North Carolina is introducing a pilot program to let high schoolers take PE from home.
There's no "i" in "team," but there is in "iPad." (stock photo)
When I was in high school, I hated gym. Being forced to compete, the teacher shouting at me to "hustle," changing in the locker room with the other boys… it was a daily nightmare. I was a chubby, unathletic kid way out of my element. But if I had been able to take gym at home, using a computer, I would have been much, much happier. And at least twice as chubby.
North Carolina's Virtual Public School, a service that lets kids in the state take courses not offered by their local school system, is testing a revolutionary idea: virtual gym. In case you're imaging someone wearing a VR headset and doing jumping jacks, don't worry. It's not nearly that cool. According to the press release, here's how it will work:
“Teachers will provide video demonstration of a physical activity or sport, then students will practice those skills and build their own video portfolios to document their progress and display mastery."
Finally, a non-creepy reason for teenagers to film themselves exercising and send it to an adult. It seems like this system would work well for exercises, but not so much for team sports. Have you ever played basketball by correspondence? It takes forever.
If you're wondering why the state would want to do this, that's an excellent question. It could be used by students who need to catch up on credits, or for “pre-professional athletes with rigorous athletic training demands that require an alternate academic schedule." Oh, now I get it. They're just doing this to be able to micromanage the development of future North Carolina college sports stars. I knew there was an ulterior motive.