Carlos Galvez, PE Teacher, Shekou International School

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a drone in PE class?! This seems to be the case if you are a student in one of Carlos Galvez’s classes. Carlos is a Physical Education teacher located in Shenzhen, China that is truly taking his profession to new heights. With over 15 years of teaching experience, it was time for Carlos to move out of the classroom and into the sky. This is our interview with Carlos Galvez about how he is using drone video footage to provide a better view into learning and education.


What has been the path to this point in your career?

To be honest, I was 19 and made the choice to work before going to college. Being Guatemalan and speaking fluent English meant I could get a job teaching ESL quickly. I went and took a language test, passed it and was on my way.  What I didn’t know was how quickly teaching was going to change my life.  I found a passion for it right away and also met my then wife-to-be about two months in. After moving to Italy to teach with my wife, we took an opportunity here in China.  I’ve always been into sports and fitness.  Being an avid tennis player, I explored the field of Physical Education and decided it would be my next move. I completed my degree and have loved my subject choice ever since!

What does your instruction process look like? 

It really depends on the skill I’m trying to build. I use a different approach for my 6th graders than I do for the upper grades because they are coming from an elementary school program where movement is key focus. I try to give students a balance of gameplay and skill development. With my upper grades I take a more specific approach to skill development. I add tactics and lots of reflection and analysis.  In Physical Education, I never find myself teaching a sport but rather skills which can be to applied to many activities. I expect my students to transfer skills from one sport to the next. For example, I expect forward throwing motions to transfer from dodgeball to baseball to Cricket despite the fact that balls vary in size and weight.

How exactly are you using Coach’s Eye?

I started using Coach’s Eye to do motion analysis. More specifically, throwing, kicking, and basic movement. Some of my colleagues were also using it to analyze swimming strokes. The interface is very user friendly for both myself and my students. Here at Shekou International School, we have a great team of innovation coaches who have helped not only teachers but our students become very tech literate. In fact, I don’t quite remember having to teach my students how to use the app. They are very curious themselves and are able to figure it out easily.


How has your use of video progressed over time?

Before Coach’s Eye, I used to just use normal videos and sometimes annotated over them with iMovie. We had iPads but having someone film meant less active time. So video analysis in general was not happening very often. Since then, our team has purchased GoPros which students wear as part of their gear. These devices paired with the drone, take care of gathering the footage thus allowing students to maximize their active time. My PE team members at SIS, Mark Knudsen and Meaghan Wilson, both take advantage of this approach and it has enhanced our curriculum considerably. I recently used Coach’s Eye to analyze my students’ bowling motion during our Cricket unit. I took footage from a professional bowler, then had some of the students do the same movement to analyze it. This was just a reflection piece so they didn’t turn in any videos. I’ve used Coach’s Eye now for four years and haven’t needed anything else.

What made you want to try out drones in your class?

I’ve always loved high angle replays in sports such as in American Football where you can see plays develop slowly. So when a friend of mine told me he had bought a DJI Phantom, I definitely saw the opportunity. Thanks to the help from our Innovation Team at Shekou International School, I was able to sit down with Martin Ruthaivilavan and Mark McElroy beforehand to plan how we wanted to fly the drone to get the best angles and more importantly to make it fit seamlessly into my class.

How do students interact with the videos?

I establish the parameters of the assessment and the understandings that I’m looking for in their videos. The most valuable part of Coach’s Eye is that once my students have the footage and my expectations they can go off and do it independently. Students love to see themselves from new angles. Making these assessments with students this year has not only helped them see things from a different perspective (pun intended) but has also shown that our PE team is trying to maximize the effectiveness of technology to increase their understandings. Parents are highly impressed when they see these videos during student-led conferences. They like to see their children show they’re learning in this way.

What has Coach’s Eye meant for student learning and development?

Coach’s Eye is an exceptional flipped classroom tool because as students see themselves in slow motion and annotate over things like arm movement or gameplay, they get to reflect on exactly where they can improve and self-assess. I especially like to use mentor athletes’ footage that the students can compare their movements to and juxtapose that to what they are doing to detect their own errors and set new goals. Coach’s Eye is a must have for the educator seeking to empower students through their learning by self-assessment, observation, and reflection.

What big opportunities do you see for technology or video as teaching tools?

Tech is evolving rapidly and we need to always remember that technology is not a substitute to teaching but rather an added value to understanding. I have been playing around with Google Cardboard this year, but 360 cameras and videos are going to take a bit to catch on in regards to Physical Education.


What does this high-tech classroom experience mean for students?

Q&A with Students:

How did it feel to be able to see game play from a drone camera?

“To be able to see the game play from a drone felt better than a camera in the ground. It felt better because you could see the whole court and every player and their movement. While from the ground it was not as good because sometimes players would block other players or the camera.” – M.S.
“From a drone, you can see the entire field. You can see every little motion that each player makes, and this really helps me analyze the play deeper and improve my skills in strategy-making overall as well.” – I.L.

What do you think about using Coach’s Eye in class?

“I think Coach’s Eye is perfect for this because you can edit anything. And the fact that you can voiceover makes it clear when you want to describe something. Like if there is a person passing a rugby ball you can circle their movement of the ball and talk at the same time which helps people understand. I find it simple and easy to use.” – M.S.

How did watching game play from the top help you carry out the assessment?

“With a bird’s eye view, it’s very easy to see what strategies and skills the players are using, because nothing is blocking our view from the entire game. The whole game is laid out in front of you. All you have to do is analyze their moves and how they synchronize to become a good team, which is helpful with Coach’s Eye.” – I.L.