We recently approached Ashleigh Gibson and asked if she would be interested in writing about dance from the perspective of a high school teacher. Here's what she had to say! Thanks Ashleigh for your unique insight.
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My dance teacher training began years ago; firstly, at Neverland Studios in Auckland where I got my first taste for teaching and passing on my knowledge to others. During this time, I decided to expand my development of teaching through a Graduate Diploma of Secondary school teaching and since then have relished in the satisfaction teaching provides.
Whilst at my first school (Rangitoto College) I was approached to spearhead the implementation on Movitae into our school curriculum, as the first secondary school to do so. At the time there had been a lot of discussion among New Zealand dance school teachers around how to provide and submit evidence digitally. I knew this invitation was an opportunity to bring dance into the 21st century and provide my students with a platform that was relevant to them.
Over 6 years at Rangitoto, Movitae was implemented into all year levels and used in various ways to help engage students and also as a tool from which to reflect and improve. From Year 9 through to 12 it was mainly used as a way to submit choreographic evidence through the tool of Portfolios. This aspect meant students choreographic reflections and justifications could be all stored in one place and effectively presented for marking. It has meant that when moderation comes around work is already digitalised and laid out in a way that with the provided access code, moderators can access the document to view and critique.
Movitae has also created an effective medium for communication between staff and students. In a setting where social media is not ideal for creating a professional digital language, Movitae has meant that I have been able to communicate with students both individually or as a whole group, important messages either to do with class the next day, homework or upcoming events. As Movitae also provides an app, students have engaged with the ease of being notified when a message has been posted and are able to respond timely.
Lastly, Movitae finally provides a platform for visual and practical based subjects where ease of filming can occur in class and can be uploaded for students to reference for homework or more importantly if students are away they can catch up on what they missed in their own time.
Now at St Peters School in Cambridge I have implemented the use of this tool here which has again seen students transition from pen and paper to a digital medium that is in keeping with the fast-paced world they are growing up in. I would love to see more secondary school’s take the step to modernise dance and prepare our students for the world that they will be working in. It has certainly helped to streamline workload and help to professionalise dance academics.
Want to read more of our Guest Blogs? Click here to read Danielle Lennons experience (The Studio of Performing Arts - Springfield, QLD Australia)
Or see our video interviews with some organisations using Movitae here: