By Sue Loubser, Director of Technology at Greenfield Hebrew Academy
This morning, when I looked at our Zamzee Program View, I saw we had passed 860,000 minutes as our middle school moves towards our goal of one million minutes of activity recorded on our students’ Zamzee meters. I took a few moments to reflect on our year. I am pretty sure we will reach our goal by the end of May – just before the end of our school year – which will be awesome.
Along the way, we have had a visit from Ellen LaPointe of Zamzee, CBS ‘Fit Kids’ did a segment on our program, the Hawks Development team came to exercise with us, and LaVon Mercer, the first African American basketball player to represent Israel came to talk to our students and play some basketball with them. It’s all been pretty cool.
We have also learned a lot along the way. Our most engaged users are our younger students and our teachers. We have a core group of students who are in a Zamzee routine, and who regularly do their 60 minutes or more each day. We have a core group of teachers who egg each other on to do Challenges while they work towards earning gift cards! It is not uncommon to see them hopping and bopping in the hallways during lunch or recess as they take their challenges.
Our students have also zamzeed (our new verb) around the world. Right now, we have students in Israel, measuring their activity as they walk and hike through Israel. (It is not uncommon for them to exercise over 120 minutes a day when they are not spending in time in a classroom). Students have walked in New York, run in Washington D.C. and they are looking forward to jumping at Jekyll Island, on our organized field trips. Our headmaster’s meter has accompanied him on many runs and a few marathons, including the Jerusalem Marathon.
We have had 3 people wash their Zamzee meters with their laundry – and, (important piece of trivia) if you let it dry out completely before plugging it back in, it works perfectly.
We had to create our own Zamzee hospital in one of our computer labs, to repair meters that broke. We did learn that when you put a Zamzee meter into a shoe pocket – or some other kind of protective cover, (including student-made duct tape holders) they last better.
The folks at Zamzee have been SO supportive – and I will say this again when we reach our goal. Emails are answered promptly. All the staff are responsive, and helpful. They have helped us put systems in place to replace lost meters quickly; they help with ideas for engaging the students and the Program View that they developed during the year enables us to view data and stats quickly and ‘up-to-the-minute’ so we can stay on top of our total and reward our top exercisers.
GHA is proud to be exercising with our Zamzees this year – and I am proud to have passed the 10,000 minute mark myself! : )