Technology in Music Education has definitely been quite a journey. Truth be told I wasn’t fully invested or interested in the subject at the beginning of the semester. Even after coming back from placement and resuming the subject I wasn’t always that keen on attending class. Sure, I found the music tech equipment to be honestly amazing and really cool, BUT I just wasn’t convinced that I would ever use it in my own classroom. I wasn’t convinced that I would ever invest in high tech music equipment.
However, towards the end of semester I started to enjoy it… maybe because I began to think a bit more openly and intentionally about some of the stuff we looked at. I started to think about what I can take from the subject to bring into the classroom rather than close off my mind because I was tired. In particular, I started to think about how I can use technology to make myself a better teacher. One example I discussed briefly was using sequencers and launch pads. It is very possible that I can use it in my music classrooms to bring a contemporary edge to music education. I can definitely see students being really interested in DJing and just being able to have the knowledge, tools, equipment, and freedom to remix and compose music that closely aligns to their own musical tastes and interests. I mentioned it in an earlier post that I would love to be more well acquainted with launchpads and sequencers to allow my students to have an option of exploring electronic music. It also piqued my own personal interests in composing music and so this holiday I will very seriously consider getting a launchpad. I can definitely see myself investing in learning how to use a launchpad (and similar things) not only for personal interest but to provide greater options for students who are willing to explore other methods of music making beyond traditional instruments.
Thinking about the applicability and accessibility of technology also brought about the foundations of my tech project. My entire thought process was pretty much, “How can I bring good, creative and exciting music education ideas to primary classrooms with teachers who have not received the same training we receive at the con AND for teachers in schools that do not have access to high tech equipment and instruments. After thinking and talking to some friends who were primary teachers I came up with the Isle of Ducks. I wrote 2 children’s eAudiobooks under the pen name of JOE. With the books came the Isle of Ducks website that had accompanying resources and lesson ideas for teachers that could fulfil outcomes from the music curriculum, other creative arts learning areas (visual arts and dancing), as well as a bit of english. The entire idea of my project was to present musical ideas to teach to young students through engaging books for children. I definitely bit of more than I could chew, I tried to do 3 books but could only finish 2 books. Even then, I wasn’t able to prepare all the resources I had planned. I was able to prepare everything I needed for Tommy the Loose Goose, but for How to Bake a Cake I was not. However, I am extremely glad that this course forced me to think up an ideal like this. To combine some of my passions into a work that although incomplete is something that I am proud of and am willing to continue working on even after this semester. I plan to finish off writing some of the resources and hopefully finish the 3rd book over the upcoming holidays.
The presentation night was also such an amazing night. It went fairly smoothly and the presentation and the projects my mates came up with were amazing! You could see the amount of work people put into their projects and also how much it meant for them. I fully expected no-one to visit my table and ready my story so I was very excited/nervous to present my book and my reasoning behind it in front of everyone. If it can entertain adults I’m sure it can entertain children. I’m glad that my project and presentation although basic and simple was warmly received by the audience and was entertaining. I am very proud of my cohort and what we achieved through this course.
If you’d like to watch me read my story skip to around 1:15:00!
Of course, James and Liz (and Rebecca) definitely helped to make the subject more enjoyable by presenting the content as engagingly as they could have (some of it was very dry). The whole MYOD movement was really interesting and the gamification theory we looked at will always be stuck in my mind. Yes, there were a few tedious things I had to do like the whole twitter account and personal website, but the content was as a whole mostly interesting in retrospect.
Although my heart was not always with the subject and I wanted to leave as soon as possible. I am glad this subject is a part of the course because it helped me come up with the Isle of Ducks something that I can be passionate about in the future. It brought different issues and challenges of bringing music technology in the classroom for me to think about. It helped me engage and learn more about a world I know nothing about but is a world that the music industry/education is heading towards more and more.
This was a difficult subject and semester with many challenges, but ultimately I enjoyed this Technology in Music Education and what it offered.
I think I speak for my entire cohort when I say that we are all exhausted.