Welcome to Buddy, a brand new teaching app which can benefit students and teachers. Teachers can simply download the free app and video lesson highlights for students to practice with. Students can then access the lessons at their leisure, on a completely safe and secure platform.
Dance Informa spoke with creator Gabrielle Robinson about this new, handy dance teacher and dance student app.
What was your drive to create Buddy?
“Every team meeting I have had with my teachers over the past five years has brought up the same questions and frustrations, which was around how to get better results and have our students practice more. When a child is absent for a few lessons, how can you catch them up quickly and easily?
I am an action-taker, and I am not a fan of waiting around for others to come up with some exciting product to solve my problems. It occurred to me that if we were thinking like this, others would have the same frustration. So, after three years of fun, playing with the idea and developing, Buddy was born.”
Who will this app benefit?
“Anyone who teaches or takes classes, across many arenas.”
Buddy is essentially a way for teachers to upload videos of them teaching for their students, is this correct?
“Absolutely, however, this is an entirely safe and secure way to do this. With the major concerns studio owners have about sharing videos and uploading footage to unstable platforms, Buddy bypasses these issues. Because it is password-specific, only the intended users can have access to only the work that is theirs. Not only will the teachers film them teaching the work, it allows the students to see what they need to do to within the choreography or their technique. It allows them to see the feedback their teachers give them and to take the steps to apply the corrections more effectively.
Uploading exam work is something that we are working on with Glenn Wood. This for him will mean an instant tap exam for more accurate resulting. Gone are the days of making sure everything is correctly formatted for several uses. So the way we are using it has many purposes.”
How do you envisage the app being used?
“Buddy will be used as a teaching companion, so that the students can access their teachers and their class work at any time they want.”
How have teachers responded so far to trialling the app?
“We have been in our ‘in-house’ trial period for the past 12 months, so during that time there has been mixed emotions. More recently, and since our launch in July, the excitement has been enormous, in that teachers are finding Buddy to be a powerful tool for their teaching, both with technique and performance work. The past two months have seen much excitement around our improved exam results, and confidence levels among the students.”
And how have students responded to using the portal?
“They love it! The positive response from parents and students has been overwhelming. Parents are so excited that the preparation toward big events is better, the students are more engaged – they actually practice! And the students are having more conversation around the Buddy footage and are practicing in the warm-up room more than ever before. They love being able to see first-hand what they are doing wrong. When they see the need to self-correct, they are doing it.”
You mention “you will be guaranteed improvement in Exam Results, Competition…”. How is this guaranteed?
“When your students have access to your teaching, your methods of explaining, and your idiosyncratic comments, outside their classroom, their understanding is strengthened and anchored into their memory far stronger, therefore if they use it, the improvement will be guaranteed.”
What kind of teachers will find Buddy helpful – just dance?
“Anyone who teaches lessons and takes lessons. It is applicable in many instances and applications. From dance, drama, yoga, Pilates and personal training to cooking, craft, sewing and music. It can be used for any lesson content.”
The app is free – are there in-app additional purchases to make?
“Yes, the app is certainly free to download. However, to continue using it after a free 10-day trial period, users will pay either a yearly or monthly subscription. The subscription costs are dependant on the number of students the studio has. The studio can choose to on-sell it to their students at a small fee (we recommend either .50 cents or $1.00 per class) and it is easy for the studio to then create a passive income stream while watching their students improve.”
Can you upload videos straight from your phone?
“Yes, if you are in a Wi-Fi zone you can do it really quickly. If not, that is simple too, you just make sure you have 3G phone connectivity and can upload directly from there. If you don’t have internet on your phone you can video, then simply upload when you get into a Wi-Fi zone.”
What length of lessons can be uploaded?
“You can upload anything from 10 seconds and up to 8 minutes of a lesson or routine.”
Gabrielle Robinson has a fascination with the human spirit. Constant and never ending improvement in dance training is her great passion and she has a clear commitment to quality dance education, teaching methods and the lifestyle and health of training dancers. Operating the largest dance studio in South Australia, she has been faced with exciting and sweat-provoking challenges and trials along the way.
By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): Gabrielle Robinson with some of her students. Photo courtesy of Gabrielle Robinson.