Badminton For Physical Education – What Products Can Take The Punishment!

Badminton has been an old standby for PE classes through the decades. A fantastic sport that can be played by youngsters and adults alike, badminton requires little equipment and offers an exciting workout that will improve eye hand coordination and agility.

Physical education equipment takes a beating and lightweight badminton rackets, birdies and nets are not known for their ability to withstand punishment.

While new racket materials such as titanium composites have become more prevalent there are a few standard models that are known to take a lickin and keep on racketing. You get the point!

This article will point out a few badminton racket models that physical education teachers across the country have depended on. We will also discuss badminton shuttlecocks and badminton nets that will help you run your physical education program.

Badminton Rackets:

While competitive badders through out the world may be in the market for high tech composite badminton rackets for physical education classes you should have one material on your mind steel, steel, steel.

There is no substitute for good old steel. Steel shaft, steel frame and even steel strings. Here are some popular models.

The Morley# M14539 badminton racket offers about as much steel as you can get into a racket without ending up with giant spatula.

The Morley#M14540 doesn’t feature the steel strings but it does not lack in durability. Double steel shafts keep this badminton racket coming back for more, again and again.

The Morley# M14543 badminton racket is 2 inches shorter than a standard badminton racket. Measuring in at 24 inches in length it is designed for younger elementary school badminton players. It also features a durable steel shaft and a steel frame.

Other models that are popular at the institutional level are as follows.

Carlton Attack Ti, Carlton C9750, Carlton 313, ADA 76 Smack Excel, Yonex B460 and HL 110.

Some of these models feature aluminum shafts and frames but all of these models have proven themselves in the gymnasium and are a great value. These higher end models are still available at economy prices which makes them a great purchase for high school level physical education classes were durability may be a little less of a concern and a better playing racket is more important so students can excel.

Badminton Shuttlecocks & Birdies

Here it gets a little tricky. While steel rackets are usually some of the least expensive and best for PE classes when it comes to shuttlecocks cheapest is not always best. The least expensive shuttlecocks are plastic with rubber tip and should be considered only for backyard use.

They do not offer the best flight characteristics so they will actually make the game harder as the birdie appears to have a mind of its own in flight. They are a bargain though so you may want to have some on hand just in case.

The best models have a cork tip for better pop off of the racket and nylon skirts that perform well.

As for speed my advice is medium or blue speed as this is practical for all age groups.

In the color arena yellow has become increasingly popular for youngsters as they are easier to track in flight.

My pick for shuttlecocks for PE would be one of these or a mix.

Carlton T800 Yellow Blue Speed

Carlton C100 White Blue Speed

Yonex Mavis M300M White or Yellow

All of the above are of high quality for great playability. They will pop of the strings, fly in the direction you intended assuming you know how to use the racket and they are durable enough to survive physical education classes.

Badminton Nets

A lot of school accounts purchase our PE quality badminton net or economy nets which is fine but if your net will be used indoors may I suggest the M14563 institutional net. The difference, other than a few dollars, is that the institutional model features taped sides and bottom while the less expensive models are just net.

The taped sides and bottom make the net keep its shape better for a more professional look and better playability the tape also helps the net standout more and most importantly the taped sides and bottom make the net last longer and easier to roll for storage. Believe me the extra few bucks is well worth it.

If you are using the net outside however go with the cheapest model this will stand up to the elements best and provide more bang for your buck.

This little bit of advice should help you stretch your physical education equipment budget.

Badminton is a fantastic sport and teaching it to our children in physical education classes will help build healthy adults. The sport will improve coordination, balance and agility as well as building a healthy respect for competition.

Beyond The Hole In The Wall: A Book That May Change Everything You Believe About Education

This story begins at the turn of the millennium with the well-known Indian educator Sugata Mitra literally used a pickaxe and shovel to create a hole in a wall separating his office from an area of neighboring slums in New Delhi, installing a networked PC in the gap thus created, facing the computer screen and keyboard toward the exterior alley, and then covering it all up with protective plastic material so that it could function rain or shine.

Then he left it there for the local children to discover and freely explore on their own, unsupervised. Using various technologies along with simple observation from his office, Mitra kept detailed chronicles of the interaction of the children with the computer and the Internet. Where did he get such an idea? I still do not know. But it was a brilliant experiment.

What these children learned from Mitra’s “hole in the wall” experiment was that kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world could, without instruction or supervision, quickly learn how a PC works — and much, much more. The children also freely collaborated with each other, exploring the world of high-tech online connectivity with ease. It was the dawning of Mitra’s introduction to self-organized learning, and it would shape the next decade of his research.

Sugata Mitra has written an inspiring though brief non-fiction book with Amazon’s Kindle Single program called Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning with an introduction by Nicholas Negroponte, the chairman emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and the founder of the One Laptop Per Child association.

It is an important update on Mitra’s groundbreaking work (which many will not realize provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire). What I took away from my one-night’s reading of this work (it reads like a wonderfully written Atlantic Monthly or Harper’s piece of several decades ago) was that self-directed learning, meaning learning that occurs without a teacher present, can make kids smarter and more creative in environments that would seem, at first sight, to be utterly not conducive to any kind of learning at all. The fact is that human beings often learn under very difficult conditions. We must, or we don’t survive.

Sugata Mitra is a physicist, cognitive researcher, a gifted teacher and certainly one of the most intelligent and original thinkers the education establishment has produced in the last half century. He is now teaching at the University of Newcastle. At the time of the “hole in the wall” experiment, he was head of NIIT, one of the five biggest e-training institutes in the world.

The expropriate and internalization of the PC and the Internet by thousands of illiterate children, all without any direction or supervision from adults, delivered a body blow to long-held beliefs about what children can and cannot do on their own, along with unanticipated evidence about the high intelligence and capacity of illiterate children to acquire substantial computer skills and other knowledge without the help of teachers.

The experiment became a sensation. The World Bank president and other dignitaries personally made pilgrimages to Delhi to see it. Media hype started to build up. Soon the experiment was replicated in scores of other urban public spaces and villages around India and in a number of other countries like South Africa. They all delivered the same message: children have an uncanny ability and drive to learn to use the computer for learning, with or without the help of teachers.

This kind of learning has since been dubbed by Mitra as Minimally Invasive Education. The immense disparities existing in India’s school system and the magnitude of the challenge of educating the millions of India’s children takes on a less intimidating aspect in light of these new researches.

I highly recommend this long article (I don’t think it’s really a book) to anyone who has the slightest interest in how human beings learn. It was thrilling to see how much cooperation, sharing, discussion, and indeed courage arises spontaneously in places where we least expect it. This could well be one of the most significant books about education to appear in the last two or three generations. It is also a delightfully fun story to spend a night with.