We met with Heart Zones, Garmin, and Polar…
Maybe 7-8 years ago, the Mound Westonka district began looking at heart rate sensors to help their students evaluate and assess activity objectively. We met with Garmin, Polar, and Heart Zones. In the end, due to the cost, ease of use, and the fact that the heart rate sensors were not worn on the chest, Mound Westonka decided on Heart Zones. After exploring several different options, Mike Wallace and Mound Westonka felt very comfortable sticking with Heart Zones because of their usability and non-invasive heart rate sensors.
“Teaching students how to interpret what they are seeing displayed on the tiles has made teaching heart rate much easier.”
– Mike Wallace High School PE Teacher
From Mike Wallace’s perspective, it was an easy process teaching the kids how to use the tech: getting the Blink off the charger, getting the band on, finding a place on their body that works for them and then getting them back on the charger.
What do you wish other people knew about Heart Zones?
“We are able to get objective data on the students that we can use for daily assessment. The technology allows us to grade participation and take the teacher’s subjectivity out of that equation. Then, as the kids begin to trust the tech, they get start to understand what different levels of exertion feel like and can self monitor outside of school with their own devices.”
What was most challenging for the students at Mound Westonka was learning to TRUST the data and what it was actually telling them.
“I’m working hard but it isn’t showing up on the board…”
“Because we work with students – kids – that have not had a breadth of experience with physically demanding activity, teaching them that they are more capable than they believe is the most challenging thing about using Heart Zones.”
Often the students would express that their hard work was not being reflected in the numbers they saw on the big board until they came to realize that their “hard” work was not as hard as they initially thought.
“Because the students can see what is happening with them in the moment, it is much easier for them to understand how their heart responds to activity.
As they begin to understand their cardiorespiratory response then can match up perceived effort with actual data. They become better at self assessment.”
What trends do you see in Physical Education and incorporating educational technology into your program?
“Heart Zones and the heart rate sensors allows us to have an assessment method for students that is not dependent on the teacher’s interpretation of “effort”. We have eliminated having to defend our perception of activity or effort when used in assessing students.”
“With Heart Zones technology, the kids at Mound Westonka are now able to have instant feedback that helps facilitate learning concepts such as recovery, training zones, etc.”