Byron physical education teacher Chad Rolandson displays the heart monitor equipment his students are using this school year.
Photo by David Richards.
By David Richards
Byron Public Schools aims to learn, share, innovate and inspire.
Those words are at the forefront of the district's web site and written along the walls of the high school's multipurpose room.
Byron's administrators, teachers and students have put those words to use through various programs, such as the implementation of iPads for upper grade levels and its flipped classroom model for mathematics.
That innovation is now reaching physical education.
Byron is one of four high schools in Minnesota to be using a specific type of chest band and heart rate monitor that accurately measures how active a student is during a work out based on his or her resting heart rate and by their ideal work out zone.
As the student is taking part in physical education activities, whether it be flag football or ultimate Frisbee, for instance, the teachers can tell whether the student needs to work harder or maintain their effort because the information is relayed instantly to the teacher's iPad.
Each student is assigned a sensor number and then a user name and password that is used for an iPad app specifically for these heart monitors.
Each iPad can display the results of 40 heart monitors at a time, so with two teachers, that more than covers the students in one PE class. Then students can log on after class and see their results. Byron P.E. teacher Chad Rolandson said the results are accurate and immediate.
"I've been doing this for 20 years, and it has really opened my eyes," he said. "Now we know for sure that every one is working hard. This is the best tool to ensure kids are working at their peak levels."
The program is funded partially by a grant and partially by the district.