Sunday, October 10, 2010

SUNY Cortland PE mini conference...not so mini

For those who attended the SUNY Cortland PE mini conference of 2010 would most likely say it was nothing short of a great experience. Personally, I learned a lot and had a great time doing so. From the keynote speaker to all the different workshops, I was kept not only entertained, but fully enriched with knowledge. After listening to Chris Xaver's very inspirational keynote speech, I headed over to Professor Yang's own workshop titled, Instant Feedback: iDance Exergame Expo and Workshop. I really enjoyed myself at this workshop, with the variety of activities ranging from different dancing video games, to powering your remote control with physical activity. I found these uses for technology to be a really great way to teach and reach across to students, especially the older ones who may have given up on the standard PE class they have been in their whole lives. Technology is also a great way to assess. By using heart rate monitors, like the ones we wore in the session, the teacher can asses the student based on how hard they try, not how well the can lets say dance. I think that is a much better way to test, and helps send a positive message across to the students.
After that first workshop I went to, Bringing Roller Skating Instruction to Your School by M. Ferro. I found it interesting, and I really enjoyed watching the veteran skaters show us all the possibilities and different activities one can do in roller skates. With the roller skates, students have a great way to express themselves and be creative on a physical level. The next session I went to was labeled, Sled Hockey by Lauren Herman. I had so much fun at this workshop. This is a great example of taking a known sport such as Ice Hockey, manipulating the equipment, and there you have got yourself a completely different game. It was fresh and different and I loved it! We even got to get on the ice ourselves and give it a go, and let me say it was not easy at first. But this is something I really feel like kids of all ages will enjoy trying. And the really great thing about this sport is that it is in the paraolympics, so not only is it adaptive friendly, but it can widen the experience of others into an unfamiliar world.
The last workshop I attended was called Stand-up Paddle Boarding. Basically it is like the paddle boarding from the ocean, but modified to be on land, another great example of manipulation, this time on the environment. Taking a physical activity not fit for a phys. ed. class because of its location, and making it easily accessible. I had a blast learning about it, as well as trying it out. It was also great to see so many certified teachers at the lesson who were interested in the sport as well.
All in all this mini conference had a great turn out, making it not so mini after all. It was definitely a big success and I learned a lot. Whether it was the amazing workshops, the great atmosphere, or the low priced sports equipment, I feel like we'll get a lot of returning and new teachers again next year. This was definitely an event to be at.

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