A Teachers Perspective on Exergames

My name is Joe McCarthy and I teach elementary Physical Education at Meadowview Elementary School in Farmington, Minnesota. Meadowview Elementary School is a K-5 building of almost 700 students located 30 minutes south of Minneapolis. I am on the SHAPE America Central District Leadership Council as well as our state MNAHPERD board. On July 16th, 2014 at the GenYOUth Learning Summit inside the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, I had the pleasure of playing with the TWall provided by Motion Fitness from Chicago, Illinois. Here are my thoughts on the product: First, the agility wall kept me engaged for the entire period. The goal of the game was the tap the flashing lights as soon as you could with the item you are holding. Second, I was standing, moving and engaged. As physical educators, we know the data on how movement affects fitness. However, do we understand the brain science on how movement affects learning and test scores, such as the California study of one million students in grades 5, 7, and 9. Here is what Delaine Eastin Superintendent of Public Instruction California Department of Education (CDE) said after collecting the data.

“This statewide study provides compelling evidence that the physical well-being of students has a direct impact on their ability to achieve academically,” said Eastin. “We now have the proof we’ve been looking for: students achieve best when they are physically fit.

They measured 2.4 million students in Texas in 2009. Here is their powerful data that must be shared with administration, school board, and PTA.

“Significant associations were consistently found between physical fitness and various indicators of academic achievement, specifically:

– Academic Performance (TAKS) – Higher levels of fitness are associated with better academic performance.

– School Attendance – Higher levels of fitness are associated with better school attendance.

– School Incidents – Higher levels of fitness are associated with fewer negative school incidents [including incidents involving drugs, alcohol, violence and truancy].”

Third, it was so much fun! I wanted to play again and again, but the line was too long! The exergaming products from Motion Fitness would be a great addition to any school, YMCA and any organization that works with kids! Ed Kasanders and Parker Johnson with Motion Fitness are awesome guys to work with and are strong advocates for PE and PA!