I was recently invited to see a demonstration of our fitness center at Wildwood. Wildwood works with children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism. Our physical education staff always go above and beyond to ensure our students have opportunities that promote healthy living and lifestyles. One of our PE teachers, Ryan, takes this to a new level.
Ryan wanted to create an environment that is accessible to all, especially those that may not be able to access community fitness opportunities. He created a fitness center…but not just any fitness center…this one is 21st- century focused, and uses QR codes as its central theme.
QR codes are not new to education. They are used in a diversity of ways. In fact, several of our classrooms use them to promote activities of daily living and to teach routines thru video modeling. The technology is pretty much the same but how you can use it is what makes it special, and Ryan does just that.
Each workout station has a QR code to scan with the iPad. The QR codes are color-coded and correspond to different exercises on each piece of equipment. When an individual scans the code, they are brought to a demonstration video of the exercise so that they can perform it safely and independently. And that independence piece is the key.
Ryan has taken existing technology and transformed a space, creating an accessible environment for all. This is what 21st century teaching and learning is all about. He has also created a model that would be easy for other schools to implement or vary to meet their needs.
As individuals work through the stations, they learn how to safely exercise, work with each other, and set a foundation for a life rooted in healthy practices. Most importantly, they can do this independently!
Thank you Ryan for making this available to our students, and making it a model for other schools to implement too. It shows how one idea can really change lives.
Mark Giufre (deTechtive1) 2013