It’s really exciting to see our team grow, and every new face has so much to contribute to our team and our clients. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Dr. David Daum – he is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at San Jose State University, and also part of the education team at Hiveclass. Dr. Daum has completed extensive research on technology and physical education and his expertise on the topic is beyond impressive. So! Without further ado, it is our pleasure to introduce you to Dr. David Daum!
HIVECLASS: Welcome & thank you for sitting with us to share more about who you are & what you do! What first sparked your interest in becoming a teacher? And specifically in physical education?
DR. DAUM: Thank you for having me. I don’t recall a specific time or moment when I wanted to become a teacher. What I do recall is that when I was l applying for colleges I went through the list of majors and what universities offered in California. The only major that stood out to me was physical education. It made sense to me. I liked being outside, I liked being active, I liked sports, I liked working with people, and I had enjoyed the coaching/teaching/mentoring opportunities I had engaged in Boy Scouts and working at summer camps.
HC: What is something that most people would find interesting or surprising about teaching physical education?
DD: How difficult it is. I think most people don’t realize that teaching physical education well is as difficult if not more challenging than any other subject area. The breadth of knowledge for a wide range of physical activities including rules, strategies, skill progressions, and practice tasks in itself is overwhelming. On top of that a physical education teacher needs to know how the human body works, understand and modify for physical and mental impairments, and be able to teach large classes in a variety of spaces. Teaching physical activity inside a classroom, gym, or outside is all very different! I could go on, but it is a lot! Needless to say, a quality physical educator is a very talented educator.
HC: If you could change one thing about the way physical education is taught in today’s schools…what would it be?
DD: Just one thing? That is tough! Physical educators learn pretty early on that they are viewed differently by administrators, other teachers, parents, and students. The lack of value is a hard pill to swallow. But, to combat that, I believe teachers who are advocates for themselves and the quality work they do can help tremendously. Given that, I think about the resources physical educators have to do their job well. I know how much teachers struggle to find high quality instructional materials and the initial reason I was fascinated with Hiveclass – The quality of the instructional videos is amazing. If every physical educator had access to high quality teaching tools that are easy for them to implement then this will allow them to focus their time and energy on other important aspects of their teaching.
HC: Tell us a little about what motivates you? How do you keep going if you have to work on something that isn’t interesting, or you have to complete a task that you just don’t want to do?
DD: Procrastination! Haha… While I might procrastinate, the truth is not all tasks are fun, engaging, or all that interesting. For me it is about the purpose of that task – why is it worth doing and what is the value added? As I tell my students who are being trained to be teachers – “If you cannot justify the “why” behind what you are doing – then you need to change what you are doing.” So applying that here – I find the “why” and if I can’t then I need to re-think that project or task to ensure that it is meaningful not only to myself but potentially for whomever may end up using that resource.
HC: In your research, what surprised you the most? What are some interesting facts/things that you enjoyed learning about?
DD: Interestingly, it was research into online physical education that drew me into higher education and wanting to do research. Initially, the fact that online physical education existed – that in itself was mind-blowing. In my first studies it was fascinating just finding out more about online physical education to be able to define it – what was being taught, how it was being taught, and who was teaching it. While these questions are important and in some way need to be continually asked – my more recent research and thoughts are around investigating the mechanics of the “how” to teach physical education in an equitable way online that addresses all learning domains. I continue to be fascinated by the concept of online physical education and how to be able to find out how to do it better.
HC: What do you like most about Hiveclass? What still needs to be worked on?
DD: As mentioned above, what drew me in was the high quality videos and thinking about all the ways teachers could use them. As I learned more about the Better PE product and the people behind it – I became more interested because I believe they are wanting to do this for the right reasons, asking the right questions, and have a good team to do it. One of the fun parts has been thinking about exactly that – what needs to be worked on or done better – because there is always room for improvement. Reality is, this is a new product so there is lots of opportunity to think about not only how to do better, but also how to expand the product to be better. We have had lots of conversations about adding new curriculum, different ways of presenting the videos – especially around how to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all learners, how to effectively assess, how to integrate SEL in meaningful ways and much more. From my perspective, and most importantly, the conversations are leading to action with the product being improved on a daily basis.
HC: Why do you think educators should try Hiveclass out in their own classes? What difference will it make to how physical education progresses & evolves?
DD: When we were naming the product and came to “Better PE” the idea that sold me is the concept of “let us help you”. It’s not that the Better PE product is better than you, it’s that the Better PE product can help physical education be better! Physical educators have a hard job to do well and seldom have the resources to do it. Hiveclass and Better PE will help educators do Better PE! Take advantage of the high quality instructional videos (which we all know were difficult to impossible to find during the pandemic), the pre-made assessments, and affective domain prompts. Whether it’s an online, hybrid, or face-to-face physical education program, Better PE can help. I believe the Better PE product can help move physical education from “old school” where technology is non-existent and assessments are difficult to manage and into contemporary education by utilizing educational technologies relevant to education now. I look forward to seeing how educators implement Better PE beyond the many ways we have already conceptualized it being used.