Monday, January 30, 2012

Social Health Games Increasing Physical Fitness

          Research has shown a tremendous growth in the popularity of social gaming over the years. There has been a noticeable connection between social games improving health and fitness as well. Social gaming is known to be a fun and entertaining way to promote exercise and healthier eating habits. Participating in social games is a collective way to challenge friends, family, and co-workers to various fitness tasks, which will spark competition and motivation. Social gaming is an educational way to reach out to people and teach them the valuable lessons of better health.
There are numerous social games that are available to encourage a healthier lifestyle. One game for example, known as Zamzee, is designed to attract kids that will fight against obesity. In this game, kids are given a pocket monitor that senses their physical activity automatically. When the monitor senses their activity, the kids are awarded points for their movements. The kids can choose any type of movement to exhibit such as jogging, dancing, hopping, or biking. The more upbeat and demanding the activity is, the more points that the player will earn. The kids can check their scores by going online to see the amount of points they have earned for the day. Points are broken down by every minute, hour, and day, which allows the kids to see their exact activity level and be aware of what physical activity, is the most beneficial for them. This is a great game for kids to play with their friends, because it stimulates friendly competition and it also engages the students in physical activity. When the kids are outside playing a pickup basketball game in the neighborhood, they can easily log into Zamzee, and compete to see who was the most active for the day or who has the most overall points earned from one game of basketball.
Recently, Xbox has come out with a game that is controller free and entails full body participation. The game, Kinect Sports, is a highly active game which allows participants to practice their kicks, jumps, dance moves, distance sprints, and several other physical movements. Kinect Sports entails physical activity that may strenuous at times; however it is a fun and effective workout. The majority of participants are not even aware they are getting an excellent workout, because they are having a good time competing against friends in a social setting.
Xbox is not the only gaming device that has creative games to enhance physical activity. These days, with phones being incredibly technologically advanced, there are several applications that are available to download onto a smart phone that can help keep track of physical activity as well as promote a healthier and better lifestyle. For example, Nike has their own application that anyone can download, which has several workouts and exercises available on demand. The Nike Plus application provides subscribers with instant exercises, whether it is 15 minute abs or an intense cardiovascular track workout, there is always numerous physical activities to choose from. Not only is there a wide array of workouts that Nike provides, they also track your physical activity and can relay back to you the time it took you to run a mile, or the amount of calories you burned. This application is a very effective and useful device to have. This simple application which anyone can download makes working out easier and more beneficial. With this application, there is no excuse for insufficient workouts or for laziness, because one can even track the amount of steps they take in one day. As physical educators, we all know that 10,000 steps per day is the target goal, which can be controlled and accounted for now with this Nike Plus application.
                According to the article, How Social Health Games Can Make You Trimmer and Fitter, there are several technological advances that society can tremendously benefit from. These social advances make the process of working out much more enjoyable and easier for people of all ages. Social gaming is not just over used versions of video games; they are actually vigorous games that promote and maintain physical activity. For those people who would rather not go outside to run miles around the track, they don’t have too. Now those people can participate in games such as boxing which will increase their heart rate just as much as running around a track would. To the world there is a lot more possibilities and opportunities available to influence physical activity and the technology continues to increase. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Teacher and Student Bill of Rights

 As a teacher, it is important to know your legal rights as well as your responsibilities. Teachers have their own bill of right that states and explains their rights in the school. For one, teachers have the right to be free of discrimination. They cannot be judged or hired based on their race and ethnicity, and their pay/salary must be decided free of discrimination as well. Teachers also have the right to academic freedom, which states that non-obscene and appropriate materials may be used in their own way. They are also given the right to practice freedom of speech. Teachers may practice freedom of speech, as long as it is not intentionally inaccurate, malicious, and disruptive and as long as personal information is not disclosed. This gives teachers the right to teach in their own philosophical way and teach the students a variety of subjects and information. Freedom of association is another right teachers are given, which allows them to be able to join organizations and allow them to get involved. Teachers own personal lifestyle can be as private as they want it too, as long as their behavior does not disrupt the educational process. This is important because it allows teachers to maintain their privacy rather then having to expose themselves to all their students and co-workers.

Students have their own bill of rights as well. They are allows to practice their freedom of speech, as long as they are not disruptive. They also are given the right to freedom of press; however, their words must be nondisruptive, non-obscene, and may not cause any psychological damage. Students are given internet access, though they are restricted to make sure everything is age-appropriate and suitable for school grounds. In the students bill of rights, it states that parents and guardians have the right to review student records. This statement is in order to protect the student and to have control over what their guardian believes is best for them.

It is extremely important to have a bill of rights for teachers and for students. This helps ensure teachers and students exactly what they are allowed to do and what their limitations are. The bill of rights also tells them what they are given rights and access too, which is very beneficial. The bill of rights also protects them and their privacy if necessary. 

Factors Of Philosophy

There are several factors that can make up and influence a philosophy of education. A philosophy is determined based on the aspects and opinions one believes in. The various branches of philosophy include metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, logic, and political philosophy. Each branch is unique in its own way and brings different reason and meaning to philosophy.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that determines what is real. Metaphysics is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world and attempts to answers the questions, “what is there” and “what is it like”. This brings clarity and understanding to philosophy, generating the notion in which people try to understand the world.

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that focuses on what the value is. Ethics is known as a moral philosophy, involving systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of what is right and what is wrong. This branch of philosophy entails moral outcomes, moral propositions, and a way to determine a moral course of action.

Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy that explains what is beauty. Aesthetics deals with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, as well as the creation and appreciation of what beauty is. This branch studies senses and emotional values, and is a critical reflection on art, culture, and nature.

Epistemology is the branch that focuses on how do we know, logic enforces how do we reason, and political philosophy questions how should societies be governed. These branches are all extremely different and contribute their own explanations and reasons to influence a philosophy. They are the basic fundamental structures, which help guide the philosophical beliefs. 

Philosophies Of Education

In the United States, there are several major philosophies built around education. One important philosophy is the idea of essentialism. Essentialism emphasizes on academics and promotes students to master the materials they are taught. Academics are to be rigorous, the students should not taught the best and take the most out of the challenging materials they are learning. Also essentialism believes that the administrators and the teachers should determine the curriculum. Essentialism is reflected in the schools in that there is a high demand for academics to be challenging and demanding. Teachers want to get the most out of their students, that way they reach their potential. In schools, the emphasis should be on academics and the curriculums that are instated should be based upon a wide variety of mastery materials.

Another philosophy in education is the idea of perennialism, which focuses on classic ideas. Perennialism is the idea of developing reason and more qualities amongst the students and the emphasis is on humanities and the great books. In this philosophy the focus is more towards concepts rather than learning and memorizing straight facts. Teachers should set the curriculum is the idea for this philosophy, as well as the emphasis that learning should occur for learning’s sake, rather then being forced. Perennialism is not as controlled and structured as essentialism, however there are several valid points to this philosophy as well. Perennialism is used in schools for students to develop moral qualities and the ability to be reasonable. It is very important for students to have standards and moral qualities, which is why focusing on these ideas will be beneficial to them in everyday life. Learning for learning’s sake is also a great idea, because generally students learn and absorb information that is useless to them. Learning should be done for purpose and to have general knowledge, rather then be forced upon the students.

Although essentialism and perennialism are two very different philosophies, they both have their own visions and reasoning behind their beliefs. There are several philosophies of education in the United States today, besides these two as well. Others include progressivism, existentialism, and constructivism. It is up to the school district, the administrators, and the teachers to decide and embrace their own philosophy in order to successfully educate their students. 

Learning Through Athletics

Athletics seem to have a major impact on students in and out of the classroom. I have always been around sports growing up, and I couldn't imagine my life without athletics. I have learned some of the most important life long lessons through playing sports and each team I have been a part of has been a new experience. Throughout high school I played on the varsity field hockey and lacrosse team. During field hockey season, I had an amazing coach who taught me the importance of working together as a team and being a family. My field hockey coach showed us how embracing each other's strengths and and making up for the other's weaknesses, together we will be the strongest. My lacrosse coach taught me the importance of being a leader but also not being afraid to ask others questions as well. 

The best experience I have had through athletics has certainly been playing here at Cortland on the Women's Lacrosse Team. My coach, Kathy Taylor, has been such an inspiration to me as well as a role model. She has proven to us that she will do whatever it takes and go the distance for us to succeed. In my future as a coach, I hope to be as strong, goal orientated, and have the ability to influence my players as much as she does. Not only have I learned how to be a better and stronger lacrosse player, I have also learned how to be a better person and I have learned essential life long lessons. 

I believe that everyone should have an experience playing athletics. Whether it is in the gym or on a sports team, athletics helps form special relationships that are life changing and essential to experience. 

Cultural Diversity

When teaching culturally diverse learners, it is important to always be fair amongst every student. In order to make sure there every student is treated equally and without judgment, there are several strategies one should keep in mind. The first key tip for nonsexist and nonracist teaching is the key to organization. Keeping the classroom mobile and cooperative is important as well as limiting the segregation. This can occur by integrating the different races in the class amongst everyone, instead of having the students sit in their own groups. Switching up seats after every marking quarter allows for everyone to integrate, communicate, and make friends amongst each other. Specific cultural cues such as eye contact, keeping personal space, and teacher-family relationships are great strategies for appropriate culturally diverse learners. Other strategies include calling on and questioning students one at a time, assigning tasks, and maintaining appropriate disciplines for all.  

Not only have culturally diverse learners experience a hard time in the classroom; however, years before girls and women experienced a hard time as well. Women used to be refrained to the kitchen and home for several years before they commenced striving for an education. Women have had a major educational barrier, which forced them to be stay at home mothers, while the men and boys were out learning and participating in the work force. It is hard to believe now living in today’s time, that it was common and enforced for women to stay at home and tend to the house and children. In today’s time, women are just as successful in business and the work force as some men are. Women are treated differently and given a lot more respect for their hard work.