CYPRUS: How is technology used in the theatrical intervention CYBER?

TheatrEtc has developed a new theatrical intervention called CYBER,  based on the R.U.In? projects’ innovation, which is designed for the needs of lower secondary education students. CYBER has one major objective: to develop dialogue and critical thinking on the subject of cyber bullying among young people. The choice of the topic has been tightly connected to the choice for the development of an educational intervention that is structure around a social media application that is suited to the needs of the intervention and is only used within the context of the workshop. During the intervention, which lasts two teaching periods, the actors/facilitators have access to two imitation profiles that are created in the specific social media application. The profile constitute the induction of students in the imaginary life of two characters from our story; a story which unfolds with the help of the students as they investigate an incident of cyber bullying. Due to the familiarization of students with the codified language of social media applications, the deciphering of elements needed to give characters their status and structure to the story becomes natural to them. As the storyline unfolds in front of them and inside the classroom, however, they realize that one of the two characters that they «met» online, is sitting amongst them (a role played by an actor/facilitator) while at the same time the second character is isolated at home and refuses to return to school. Throughout this process of discovering details about the story as well as motives and actions hiden within it, the students are at the centre of the process and the narration as they are called upon to play different characters and to manifest their decisions and stances through online communication but also through face to face interaction in real time. The interaction is at its peak during a teachers’ meeting where students play the role of teachers that have a conversation around the ways they can resolve the issue within their school. So far, the execution of the intervention has confirmed our conviction that the new technological means can be used as tools for enriching and supporting educational processes. Nevertheless, the way they are used lays heavily on the abilities, knowledge and concerns of the user who needs to take into serious consideration the needs of the students but also their reality, transporting an experience within the classroom walls that has very clear pedagogical aims while at the same time enriches the students’ contact with the issue through means that are familiar and suitable to them.

TheatrEtc has presented the outputs of the R.U.In? project in March and April 2018.