Take a Physical Education class from your iPod

Physical education has made its way to the internet, and now you can be a part of it this summer.

Skyline College has created a new online P.E class this semester which requires an iPod Nano or an iPod touch with the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, or a Nike Sportband. The Nike application and sport band are all the devices necessary to take this course. They track your stride length, workout distances, pace, and calories burned. You then upload your info to the Nike website, which is also a social network where you may become friends with other participants as well as being able to see your own data.

An iPhone is strictly banned from the class due to the Nike + GPS application that it contains. This app is problematic because the GPS will track you, and you can upload your workout based on your GPS. It makes it easier to fake your exercise being able to upload your data to the website from your iPhone.

Kevin Corsiglia, the professor of Fitness 680SG: Interactive Cardiovascular Training has created the first online P.E class ever at Skyline College which combines physical activity and online participation. However, this is not the only online P.E class that you can take towards your AA degree; there are others that don’t require any physical activity at all. Fitness 680SG has become a very popular course this semester with 92 students currently enrolled.

Despite the iPhone being forbidden, with new technology changing, Corsiglia was inspired to create this new P.E class online.

“New technology is coming up,” said Corsiglia. “I wanted to help with an AA degree, as well as to open P.E to a wider audience. Another huge problem in this country is the need for cardiovascular fitness.”

A few years ago, the cost of this course may have been a problem. However, since many people have iPods these days, Corsiglia wondered why an online P.E course couldn’t be possible.

The Nike + iPod app is used to track your data. All you need to do is register and submit your data online at the Nike + Running website.

If you already have an iPod touch or iPod Nano, it would cost you roughly $30 to buy the Nike Sport Kit that tracks your physical activity.

The Nike Sportband is an option for those without an iPod. It comes with a sensor, and costs $50. It contains a bracelet and a sensor that connects to your shoe.

Professor Chip Chandler, a fitness instructor at Skyline College disagrees with the online P.E format, but believes it is a wonderful thing for students to always be physically active in any way they can.

“Ideally, students should take physical education face to face because the interaction with students is very important, they learn more when the teacher can correct,” said Chandler. “But the online at least offers the opportunity for students that live far away, for students to get back feedback online can be wonderful, and I am delighted that some students can benefit.”

Beverly McGuire is an example of someone who probably otherwise wouldn’t be involved in physical education if it weren’t for the online class. Currently, she is a very active participant in Fitness 680SG.

“What do I enjoy most about the class? I guess it’s that it keeps me from goofing off on those inevitable lazy days, and seeing the miles add up online is really motivating,” said McGuire. “Plus there are the intrinsic motivators of feeling physically invigorated and generally health, and hopefully looking better.”

The course is also designed to build a sense of community with online participation forums every other week. Three hours of physical activity is required per week, as well as online participation forums that make up your grade.

“I think the forum participation does help build a sense of community in the class, and Kevin encourages that,” said McGuire. “I think that these days, everyone is so used to interacting online that it doesn’t feel impersonal the way it used to.”