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Gym Class Without the Gym? With Technology, It's Catching On

A student adjusts her fitness tracker at the park where she does her jogging workouts for her "online PE" class.

For students whose tests and textbooks have migrated to screens, technology as gym equipment may have been only a matter of time.

Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Wearable fitness trackers are helping make online physical education more popular for students by adding the dimension of accountability.

Elizabeth Edwards at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia said students are asked to wear Fitbits while performing activities of their choice, and can adjust the activity provided the exercise raises their heart rate.

Instructors guide activities by setting goals like fat burn, cardio, or peak, using the trackers as monitors in conjunction with weekly 60-minute to 90-minute classroom sessions.

Illinois' Joliet Township High School employs fitness trackers in a blended learning conditioning program in which enrollees work out two to three times a week in the gym with an instructor, and other days on their own. The Fitbits monitor how well students are working out when not in the classroom.

From Associated Press
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