Site Search
home | naspe forum | submit | pe store | calendar | contact   
  August/September 2014, Volume 16 Number 7


Receive a FREE monthly emailed newsletter from pelinks4u, and an update of the latest pe news.

Enter your email address below, then click 'submit.'

contact us
Phone: 509-963-2384
Fax 509-963-1989  
pelinks4u sponsors











visit sponsors
Speed Stacks
Toledo  PE Supply
Phi Epsilon Kappa

The NEW Physical Education: Promoting Healthy & Active Lifestyles DVD For teacher inservice workshops and professional preparation, $20 ( was $30)


Social Media in PE is No Marshawn Lynch

My local NFL team are Superbowl Champions. Last season the Seattle Seahawks dominated football and no one exposed the team's superiority more than running back Marshawn Lynch. When Marshawn carried the ball and turned on "beast mode" more often than not he was a "game changer." Fire, the printing press, electricity, transistors, and integrated circuits were game changers too. But social media?

In the last issue, I confessed my ignorance about the not-so-new forms of social media that seemingly everyone except me was using. It was time to get a Twitter account and as a few of you know I've since "tweeted" things I felt worth sharing. But I'm still puzzled. How the heck does anyone have time to read these twittering messages that pour on us in an almost continuous daily torrent? And that's just the tweets, not even the information they point to. Apparently, today's millions of Twitter users have huge amounts of free time waiting to be filled. Obviously I have time-management issues to resolve.

The buzz surrounding social media urges us to wonder if it might be a game changer in physical education. At the recent National PE Institute conference, a young physical educator named Joey Feith delivered an impressive keynote presentation. He described an expanding worldwide network of connected PE practitioners. You can watch it here. Joey pointed out some of the remarkable collaborative PE work going on, which above all else leads me to think that our future is in good hands with motivated physical educators like Joey and his colleagues. But despite Joey’s very obvious passion for social media I'm not so sure that technology of any form is really critical to preserving physical education’s public school existence.

If you think about it, (and as John Helion from West Chester University pointed out to me a few years ago), no one graduates as a physical or health education teacher not knowing what "good" teaching looks like. Certainly our skills and aptitudes vary, but all of us have a darn good idea of what and how we should be teaching our students. Do any new teachers really not know what "bad" or "non-teaching" in PE looks like in practice? That’s hard to believe. And yet, fast-forward a few years and we commonly see both new and seasoned physical educators content to continue the lamentable and embarrassing teaching practices responsible for the all-too-common lack of respect the profession endures. How does this happen?

Well it would be hard to argue it's the result of a lack of knowledge about what to teach. After four years of undergraduate training we've all been exposed to a myriad of books, journals, workshops, conferences, and other informational resources (including the one you are now reading!). We've had good teaching demonstrated to us and been required to demonstrate it ourselves. If we didn't know something and wanted the answer, we knew where to find it or who to ask. When we taught badly it wasn't because of inaccessible teaching information or good ideas. Which leads me to question whether it's misguided or naïve to believe that social media today or tomorrow will do much to improve the quality of physical and health education teaching.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting Facebook, Twitter, and yet-to-emerge forms of social media are a waste of time. But presently maybe we need to recognize that in essence they are simply new ways of communicating.  Yes, they can better connect us but why should we believe that they will change our teaching behaviors? Will young, new physical educators or their experienced colleagues teach K-12 programs differently simply because technology better connects them with others? Perhaps, but I remain skeptical. When I see people like Joey and his colleagues striving to be great teachers, I don't see their success due to social media. These young professionals would excel in a blackout. They don't need technology. They already have within them everything they need to succeed.

Steve Jefferies, publisher

Featured pelinks4u Articles
High School Physical Education—Part 1: Going on Offense to Improve Programs and Prevent Program Loss
Chuck Corbin has been involved many times in efforts to defend against reductions in PE programs. He thinks that by the time a program challenge has reached the school board agenda, the battle has already been lost. In this first of a two-part series Chuck describes how the profession can "take the offensive" to avoid program losses.
Fired Up and Ready to Go!
SHAPE Washington President Elect Tracy Krause reflects on his experience at the spring Leadership Development Conference organized by state AHPERDs. He ponders on what it might take to achieve the goal All students in the United States will be physically active and healthy by 2025 and offers his own suggestions.
What Keeps You Coming Back?
What motivates us to prepare every fall to begin a new school year? Why do we keep coming back year after year? Whether you are a rookie just starting out or a "seasoned veteran" who over the years has seen things come and go in education, why do you keep coming back? After 32 years of teaching elementary physical education Tom Winiecki shares his reasons.
Common Core Denominators Challenge PHE Teachers
Ready or not, here it comes! New teacher evaluations, high stakes student assessments, and common core standards have been implemented whether educators are ready or willing. Middle school physical and health education teacher Judy Beard describes the challenges teachers face as they start out the new school year.
Celebrate Student Learning with SPELL!
Assessing student learning is a vital component of the teaching process and can act as a way to celebrate student achievement. Ashleigh Evaniew, Brent Bradford, and Clive Hickson introduce us to SPELL (Student Physical Education Learning Logs), as a way for teachers and students to track learner achievement in PE.
Exercise Program to Increase Mobility for Children with Cerebral Palsy
Phillip Conatser and Ulku Karabulut share a workout program is designed to give physical educators the tools needed to increase mobility, strength, and endurance for children with cerebral palsy (CP).
  • National PE Institute 2014 presenter videos (Jean Blaydes Moize, George Graham, Joey Feith, Guy Le Masurier, Bob Pangrazi, Baker Harrell)
  • SHAPE America's new "Exchange" offers members chance to discuss professional issues on an open forum.
  • No Excuses! A film about quality Physical Education now available free online.
  • Can P.E. Make Kids Smarter? Research
  • Interested in being a candidate for the Board of Directors of SHAPE America? Learn how.
  • School day recess and PE times diminish.
  • Exercise should never be used as punishment. Story
  • Want to know what's happening or need help with advocacy for PE? Check out the SHAPE America Advocacy Center.
  • Put the Physical in Education
  • Thinking About Children's Play.
  • Seventh- and eighth-grade physical education classes teach students how to perform the Heimlich maneuver and student saves life!
  • Report on strategies to reduce bullying.
  • 1, 2, 3 eyes on me! 25 classroom management tips.
  • Washington: Former Seahawks, United Way volunteers help upgrade Federal Way school playground.
  • Massachusetts: Board approves granting PE credit to dance students: MCROTC, band, color guard students already receive PE credits.
  • GOPHER offers "Grant Finder."
  • American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launch "Voices for Healthy Kids" grant program.
  • National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research grants.
  • Healthy Environments.
  • Gopher Grant Finder
  • CATCHing Funding Dollars
  • National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research: Several funding opportunities.
  • Childhood Obesity Rapid Response Funds: Deadline open.
  • PE4life/Speed Stacks Sport Pack Grant Program. Speed Stacks wants to help instructors motivated to offer a full-fledged Sport Stacking program but who lack funding. The Sport Pack Grant Program can equip you with all you need to provide your students with a unique and fun Sport Stacking experience. To apply, go to and download the grant application.
  • SPARK Grant Finder Tool
pelinks4u is a non-profit program of Central Washington University dedicated to promoting active and healthy lifestyles
Copyright © 1999-2014 | pelinks4u   All Rights Reserved