I realize that some in education might believe that more exercise is a gateway to more mischief. Adding movement creates excitement and energy, but that’s the point. We cannot hold up the silent classroom as an ideal; it only reinforces the principles of “sit and get”. At the same time, embracing a few sounds doesn’t mean everything goes. Creating structured opportunities — say, a conga line or a hallway science exhibit — can help encourage movement while minimizing chaos.
The benefits of technology and movement
Overall, research has shown that the benefits of technology-enabled movement outweigh the risks.
Technology alone has many benefits for students. It can increase student engagement, collaboration, creativity, choice, and personalization.
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Researchers, educators, and administrators have also documented the benefits of exercise in the classroom. Exercise affects aspects of learning ranging from focus, motivation, and concentration to engagement, mental health, and behavior. Research shows that exercise can also improve academic performance, particularly in the areas of memory, recall, and math problem solving.
When educators and administrators combine technology with movement, they help break down the walls between physical and digital learning experiences and amplify the benefits of both.
What to use to encourage exercise
There are many creative ways to combine technology and movement in the classroom, and it’s easy to do with the right tools. Here are a few technologies that I’ve found effective.
QR codes are great for adding movement and action to students and are easy to create. Google and Windows offer free code generators, and the QR Code Generator and QR Tiger websites also generate QR codes for free. I’ve used QR codes in presentations to ask questions or survey students, posted them on bulletin boards to provide more information, and used them in high-motion activities like scavenger hunts and escape rooms.
Magnetic tablet cases
When students get up and moving, they often need ways to bring technology with them. Carrying cases and protective covers protect the devices in these cases. In classrooms where students use tablets, a magnetic case makes it easier for them to study away from their desks. The Logitech Rugged Combo 3 securely holds tablets on lockers or a magnetic whiteboard while students engage in activities from their seats.
Interactive games are great ways to add movement to a classroom. I especially like games that focus on small movements because some students will fidget but may not be enthusiastic when they stand or make big gestures. For these students, games involving smaller gestures, such as B. hand movements, effective.
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When students relocate, finding ways to improve the benefits they get from the move can make this approach even more powerful. Using a pen is one way I’ve found to do this. As students get up from their desks to participate in motion-based activities, educators can keep the activities fresh by incorporating drawings or notes with pens. I’ve found that drawing in general is a great kinesthetic opportunity to engage students. I like to incorporate these tech aids into activities like scavenger hunts and educational escape rooms so students can use their own creativity as they move.
The creative combination of technology and movement can result in significant benefits for students, but that doesn’t mean educators need to make dramatic changes right away. Introducing a movement-based activity or two and building on that will make it easier to see the benefits of pairing technology and movement. Introducing these types of activities gradually can help educators maintain the approach for long-term impact.