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DCCCD has moved all its Spring and Summer courses online because of the COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Danielle Georgiou, dance faculty and program coordinator, talks about how she's adapting to online teaching.
"I have taught online before, mainly lecture-based classes like dance appreciation and fine arts appreciation. But the transition to teaching my studio-based classes has been interesting and a challenge because it's difficult to conceive how a dance technique course, which is so physically-based and does rely on interaction, could move online.
But I believe I am meeting that challenge head-on. I am actually finding it quite fun to make my dance videos for my students and to be able to actually take class with them. Since I am making these videos, I actually get to take the time to break down the steps and movements and feel what they are like in my body before I show them to the students, So, in a way, it's a new editing process for me as a teacher.
The classes are modified now, because they rely more on students taking charge and being responsible for their physical education. But it helps them to see how much they already knew before we entered this new world and how actually in-tune with their bodies they are. It's been really wonderful to watch them grow as individual artists and dancers and to engage with them as peers now. They are sharing information with me about what they want to learn and videos they have found themselves, so we have this really interesting open-source sharing platform that is helping us all grow.
I created a social media engagement program for my students, so we are actually more connected now that we were when we were on campus together. I have a background in video editing and social media, so I didn't have to learn any new skills, just put my current skills into action.
But one of the biggest challenges has been time management, for me personally. For the last few weeks, I have averaged about 10-12 hours a day online, working with students, working on the classes, building and creating content. That's a lot of time! And I felt the exhaustion of the computer hitting me.
But now that we are settling into this new routine, I am hopefully that the teaching time will model something similar to what it would be like if I was on-campus in the classroom with my students. It's important to disengage and find time to be alone with your thoughts and maintain a semblance of normalcy.
I'm using this time to expose the students to a variety of learning techniques through guest instructors (colleagues of mine from other campus and organizations across the U.S.) who are also teaching online. We are sharing information and resources and creating a community of dancers and students that wouldn't have existed prior to this global situation.
So the students are taking class from me, and guest instructors through their online videos. My students and I are also engaging in digital movement adventures that is utilizing their dance training and also teaching them multi-media tools such as video and sound editing. Our classes have now expanding beyond studio training to include ways of adapting dance in a new contemporary format. I have also created a department specific Instagram where students can connect and share fun stories, memes, etc.