The 14-year-old freshman is getting school credit for virtual physical education, a concept that, as strange as it may sound, is being helped along by availability of wearable fitness trackers.
For students whose tests and textbooks have migrated to screens, technology as gym equipment may have been only a matter of time.
Grace, who lives in Alexandria, wears a school-issued Fitbit on her wrist while getting in at least three 30-minute workouts a week outside of school hours. She has an app on her computer that screenshots her activity so she can turn it in for credit.
While online physical education classes have been around for well over a decade, often as part of virtual or online schools, the technology has made possible a new level of accountability, its users say.
“We’re asking kids to wear this while they do an activity of their choice, and they can change the activity as they desire, as long as it’s something that they understand is probably going to get their heart rate up,’’ said Elizabeth Edwards, department head for online physical education at Fairfax County Public Schools, which includes Grace’s high school.