Sunday, August 17, 2008

Podcasting ( a teacher tool and a student motivational tool)


There has been a plethora of information published recently about podcasting in the classroom. Even the Wikipedia definition of "podcasting" states the uses of "podcasting" in Education.
Podcasting is becoming increasingly popular in education.

[7] Podcasts enable students and teachers to share information with anyone at any time. An absent student can download the podcast of the recorded lesson. It can be a tool for teachers or administrators to communicate curriculum, assignments and other information with parents and the community. Teachers can record book discussions, vocabulary or foreign language lessons, international pen pal letters, music performance, interviews, and debates. Podcasting can be a publishing tool for student oral presentations. Video podcasts can be used in all these ways as well.

Research has shown that when students have to post their work to the Web or create a Podcast or Video interview the quality of their efforts is greatly improved in comparison to the regular old write a report hand it into the teacher (maybe if were luck read or share with the class).

Generally, teachers have found when students know their work will be posted on line and viewed by their peers, friends, relatives, and even in some cases the general public, the quality tends to be much better.

I am busy preparing for an upcoming workshop for teachers on "Podcasting". During the workshop I will be teaching teachers how to get things rolling their classrooms.

Topics for the workshop will include.

1. Samples of Student performed teacher facilitated podcasts. This wikispace contains work prepared by students based on

2. Tools necessary for Recording

  • Some form of software such as "Audacity" and , a microphone/headset,
or a Web 2.0 supported application such as "Voicethread or the Podcasting Firstclass application.

3. Project ideas for Podcasting

  • Merging original soundtrack music introduction music and soundtrack music along with the voice files.

4. Uploading and Posting your podcasts to Blogs, Webpages, Wikis,

5. Setting up Podcatcher and RSS feeds.

Friday, August 15, 2008

OMEA Summer Publication Overview

Hello All,

I just received the Summer Edition of the "RECORDER" which is the Journal of the Ontario Music Educators' Association. I took it to the cottage and was reading it when I had a few moments of peace when the kids were sleeping. Great information as per usual, however, there was a great mention of the importance of Music Education and Multiple Intelligences by the current OMEA President, Jim Palmer, and a great article titled "Useful Free Stuff on the Web" by David Gueulette. I will highlight more of the great links later in the blog.

Just a quick note on the OMEA. I have only belonged to the OMEA for a few years since 2005. I would strongly recommend anybody that teaches Music to join. The four Journals are worth the annual fee alone ( somewhere around $75.00 or $80.00). The Professional development I have experienced in the past three years have been absolutely amazing professionally speaking. Through my involvement with the OMEA I have been involved with the Planning Committee for the Annual OMEA conference in 2006 called "Unison". I was selected to be on the Arts Curriculum Review Committee, and I also recently wrote the Gr. 6 Think Literacy lesson featured in the new Ministry Publication Think Literacy Music Gr. 1-6.

Useful Free Stuff on the Web by David Gueulette is an article that I swear he wrote for me to save time. He highlights many useful free WEB 2.0 applications.

The application is a handy, easy to use freeware program that turns your computer into mp3 or wav recorder.
This program is similar in function to Audacity. ( already installed in TVDSB schools). It does not work well in VISTA be warned.

This peace of software is what got me so excited. I will be playing around with this WEB application and letting you know what I think. Hopefully, I will be using it come September and/or October with my more advanced grade students.

is a free software tool designed for learning how to play and improvise Jazz music.

It features tools such as Pattern Loader, Riff Builder, Groove'ranger, Transcriber, and Impro-Visor,

Please check out the sites and let me know what you think...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Music Applications for the iphone

I have been getting familiar with the blogging concept and I was checking out some other Music Technology Blogs. They linked me to some youtube videos on the new iphone applications. "iband" is new applications designed by a guy in the UK who works as Developer ( Mark Terry) in the Insurance industry. He mentions in the video, he has been designing this application in his spare time. Nice...I am looking after my 3 and 6 year old and refinishing a cedar deck. Here are the links to the demonstrations.

My thoughts.... I see this technology and it blows me away. I still want my students to play instruments... ( what some would call traditional), but then other parts of me say, however, we can get them hooked we have got to use all available tools. These short video clips could provide some excellent interjections in the Music Classroom. Before we ban mp3 players, and phones from school. Remember some of the applications we are seeing here today.

Overview and introduction to the product.

Commercial advertising the application. Song title (LIFE IS GREATER THEN THE INTERNET)

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, iphone drummer application.

( I think these videos would provide some serious "question and discussion" sessions for Music Class. Topical issues regarding upcoming school dances ( providing in house DJs etc.., copyrights, What is authentic or real music?)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Technology in the Music Classroom # 1

The purpose of this blogg "TECHNOLOGY IN THE MUSIC CLASSROOM" is to post thoughts, ideas, and techniques for including "technology" in the Music Classroom. I believe that for too long the Music Educators of the world have been losing great musicians to the realm of Computer technology.

For those of you that are already Music Educators and Musicians, it may have been a while, but I am sure your can remember how many hours "you" (the music geeks) use to spend locked in a bedroom, basement, and/or a rehearsal studio where you would practice, and practice, and practice some more. Think of today's kids (the computer geeks) locked in their bedrooms and basements, they are diverging in a million different directions with all kinds of computer based technology projects on the go, designing web pages, blogs, pod casts, web casts, youtube videos, and playing thousands of hours video games.

... Surely, a great music program could help stimulate some of that limited practice 'time" by merging Instrumental practice with computer technology.

If I were to achieve my goal in setting up this particular blog it would be to encourage my colleagues to provide and facilitate more opportunities to use Computer Technology to support the development and education of our future great Musicians.

  • Install Active Whiteboard into Music Classrooms.
  • Incorporate Data projectors and Big screens in Band Rehearsal and Music classrooms
  • Utilize powerful Desktop or Laptop computers connected to Data projectors on Big Screens with Powerful Sound systems.
  • Expose students to Computer tools for musicians ( research, performance assessment, notation software, recording software, and publishing software.)

Yes, This will require budget and planning... so what? An investment in technology has been proven in many school districts to attract more students into their programs by providing differentiated instruction. More Students usually equals more money.

I would like to be able to inspire some music teachers to allow more technology in their Music Programs. Technology can be employed to help assist students with Practice and Rehearsal software, Notation Software, Audio Recording software, online data bases, tutorial based software. It is very simple the computers do not need to replace the Instruments, this technology will simply provide opportunities to enhance listening and performance skills.

I plan to include links to great information and free stuff. This is part of my job as Tech Coordinator. I am always thinking about what my students and my own kids need to have a solid music education in the 21st century.


Mr. Tech