Real Players? Drama, Technology and Education

By Nicholson, Helen | English Drama Media, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Real Players? Drama, Technology and Education


Nicholson, Helen, English Drama Media


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Real Players? Drama,

technology and

education

John Carroll, Michael Anderson

and David Cameron, 2006

Trentham Books, 17.99 [pounds sterling]

ISBN 978-85856-365 7

This book, written by three leading specialists in drama education and on-line media in Australia, promises to explore how digital technology might be integrated into drama education. It is a timely publication; many teachers of drama are interested in responding to the innovative ways in which theatre-makers are introducing digital technologies into their creative output, and in analysing role-based performance, increasingly evident on TV and related digital output. The book recognises that young people live in an increasingly mediatised world, and suggests how drama education might respond to this digital environment.

The authors are enthusiastic advocates for the integration of digital technology into the drama classroom, and each of the ten chapters presents a particular way of exploring this issue. The first chapter identifies the relationship between drama, learning and technology, arguing that the creation of mediatised communities is a both an imperative and a consequence of this approach to education. It is a compelling argument, deftly addressing any critics who might argue that the introduction of digital technology into the classroom makes for solitary learning and isolated individuals. The rationale for the book thus set-up, the second chapter provides an intellectual justification for the book's argument. Tracing the legacy of Walter Benjamin, the authors make a case for understanding digital technology as a new aesthetic and an important mode of contemporary production. There are two implications for drama education that have particular relevance for UK teachers. First, the authors suggest that traditional drama in education conventions that are based on adopting roles, play and spontaneous improvisation need to revised to take account of the popular digital cultures of young people. Second, there is an argument that drama education might more consciously and systematically introduce digital technology into the processes of theatre-making.

A book of this length cannot possibly explore both aspects of digital performance in depth. It is much stronger on the use of role and the ways in which video and computer games might be adapted for classroom use than on ways in which digital technology might become part of students' theatre-making processes. …

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