When regular sessions of physical activity are integrated into the regular learning day, in the classroom – not just in PE or recess, ExerLearning is taking place. Exerlearning is not meant to replace a quality PE program, rather it enhances the benefits.
Our bodies are very much a part of all our learning. Learning is not an isolated “brain” function. Every nerve and cell is a network contributing to our intelligence and to our learning capability. Exercise triggers the release of BDNF a brain-derived neurotropic factor that enables one neuron to communicate with another. Students who sit for longer than twenty minutes experience a decrease in the flow of BDNF.
Teachers are busy and need a physical activity delivered with little planning, oversight or management. Exergaming is one way students can trigger sharper learning skills. ExerLearning can save teachers time and exergaming delivers ExerLearning without adding additional lesson plans or time burdens.
Crossing the midline integrates brain hemispheres to enable the brain to organize itself. When students perform cross lateral activities via use of many technology/game-delivered activities, blood flow is increased in all parts of the brain making it more alert and energized for stronger, more cohesive learning. Fun- always a motivator, ExerLearning can easily add student-incentive and fun to a learning environment.
How can exergame technology blended with a solid integration process in a classroom setting can increase both physical activity, fitness and academic success? Here are some valuable outcomes beyond physical activity increases:
- Bilateral movement; Opposition; Spatial Awareness; Movement in different levels; Proprioception
- Jumping and Landing; Dynamic balance
- Patterning; Spatial concepts These concepts aid the brain in placing words on a page, reading words from left to right, and writing patterns in sequence.
- Coordination of the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic senses
- Eye tracking for visual-motor control; Development of core muscles to strengthen neural pathways
- Sequencing of complex motor skills These concepts aid the brain in following the flow of words, sequencing patterns in math and reading, solving problems, and sorting information.
- Vestibular Development: Development of inner ear to coordinate of the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic senses
- Spatial Awareness; Body control; Dynamic balance; Locomotor skill development; These concepts aid the brain in putting numbers or letters in sequence, discriminating different sounds, placing letters and words in a page, and writing letters in proper proportion.
- Tracking of a moving object; Eye-hand and eye-foot coordination; Development of visual fields; Cross lateralization
- Sequencing of patterns; These concepts aid the brain in processing thought, organizing thoughts in sequence, discriminating likenesses and differences, discriminating sounds, and advancing to higher level thinking.