Although I normally write about digital learning’s potential to
transform our education, as a Crossfit enthusiast
myself, I believe in the importance of living a healthy life with physical
the biggest misconceptions about the rise of online learning is that a
student’s schooling will be spent primarily in front of a computer, with a
student clicking away relentlessly as though she were playing eight hours of
video games a day.
couldn’t be further from the truth, however, if the rise of online learning
fulfills its potential and creates a truly student-centric education
system—which should be the ultimate goal.
traveled around the country observing blended-learning schools, the ones I’ve
been most struck by are those that give individual students the proper
flexibility so that they can have the right experience they need when they need
it to boost their success—both in that moment and in life. In the future of
education, digital learning should be the platform that facilitates each
student having a customized learning experience for her distinct learning
needs—whether that experience is online or offline.
Carpe Diem Collegiate Middle
and High School, one of my favorite blended-learning models, has no
physical education class. Instead the school has what might be described as a
fitness center with an on-site trainer who works with each student not on
random mandatory athletic units but instead on a tailored program for how to
live a healthy life. When students are growing antsy at their desks and need to
get some physical exercise to let off some steam and reboot for more learning,
they have the autonomy to go to the gym and work out.
The Silicon Valley Flex Academy,
which has several elements of what I think the future of schooling will look
like, is located across the parking lot from a Crossfit gym. The school has
contemplated a formal partnership with the Crossfit affiliate to offer the
students a Crossfit for Kids program, which, in my
opinion, would be far superior to the gym classes offered at most schools.
My biggest personal surprise in online learning came several years
ago when I learned that one of the more popular classes that the Florida Virtual School offers is online
physical education. I struggled to imagine what this might mean, but what I
ultimately learned is that the class involves a teacher working with each
individual student on her daily fitness routine (from running to lifting to
playing team sports) to realize her fitness goals and live a healthy life.
Recalling my own experience in middle school PE, I could see the immediate
benefits of having this sort of an experience instead of an awkward communal
one that teaches a student virtually nothing about living a healthy life—and
may even discourage that by creating negative associations with physical
just physical exercise that should see a healthier balance with the rise of
digital learning, but lots of activities. Many schools are increasingly using
blended learning to free teachers up to spend more time working with students
in project-based learning. I’ve been struck by how much students collaborate
with each other naturally—often peer tutoring each other—in the
blended-learning schools I’ve visited. Whereas “socialization” often appears to
me to be a negative thing in many schools, in blended-learning schools the
social interactions appear to me to be far healthier and around helping each
student improve. I don’t have hard data on this, but it’s my observation that
this is one of the exciting—and often unintended—effects of using a
end, when many people think about full-time virtual schools, one of their
biggest fears is about students in their younger years. They ask how could
students possibly have a fully online experience when they are so young. What
are the downsides of spending so much time in front of a computer? The answer
is that in the programs of which I’m aware, most of the learning for students
in the younger years is actually offline—with books and manipulatives. The
online learning mostly serves as the platform that helps the student’s family
communicate with the student’s teacher and individualizes the learning, in
addition to providing some exercises and games to build some basic skills.
In an age where the arts, athletics, and other so-called
extracurricular activities are increasingly on the chopping block in public
schools, digital learning ought to change the equation. Various blended-learning models,
for example, should create more flexibility and free up more funds so that
schools can offer an array of experiences, including physical exercise.
to Ratey’s research, that’s something we can’t afford to lose if we’re serious
about boosting student achievement. Student-centric digital learning provides a
means to make sure that it doesn’t fall by the wayside.
US Youth Soccer's 'Street Soccer' Intiative explained below by Sam Snow,Coaching Director,US Youth Soccer
As you know “street soccer” is a session in the National Youth License coaching course. A while back one of the course candidates suggested the idea of a national street soccer (pick-up game) day. I thought it was a great idea. So as a part of Youth Soccer Month we have designated the Wednesday of the week for Fun as Street Soccer Day. That day is September 5th. Youth Soccer Month is September and each week has a different focus; in order they are – Fun, Family, Friendship and Fitness.
The plan for Street Soccer Day is for clubs all across the USA to set up that day at their club as one when players come in to have pick-up games. That set up can be as organized or unorganized as the club desires. The set up could be a Play Day as envisioned by Vince Ganzberg, former Technical Director for Indiana Soccer. Or it could be to simply encourage coaches to step aside at training sessions that day and let the players take charge. However the set up goes at a club, the idea is to give the game back to the players. Part of the thrill for the players is knowing that other players just like them, from Maine to Hawaii, from Florida to Alaska and in every size soccer club are having a game just like theirs.
Just as the idea of Youth Soccer Month has grown with state associations, clubs, high schools, colleges and professional teams the Street Soccer Day idea will grow in time. Imagine the improvement that will be made in youth soccer as the nation uniformly focuses on this day as the kick-off to a player centered soccer year. I know that for this year the notice is short, but please do all that you can to encourage teams in your club to join in the celebration of Street Soccer Day.
To aid in the education process of the value of Street Soccer please utilize the attached file.
Look for more information coming from the US Youth Soccer Communications Department.
UEFA Training Ground takes a closer look at the introductory level of football for children in the Netherlands, known as the minis, in the first of a new three-part series.All video reports via this link
From this article it is shown that as the Italian football team lost to a superior Spanish side in the final of the 2012 European championship last month, the runners-up had at least one valid excuse: over the course of the competition, they travelled nearly 4,200 miles (6,700km) more than their opponents.
seventh edition of the CIES Football Observatory Annual Review is now
available. The 2012 report notably highlights that investing in young players
is more than ever a key success factor.
In all leagues, the average age of
players fielded by champions was lower than that of runner-up teams.
winners are among the ten youngest clubs in their respective league. The
average age of players fielded by the youngest champion, Borussia Dortmund
(24.49), was only half a year greater than that of the youngest club overall, Toulouse
With the exception of Juventus, the highest percentage of minutes
among champions was played by footballers aged between 22 and 26.
No title winners fielded as regularly players under 22 years of age as English and
German runner-ups: Manchester United (25% of minutes) and Bayern
Mexico's Olympic Soccer success was a result of detailed long term planning and critically exposure of young players at Under 17 and Under 20 to International Tournament Football.Indeed mirroring the policy of the Spanish FA.Click here for more details of the Mexican Youth Plan