Perfect timing by Burnley dance tutor who is using latest social media craze to teach students online during Covid 19 lockdown
An enterprising Burnley College Sixth Form Centre dance tutor tapped into the latest craze to teach her classes online.
Now Poppy Olah has been recognised nationally for her expertise in teaching virtual classes during the Covid 19 lockdown using TikTok, the video-sharing social networking service that has become across the world.
Poppy's innovative and inspirational teaching has featured in the Times Educational Supplement and is helping tutors across the UK to enhance their remote teaching while students are remaining quarantines in their own homes.
Poppy has shared her teaching methods, the technology she uses, alongside photos and video clips, in an informative blog post in TES, the respected education publication for teaching professionals.
She has written how her Advanced Vocational students have embraced the opportunities for creativity afforded by working at home and overcoming every challenge with wide-ranging support from college, from providing IT equipment and wi-fi connectivity, to tutorials on how to make the most of the extensive Google for Education Tools.
Poppy said: "When we got the news that college would be closing because of coronavirus, I was heartbroken.
"My students had been working tirelessly towards their dance showcase, which could no longer happen.
"But, as a department, we were determined they would not have to stop doing what they love most: dancing and performing.
"Two weeks before the official lockdown notice, we anticipated that we may no longer have the option of face-to-face contact. We discussed how units could be taught from home using the Google for Education tools, and created remote learning assessments on Google Forms.
"We are fortunate that all our students actively use these and are tech-savvy when updating and organising assignments.
"However, they were unfamiliar with communicating over Google Hangouts and video conferencing."
Burnley College provided laptops and wi-fi dongles and Popptyorganised remote learning trials with her classes when she was in college.
She added: "It was easy to see how it would all work for their theory assignments. But the real challenge would be finishing choreography, technical training and maintaining fitness levels while distance learning.
"In order to give students autonomy over their own dance practice, a remote learning timetable was created and I scheduled one-to-one video calls with each of my students to give assistance on assignments, as well as to monitor their mental health – something we never anticipated would need as much focus as it has.
"As staff, we agreed that it was important to maintain daily contact and scheduled video chats to touch base as well as weekly divisional meetings, chaired by curriculum managers.
"This gave us the motivation and support to facilitate this new way of teaching. The college provided some excellent preparatory training to ensure that all staff were ready for the inevitable remote learning scenario. "