Mobile apps that support physical activities and the potential of these applications in physical education at school
Keywords:mobile app, mobile technology, physical activity, education, physical education
The current trend in using digital technology to support physical activity (PA) is unstoppable at that time. The growing number of mobile device users maximises the possibility of the better utilisation of these devices for the support of physical activities. The objective of this paper is to create an insight into the use of mobile technologies in the physical education process and to establish the underlying considerations of their use. In the paper we generally discuss the utilisation of digital technologies in education and we focus in more detail on physical education as a subject and we examine the potential of mobile apps designed to support PA. A sub-objective is to define the possible risks associated with the use of these technologies. The paper also includes a survey research directed at a target group. The survey research focuses on the current status of how mobile technologies have spread over and how they are used in PE classes and the realisation of PA. Having studied literary resources we pursue the fundamental description of the technologies used in mobile apps, as well as the availability, functions and basic categorisation of these mobile apps. In the practical part of the paper we publish the initial results of our research plan, the introductory part of which we effected using survey research directed at a target group, that being primary and secondary school teachers and students from selected regions in the Czech Republic. The results of our work confirm the current tendency to use mobile technologies in connection with the realisation of physical activities. The high level of mobile devices used by the target group and the practical experience associated with the use of mobile apps to support PA indicate the potential for introducing mobile apps in lessons. Nonetheless, there are currently no appropriate recommendations, such as peer-reviewed application databases, that can be used in the physical education process. Mobile apps are a relatively new tool for interventions associated with health and physical activity and few academic works have been published in both Czech and foreign literature in regards to the impacts of mobile app use in this field. Where physical education classes are concerned, mobile apps represent low-cost and broadly used tools that need to be subjected to further expert investigation, mainly in relation to the enormous number of these mobile apps and the possible risks associated with their use.
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