Monday, 14 September 2009

Plan for Today September, 14, 2009

1. Make a new blog entry, call it Cooper Test. Now write up (max 100 wds and pics are acceptable) what, where, how and why we conducted the test last week (dont forget to put in a table of norms). You will be able to copy and paste one but make sure you reference it. (10 mins)
2. Make a new blog entry called Reasons for Testing. Copy and paste this question in and then provide an answer by looking up sources on the Web to help you (15 mins)

Question 1

You have just been given the job of coaching a local football team. You explain to the players that you want to carry out some fitness tests with them before the season starts. Some of the players say that doing fitness tests is a ‘waste of time’. In the space below, list and explain 6 reasons that you would might use to convince the players that fitness testing will be beneficial for both you and them.

3. Make a new blog entry called My Sport. Describe your favourite sport and the history of your performance in it ie your position in team, how long you have played, what are the physical demands of the position etc Check out Paul and Ross's blog to see pics of them (10mins)

4. Pat's bit - Definition of fitness and fitness components

5. Cooper Test with level 1 students - half group 11-1.30

6. Screening procedures

Monday, 7 September 2009

This is the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines for terminating a Fitness Test

ACSM Indications For Termination of an Exercise Test > Fitness Testing > Outline

Absolute Indications

Suspicion of a myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction (heart
Onset of moderate-to-severe angina (chest pain)
Drop in systolic blood pressure (SBP) below standing resting pressure or drop in SBP with increasing workload accompanied by signs or symptoms
Signs of poor perfusion (circulation or blood flow), including pallor (pale appearance to the skin), cyanosis (bluish discoloration), or cold and clammy skin
Severe or unusual shortness of breath
CNS (central nervous system) symptoms
e.g., ataxia (failure of muscular coordination), vertigo (An illusion of dizzying movement), visual or gait (pattern of walking or running) problems, confusion)
Serious arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
e.g.: second / third degree AV block, atrial fibrillation with fast ventricular response, increasing premature ventricular contractions or sustained ventricular tachycardia)
Technical inability to monitor the ECG
Patient's request (to stop)

Relative Indications

Any chest pain that is increasing
Physical or verbal manifestations of shortness of breath of severe fatigue
Leg cramps or intermittent claudication Hypertensive response
Pronounced ECG changes from baseline elevation
Exercise-induced bundle branch block that cannot be distinguished from ventricular tachycardia
Less serious arrhythmias such as supraventricular tachycardia

1995 ACSM's "Guidelines for Exercise Testing/Prescription"

Pre-test consent form

Here is an example of the kind of consent form that you should get your athlete to complete before they take part in a Fitness Test (reference at bottom of page)

Fitness Testing Informed Consent

I hereby voluntarily give consent to engage in a fitness test. I understand that the cardiovascular fitness test will involve progressive stages of increasing effort and that at any time I may terminate the test for any reason.

I understand that during some tests I may be encouraged to work at maximum effort and that at any time I may terminate the test for any reason.

I understand there are certain changes which may occur during the exercise test. They include abnormal blood pressure, fainting, disorders of heart beat, and very rare instances of heart attack.

I understand that every effort will be made to minimize problems by preliminary examination and observation during testing.

I understand that I am responsible for monitoring my own condition throughout testing, and should any unusual symptoms occur, I will cease my participation and inform the test administrator of the symptoms. Unusual symptoms include, but are not limited to: chest discomfort, nausea, difficulty in breathing, and joint or muscle injury. Also, in consideration of being allowed to participate in the fitness tests, I agree to assume all risks of such fitness testing, and hereby release and hold harmless Clydebank College and their agents and employees, from any and all health claims, suits, losses, or causes of action for damages, for injury or death, including claims for negligence, arising out of or related to my participation in the fitness assessments. I have read the foregoing carefully and I understand its content. Any questions which may have occurred to me concerning this informed consent have been answered to my satisfaction.

Signature Date

Witness signature Date

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Tom Cruise: Hottie or Fatty? by Dan Mindus

Read this article by Dan Mindus, then ask yourself: What do you think about using Body Mass Index as a way of assessing Body Composition?

Tom Cruise: Hottie or Fatty?

By: Dan Mindus Newspaper: Orange County Register

If Tom Cruise had been accidentally decapitated in the making of the Last Samurai, he would have become one more victim of our "obesity epidemic." Sound strange? Welcome to the politics of fat, where bathroom scales can be tax-deductible, lawyers are lining up to sue anything rumored to contain calories, and the press has fed us a steady diet of hysteria and hyperbole.
The first thing you need to understand is that in our twilight zone of fat hysteria, he is officially obese. That's based on the Body Mass Index (BMI), a measurement that separates us into government-approved, overweight, and obese categories by taking into consideration only our height and weight. A BMI of 30 or more makes you obese, and at 5-7, 201 pounds, Tom Cruise has a BMI of 31.
According to the BMI standard, 61 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. You have probably heard that number. Along with the claim that obesity costs the United States $117 billion a year and kills 300,000 Americans annually, it is one of the three most commonly cited figures associated with our so-called obesity epidemic.
But it's more like an epidemic of bad statistics. All three of these numbers are seriously flawed.
Fatty Cruise is in good company. Thanks to the absurdities of the BMI yardstick, Sylvester Stallone (5-9, 228 pounds, BMI of 34) and Mel Gibson (5-9, 214 pounds, BMI of 32) are also "obese." So was Mark McGwire (6-5, 250 pounds, BMI of 30) the year he hit 70 home runs. And if politics is your thing, you'll be interested to know that the new governor of California (6-2, 257 pounds, BMI of 33) is obese, too.
Here's how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains these counterintuitive results: "Overweight may or may not be due to increases in body fat. It may also be due to an increase in lean muscle."
It's not just full-blown obesity that has been bungled by numerical hocus-pocus. 39 million Americans went to sleep one night in 1998 at a government-approved weight, and woke up "overweight" the next morning, thanks to a change in the government's definition. That group includes presently "overweight" (BMI greater than or equal to 25) movie stars like Will Smith (6-2, 210 pounds, BMI of 27) and Pierce Brosnan (6-2, 211 pounds, BMI of 27). Michael Jordan (6-6, 216 pounds, BMI of 25) and Cal Ripken Jr. (6-4, 220 pounds, BMI of 27) were also "overweight" at the height of their athletic powers. And so is our ultra-fit President Bush (6-0, 194 pounds, BMI of 26). Moreover, the standard that we abandoned in 1998 had the virtue of distinguishing between men and women--something we now do not even attempt to do.
So what does Tom Cruise's imaginary swordplay mishap have to do with obesity? Chalk it up to more bad statistics. The regularly recycled factoid that excess weight causes 300,000 deaths a year bizarrely assumes that if you die while overweight, you die because of that excess weight. As insane as it sounds, if Cruise were to kick the bucket for any reason, his death would count toward the mythical 300,000 total.
The respected New England Journal of Medicine knows this is bogus. It maintains that the 300,000 figure "is by no means well established. Not only is it derived from weak or incomplete data, but it is also called into question by the methodologic difficulties of determining which of the many factors contribute to premature death."
Nevertheless, this statistic finds its way into nearly every discussion of obesity--as does the spurious claim that obesity costs Americans $117 billion per year. The source of this figure: a single study published by the journal Obesity Research in 1998.
This study had serious limitations, as the authors themselves admitted. They acknowledged that their methodology resulted in the "double-counting of costs" which "would inflate the cost estimate." There's also this stunning admission: "We are still uncertain about the actual amount of health utilization associated with overweight and obesity. Height and weight are not included in many of the primary data sources."
But even if they had good data to work with and somehow controlled for the double (and even triple) counting of costs, these researchers still would have reached a unrealistic conclusion. Why? They used the wrong definition of obesity.
A BMI of 30 or more makes you obese, but the authors of this study for some reason decided to set the threshold at "BMI greater than or equal to 29." Thus they erroneously included the economic cost of individuals with a BMI between 29 and 30. A small error? Not at all. That covers more than ten million Americans, including Bruce Willis (6-0, 211 pounds, BMI of 29), Brendan Fraser (6-3, 234 lbs, BMI of 29), and George Clooney (5-11, 211 pounds, BMI of 29).
$117 billion cost. 300,000 deaths. 61 percent overweight or obese. All wrong. Unfortunately, these bad statistics are the shaky ground on which a growing number of activist groups seek to build their nutritional utopias.
The primary cheerleaders of inflated obesity figures are the self-described "food cops" at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, who advocate "sin" taxes on foods they don't want you to eat. An animal rights group called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine uses the bad stats to force a vegetarian diet down our collective throats. And then there's the American Obesity Association, which aggressively promotes these concocted numbers in its quest to have obesity classified as a disease for the financial gain of its pharmaceutical industry clients.
Common sense tells you that obesity is no more a disease than couch-potato-itis; that replacing milk and chicken with tofu won't magically shed the pounds; and that Tom Cruise isn't fat. But obesity fears and inflated statistics have tipped the scales against sound judgment.
Hey HN1. I am Pat Shearer. I qualified as a teacher in 1990. Before that I worked as a shop assistant, barman, waiter, labourer and a croupier. My favourite sports are football, skiing and surfing. This is a picture of me, some family and friends and Mr Wayne Rooney who plays football for Manchester United Football Club.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Technology in your context

Student's perceptions. This term either means comment on 'all students' or comment on the perceptions of a few individuals. In my opinion, commenting on perceptions of students is difficult. However, in my context I can comment on a range of perceptions/reactions that I have experienced since using email as the main mode of communication with students.

Students complete course survery and participate in focus group meetings. Such activities can produce robust data relating to their perceptions on the quality of their courses. We have been using email as the main mode of communication with students for over a year - feedback so far has been very good. Students enjoy the convenience of being able to communicate with staff at their own convenience. They can send work, ask questions, inform of absences, and get noticeboard information through their email accounts.

I am aware that at the present time all of us at the college -teachers and students - are in a transitional phase. Moving slowly away from traditional teaching/learning delivery methods towards something new but not yet identified. There is no doubt in my mind that this can only be a positive move towards a better place. Why? Because when the ability to communicate becomes easier then the ability to reach an agreed teaching/learning outcome becomes much easier too. We, at the college, are way behind many of our counterpart colleges but things are moving quickly. Soon our VLE will be used by students and staff alike.

Outlook was adopted by our college several years ago. At that time staff communicated with each other and students using traditional methods ie noticeboards, handouts, phone calls, letters etc. At first many staff said that emailing would never 'catch on'. It's funny to think back to those days. No one looked at computer screens in our dept then. Today, its the first thing that staff switch on and if you walk into our office at any time you would see a host of faces peeled to their screens.

The new technology does not embody the assumptions about the nature of teaching and learning in HE. On the contrary, it is slowly dismantling them and the 'traditionalists' in my area are very concerned. Why? Essentially because, communication is becoming more and more informal and information is becoming more readily accessible. This means that there are fewer and fewer secrets. It also means an even greater demand for teacher accountability.

On the 'flip-side', more efficient communication, has meant that students/learners cannot avoid their responsibilities by saying things like, 'I didn't get that message' or 'I couldnt contact you to tell you that I couldnt attend' etc.

Friday, 8 May 2009

How much more complicated can it be?

I'm not quite sure what the purpose of a blog really is but I do know that, even though other people can read it, I know that its a place where I can express myself without too much concern about what other people think. I used a blog once during 'Innovations in e-learning' - it ended up a bit of a rant. I enjoyed it though. Like dancing as if no one was watching.

I've worked in a College of Further Education for the past 14 years - and in a Secondary school for 6 years before that. I have read some stuff in my time and have never given up in the quest to discover the learning and teaching 'Holy Grail' ie what are the secrets that would make me the perfect teacher. Then I would be able to sit back and relax.

Sometimes - when younger teachers or people outwith education ask me questions about what teaching and learning is - I fall into the trap of actually trying to explain it to them. After a couple of minutes of preaching I stop myself abruptly, as if I had just caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror wearing a silly hat. I say to them: "How the hell do I know. You know just as much as me."

I have found myself doing the same thing during the first 2 blocks of this course. Both blocks of study contained some excellent literature. Richardson's compilation/ of research has perhaps been the most interesting so far. I find myself engaging completely with the debate. However, it does strike me that this is actually a never-ending-debate and that everyone is correct. Vast numbers of paradigms, constructs, systems, research and literature. All with value and virtue but all just bringing us back to the same point: no two learners learn the same way and no two teachers think the same way about teaching. Even more disconscerting to those seeking the Grail is that no two teaching and learning situations are ever same.

As a learner I have experienced all 5 learner conceptions listed and as a teacher I have also experienced all 5 teacher conceptions. True, I have a rough idea of what the outcomes of most learning and teaching situations will be, and I am a good judge of which type of teaching approach may suit a particular group of learners but in most cases its nothing more complicated than being a good listener, putting the learner first and doing everything in your power to get the learner to where they want to be.