Updated: 04/10/2014 02:00

Primary school transforms PE with a bit of technology

Primary school transforms PE with a bit of technology

The latest technologies provide teachers with fresh opportunities to personalise learning to each individual pupil's needs. 

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat says a new level of differentiated learning can be brought about by this. 

At North Vista Primary, physical education lessons are enriched and made more fulfilling for pupils, 

All with the help of a bit of infocomm technology, or ICT. 

Each pupil straps on a heart rate monitor before heading off to exercise. 

Information about their heart rate and level of physical exertion is transmitted to their teacher's iPad, and this information is then projected on a wall during the lesson. 

An information report will also be sent to each pupil's individual account after each exercise session. 

North Vista's Head of Department for PE Alvin Lee says this will help the pupils take ownership of their own fitness. 

"We wanted a platform where the pupils are able to monitor their own health. This is also a very good platform for the teachers themselves to also monitor the pupils. We do have pupils who have special or medical health reasons, this information will be very useful for us, so we can manage their safety during physical activity."

But he added that technology's just a tool the school uses to enhance the PE experience, and there's still a national PE curriculum to follow. 

This view echoes that of Mr Heng's. 

Speaking at an international conference, the Education Minister says technology's not a silver bullet. 

And educators need to stay grounded and be guided by sound values. 

"Technology is the tool but the teacher must be the master. Recent studies indicate that a good technological tool placed in the hands of a skilful teacher can breathe life into lessons, and make lessons come alive. Our teachers must be grounded in strong pedagogy and have the knowledge to use ICT meaningfully and appropriately."

-By Lianne Chia

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