Early in my teaching career, I had the opportunity to use heart rate monitors in my PE class. I knew very little about these devices, but I was excited about the opportunity I had to implement these heart rate measuring tools into my program. Not long after starting to use them, my feeling of excitement started to fade. I discovered many challenges that ultimately ended the use of this technology in my classroom. Putting on chest straps, limited time, hard-to-read data, and students not being able to instantly see the results of their performance pushed me away from using heart rate monitors altogether.
A few years ago I was reintroduced to the new and improved version of HR monitors and had a change of heart. I realized how much heart rate technology had evolved since my initial experience. I am now a huge fan of using this technology in Physical Education.
The new and improved heart rate monitors don’t require a chest strap (huge bonus). The wristband design makes them easier to wear. The design and durability make them reliable when using. The technology and easy-to-use software make assessing student effort more efficient and valid. With all these great features, the best feature is the ability to provide instant feedback for the user by showing them their heart rate in real time.
I highly recommend using HR monitors in your Physical Education classes because they are easy to use. You simply wear the wrist band device like a watch, slightly above the wrist. That’s it!
They are very reliable. The sensors embedded within this heart rate monitor sync with the user’s heart rate. Once synced, heart rate data collected from this device wirelessly transmits to a hub in realtime. Data collected by the hub can be viewed on the device’s app.
My favourite feature with the HR monitors is the ability to view every student’s performance at once. The app can be projected in the gym allowing teachers to see each student’s heart rate in real time, and more importantly, students can see this too.
Heart rate monitors are the most valid way a teacher can measure effort and exercise intensity with students. This takes away the guessing game of determining whether or not your students are actually exerting themselves in class. As teachers, our perception of student effort has many flaws. We can look at a student and easily misjudge how hard a student is working. Heart rate monitors eliminate that perception and judgment.