Next generation of young dancers supported through iPad roll-out

Glasgow secondary school Rosshall Academy is using iPad across a range of subjects including Dance and Drama to enhance pupils learning experience during the pandemic.

The school received their iPad deployment as part of Glasgow City Council’s digital learning strategy, in conjunction with CGI, and been using the devices as teaching tools since they were rolled out to pupils in August 2020.

The devices are used in 50% of all Dance classes at the school, led by teacher and Digital Literacy Coordinator, Sophie Lamont, who has found that they have provided new ways for pupils to express their own creativity and improve their technical skills.

Credit: Ian Georgeson

Sophie Lamont (left, with Rosshall Academy students) said, “People might initially think digital devices are only useful across more theoretical subjects, but I frequently make use of them in my Dance classes, with great success. The slow-motion function of the video app has made it easier to highlight certain moves they need to learn or can demonstrate ways they can improve their technique. Whether it’s adding shoulder roll or improving a plie, seeing their movements in this detail is what is allowing students to access the next stage of their ability.”

The class use iPad apps Keynote and Pages and through the video function the pupils can send recordings to their teachers for assessment and receive feedback on their performance and skills.

Sophie continued: “In using the devices, the pupils can clearly see areas where they are excelling or need to improve, encouraging control and balance within the choreography, which they would miss just by watching themselves in a mirror performing. This can lead to big improvements in their confidence and technical ability, which helps them elevate their performance and I am certain, will support them as they progress, helping them to achieve their National 5 or Higher qualification.

“Using iPad in subjects like Dance will also give the next generation of dancers the skills they need to thrive in an industry that will ultimately be digital led. They will be able to adapt and communicate quickly and easily deliver a higher quality performance as they can be more aware of their own skills.”

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills and Early Years said: “We are delighted with the success of the Connected Learning programme and the completion of the iPad deployment across all of our schools. What’s become very apparent is the flexibility across all subject matters and how our teachers and pupils have engaged with iPad to improve creativity, connectivity, and accessibility across learning and teaching.”

Supporting the use of iPad to improve dance skills and technique, Linzi McLagan, Head of Education at YDance (Scottish Youth Dance), said: “During the pandemic, iPad has enabled YDance to maintain our engagement with young people across Scotland, albeit differently. Technology has allowed us to stay connected, and record and reflect on our dance practice for both peer and self-analysis. We can’t wait to put all we’ve learnt into practice and continue to use technology as a support tool for live dance in the studio.”

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