@RyanSporting aka Ryan Ellis is a physical educator from North Yorkshire, UK.  He is a primary (elementary for the folks in the US) educator who has a passion for all things to do with Physical Education.  He has a great site “The PE Umbrella” with lots of ideas as well as his own podcast, even interviewing me, not so long back! Here is Ryan’s guest post this week

I have taken a screenshot of my Ipad and my phone as both have some very useful apps that I use on a daily basis.

Firstly, I have some of the more obvious ones that are ‘PE focused’ such as coaches eye (I have used this for years although BAM video delay has recently been brought to my attention as a superior alternative).  

Sworkit Kids (IOS / Androidis extremely useful for bodyweight exercises and provided video demonstrations for a range of movements in 30-second intervals.  These exercises can be anywhere from 5 mins to 1 hour in length!  Perfect for any teacher perhaps lacking in confidence/knowledge in this area as it can be streamed onto a big screen.  

Evernote (IOS / Androidis a truly phenomenal tool for planning and keeping records.  It was invaluable to me as a primary school teacher as it enabled me to annotate my plans electronically, attach voice memos and attach pictures on a daily basis, ensuring a comprehensive overview of the units we were progressing through.  It is also great for taking notes and inspirational ideas as it syncs between every device that I have it installed on.

Rather than continue down the path of explaining more PE apps (I’m sure you all know plenty) I thought I would take a different approach.  I am of the firm belief that if you are to take care of/look after/teach anybody in this life, then you should make your own development a priority first (think the whole oxygen mask on a plane analogy).  Coupled with the increasing stress that teachers are been put under I feel many are on course for burnout and feeling the squeeze.  This can’t be good for them or the children they are responsible for delivering an education to.  Therefore, below are some apps that I feel are beneficial for self development and absolute MUST downloads for improving yourself to better serve the children you teach.

Screenshot 2Sleep Cycle (IOS / AndroidI for one was fed up of waking up to my noisy generic alarm from my deep slumber.  Sleep cycle gently eases you awake by sensing your movement patterns and gently waking you up when your sleep is at its lightest.  Game Changer.

Calm or Headspace
 (IOS / AndroidIf you would have told me a year ago that I would be meditating today I would have laughed at you.  However, here we are and I am now using the guided meditation app ‘calm’ on a daily basis.  Along with waking up when I choose and not when I have to, I have found this exercise relaxing as it allows me to control my thoughts and feelings in a way I didn’t know was possible.  I am now living each day as a much happier version of myself without a doubt.

Blinkist (IOS / AndroidThis app is awesome.  If like myself, you enjoy reading non-fiction books (e.g. four hour work week etc) then this will transform your life.  Instead of taking hours reading a book, you can listen to the ‘main learning points’ from thousands of titles in audio format in as little as 15 minutes.  So much value!

Podcasts (IOS / AndroidThe Podcast icon is a statutory icon on all Apple devices today and I encourage you to use it more.  Not only do I produce my own PE podcast ‘The PE Umbrella’, but it seems that more and more PE specific podcasts are now appearing!  The PE Geek podcast, The Teacherpreneur and Voxcast are particular favourites, but there are some real gems when it comes to self development and business.  Check out ‘Death, Glory or Disappointment’ ‘EO Fire with John Lee Dumas’ and ‘The $100 MBA Show’ to get you started.  Listening that really fires you up!