Background and Need; Rationale
Physical education is required by all grade levels from elementary to high school, however, not all states have a requirement standard. Elementary schools and high schools require above three-quarters students to take physical education, whereas middle/junior high schools have 72.5% (Shape of the Nation, 2016). This is a significant decrease from 2010, to emphasize, middle schools requirement was 78.4%, elementary schools claimed 84.3%, and finally, high schools demanded 90.2%. California has a requirement of 100 minutes per week of physical education in elementary schools and 200 minutes in middle and high schools. California also requires the school district to assess students fitness level in grades 5th, 7th, and 9th using the FitnessGram.
The FitnessGram began in 1976 and was reestablished in 1995. According to the California of Department of Education, the FitnessGram is a physical fitness test for students to be evaluated on performance of six part in the areas of aerobic capacity, body composition, flexibility, muscular strength and muscular endurance. The main goal of the assessment is to provide understanding and knowledge to students for life-long habits of regular physical activity (California of Department of Education, 2017). To be within the state fitness proficiency, each gender has specific goals, additionally, the goals may increase or stay the same by age level. Some tests require electronic devices to prompt the assessment, and provide quantitative data for students.
Technology has been a huge influence in a student’s lifestyle. This lifestyle has cause a decrease in daily physical activity, which statistically shows 12.5 million (16.9%) students in the United States are obese. Students may spend up to seven hours a day using computers, playing video games, and/or watching television (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2017). In contrast, technology can play a beneficial role in student’s learning and being physically active. For example, pedometer can provide data in student’s step count, music can be use as a motivation for a training program, and video can supply instant feedback to motor learning skills. “Transforming the physical education environment into one that utilizes technology resources, takes planning and an understanding of the technology's capabilities” (Nye & Madison, 2008).