Lincoln High School physical education instructors, Tom Horner and Mary Mann, will implement the Heart Zones System using 60 heart rate monitors for the 2015-16 school year. The project is made possible by receipt of a Covidien Cares grant awarded to the Lake City Education Foundation in the amount of $5,000 in addition to a $3,000 commitment from the ISD 813 school district.
The Blink Armband Monitors from Heart Zones will be utilized with 7-12th graders who have physical education class this year including Adapted Physical Education and all elective PE Courses. In addition to the 60 heart rate monitors, 6 WASPs were purchased in order to deliver immediate data. WASP is a portable, standalone unit providing a bridge for ANT+ devices to communicate through Wi-Fi to other devices or over the Internet.
Each day, a student entering class will wear the device around their wrist and conduct class activities while instructors observe heart rates provided from the devices to software that is viewed on the instructors’ iPads. When class is held indoors, the tiles of each student’s heart rate will also be projected onto the walls for the students to see. Mann and Horner set daily goals for each lesson regarding where they recommend students to spend most of their time within each heart rate zone. Real data is not only sent to the instructors but also emailed to the students showing the results.
“This is the first time where we are not giving students grades based from our observations, but real data that actually shows the amount of effort put in during the hour,” stated Horner.
The heart rate monitors encourage individualization. If utilized efficiently, the monitors will help determine participation grades by delivering real data that is capable of being sent to students, parents, and instructors after each class.
“While comparing two students during exercise, it is easy to assume the student who is running compared to walking is working harder,” shared Horner. “After implementing heart rate monitors into classes, teachers report that students whom they usually try to encourage working harder are often close to a dangerous heart rate.”
Recognizing the student’s actual exertion is one of the many benefits encountered while implementing heart rate technology into class.
Grading scales for physical education classes are based on three categories- daily observational participation, skill assessment, and written assessment. Daily participation and effort is weighted most heavily and the heart rate monitors will help the instructors and students to obtain an actual understanding of not only their individual heart rate but also steps, calories, distance, and speed.
The concept for the heart rate monitors was sparked by Horner’s attendance at a Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) conference. The Stillwater Middle School physical education teachers made a presentation on their experiences implementing a wearable device program.
“I was amazed by the presentation and excited about the possibility of using the devices in our program at Lincoln,” shares Horner. “Their staff continues to serve as valuable mentors through the start-up process.”
The Lake City Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to a mission of enriching the learning experience for the students of ISD 813. The foundation seeks to fund and partner with projects that leverage a community partnership and demonstrate various opportunities for student engagement, by way of using different information delivery techniques to promote learning while presenting academic challenge. The Foundation also strives to fund projects that echo the school district’s intentions to maximize the benefits of technology while exploring sustainable financial resources. Funding is made possible through individual and corporate donations. To make a charitable gift, please visit our donation page.