Tech-Savvy Dance Education

Chris Aiken and David Dorfman during our Google+ Hangout with ImPulzTanz.

Chris Aiken and David Dorfman during our Google+ Hangout with ImPulzTanz.

As technology is increasingly being integrated into general education, dance educators are creating dialogue regarding the evolution of teaching practices and experiences in learning environments for dance.

Today, ImPulsTanz, Rachel Boggia, David Dorfman, Angie Hauser, and Chris Aiken discussed their ideas, perspectives, and research on dance teaching and dance education via Google+ Hangouts. The archived conversation can be viewed here.

As the conversation unfolded, one thing was made clear: as dance educators and students, we face both challenges and opportunities with the development of technology.

Opportunity

Undeniably, integrating technology into dance education has inspiring potential. Technology invites us into unmarked territory. It gives us a chance to reconsider traditional modes and methods of teaching. It allows us to engage with various types of learners.

Challenges

On the flipside, technology can create segregation and isolation as well. For instance, students come with diverse backgrounds in education and life experience. As a result, we must consider the following questions:

  • Are we discriminating against learners who aren’t tech-savvy? What about the students who can’t afford the latest gadget?
  • Does the technology have a positive impact on the group of learners as a whole? If not, how can the integration of technology create a sense of community?

We must constantly remind ourselves that some students yearn for technological integration while others prefer traditional modes of learning (i.e. physical studio/classroom based). As educators, are we prepared to deal with this type of friction that technology can create?

As artists, administrators, educators, and students, we must continue the dialogue that ImPulzTanz and BDF faculty started today. The goal is not to be pessimistic or overly optimistic regarding technology. We must be opportunistic. Most importantly, it is our duty to remember that technology is simply an enhancement. It can improve pedagogical approaches, but it can never replace the physical nature of dance education.

By accepting the digital era, we can renew ourselves as globalized citizens, and perhaps, we will save the arts. It’s a matter of using the technology, and not allowing the technology to use us.

This post was written by Ashley Yergens. Ashley is the BDF Social Media Intern for the 2014 summer.

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