iPads empower new forms of creative expression for Glasgow school dancers

The social distancing measures implemented in response to COVID-19 have caused challenges for teaching, particularly in the arts; but tech is revolutionising dance and drama classes at this Scottish school

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has had massive implications for the education sector. Social distancing measures implemented in response to the crisis have prevented many forms of in-person teaching, sparking a challenging yet transformative shift to digital. This, of course, has certain limitations – particularly for disciplines that sit within the arts.

But one secondary school in Glasgow is empowering new forms of creative expression in subjects such as drama and dance, using an iPad rollout to enhance the student learning experience throughout the pandemic.

“People might initially think digital devices are only useful across more theoretical subjects, but I frequently make use of them in my dance classes, with great success” – Sophie Lamont, Rossall Academy

Rosshall Academy initially received the iPad deployment as part of Glasgow City Council’s digital learning strategy, developed in conjunction with CGI. Rosshall has been using these devices in teaching since they were administered to pupils in August this year.

The iPads are now used in 50% of the school’s dance classes, led by teacher and digital literacy coordinator Sophie Lamont, who feels they have provided new and innovative ways for pupils to express their creativity and develop their technical skill.

“People might initially think digital devices are only useful across more theoretical subjects, but I frequently make use of them in my dance classes, with great success,” said Ms Lamont. “The slow-motion function of the video app has made it easier to highlight certain moves they need to learn or can demonstrate ways they can improve their technique. Whether it’s adding as shoulder roll or improving plie, seeing their movements in more detail is what is allowing students to access the next stage of their ability.”

The class make use of the iPad apps Keynote and Pages, and students can send recordings to their teachers for skill and performance assessment and feedback via the video function.

Lamont further commented: “In using the devices, the pupils can clearly see areas where they are excelling or need to improve, encouraging control and balance within the choreography, which they would miss just by watching themselves in the mirror performing. This can lead to big improvements in their confidence and technical ability, which helps them elevate their performance and I am certain, will support them as they progress, helping them to achieve their National 5 or Higher qualification.

“Using [iPads] in subjects like dance will give the next generation of dancers the skills they need to thrive in an industry that will ultimately be digital-led. They will be able to adapt and communicate quickly and easily deliver a higher quality performance as they can be more aware of their own skills.”

Image source: Ian Georgeson

In other news: FTSE 100 boards cite tech roles as those with biggest skills gap


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