I came to TWT with a two-fold objective: a) to learn how to teach with technology for creative, embodied, human-centered subjects such as Performance and Directing and b) to devise a syllabus for an Interdisciplinary Creativity course. My idea is to incorporate technology in creative-type classes by allowing the students to use whatever means they choose to contribute to the same collective end, i.e. the assignment/project. This way the learner/teacher become indistinguishable in our roles. The intent is to continue to foster their creativity, with the enhancement of tech tools. In Fall of 2012, I experimented incorporating technological assignments in two of my classes.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
–Ray Radbury (novelist science fiction writer)–
Description of the problem, idea or opportunity
SUPER-OBJECTIVE: [inspired by Andy] To change someone else’s life
PREVIOUS OBJECTIVE for TWT: A) To learn how to teach with technology for creative, embodied, human-centered subjects (e.g. Performance and Theatre Directing) that normally do not use technology in the classroom. B) To devise a syllabus for an Interdisciplinary Creativity course.
CURRENT OBJECTIVE for TWT: [inspired by Jeffrey] To empower students
IDEA: incorporate technology in creative-type classes by allowing the students to use whatever means they choose to contribute to the same collective end, i.e. the assignment/project. This way the learner/teacher become indistinguishable in our roles. The intent is to continue to foster their creativity, with the enhancement of tech tools.
- Technology Overload – how to make the right choice and the right decision, i.e. what works for Faculty “A” in Department x does not necessarily work for Faculty “B” in Department Y, or what works for Faculty “C” in Course 1 does not necessarily apply to Course 2
- Limitation of School Prescribed Tool/Software – lack of vision and user adaptability for all .e. what works for Faculty “A” in Department x does not necessarily work for Faculty “B” in Department Y, or what works for Faculty “C” in Course 1 does not necessarily apply to Course 2
- Resistance to Change/Inability to Mastery – some of us [me especially] are slow learners, and too set in our own ways – I was a PC user for over 10 years before I changed over to Mac and now I have an imac, Macbook Pro, ipad and iphone but I still have my pink old dusty Dell under the desk.
- Constant Change – d2L? CULearn? DDNS? CULink? Exchange? Outlook? WordPress? Googleweb? infoEd? UpSes? VDI? MetamorphoSIS?
Description of how it has changed over time
- Technology in Education appears to have transformed from a “student centric “ to a “business induced” industry – Once upon a time, start-ups were touted as geniuses of innovation, motivated by creativity and growth but recently it seems to have become a money driven outfit. It is reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education,
“In recent years, venture capitalists have poured millions into education-technology start-ups, trying to cash in on a market they see as ripe for a digital makeover. And lately, those wagers have been getting bigger. Investments in education-technology companies nationwide tripled in the last decade, shooting up to $429-million in 2011 from $146-million in 2002, according to the National Venture Capital Association. The boom really took off in 2009, when venture capitalists pushed $150-million more into education-technology firms than they did in the previous year, even as the economy sank into recession. -http://chronicle.com/article/A-Boom-Time-for-Education/131229/
Description of factors that make it compelling now
When is not the issue
The question to ask is, why not now?
Implications for not solving or addressing it?
Not sure what this means.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams- (cartoonist)–
I came to TWT with a two-fold objective: a) to learn how to teach with technology for creative, embodied, human-centered subjects such as Performance and Directing and b) to devise a syllabus for an Interdisciplinary Creativity course. In Fall of 2012, I experimented incorporating technological assignments in two of my classes:
THTR5172 Advanced Directing (Fall 2012). Graduate Level, 12 students. Classroom: Loft Theatre. Time: T/R 12:30-3:15
- Digital story-telling – I adopted the idea from my PWR colleagues at TWT and devised a new assignment for the Directing class that requires use of technology. Using any photography and editing tool of their choice, they will “create a visually and emotionally compelling story through images, with only 1 table 2 chairs 1 actor.” The results went beyond my expectation—the tools they used ranged from Powerpoint, imovie, Final Cut pro, Itunes, Premiere, to Photoshop but the most interesting projects were those that combined live action with the digital story.
- Directing Pedagogy – Teamed up in pairs, the students are asked to give a presentation on the pedagogy of an inspiring theatre director. The assignment includes an oral presentation with multi-media tools and a hands-on exercise. Again, the technology they chose were simple and direct such as Powerpoint, Google Doc, Youtube,
- Students are also encouraged to incorporate technology in their midterm and final scene projects. Some created a backdrop of images; others made an entire video. The technology they use include IMovie, Final Cut Pro, Powerpoint, Keynote.
THTR4193 Studio 5: Creating An Ensemble (Fall 2012). Undergraduate BFA-Performance majors only, 7 students. Classroom: Loft Theatre. Time: T/R 12:30 to 3:15
- This class is the equivalent of a BFA-Performance Senior Showcase where the 7 students adapted 7 short stories for the stage and created an ensemble piece. But since the classroom work is devoted strictly torehearsals, so all the communication, research and homework had to be done outside class. I created a wiki page for us to share the collaborative research. http://studio5f2012.pbworks.com/
- The students themselves created a website for the class using WordPress. This inspires me to adopt it as a team project for my pilot course on Creativity next semester. http://custudio5.com In Spring of 2013, I intend to continue experimenting teaching with technology in two other classes.
THTR3023 Studio 2: Creating A Role (Spring 2013), Undergraduate BFA-Performance majors only. 16 students. Classroom: Loft Theatre. Time: T/R 1-4 pm
Technology Assignment: Acting Pedagogy – While this is an assignment that I have used previously for this class, I intend to adopt a new approach by using educational technology for the research component; and embodied hands-on practice for the second part. I will create a more elaborate wiki page, probably through PBWorks again, and ask the students to supplement their research work with multimedia images. I will also require the class to comment on these research pages. This is an adaptation of the flipped classroom model where the instruction will take place at home.
Norlin3000: Seminar on Creativity (Spring 2013). Undergraduate-interdisciplinary. 16 students. Classroom: Norlin Library. T/R 5-6 pm
- Digital story – Technology tools: Powerpoint, Keynote, Imovie, Premiere, Final Cut
- Interview Podcast – my colleague at TWT strongly suggested I experimented with an audio assignment and after playing with Audacity for awhile, I devised this idea to creatie a short podcast.
- Class webpage – As it is has been my dream to create an on-line creativity course, so I want to document the process and showcase the product of the students. Technology tools: WordPress or Google web or any free website.
- Creative Swap Stew Personal Creative Project: examples might include typography animation, music video, poster?
- Mini TED talk – we will video and post all the talks on the class homepage.
In addition, I am very interested in the collaborative reading tool suggested by my TWT colleague Dr. Kim so I might try using http://nb.mit.edu for a couple of the reading assignments. Furthermore, I am interested in cultivating the Flipped Classroom model—although majority of our theatre classes are flipped already since our classroom/studio work generally involve activity such as exercises, rehearsals and scene work. I would like to cultivate the other aspect: instruction of knowledge via online technology tools. I am also fascinated by the Coach’s Eye app and am curious if I can try that on actors.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
- “Seasons of Love” from the Musical Rent - How about creativity? Measuring effectiveness and growth in performance requires a different approach than the standardized achievement tests. While the skills level and the absorption and interpretation of techniques can be evaluated, there is always the ‘it’ factor that cannot be measured. In general, a student of theatre fails and succeeds in the public eyes, so everyone in class can witness and will acknowledge the growth of a singular student. Now if and when the whole class grows leaps and bounds, that’s how I know the changes I make worked and that’s how I usually measure growth in my own teaching. Except when it comes to teaching with technology in creative/performative classes such as Acting and Directing. I came to the TWT seminar with the intent to meet and steal from other tech-savvy like-minded colleagues, also also to push myself to go beyond merely grafting existing forms of pedagogy onto new media. My identified objective is to stimulate/inspire creativity by encouraging the students to use whatever technological means to the collective end. This is modeled after how innovative technology serves as a handmaiden in theatrical productions—that every play has its unique demands and the same technology might not and cannot work for all the shows. So far, I’ve experimented teaching with technology twice—in Acting 2 and in Advanced Directing. In all of my classes, I generally adopt an assessment methodology that is both formative and summative: a self-evaluation followed by a group evaluation after the presentation of every assignment. Sometimes, I may ask the students to submit a written learning assessment as well. All these help the students to reflect critically on ideas, actions and outcomes. But I think in the future I might add the following means: a) videotape the performances to assess the effectiveness of the use of technology b) conduct a short survey to continue questioning and challenging the students’ c) demonstrate some examples to show the spectrum of technological tools available so they can envisage what might be a potential outcome and how to improve on it d) take a poll and let the students vote on the best project to make connections between the popular and critical reception Although there is no evidence that the student’s acting ability has improved with the use of technology, there is a marked increased of creativity in how students approach assignments with technology–especially among those students who took both classes with me. One student wrote, “I want to keep using technology in other performances. The main reason for this is because of the options that it gives to open up scenes and put a different point of view into a scene. Also, I want to put technology to better use in my performances because it is so prevalent in today’s society and will keep becoming more and more advanced.” I welcome any other suggestions that can help unleash creativity through the use of the technology in the classroom.
I was a TWT fellow in Fall 2012 where my identified objective was a) to learn how to teach with technology for creative, embodied, human-centered subjects such as Performance and Directing and b) to devise a syllabus for an Interdisciplinary Creativity course. (TWT Blog-3 “Bring Em On”) Last semester, I successfully experimented teaching with technology in my Advanced Directing class by including a digital story assignment as well as encouraged the students to use technology in their presentation.
What worked: This semester, I went full throttle teaching with technology. To that end, I created three group workspaces on PBWorks for two of my classes, a Norlin scholar interdisciplinary course “NRLN3000: Seminar on Creativity” and a performance class, “THTR3023: Studio 2-Creating A Role”, as well as a documentation instrument for my production, Little Women: the Musical. NRLN3000—Seminar on Creativity (2013Creativity.PBWorks.com) This entire class revolves around technological assignments that include: digital story, podcast, personal creative project, and a collaborative class website. The class comprises of students from various disciplines (Journalism, Creative Writing, Astrophysics, Biology, Engineering, Psychology etc) and from freshmen to seniors. Most of them have never had a class that focused on creativity or relied so much on technology. Above all, they have never had a professor who did not give them any rules or boundaries except “just do it.” [I feel that the success of this class was precisely on how I how I stimulate/inspire creativity by encouraging the students to use whatever technological means to the collective end. With the Digital Story they used Powerpoint, imovie, Final Cut pro, Itunes, Premiere, and Photoshop With the podcast, I did suggest the use of Audacity as a sound editing tool. [They still have two more projects: a personal creative project and a class website.] THTR3023: Studio 2-Creating A Role (2013Studio2.pbworks.com) I used this wiki primarily for students to post their research assignments where they can upload and share photos and videos. What surprised and delighted me was when they willingly post their AHA moments of epiphanies. This does not happen often but when it does, it’s priceless. Little Women: the Musical (littlewomenthemusical.pbworks.com) I created this wiki as a documentation for the rehearsal process of Little Women:the Musical, which I directed at the University Theatre in Spring 2013. My intent was for the cast to create a research page for the character they play and for me to post my notes and observations after each rehearsal. I’m not sure how successful this is as it is not the practice of actors to connect the intellectual with the corporeal but it does serve well as a communication means between the director and the cast. Ideally, I hope to incorporate a technological tool that encompasses communications and research among all production aspects (costumes, scenery, lights, props, and actors). What did not work
- It is unfortunate that neither OIT nor ASSET has the campus license to PBWorks. The Help desk at PBWorks informed me that there was a CU campus license but will not release the name to me. I am happy with the free wiki version but I would love to upgrade to the classroom edition.
- I wish I could get the Norlin scholars to open up and seek help. It was only during assessments, that they discussed their frustrations with the tools and the time they spent in learning how to edit a film. But no one came to me for help. When asked why, they responded, it’s the mastering of the skills that matters. Instead of me teaching them what to do, they like exploring on their own.
What feedback you get from students? I generally adopt an assessment methodology that is both formative and summative: a self-evaluation followed by a group evaluation after the presentation of every assignment. I intend to send out a Quatrics survey at the end of the semester. Nevertheless, I knew that it must be working somehow because the students voluntarily post their AHA Moments or Comments to reading/viewing assignments. What would you do differently? I wish I have more time for the Seminar on Creativity. 50 minutes weekly is barely enough to scratch the surface. Perhaps I shoulda/coulda done fewer assignments but then I’m never been known bow down from expectations. Otherwise, I am pleased that I fulfilled each and every one of my objectives stated in the previous TWT Blog. My greatest insight is that it really doesn’t matter what technological tool we use to teach…the students prefer to figure it out on their own. Samples Included: 2013Creativity.pbworks.com 2013Studio2.pbworks.com littlewomenthemusical.pbworks.com Reel of digital stories and podcasts to be included in digital display in the April 24th Teaching with Technology symposium