Integrate physical engagement into the online teaching and learning environment

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A new series of videos is now available for UCSC students, faculty and staff to help offset the increasingly sedentary lifestyle generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organized by theater arts dance lecturer Cid Pearlman, 3 minutes of moving (3MM) provides easy access to physical engagement with a variety of three-minute movement experiences, presented by accomplished teachers of dance, martial arts and contemplative movement practices.

These free videos are designed to promote the health and wellness of all body types, and no pre-movement training is necessary. 3MM is an online education project of UCSC in collaboration with the Faculty of Dance of the Department of Theater Arts at UCSC, with support from Porter College and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History .

Pearlman explained how this project was born.

“In addition to my position as a dance teacher in the theater arts, I am currently working as an instructional designer with UCSC Online Education. “said Pearlman.

“Soon after I started working with online education, I had a remote visit to my backyard with my friend and UCSC Dance and Theater Arts colleague Cynthia Ling Lee. One of the things we talked about was the need to integrate physical engagement into the online teaching and learning environment in a way that reached people who don’t necessarily have a regular practice of movement. This sparked the idea of 3 minutes of moving (3 MM). “

“We spend so much time now in front of our screens and we have to move our bodies. I think three minutes is short enough that people aren’t intimidated into trying something new, ”she added.

Tapping into her network of colleagues in dance, martial arts, yoga, and other related practices, Pearlman first contacted a dozen artists, whom she knew could be successful in the abbreviated format. The series began in January, featuring six artists, and more videos are added each month until the end of June.

Pearlman noted that the home feel of the 3MM videos is intentional, with each artist creating their own video with the technology they have. Some are more produced and edited, while others are shot on phones in one take.

“What’s important to me is the connection that the 3MM artist makes with the viewer, that the viewer feels invited to move,” Pearlman said. “Some movement practices are more contemplative and can be done while seated, and others are quite energetic and can be a bit difficult.”

She added that 3MM is publicly hosted on the UCSC Online Education YouTube channel and is accessible to anyone. It can also be imported as a course in any Canvas Commons course. “Our hope is that professors from all disciplines will include 3MM videos in their lessons and encourage their students to relocate. “

Colleagues at the Pearlman Campus were very supportive of the new project.

“As a dancer, I have always known the value of a movement practice and how it helps balance emotional and physical well-being,” said Gerald Casel, dean of Porter College and associate professor of theatrical arts. . “These 3-minute snippets provide us with a rich resource for sharing and learning about our bodies, and how to connect more deeply with ourselves, from the slow and cellular aspects to the vigorous and rhythmic aspects of dance practice.”

“We also experience a wide variety of movement styles which are often imbued with cultural inflections that highlight the kinetic diversity of expression and the possibility of emotional richness,” added Casel.

UCSC Director of Online Education Michael Tassio noted that After a quarter of distance learning, there was growing evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on the physical and mental health of students, faculty and staff.

“None of us were used to being in front of a computer for such long periods of time, or seeing our interactions with others translated into Zoom, email and SMS,” Tassio said. “3 minutes of moving is a small step towards improving mental health by injecting physical activity into our daily routines. Even if you can’t keep up with every move, they are sure to put a smile on your face and improve your day.

3 minutes of moving is available on request via the UCSC Online Education YouTube channel. It is free and accessible to the public.

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