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 IHT Zone wrist heart rate monitors on their mobile phones, students connect back to classroom workouts or track workouts they design themselves.
IHT worked 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.
Students can make up missed PE classes, extend the classroom to home, or opt for a virtual PE class to allow themselves more time during the school day to focus on other classes. IHT’s new mobile app allows students to participate fully in a PE class while doing it outside of the traditional confines of the school building.
“When we look at factors that have increased human performance over time, the key factors revolve around learning how to do things better, putting those lessons into practice, and getting feedback,” said IHT co-founder and CEO Ben Bentzin. “Feedback from an experienced coach – in the world of physical education, the teacher or trainer – reinforces to students what they need to do to keep improving.”
The IHT Spirit Mobile App benefits students who take PE in the traditional classroom setting as well. Teachers can assign active homework or extra credit for students to complete away from school or allow students who may not have met that day’s goal for minutes of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity. They’d simply need their IHT Zone monitor and the app to complete the assignment when it best fits into their schedule.
By allowing students to use the Zone monitors with the App away from campus, teachers will know when the assignment is complete when they see the student’s activity inside the class Spirit System accounts.
IHT’s mission remains to help teachers empower students to own their physical fitness well beyond their school years. Pairing easily understandable heart rate monitors with teachers to explain the data and help develop healthy habits is the start of that process. Enabling students to maintain that personal connection to their fitness by using their mobile phones is the next crucial step along that journey.
IHT believes that physical education is a vital tool to helping students improve not only their fitness but their academic performance as well. Many studies have proven the direct relationship between physical fitness and academic performance. Examples include:
- Shih-Chun Kao’s study on the impact of muscular fitness on cognitive performance
- Learning Readiness PE’s program provides data showing students increasing literacy and math results when attending class immediately after PE
- Action Based Learning’s report outlining benefits of quality physical education
With the IHT Spirit System®, teachers load lessons and goals into their Spirit System groups, and students can access those groups, run workouts, receive reports and journal just as they would in class. From the convenience of their phone, students can access lesson materials and review the activity’s main objectives.
The model also works for families who Homeschool their children. Most states require that students educated inside the home take part in a certified curriculum and many of those include physical education components. Families interested in heart rate training can utilize the IHT Spirit System® in the same way traditional schools can.
IHT Spirit Mobile App + Personal IHT ZONE monitors
Key to the process is the student’s possession of their own Zone monitor. Schools can elect to provide each student taking PE remotely with a Zone HRM out of their class inventory or require the student to purchase one on their own through IHT’s online portal – shop.ihtusa.com. The necessary starter elements include:
- IHT ZONE heart rate monitor;
- personal IHT ZONE individual charger;
- access to the IHT Spirit Zone Heart Rate Software.
With the Zone, students can select their activity and start and stop workouts through the IHT Spirit Mobile App while retaining all of the functionality the Spirit System provides:
- a connection with their class;
- emailed heart rate reports immediately following the workout;
- the ability to make journal entries about the workout.
Through easy engagement, students start their exercise with instruction and motivation and end it with a social and emotional query, journaling and progress tracking throughout the year as they develop habits to transform their fitness life.
More information on the IHT Spirit Mobile App, including links to download from the Apple and Google Play stores, can be found at www.ihtusa.com/mobile-app. The IHT Zone heart rate monitor and other Spirit System components, including a kit for personal student use, can be purchased at shop.ihtusa.com.