Don’t Pivot, Swivel – Episode 1

Don’t Pivot, Swivel - Episode 1


What do you do if you’re a drama teacher at a high school, your country is in lockdown and you are now having to teach all of your students online? If you have any sense you ask your best bud who also happens to be a lecturer in Technology-Enabled Learning for advice. If you’re really sensible you record it and share it with other drama teachers. That’s the scenario that faced Diane Dupres (Google her, her plays have won stuff!) recently.

What we talked about is probably helpful for a lot of other teachers in the pivot to online, so I’m making it more widely available, using the Pedagodzilla platform. Mike did some post-editing finesse on the files I gave him, but any remaining audio quality issues are down to me (and the fact we were 19 Megametres apart when we recorded them).

We originally planned this as a series of 5 to 10 minute snippets for teachers to pick and choose from, hence the “musical” interludes. If you want to do that, the timings, and the content for each section, are listed below.

Di and I only did two of these, we planned to leave the third for answering listeners’ questions. If you want there to be a third part, then send me a tweet @markchilds and we’ll answer them.


  • Part one (1:10) Mark and Di introduce themselves and reflect on their different perspective and experience of online learning and how drama specifically can be taught on some platforms. Mark relates the idea of switching from face-to-face to online to the same sort of change in context as from switching from site to site when designing drama.
  • Part two (9:20) Di discusses her method of having lots of spontaneity in small groups and how this can translate to an online environment. Mark talks about the difficulties of having fast-paced interactions online, but promotes the idea of having students work in canon in order to compensate for difficulties in using the technology.
  • Part three (13:10) Di raises a lot of issues all at once about running classes online; about the proliferation of platforms, about students being far more knowledgeable about the different platforms available, about how to see all of her class all at once and about issues of safety. Basically, these answers are: don’t fret it (the first two), and don’t try it (the third). He doesn’t get round to the fourth. Both express their love of The Ballad of Halo Jones (Moore and Gibson).
  • Part four (20:40) Di raises the issue of safety, safeguarding both students and teachers. Mark makes the point that actually getting students to use social media and videoconferencing improves students’ safety. They talk about Goffman’s Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, though neither of them get the name right.
  • Part five (29:45) Mark picks up on the thing he was going to talk about back in part two, which is that students need time to become used to a technology, before they are ready to learn in it. Mark refers to Gilly Salmon’s 5-stage model. https://www.gillysalmon.com/five-stage-model.html

Additional resource on safeguarding is From safe spaces to brave spaces by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/843249C9-B1E5-BD47-A25EDBC68363B726/from-safe-spaces-to-brave-spaces.pdf

Next time:

  • Supporting different types of students’ inclusivity / accessibility
  • Supporting collaboration, dos and don’ts
  • Health and digital wellbeing – staying offline