Rethinking the relationship between pedagogy, technology and learning in health and physical education

This paper seeks to address two key questions: 1) how could a pedagogically-driven approach to the use of DigiTech in HPE benefit young people’s learning; and 2) what steps are required to develop new DigiTech pedagogies? The paper is a response to the largely pessimistic views presented in this journal by Gard, Lupton and Williamson about the role of technology in Health and physical Education (HPE). In this paper, we argue that while we need to be aware of the risks, we also need to explore the opportunities for digital technologies (DigiTech) to shape HPE in new and positive ways. Specifically, we argue that a focus on pedagogy is largely missing from earlier discussions. In mapping the evidence base on DigiTech against a three dimensional categorization of pedagogy – in the form of learners and learning, teachers and teaching, and knowledge and context (Armour, 2011) – we are able to demonstrate the value of a pedagogically-informed debate on this topic. The paper concludes by arguing for a ‘profession-wide’ debate to co-construct, trial and evaluate new ways in which we should – and should not – use DigiTech to optimise young people’s learning in HPE.