Monday, October 10, 2011

Cortland Mini Conference

Cortland hosted it's 2011 version of the Cortland Mini-Conference on October 7th. This was my first year of attending the conference. To look back on the day, I had a very fun day. I took in a lot of information that I could use when I become a teacher. The keynote speaker was Dr. Sarah Armstrong. She spent time talking about how the brain works, and it's role in physical education. One thing that she talked about was how after children leave high school, only 30% of them stay active throughout their lifetime. That is a very shocking low number. I personally believe that this number should be up to about 60% if not 70%. We wonder why obesity is so high in America, and this is a reason why. 
After the keynote speaker, I went and presided over heads-up on concussions. Dr. Brian Rieger, and Deb Blanchard ran the session. I could have left, and went to another session but I stayed. Having had a concussion in the past, I thought this would be a very interesting session, and related to my own experience with my own concussion. I found out so much information to look for as a coach, but even as a teacher. A teacher can help the coach in deciding if the athlete is ready to return. Also, I found very interesting that even if the doctor said it was alright for the athlete to return to practice, there is another 6 days after they should sit out to make sure they are symptoms free. Another thing I learned at the session is the effects that concussions can have on students. The students can be tired, have poor memory, and be bothered by lights and noise.
After concussions, I went to Prof. Yang's Exergaming lab. This was extremely interesting. It was nice to see how technology was being tied physical education classes. With the activities that they had, it made me wish that they had these kinds of games growing up. One of the most interesting game was the GameBike. You had to pedal a bike machine, and the faster you went, the faster your car went on the TV. This is a great idea because the kids want to always win and come in first, so the only way that it can happen is if they pedal fast. This gives them a nice workout that they might not see at first. 

My final two programs I went to was Games from Australia by Dustin Verga and Jill Walsh, and then I went to Crazy Dances and Movement for those that cannot dance by John Smith. In games by Australia, we learned the basics on rugby. After they made us work in groups, and figure how you can tie the game of rugby into other subjects. For my group, we had science. So we used physics, we talked about how you could talk about the projection of the flight of the ball. It really got me to think, that we can tie pretty much every subject into our physical education activities. I found that the workshop with John Smith was the best one of the day. We told us how you can take songs with any rhythm and make a dance to it. He had a dance that included the students ripping a piece of paper to the beat of a song. I defiantly got some great ideas on some activities that I could use at St. Mary's. Overall I enjoyed the Cortland Mini-Confrence, and it was more enjoyable then what I thought it was going to be. 

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