Home Health and PE teacher encourages virtual learning

Health and PE teacher encourages virtual learning

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

barbara maclam
Barbara Maclam

While the last year has been difficult during a pandemic, some positive lessons were learned.

In the face of adversity, humans adapted to an online world, and access to an online world was never more important than in local schools.

“Where I teach, we had to come up with some lessons that could be used in a computer lab because our students have limited access to technology,” said Barbara Maclam of Staunton.

Maclam, a Health and Physical Education teacher at the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents in Staunton, was one of the presenters Saturday morning in “Virtual HPE.”

Maclam said that Health, Physical Education, Dance & Sport professionals from around the world presented Saturday.

Her presentation, titled “Creating an Asynchronous Health and Physical Education Lesson Using Google Slides, Google Docs and Google Classroom,” included information about her background and how her background influenced the creation of a virtual lesson for Health & PE.

Learning ways to use Google, according to Maclam, is important, as well as how to use tools provided by Google.

She said when creating a virtual lesson, she always begins with a Standard of Learning.

“I’d like people to see that virtual PE [and other virtual classes] are a legitimate learning tool. It’s more than exercising, it’s following SOL,” Maclam said.

Virtual learning can be used to “enhance what’s going on in the classroom,” she added.

Maclam said that she thinks after the COVID-19 pandemic is over, some form of virtual learning will remain as a resource for students and teachers.

So Maclam takes an SOL and determines how it could be taught virtually to students.

For Health and PE, her focus is anatomy.

“I’m a very strong believer in cross-curricular activities,” she said, because when children learn by doing it helps them retain information. “Math and Science are pretty easy to incorporate into physical education.”

Maclam said she also likes to teach students stress management techniques such as tips for relaxation, techniques they can use in their daily lives.

“So that it’s meaningful and authentic,” Maclam said.

To view Maclam’s presentation, click here.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.