West Des Moines schools are teaching students how to take charge of their fitness and activity levels through heart-rate monitors.
WEST DES MOINES, IA. — A program introduced in West Des Moines schools this year aims to engage students during physical education classes by putting heart-rate-detection technology and tools to monitor their activity levels in — or more specifically on — their own hands. Each student from fourth grade through high school has been introduced to the Spirit System.
The program centers around a wristband device students pick up when they get to their P.E. class. When worn the device calculates heart rate changes during various physical activities and educates students on which fitness activities optimize cardiovascular endurance, stamina, flexibility, speed, core strength, power, coordination and self-confidence, according to a district news release.
On Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, IHT released its newest tool to further personalize physical education for every student: the IHT Spirit Mobile App.
The new mobile app, available as a free download through the Google Play and iOS App stores, enables users to take part in physical education classes and workouts connected to the IHT Spirit System® outside of the traditional school day and classroom. By controlling their adidas Zone for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitors on their mobile phones, students connect back to classroom workouts or track workouts they design themselves.
IHT worked closely with adidas to develop a mobile app that takes the monitors beyond the classroom. A growing number of students fulfill their physical education requirement outside of the traditional classroom setting. More than 55 percent of U.S. school systems offer students the opportunity to take physical education as part of a virtual learning program.Read More
Developed in conjunction with adidas, the free IHT Spirit Mobile App enables users to connect with the IHT Spirit System® outside of the traditional school confines. Through the new app, students participating in distance learning or remote physical education classroom settings maintain the crucial connection to coaching from their teacher or trainer while completing assignments and activities on their own schedule. IHT Spirit Mobile App users begin and end exercise sessions with the adidas ZONE for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitor from their phones.Read More
AUSTIN, TX, Aug. 7, 2017 – Interactive Health Technologies (IHT), an Austin-based company transforming physical education through the use of technology, proudly welcomes Bob Knipe to the team.
Knipe joins IHT’s customer success team, where he will work with teachers, schools and school districts to help students learn skills to manage their health and fitness throughout their lives. IHT’s Spirit System® uses heart rate monitors and customizable assessment software to help teach students about the importance of exercising at an elevated heart rate.
“We’re happy to have another well-respected teacher who is passionate about physical education join our team and look forward to seeing him work with teachers across the country to implement heart rate-based training,” said IHT President Jen Ohlson.
For the last eight years, Knipe served as the lead physical education instructor at the University of Texas Elementary School in Austin, where he developed and implemented a curriculum that utilized technology. As he learned about integrating heart rate study into his lessons, he became an IHT customer, implementing the Spirit System and progressing along with the company as it developed a wrist-based heart rate monitor specifically for physical education: the adidas Zone for IHT Spirit.
“I’m excited to serve the current and future Spirit System districts and teachers in their efforts to empower students with the knowledge, habits, skills and desire to live a healthy and active lifestyle now and for a lifetime,” Knipe said.
Knipe is a member and regular contributor to the SHAPE America website with a blog about physical education. As part of IHT’s Customer Success Team, Knipe will work closely with teachers and schools in the southeast region of the country.
IHT’s Spirit System® is an integrated web-based heart rate and assessment system that connects students with daily fitness and academic outcomes from K-12th grade. Students are empowered to self-manage their well-being through heart rate monitors worn in PE classes. The Spirit System curriculum and email feedback provides teachers and parents the tools to support students. By moving away from the “one size fits all” approach to physical education and assessment, IHT individualizes the process, creating greater autonomy and personal responsibility while validating the importance of daily physical activity within the school day. Visit www.ihtusa.com for more information.
Submitted by PE teacher David Kober, the two-minute video featured students describing how the health and physical education school is improving each year. Students walk through school describing the healthy choices they learn to make every day and how their ability to take ownership of their health and fitness would be enhanced with the addition of IHT’s technology.
Kober’s class wins a set of 28 adidas ZONE for IHT Spirit heart rate monitors, a three-year license to operate IHT’s Spirit Assessment Measures software, and an adidas-IHT Power Package that includes IHT’s Spirit Curriculum, student journal and training. The grand prize package is valued at $12,000.
“Our challenge this year focused on ways teachers are proving how they are transforming the lives of students,” said IHT President Jen Ohlson. “Every video submitted demonstrated the value of data-based health and physical education. To see in video after video students explaining why they benefit from heart rate data and how they are motivated to work hard and own their health inspired not only our judges but everyone who took time to view the videos.”
In 2015, IHT partnered with adidas to develop the first wearable designed specifically for health and physical education. The adidas ZONE puts students in touch with their heart rate data both during a class session and immediately after with a report delivered by email. Worn on the wrist, the ZONE delivers heart rate data with the accuracy of hospital chest strap heart rate monitors.
“We’re thrilled to be working with IHT to support PE teachers in their efforts to empower students to get and stay active,” said adidas Director of Partnerships Kim Scheffler. “Judging from the video submissions, especially the winning entry from Dr. Katie Harper Wright Elementary, it’s clear there are some exemplary teachers and students worthy of recognition who are ‘proving their program’ every day.”
The Spirit Video Challenge drew nearly 50,000 viewers and voters. Videos were judged on a combination of quality (70 percent), originality and creativity (20 percent) and vote total (10 percent).
Other winning videos include second-place Silvia School (Terry Mahjoory) in Fall River, Mass.; third place Maury River Middle School (Vicki Black) in Lexington, Va., and fourth place Anderson Elementary (Lynell Addis) in Frisco, Texas. The video from Silvia School received the most votes, followed closely by Anderson. Each of the top four winning videos received prizes from IHT and adidas. Runner-up prizes included the IHT Spirit Assessment Measures software, IHT’s Spirit Curriculum and an adidas/IHT power package that includes apparel and more.
Deb Funke at Rose Hill Middle School, Rose Hill, Kan., won the raffle for a $200 adidas Smart Ball. Videos that showcased adidas products automatically qualified for a raffle.