lessons that are data-driven. Ford uses a Prowise interactive flat panel to collect his student’s data and achievements in real-time. Overtime, he noticed that students who were physically fit also had higher average GPAs. Perhaps the most important subject really is PE since it could help predict which students have a higher chance of becoming successful in other subjects. Ford continues the discussion below in an exclusive ELB Education interview.
ELB: “Stephen, is there anything you’d like to add to what’s written above?”
Ford: “You can have a look at my website (www.moverefit.com) where you will be able to learn about the vision of my program as well as for other projects, articles, collected data and other related information.”
ELB: “Could you elaborate on the correlation between physical fitness and success in school?”
Ford: “According to several studies conducted by neuroscientists, there is a neurological change that occurs in the brain when one performs physical exercise. The body and brain work together to construct learning pathways resulting in students experiencing improved academic achievement. My research paired with the Movere Fit program indicates, on average, that athletically fit students have higher GPAs when meeting the fit zone requirements.”
ELB: “You’ve created an app to help students and parents track their fitness performance. Could you tell us a little more about that app?”
Ford: “The data app I have developed (Movere Fit) tracks performance indicators such as GPA, SBAC results, fitness levels, and analyzes them using the app’s assessment scoring system. These performance indicators are retained in the student’s profile page for teachers, administrators, parents or any other professional to review and analyze. The analysis helps determine, whether the students’ performance goals and overall health conditions are being met. It can also help evaluate and rank groups, classes and individuals for a more in-depth analysis. The element of competition within the program encourages top performances as it is used as a tool in determining the fittest groups of students as well as the scholar athletes of the year. The app also automatically calculates student assessment percentages along with a bar graph analysis and produces a detailed summary PE teachers use to submit student grades. In conclusion, this curriculum has proven to increase GPA scores, fitness levels, energy, motivation, confidence and a decrease in body fat.”
ELB: “You have a Prowise interactive flat panel in your fitness lab. Are there different ways to use the device? How does it add value to your class?”
Ford: “The Prowise interactive panel is a must in our fitness lab. It allows me to display the data from the Movere Fit app onto the panel for students to analyze. It also allows the students to work on those projects as they interact with the unique feature of placing the panel in a table position allowing groups to work on it simultaneously. The ProQuiz software feature is a handy tool I use to quiz students to check for comprehension. In addition to these great features, I was very impressed with having the ability to let my students use their own devices while they interact with the panel and the different Prowise tools. Finally, the collaboration feature that Prowise has developed has proven to be very useful as I have taken it upon myself to collect teacher feedback and plan my lessons accordingly.”
ELB: “What do you like the most about Prowise or ELB?”
Ford: “The reason I chose Prowise over its competitors was primarily for their customer service. They always respond to my enquiries in a timely matter. Brent Smith, my Educational Consultant at ELB, has given me access to his cell phone number where I can reach him instantly when in a pinch.”
ELB: “ Thank you for your time! We enjoyed learning about how you integrated Prowise technology into your lesson plans!”
Ford’s Mission Statement- To increase academic and fitness success through physical health training, body composition awareness, data and project-based learning in a technologically equipped fitness laboratory.