VIDEO — Port Arthur ISD changing the game with merger of technology, education and P.E.

Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The gym at the Memorial Ninth Grade Center was awash in the glow of a video game Wednesday as a group of coaches tossed balls at a wall in the name of education.

The reason for the excitement was the Lü Interactive Playground system or LU Play.

Elementary school physical education teachers Albert Lott, Brittany Johnson, Joy Guillory, Terrell Clark and Mark Gassen watched a presentation of the interactive educational game as Kenneth Daigre, instructional technology supervisor with the district, walked them through the program.

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Joseph Cupidore with Bluum Technology was on hand to assist.

The program allows students to play and work on core subjects at the same time and can be used for multiple grade levels. One example presented to the group showed two simple math problems with different answers, some wrong and one correct, on the wall. Students then throw a ball and hit the correct answer.

“The first thing that came to me is that this is changing the game for education,” said Terrell Clark, P.E. teacher at Washington Elementary.

With this technology, if a student is falling behind in the classroom, his or her teacher can speak with Clark and he can use the program to help the student.

Joy Guillory, P.E. teacher at DeQueen Elementary School, said students wouldn’t realize they are learning because they are playing. She feels the kids will enjoy the program.

Albert Lott, P.E. teacher at Travis Elementary, called LU Play a game changer.

Port Arthur Independent School District Superintendent Mark Porterie said the systems have arrived and would be installed in all of the district’s eight elementary schools.

The district is set to be the first in Texas to use the Lü Interactive Playground system.

Daigre said with the new system, students are learning basic to advanced content areas without realizing they are learning.

“In efforts to use all the advantages we can to add solutions to solve academic gaps among students, we looked at all we had to increase motivation,” Daigre said. “We know kids love to go to (physical education). They always have. And with this, kids are actually learning.”

Daigre said these courses use higher level thinking skills. Studies show students participating in music and sports have a better of academic success as compared to students that don’t participate in music or sports.