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INTRODUCTION TO THE PHE AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY SURVEY

Ever since the COVID-19 crisis began, the field of education has been faced with a new and surreal situation: an unprecedented number of children, teens and adults are no longer physically attending their schools and universities. More than 2 billion learners in over 180 countries have been, or are still, confined to home. In this context, a team of researchers and practitioners in France and Québec is conducting an international study in order to better understand:

  • the reality of those who teach Physical Education and Health / Physical and Health Education (PHE) as well as how they have been teaching since the pandemic began;
  • how digital technology was used in PHE lessons before the pandemic and how it has been used since in-person classroom teaching has resumed at certain institutions;
  • the role that digital technology has played in educational continuity as part of distance education in the pandemic context;
  • the challenges of making digital technology a part of PHE lessons and teachers’ underlying training needs./li>

Why do we need this kind of international survey?

We live in a time of rapid change when digital technology is shaping how all societies are evolving, exerting a significant impact on every society’s economic, social and cultural dimensions. And the field of education is no exception. In a world where the use of digital technology is expanding daily and where young people are often captivated by its many facets, its place in PHE and in all school subjects has never been the subject of so much reflection. In 2020, especially in the current pandemic context, the new avenues that digital technology is opening up in PHE cannot be disregarded. That’s why this survey aims to identify the uses and challenges associated with digital technology in PHE classes. Thus, our goal is to apply a pragmatic, research-oriented approach to document realistic and sustainable ways of integrating digital technology. This will shed light on the general outlook for making digital technology part of this school subject, but also, more specifically, on the specific context that emerged in March of this year.

This type of project is intended to highlight the range of digital teaching practices being applied as well as the associated limitations, obstacles, concerns, areas requiring vigilance, and even pitfalls.