Productivity pluses

by Dean Lea | 1 January 2018

The digital domain offers a world of potential.

“Even the cables are making me want to get to work!” exclaimed one eleven-year old recently as he began work on the technical set-up. His enthusiasm was absolutely exciting for me as his teacher. By sharing experiences of fusing digital systems with theatrical production and education, I refer to over fifteen years of events with Hong Kong International School (HKIS) and Starlit Voice, a Hong Kong based drama and performing arts education and training provider. Both environments boast an international mix of students within the secondary years and focus every part of the production process, from script to stage, towards opportunities for learning. For all. Always.

As a coach and teacher of technology usage in education I concentrate on how technological tools can support process in a delicate balance of not pushing technology where it doesn’t need to be but encouraging its partnership with productive processes when it is needed. In this case, the delicate balance is theatrical.

From the first days of production work until the final curtain and the accompanying set clean-up days that follow much of the production team’s collaborative work sits within the digital domain. Google (for education) holds a lot of the production documentation. Drawings, with a little support from Pixlr (a free and online photoshop – amazing) provides creative and collaborative scope to develop most publication requirements. Forms for sign-up and interest identification help right from the start, Docs for scripts are excellent for collaborating and sharing ideas. Sheets’ support tracking attendance, communicating schedules and job allocation/rotations. An outstanding online collaborative whiteboard tool is Padlet which has become a “go-to” for developing possibilities.

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