Integrating technology into Year 8 Drama

My year 8 English class had the benefit of a technology enriched assessment task at the conclusion of their drama unit in term 2.
Students wrote and filmed a monologue using the class set of iPod touches. I then viewed each of these videos and marked them on their use of body language, voice, movement, etc.

Because we had already done quite a lot of performance in front of peers, I felt they weren’t missing out by not having an audience for their monologue performance, and the technology facilitated completing the assessment in one lesson as opposed to the 4 lessons other teachers had to dedicate to it. The technology also forced them to practice their monologue. Many of them were horrified when they watched their first playback. They were allowed to have 5 attempts at recording their monologues, and they had to show me their first and last recording, between which there was a marked improvement!

The students then used their recording on the devices, along with headphones, to reflect upon their performance and analyse it in the same way we had analysed monologues being performed in films or during our in class reading of the play being studied.

Students were given a scaffold and were asked to reflect upon the elements of drama they were familiar with from weeks of study. The technology really assisted this process, as many of them were able to scrutinise particular parts of their performance through rewinding, fast forwarding, pausing, and viewing multiple times, allowing them to also make detailed suggestions for improvement.

Students gave feedback about the assessment, a part of which was about the use of technology in the process, which they said helped them to analyse their performance more effectively, and also enabled them to feel more comfortable during their performance as they could practice several times, view themselves, and then make improvements.

Although it was only a simple addition of technology to the assessment task, it enabled meaningful reflection to occur and allowed students to become more cognizant of the importance of dramatic conventions through the ability to view, discard and improve.


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