DPA and Digital Literacy

Daily Physical Activity (DPA) has become a routine in our district.  For 15-20 minutes a day, students are encouraged to do something active — it can be as simple as a walk around the school ground, or as complex as a classroom designed game — but usually it is another task for the teacher to develop some short and fun tasks.

One class, I was group teaching, became creative with the DPA assignment.  Students were divided into groups of 3-4, given a tablet, and assigned the task of designing a 15minute DPA routine.  When the questions came, the task was vague, “get your fellow students to move around for 15 minutes, anything goes, but remember the students will be at their desks and won’t have much room to move.”  The students had several periods to research, evaluate, design, contribute, revise and remix their DPA video.

All the videos were then uploaded to a YouTube channel and the link was e-mailed to fellow teachers.  The students were creative with their delivery of the task — some filming themselves, some using animation graphics, some using movie Martial Arts footage.  The classrooms used the DPA videos throughout the winter as a “Brain Break” and a couple of the video performers became “famous” in their circles for the exercise moves they could perform.  For the energetic attention seekers, they had their platform for performance.  For the quiet, shy type, they could “hide” behind graphics or animation.


  • #   aober on 09.24.16 at 9:34 pm     Reply

    Hi Delano,

    What a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing it. I would definitely use this activity with my students. I appreciate the creativity in planning it and also in the creative freedom that it provides students, especially by giving “vague” instructions.

    It reminds me of a school that I taught at that would do Tai Chi for 15-20 minutes in the morning either in the gym or outside. Three students would lead the exercise at the front, facing their peers and teachers in lines in front of them. There were a few times that we had some technical issues, mainly when the sound system wasn’t working and we would do the exercise in silence. Your posting has me thinking that those students could create a video of their Tai Chi that teachers could use within their classrooms when there was a technical glitch and also as a brain break in class!

    • #   dducheck on 09.27.16 at 11:46 am     Reply

      That’s the most promising aspect of the new web based society — the amount and rate of ideas getting combined and re-combined makes for a new and better “product” over and over. I’m sure a teacher will take their own spin on the idea and make something even better. It’s quite exciting if not daunting.

  • #   aprohoroff on 09.25.16 at 11:58 pm     Reply

    What a great idea for using technology in an active setting. I’ll have to pass this idea along to those looking for ideas with DPA. I think that making the task so vague was key to the various results you observed. Another excellent benefit I see from this is you’re getting the students to do the work or creating DPA activities… what a time saver! I can just imagine the collection of activities you’ll have if you keep going with this year after year and if other teacher join in on the idea. And of course, there’s the benefit of the students doing something that they enjoy because they themselves created it.


    • #   dducheck on 09.27.16 at 11:41 am     Reply

      I wish I could take credit for the idea, but teachers way smarter than me thought it up.
      I read your bio and I think we’re similar in backgrounds and reasons for taking the course. Look forward to commenting on your posts.

  • #   Keith on 10.09.16 at 11:22 am     Reply

    Hi Delano,

    I like how this project combined digital research with digital production. The fact that it is an authentic assignment – with the results being used in their own school must make it a great motivator.

    Do you think you’ll get a chance to run it next year? Is this the sort of thing some students might be anticipating getting their own chance at?


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