P.E. Goes Virtual

By: Jill Chandler Email
By: Jill Chandler Email

Tallahassee, Florida --

No more dressing for gym and hurrying to shower. Physical Education classes are now being offered virtually.

More than 13 million children in the United States are obese or overweight. With Virtual P.E. children have more options for how they would like to work out, but is online the answer? The question is being hotly debated from both sides.

Everyone knows what an average P.E. class looks like, but now imagine a Virtual P.E, equipped with Captain Cardio to lead you through the lesson.

Leon County Schools say adding virtual P.E. is all about giving kids choices.

Jane Selman is a Florida Virtual School P.E. teacher. She said the courses offer different options. She added, "Aerobic videos, and dance videos, or dance class or martial arts class."

In virtual P.E., students measure their body mass index and keep journals while their parents supervise and chat with the instructor.

Selman said, "I just had a student last week tell me she's lost 17 pounds since she started the course."

But traditional P.E. teachers said with childhood obesity on the rise, kids need more supervision for physical activity.

Laurie Cox is the Elementary P.E. Coordinator for Leon County Schools. She said, "We work on skills, we work on a lot of fitness concepts, and we're teaching kids how to interact with each other which is a big part of getting along in life as well."

While there's accountability in both forms of P.E., those involved in real life P.E. say they wonder if parents are just signing off on their online courses.

Cox said, "I've heard that from numerous students that have taken it ... from several parents that said. 'yeah, I just signed off on it."

First graders we spoke to say if given the option, they know which one they would choose.

Bryce Long said, "Doing it here."

"Because it's just more fun," said Colby Helms.

Boone Hosey agreed with his friends. He said, "Here at school... "why"... because it's more funner than online."

P.E. is mandatory for students to take in K -12 grades. In high school, the students have to take a P.E. to graduate, but with everything else, students find ways to get out of it , or have their parents sign off on it.

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