SRU physical and health professor pens technology textbook


hands using a tablet computer

August 4, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Technology in physical and health education is undergoing a period of expansion with course-specific web pages and in-classroom use of tablets quickly becoming the norm.

One of the more passionate advocates for the use of technology in the profession is Joanne Leight, Slippery Rock University professor of physical and health education. She recently released her new book, "Technology for Fitness and Wellness Professionals."

Joanne Leight


According to Leight, the book is a user-friendly handbook that teaches creative technology strategies in the fields of school wellness education and physical activity and fitness management. It builds skills for using widely available technology resources to enhance instruction, assessment, motivation, communication and advocacy in fitness settings.

Whether hiking a mountain trail, camping in a dense forest or paddle boarding on a lake, Leight said mobile devices, activity wristbands and social media technologies are rugged enough to withstand the elements and can be used by teachers, personal trainers and lay groups as educational and marketing tools.

"A lot of our students want to own their own fitness facility or become a personal trainer," Leight said. "Others want to coach a team or do outdoor adventures. They need to have the ability to operate a website, offer a podcast and monitor social media from an aquatic facility or even when they're using a standup paddleboard. They don't want to be locked into an office or behind the computer. In the 21st Century, technology invites us all to be dynamic educators and learners."

Leight's book includes sections on Google Applications, Microsoft software, mobile computing, social media, digital video creation, web 2.0, e-folio, heart rate monitors and technology tools for educators. It's a far cry from the "old days" when technology competence in the classroom meant knowing how to run a film projector.

Assignments help students create a variety of materials, including: brochures, websites, interactive educational games, electronic portfolios and podcasts through step-by-step instructions.

Leight said the handbook reflects the changing technologies available to SRU students.

"The handbook is like a screen shot, capturing relevant technology instruction for health education students and others," she said.

Leight, who joined SRU in 1996 and is a Google Certified Teacher, received her bachelor's degree in physical education from SRU and a doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis and certification in instructional technology from Duquesne University.

She serves on numerous technology-related committees, including time as the technology chair for the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Her book is available at Amazon.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 |