My students need Chromebooks they can access in the theatre classroom on a daily basis to engage in research, document their work, and watch performances without having to rely on our school's limited resources.
This project expired on June 4, 2017.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
I teach theatre at a public magnet school in Baltimore, Maryland. My students are inquisitive, creative, and open-minded, and their experiences in theatre-making harness their raw talents to serve a common purpose.
Through making theatre, they discover their world and themselves.
However my students are often lacking the outside enrichment that students in wealthier municipalities enjoy. They typically haven't seen as much theatre, or been sent to camps or after school programs. This doesn't limit their creativity or talent, but it does affect their base of knowledge and experience they bring in the door. They also are frequently limited in their access to reliable technology. The courses I teach are technology-dependent, with multiple assessments that must be submitted digitally. The students' lack of access to technology outside of school must therefore be compensated for in the school, and ideally, in the classroom itself.
To fully understand theatre, my students need to be able to research techniques, document their ideas, and view their work. This is where technology plays a crucial role in their success. Furthermore, these digital aspects of the theatre course are required to earn credit in the rigorous International Baccalaureate Program, credits which give students a leg up in college admissions, and often count towards a college degree.
For students to succeed in the digital elements of the course, they need the technology to be accessible on a day to day basis.
Currently, the students' research, documentation, and use of video are limited to when our computer lab spaces are available, These spaces are used by technology courses, over 75 other teachers, and extensive standardized testing. Even when we are able to secure lab time, the digital work is separated from their rehearsal process as it occurs on different days and in non-theatre spaces.
Having a set of Google Chromebooks available in the theatre classroom allows the students to complete the digital aspects of their work alongside the theatrical aspects, and use the vast resources of the internet to inform their work. For example, one of their assessments involves conducting independent research of an unfamiliar theatre tradition, such as Kabuki, and learning the acting techniques of this tradition. The student will be able to view a video of the technique on the Chromebook, and then try it out right there in the theatre. Also many of their projects require them to journal digitally about the work they do as they do it; the Chromebooks will make this possible for students who have limited access to technology. In short, they will be able to engage in the total process of creating theatre without leaving the theatre.
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