Simplicity in Action in Your Physical Education Program
By Joe Gooden, Vice President, Heart Zones
One of the questions that we receive from teachers that are interested in implementing heart rate and activity trackers into their program is, “How easy will it be to use Heart Zones Move Solution in my class?” My answer is always the same. When we first started designing Heart Zones Move, we worked very closely with a group of PE teachers with Stillwater Public Schools in Stillwater, MN. One of those veteran teachers was Darrell Salmi, recently awarded Minnesota State Physical Education Teacher of the Year. The very first thing Darrell said was, “whatever you build, it has to be simple, and it can’t take any class time away from teachers”. So, that has been our goal, “simplicity” in creating a solution that any instructor or coach can effectively use no matter their tech savviness.
Starting from the ground up simplicity was foremost. Heart Zones Move was intentionally created as an iOS Apple application, “an app”. Meaning that Heart Zones Move app uses an Apple iPad. Steve Jobs is famous for his quote, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Both iPads and Heart Zones Move are extremely simple to use and are very portable. The prefect combination for PE teachers that have little time and always moving. Heart Zones Move is just as easy to use outdoors as in the gym and no Wi-Fi connection is needed. The Apple iOS operating system is also very stable and has little to no issues. Most fitness applications use this this operating system because of Apple’s reliability.
With the platform, the app and the devices, in place, we next moved to the “ease of use”. Creating participants/students accounts and classes is as easy as copying and pasting the information into a spreadsheet. You probably already have that spreadsheet. It is simple to import the spreadsheet into the Heart Zones Move app on the iPad or into our cloud portal called Heart Zones Connect. If using the Heart Zones Connect portal, data automatically flows hands free into the app. You can setup up as many classes and participants as you wish. Participant profiles are created allowing you to individualize personal data such as the students heart rate zones.
Sensors like heart rate and step trackers are shared among students, too. Sensors are stored in “Shared Sensor Set”. This allows sensors to effortlessly be shared from class to class. When one class ends and the next begins, the exact same sensors automatically transfer over to the next student. The data for each student is saved individually on the iPad and automatically in the Heart Zones Connect portal. Data that is easily accessible for viewing or creating reports. Heart Zones also includes four sets of replacement bands for each sensor that can easily be changed between classes. The cost of replacement bands is low, only $2.50-$3.50 each.
The day-to-day operation of Heart Zones Move is extremely simple and virtually takes no time away from your class. It takes less than 10 seconds out of your class time to start a class activity session. To start a class session, you tap once on the “Classes” menu, tap a second time on the class session name you would like to start, a third quick tap on “Start Session” and simply tap the word “OK” to verify the set of sensors in use. It’s a fast 4 “tap” process! When your students come into class, they put on the sensor that you’ve assigned to them by number, they push one button to turn the sensor on and they’re up and running. Their individual tile appears on a display called the Heart Zones Big Board.
Some teachers even say the app saves them class time by using it to take roll. To take a tour of the Heart Zones Move app, click here.
One of the goals of a Physical Educator is to develop and support an effective physical education program. One of the best ways of accomplishing that goal is to incorporate the use of wearable fitness technology like heart rate and step tracking sensors. By bringing Heart Zones Move app and solution into your program, you can accomplish this goal by providing meaningful data that can be used in setting and achieving goals for everyone in your program, teachers and students. Heart Zones Move makes that amazingly simple. For more information on Heart Zones Move and our solution for online/virtual Physical Education, click here.