Sunday, July 17, 2016
Books about the Internet
I find it very interesting to read books on current technology, because when it seems like most of our tech is changing so rapidly, by the time a book is out it is almost obsolete. That being said, Bauer's book has a lot of information in it, combined with sound educational ideas, and I'm finding it to be a stimulating read. Though I wish he would have included more information on cloud-based and browser-based technologies, he has a lot of basic information on programs and ideas that I was not completely up to date with, and is enhancing my knowledge of some things I do not have much familiarity with, though I see them being used by my colleagues. As a teacher in a school that has moved to Chromebooks for the students, I am eager to find alternatives to the programs discussed, especially things like Garage Band that are used for creating looped compositions. The new notation software such as MuseScore and Noteflight are very helpful for my teaching, because they are available for free use, which is most school districts' favorite price! I am very interested in seeing how these technologies grow and change in the near future. One issue I am having is finding the time to distill all the information and find the best of the best. Now with so much easy access to the internet and various platforms, it seems there are great blogs, podcasts, and sites everywhere but my days are not getting any longer. I think the use of twitter for more educational networking will help me to find excellent resources, but I will still keep an eye out for a new way to distill information and find the information I want in the quickest, easiest format. As Bauer says, "critical examination of potential learning resources is necessary." (Bauer, p. 40) As demands keep growing in our schools, and contact time shrinks, we must make use of every minute and make sure our students are receiving the best we as educators can give them. It's a tall order. The goal becomes both efficiency and effectiveness both in accessing information for my own use, and in sharing it with my students. One suggestion Bauer makes is to use Learning Management Systems to consolidate information and resources for the students as well as using it as a portfolio to keep records, videos, recordings, and assignments for evaluation (Bauer, p. 42-3). This is a tool I am really interested in delving into, and hope to use one, Google Classroom, in my classes this year. As most middle school teachers are well aware, kids that age often struggle with their executive functioning skills. Keeping copies of scale sheets, fingering charts, warm ups, and assigned etudes online will prevent the "I lost my music" excuse! I am excited by all the possibilities, and looking forward to digging into these tools more--my students deserve it! Bauer, W.I. (2014). Music learning today: Digital pedagogy for creating, performing, and responding to music. New York: Oxford University Press.