Fantastic Find: SchoolTube

Recently a colleague of mine, who manages our school’s website, created a YouTube channel. One such time our web guru utilised the channel was for Multicultural Day. I thought this was such a brilliant idea. With drama being such a visual subject and people preferring to watch rather than read I really liked the idea of this being the way in which we as educators communicate with parents and the wider community. I also feel it would be a great place for student’s to show off their work and what they’re doing in class.

The difficulty with YouTube for student’s at our school is that with the DER laptops, YouTube is blocked ūüė¶

That is, however, until a colleague shared a link with us this week. It’s called SchoolTube also known as SkoolToob.¬† There is also another site specifically designed for school’s to post footage. It is called Schoolstube .

They both work under a similar premise. You can either watch videos that are approved by a moderator and/or upload your own videos. You can also create a free channel for your school. Other student’s and educator’s can search for videos using the tags, categories and channel topics. There are contests to enter and a video of the day feature.

What I loved was the sharing feature. Not only can you share on all the usual places like Facebook and Twitter but they also have a specific feature to share on Edmodo.

There are premium packages are available. They are quite pricey but may be worthwhile if your school is tech-friendly.

Is it any better than YouTube? Not really. There’s just less rubbish to sift through which suits the filters nazi’s just fine.

I had a bit of a search around and I found a really great initiative that a school in that States is doing. I’m a huge fan of musicals and you can’t go past West Side Story, so take a look at this!

http://www.schooltube.com/embed/a1d33ad628114c218bd0

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Warm-Up of the Week: Laser Beams

I’m starting a new section to the website this week. It came to me in a dream (seriously) after looking and thinking about¬†my visitor traffic and the things they had been searching for on my blog. I’m thrilled to have readers and whilst I would like to continue to post about the things in Drama that I’m passionate about, I’d like to think I can help you all out too with things that you need. That’s why we’re a network. We’re a network that’s here to support each other.

On¬†our homepage¬†you’ll find a new page with a list of some of the warm up games I like to use in my classes. I’ll always put them up as a blog post as well which you can search for using the tags (“warm up games”) or categories (“Teaching and Learning in the Drama Room”). I will provide instructions on how to play the games and hopefully you can take them away and use them to your hearts content.

This week’s game is called:

Laser Beams

Time: approx 10 minutes.

How to Play:

1. Have your students form pairs. One person needs to wait outside the room. If there aren’t enough students to form pairs you, as the teacher may need to play.

2. Each pair needs to stand opposite each other. They can spread out around the space. They can also be at varying heights. The one thing that is most important is that they must maintain eye contact with each other and remain facing each other. This becomes the laser beam.

3. Place an object somewhere in the room that is surrounded by the “laser beams.”

4. The student who is outside the room enters and needs to work through the obstacle course to try to get to the beam. They need to strategise and think about which is the best possible way to get to the object without crossing a beam.

5. If the student crosses¬†a beam the student pair, whose beam has been crossed must say “Buzz!”

6. The student mustn’t cross a beam more than three times or they are out.

Notes

This is a fantastic game for student focus, concentration and getting comfortable with using eye contact. Many students are very uncomfortable with looking anyone in the eye in a performance and this is a way to get them to become aware of its power.

For the student who is strategising to get to the obstacle, it is a fantastic way for them to use their body to move around a space. Discuss with the students how something like this could be transformed into performance. Discuss which elements of drama are being used. Discuss with the students what they learnt from the game and how their approach to the game may have changed after they played it a few times. It’s interesting to note how the students who are the “beams” really discuss and strategise together as to how to make it difficult for the person trying to get the object.

Was this suggestion helpful? What was your experience like in the classroom?

I’ve done my best to acknowledge sources where I can but some of these games¬†I’ve just learnt from my teachers over the years and they never really told me who or where they came from. If you recognise one of these games as being your creation, please let me know and I will kindly acknowledge it.

Image Credits:

Untitled, karlao, @Mirazozo Architects of Air, Sydney Opera House, January 2011.