Virtual School Assemblies are better than NO school assemblies
There is still a place for Arts in Education even in the digital learning environment. Arts in Education ONLINE is better than nothing at all. Is online learning effective? Are virtual assemblies good?
Yes! And yes!
An opinion piece in Education Week online last month concluded that Online courses are certainly better than no classes at all. Especially right now.
Right now, virtual courses allow students to access and interact with educational content in ways that would have been impossible if an epidemic had closed schools even a decade or two earlier. So, while some may be skeptical of online learning and virtual school assemblies, this is also time to embrace these opportunities for the benefits to students.
What are other benefits and reasons why you may want to consider Virtual Assemblies and Online Workshops for your students while they are learning from home?
Your students may have access to artists that would otherwise be unavailable geographically. Your students have a chance to engage with real-world professionals that would not be able to visit your school in-person. Music Technology through a virtual school assembly or online workshop is now available to the entire country, and the whole world! Previously only available in-person on the North East Coast of the United States.
The Wacky Science Show is another example. Now available through an online learning format for one low price to any school in the USA and across the globe. Students get to have outstanding experiences previously unavailable, and/or a lot more affordably than an in-person version.
Live and Interactive
Virtual School Assemblies are superior to pre-recorded e-learning lessons that are available for free, or nearly free, for two reasons. The content is webcast LIVE, and students are still able to interact with the artists by asking questions or by other means using various platform capabilities. During The Physics Experience online physics demos, students get to choose the physics experiments performed and interact with the scientist to ask questions.
While there is a still a place for pre-recorded content, and we offer that too, Live Virtual Dance Classes enable a teacher to correct students in real time. Pre-recorded classes, while more affordable, are missing the personalized interaction available in the live webcast version.
Premium Professional Content
Another learning BONUS: the content and teaching artists themselves aren’t just every-day average Joes. They are professionals in their fields, so students get to learn from real-life experts. Brent Daniels is a professional composer and sound designer, working in the upper echelon of Movie Trailer music production. During his online (or in-person) Music for Movie Trailers Workshops, students see exactly how Brent produces tracks for some of Hollywood’s biggest movie premiers.
Darren Sardelli is another example. A Silly Skype Chat with the World’s Most Funny Poet allows your students a chance to hear from a published author, live and in person (even if they’re online!). Kids can ask questions and get some tips and tricks for how to make their writing even more unique and creative.
Dumpster Doug is an eco-friendly virtual school assembly. But it’s not just eco-friendly in its content because any online school assembly by nature is also environmentally conscious. What makes e-learning assemblies great is that artists no longer have to travel to your school; saving gas/fuel expenses, hotel costs and other transportation costs and expenses.
Learn from Home or in small groups
Virtual School Assemblies bring the artist to you, without you having to leave the comfort and safety of your home, small group, or classroom.
Tailored to Specific Age Groups
Like with regular in-person assemblies, the delivery of virtual educational content will vary according to the age groups present during the e-learning program. Students in different grade levels have different learning needs, attention spans, and ability to intake digital lessons. Splitting up your virtual assembly into two programs based on the grade levels present is a good practice.
Gives Teachers More Talking Points (and perhaps a short, well-deserved break).
Bringing in a virtual school assembly is more of a complement to your schools’ e-learning schedule. You’re not stepping on teacher’s toes. By bringing in a professional illustrator and Emmy Award winning TV show host to show students how to Draw in 3D gives students an additional perspective and reference that could inspire them because it’s outside of their normal lesson plan.
Students appreciate hearing different perspectives. Sometimes things just don’t resonate unless you hear it from another credible adult besides a parent or a teacher. Youth Mover, Brandon Lee White, delivers a high-energy, entertaining, and effective anti-bullying and character education program for youth. Any of Brandon’s assembly speeches, leadership trainings, and workshops can be modified to online/skype, including a Skype-Talk with just Student Council leaders.
Violin Rocks! with world-renowned violinist Geoffrey Castle isn’t just a virtual music school assembly. It brings learning outcomes in Geography, History, Science, and Technology too.
Many of the above points and benefits of virtual school assemblies also hold true for in-person school assemblies. Until large gatherings are allowed again, students still need to get some kind of extracurricular support and exposure to arts in education. Arts in Education and school assemblies online are better than having nothing at all.