Activity tracking, live heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment for motivation and accountability

App of the Week
Formats: Website and app for iOS devices
By: 
Learning Counsel Staff

Website: polargofit.com

What does it help with?

A new piece of wearable tech for students to help in activity tracking, live heart rate monitoring and fitness assessment. Relatively new for the schoolyard, innovative K-12 schools can use this as a cool new way to promote motivation and accountability among students while bringing documentation and objective assessment to PE programs as well as provide parents with useful information on their children’s activity and ways to improve health and wellness.

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what?

The program is used in core PE curriculum; it can also be used for special needs, after school and extracurricular.

What is the pricing model?

GoFit is a free webservice and App. The cost associated is in the purchase of the hardware. There are grant programs. You can learn how to apply for a grant here.

What makes this tool unique?

Polar GoFit enhances physical education classes with live heart rate using only an iPad and Polar monitors. Fast start and no downloading required is a teacher’s dream. Students and parents have access to their own data on their smart phones.

As a teacher, you can:

  • Easily connect with your students & provide instant feedback on their progress
  • Add personalized training programs which seamlessly syncs to the students’ wrist-worn Polar device for training guidance
  • Motivate and keep students accountable for their workout with detailed information on their heart rate and/or activity data
  • Track & analyze your student’s progress with detailed reports.

A description of the characteristics--how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here?

Polargofit.com is a free web service that communicates with the Polar Gofit app on the teacher’s iPad. The App is used to display live heart rate for up to 60 students. It provides a vast about of live heart rate data in many formats. Student information is imported and sorted on the website, making the App simple and easy to use. Students, parents, and teachers can access the data from any device that has internet. Teachers can input student fitness assessment scores and download activity data from the Polar Active.

Teacher reviews:

Judy LoBianco, Shape America President and Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing Services in South Orange-Maplewood School District

“It represents the physical education of a new generation of children in physical education. Our students have embraced these technologies and have been motivated by their use. The student’s have an observable interest in checking the heart rate display for their progress and adjusting their activity to achieve their target heart rate. In addition, a motivated staff that is interested in learning new ways to teach heart rate and assess effort in their grading. A motivated teacher means a motivated class.”

Jean Drennan Physical education and District PE Resource Teacher at Oxford Middle School in the Blue Valley School district of  Overland Park, Kansas.

“They appreciated it for the same reasons I like it – because they are not compared to anyone else. Students work at a level that is best for them, not the person next to them. They get reports that are easy to read and justify what has been accomplished. The knowledge from fitness assessment data is the power students need to make their own wellness choices.”

Dan Phelps, Assistant Principal – former Physical Education Teacher and PEP Grant Coordinator for Hononegah Community High School in Hononegah, IL.

“I appreciate the real-time feedback for both the students and the teacher. The color-coded training zones makes heart rate education very easy, and student understanding is evident as a result. The ease of looking at past data is great for tracking progress and evaluating curriculum and individual lessons. The Hononegah administration is most pleased with how this technology allows our physical education teachers to direct their instruction to the fitness needs of individual students. It also allows students to self-assess and track their own progress toward their established fitness goals.”

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