A Message from EdTA’s Education Manager, Cory Wilkerson
These are challenging times for all of you, with school closed indefinitely, productions cancelled or postponed, and teachers left to quickly find ways to shift to online instruction. As theatre people, we are noted for our flexibility and creativity – traits that are certainly called for in these trying times! I applaud your strength and resilience as you seek to support your students while rapidly building the new way of learning required to meet this crisis.
Please know that EdTA is working hard to support you. Over the past few days, EdTA’s education team has been reaching out and seeking to understand your immediate needs and how best to help. The entire team – including myself, Advocacy/Education Associate Leah Ball, and Educational Policy Director Jim Palmarini – is busy curating resources to support you as you build online learning experiences for your students.
The most urgent need we are addressing is to build student resources for online and self-supported learning. Some of you already have district-sponsored digital learning systems, others are simply posting optional online learning assignments which are informal, non-graded tasks. Our goal is to help in either case, working on two fronts to build resources on Theatre Educator Pro:
- To seek out the best possible links and resources to support teachers planning formal or informal online learning experiences for their students. Check out our list.
- To create interactive online lessons you can use with your students for project-based learning aligned to standards. Find a growing collection of interactive lessons.
Over the next 10 days, you will see these collections grow and develop. But to get you started right away, we’ve tapped the collective strength of our organization to highlight resources our chapters have compiled:
Chapter Director Carolyn Greer
Kentucky offers a succinct list of emergency lesson plans with strategies for remote teaching – a great user-friendly list to use right away.
Chapter Director Mark Zortman
Pennsylvania shares several comprehensive resources, including Playbill’s link to the Met free streaming and Broadway plays available to watch from home, plus a comprehensive list of YouTube recordings of interviews with directors, actors, producers, etc.
Chapter Director Amy Jordan
A huge shoutout to Texas for its tremendously helpful and comprehensive list of all kinds of theatre links useful for creating online learning experiences for your students. Don’t miss the great stuff at Theaterish, including online tools to use to create virtual learning.
During this unprecedented time, EdTA will be making these special Theatre Educator Pro resource collections, interactive lessons and lesson plans publicly accessible as a service to the entire theatre education community.
You’ll also find resources through our EdTA online community. If you haven’t already, consider joining and sharing on one of the many online Facebook communities devoted to theatre education, such as Theatre Education Distance Learning.
It goes without saying that I am here for you as well. Please feel free to reach out by email or telephone if you are seeking a particular resource or support, and I will do my best to find it. Stay well and stay strong – together we will make it through.
Cory Wilkerson, Education Manager