Strictly Come (Digital) Dancing

Exploring ‘Open Education & Pivot Choreography’ through Speculative Virtual Dance at the OER Conference 2021.

The Open Education Resources (OER) Conference is an annual event organised by the Association of Learning Technology (ALT). Responding directly to theme 4: Shifts in agency and creativity as empowerment of learners and educators, I presented an alt-format, 7 Minute GASTA presentation which was pre-recorded using StreamYard. A big thanks to Maren Deepwell (@MarenDeepwell) and Tom Farrelly (@TomFarrelly) for their support with this.

Strictly Come Dancing is a popular television show on BBC 1 where participants work with professional dancers in a weekly dance performance competition. A panel of judges
score the dancers. Can we score a ten? We see a range of dance genres are performed including jive, tango, waltz, and paso doble.

Strictly Come Digital Dancing

Drawing on dance as a way to explore open pedagogy issues, the presentation explored the Open Covid Pledge and the OER Commons. How can open education be compared to the Cha Cha Cha? Dance has been used in education before, for example Further Education and the Twelve Dancing Princesses (Daley, Orr & Petrie, 2015). Dancing and learning technology can be foudn together for example “Dancing with Digital Natives” (Manafy & Gautschi, 2011).

Getting involved with the OER Committee by attending regular meetings using the Blackboard Collaborate platform to find out how the event is organised was a helpful experience and to reflect on the issues arising from open pedagogy. Part of this involved writing a guest blog for the OER conference website here.

OER Guest Blog Post

Often the conference experience can involve a range of formal and academic presentations. This presentation was a conscious effort to provide a fun and alternative event. Dance can be argued to be an interdisciplinary and joyful shared act. How do you dance to the online pivot? How could we dance to open education?

Part of the preparation for the event was to watch episodes of the television programme and purchasing the official board game. Research was also carried out on the different types of dance.

Perhaps it is important to acknowledge that technology can be argued to have a negative impact on the body (Selwyn, 2021). Perhaps digital dancing can stop us from “seeing digital technology in terms of embodied discomfort” as a default way of thinking (Selwyn, 2021). It could be the case that “relational encounters” and “bodily enactment” are both fundamental to the act of teaching, particularly online representations of both processes (Todd, 2021). Perhaps education is similar dance in virtue of both time and rhythm and the “…the temporal complexity of self and society” (Alhadeff-Jones, 2016).

“The complexity of educational time” (Alhadeff-Jones, 2016: p2).

The idea of digital body language has become more important. For example, “digital body language” and “telehealth” are emergent practices (Dhawan, 2021). (Digital) dancing and technology can work together. Using Power BI, Strictly Come Dancing results were shown:

Power BI and Strictly Come Dancing

Perhaps the pivot is a type of ‘digital dancing’ or a series of Pivots, Pirouettes, and Piqués (Jhangian, 2020). delivered the closing keynote presentations exploring ‘Curious Contradictions and Open-ended Questions’ at the conference. If doctors can dance, then perhaps Learning Technologists can too. Let’s dance! In Caliban’s Dance: FE after The Tempest, the authors ask the question “Where in FE is there space to dance?…’What restricts the dance?’…[then]…’With no restrictions, what would a future FE dance be like?'” (Daley, Orr & Petrie, 2020). When dealing with uncertainty, perhaps it necessary for us to “Dance in the Dark”… when we try to navigate the university (Pirrie, Fang & O’Brien).

The recording of the presentation can be accessed on YouTube here or it is possible to play the YouTube video below.

Digital Dancing? Cha Cha Cha, Paso Doble, Tango, Jive, Ballroom?

One of the presentations explored co-creating a ‘zine’ entitled Collective Hope by Sarah Honeychurch and Wendy Taleo. Contributors were invited to respond to a range of prompt for example ‘What was your favorite conference presentation and why?‘. One of the highlights of the conference was the session by Eamon Costello and Prajakta Girme entitled ‘University V is alive! Now open to the closed, the cruel and the Dead’. What was really interesting was the idea aof the ‘pedagoganym’ and Eamon’s speculative performance.The zine can be accessed here.

All of the conference presentations are available in an open capacity here.

“Call your dancing spell my way. I promise to go under it”

Bob Dylan, in Daley, M, Orr, K & Petrie, J (2020)

Bibliography

Alhadeff-Jones, M (2016) Time and the Rhythms of Emancipatory Education Rethinking the temporal complexity of self and society (London: Routledge)

Association of Learning Technology (ALT) (n.d.) Open Education Conference (OER) Conference (Online) Available at: https://www.alt.ac.uk/events/open-education-conference [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) ‘Strictly Come Digital Dancing Exploring ‘Open Education & Pivot Choreography’ through Speculative Virtual Dance’ OERxDomains2021 Conference. Online. 21-22 April. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8aag5JF9ec&feature=youtu.be [Accessed: 21 April 2021]

Association of Learning Technologists (ALT) OERxDomains21 Guide (Online) Available at: https://oerxdomains21.org/ [Accessed: 21 April 2021]

BBC (2021) Strictly Come Dancing (Online) Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m8dq [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Costello, E & Girme, R (2021) University V is alive! Now open to be closed, the cruel and the Dead. https://youtu.be/ywfx9F_2YtU [Accessed: 29th April 2021]

Daley, M, Orr, K & Petrie, J (eds) (2015) Further Education and the Twelve Dancing Princesses (London: Institute of Education Press)

Daley, M, Orr, K & Petrie, J (eds) (2020) Caliban’s Dance: FE after The Tempest (London: UCL Institute of Education Press)

Dhawan, S (2021) Digital Body Language How to Build Connection No Matter the Distance (London & Dublin: Harper Collins)

Honeychurch, H & Taleo, W (2021) OERxDomains Conference Collections from conference participants [pdf] s.l:s.n (Online) Available at: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/806214651448262716/836098278285246464/Peoples_Choice_Zine_-_final.pdf [Accessed: 29 April 2021]

Jhangian, R (2020) Pivots, Pirouettes, and Piqués: Gracefully Managing the Anxieties of Remote Teaching and Learning, [blog] 25 March. Available at: https://thatpsychprof.com/pivots-pirouettes-and-piques-gracefully-managing-the-anxieties-of-remote-teaching-and-learning/ [Accessed 27 April 2021]

Jhangian, R (2021) ‘Curious Contradictions and Open-ended Questions’. OERxDomains2021 Conference. Online. 21-22 April. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8aag5JF9ec&feature=youtu.be [Accessed: 21 April 2021]

GASTA (n.d.) Gasta.me (Online) Available at: http://gasta.me/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

OER Commons (2021) (Online) Available at: https://www.oercommons.org/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Open Covid Pledge (n.d.) Open Covid Pledge (Online) Available at: https://opencovidpledge.org/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Pirrie, A, Fang, N & O’Brien, E (n.d.) Dancing in the Dark A Survivor’s Guide to the University (Golden Hare Books: s.l.)

Manafy, M & Gautschi, H (2011) Dancing with Digital Natives STaying in Step with the Generation that’s Transforming the way business is done (Medford: Cyberage Books)

Newell, A & Kleiman, P (2012) Doctors Can Dance.July 2012 London Review of Education 10(2):133-144 (Online) Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254316638_Doctors_can_dance [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

McDonald, P (2021) Open Education: A Game of Digital Thrones. https://oer21.oerconf.org Open Education Blog, [blog] 25 March. Available at: https://oer21.oerconf.org/news/guest-post-open-education-a-game-of-digital-thrones-by-pip-mcdonald/ [Accessed: 8 March 2021]

Todd, S (2021) Teaching as bodily enactment: relational formations of touch and movement, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education (Online) Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01596306.2021.1978698?scroll=top&needAccess=true& [Accessed 21 September 2021]

1 thought on “Strictly Come (Digital) Dancing

  1. Pingback: Voices from #OERxDomains21 : OERxDomains Conference

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