UW-River Falls students create a parody music video about virtual teaching and learning

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - The pandemic pushed teaching and learning to a virtual setting for the past year. A UW-River Falls math education class took an assignment and turned it into a music video.

You may be familiar with the 1980′s Bon Jovi hit, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, but you soon hear the parody “Teachin’ on a Chair.”

The course is to prepare middle and high school math teachers. One of the professors of the class is Doctor Mary Wright. Every spring she assigns a creative assignment to her class, but this year was a little different.

“This time we wanted to tell the story of teaching. The transition from face-to-face to online teaching,” Wright said.

All nine students participated in one way or another to bring this assignment to life. Whether they helped choreograph, write lyrics or edit hours of video. Of course, their had to be singers.

“We started this off with who’s a good singer,” student Danielle Wieler said.

Throughout the video, you can see many aspects of what it’s been like learning and teaching from home. From getting out of bed in the morning, camera ready from the waist while being comfortable pajama pants and screen sharing visuals for everyone to be able to see.

After recording, Madeline Gilbert had the opportunity to edit the final product.

“I sifted through all of that after we were don coming up with those ideas and I put it all together,” Gilbert said.

Even Wright and fellow professor, Dr. Eric Hofacker, couldn’t resist jamming out and joining in the fun.

“We really wanted Dr. Wright and Dr. Hofacker in it. Even if we didn’t ask them to participate, they probably would have.” student Jim Sturm said.

The students say this project and how close the class became as friends is thanks to the professors.

“A lot of credit goes to Eric and Mary for how they conduct this experience and how they created a community were we are able to do that,” Gilbert said.

Wright and Hofacker also encouraged their students to have fun and enjoy the process.

“We’re like this is the time to try out funny and weird things,” Wieler said. “We became like a close knit family so we laughed so much making this.”

The students say this experience will be with them when they become teachers.

“We got to express creativity and literacy by mathematics and these are all things we want our future students to be doing as well,” student Kaydan Geiger.

To watch the full “Teachin’ on a Chair” video, click here.

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