Because my Genius Hour Project deals with Down syndrome and the types of technology that helps facilitate meaningful learning, I decided to interview a dance teacher of special education students at my old dance studio. She teaches the classes every week during the school year. I asked her questions about the technology she uses, how it is used, and the activities offered to build creativity and personal learning. Although this is different because it’s not from the educational standpoint, I believe that this interview can help me in my process as well.
First I ask about the use of technology in the dance class and how it is used? She informs me that they do not use a lot of technology, but they do use cellphones, video recorders, and a CD player. The cellphones are used to take picture of the dancers whenever they have fun, free time. This fun time allows the pressures of dancing to subside and just be free and have fun! The video recorders are used to record the teachers and dancers when they learn something new. It allows the students to look back at what they learned and practice the dance moves for the end of year recital. The CD player is just used to play the music for the warm-ups and dances.
Next, I ask about the kinds of activities that they do during the dance class time period to influence creativity and personal learning? She tells me that if they have extra time after they learn parts of a dance, they will let the students pick a song and freestyle to it. It allows them to freely express themselves and bust some moves! They also occasionally have activities such as pretending to make a pizza and ordering food from a restaurant. These activities encourage authentic learning and problem solving. They revolve around real-life situations and will be a skill that they can apply to their everyday life.
Despite the teacher I interviewed being a dance teacher rather than an instructional teacher, there is still so much meaningful learning going on in this special dance class. They are able to be creative and express themselves without restraints because it is so strongly encouraged. Also, technologies such as the camera and videos allow fun and learning mechanisms. Although technology is not the main focus of a dance class, you can see how it has made an impact in the learning and creative atmosphere of the classroom.