George Street Playhouse teaches educators how to be more engaging in a virtual setting

A New Jersey theater company is teaching the state’s educators how to be more engaging in a virtual classroom.

News 12 Staff

Aug 19, 2020, 1:58 AM

Updated 1,336 days ago

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A New Jersey theater company is teaching the state’s educators how to be more engaging in a virtual classroom.
The George Street Playhouse is leading the effort by using theater exercises designed to help the teachers adapt to a new way of teaching their students.
“What we are doing is training teachers how to use the arts, specifically theater arts education, in a virtual setting,” says Playhouse director of education Jim Jack.
The New Brunswick theater staff trained the teachers online for three days in ways to become more at ease on camera and more engaging.
Bound Brook fifth grade teacher Catherine Rand says that teaching virtually requires a new set of skills.
“You can’t walk over and give someone a reminder. You have to be that much more engaging and you have to be able to sort of draw students in,” she says.
Tools for teachers include how to use green screens to enhance picture book storytelling and other techniques. About 40 teachers participated in the virtual seminar.
The program was founded by a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities through the CARES Act. The grant covered salaries for the online instructors, helping to keep theater employees on the job while the venue itself is closed.
Tuition for the seminar was free. The grant provided $70,000 to the program and provides for follow up professional development for the rest of the year.


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