"Virtual PE" is successful in Florida

Oct. 29, 2003, midnight | By Katherine Zhang | 20 years, 7 months ago

Students and teachers are pleased with online PE classes

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the USA Today article Virtual PE works out by Scott Brooks

Educators and students in Florida have been pleased with the success of the online physical education classes that were offered to Florida high-school students, according to an article from USA Today.

The course, called Personal Fitness, is a one-semester course worth half a credit and is offered by the Florida Virtual School, which, according to the school's website, "provides free online classes and instruction to all public, private and home school students in Florida."

The idea of "Virtual PE" is not new. Colleges have long been offering online PE classes, according to USA Today, but Florida is the state first to give the opportunity to high-school students. Last year, about 1,600 high-school students enrolled in online PE classes through the Florida Virtual School.

Students in the class maintain contact with their instructors through e-mail, phone or fax. They are expected to work out three or four times a week, read about fitness and nutrition and complete written assignments. Each student must also keep a log of their physical activities with parent signatures and report their progress to their teachers.

According to Jo Wagner, a PE teacher at Florida Virtual School, instructors would know if their students are cheating because students are required to report numbers such as their heart rate after exercising. Wagner said the questions that students answer easily indicate whether they have been doing their work or not.

Most students take the online PE class because they are uncomfortable with traditional PE or because they want to take more classes in school. Christina DePasquale, a senior at Coral Springs High School, took online PE classes over the summer to free up her schedule for other classes, said USA Today.

Judith Young, executive director of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, said that if teachers can convince kids to take responsibility for their health outside of school, they are more likely to continue to do incorporate it into their outside life.

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Katherine Zhang. Katherine Zhang likes French baguettes, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, bookmarks, fresh boxes of rosin, Brad Meltzer novels, and of course, "JAG." In her free time, Katherine enjoys knitting, playing the violin, and reading - especially legal thrillers and books about people in faraway places and long-ago times. … More »

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