Archive | April 2013

eLearning Q&A

Here is a centralised place to ask any eLearning-related questions that you think I may be able to answer, or that others may help with. By keeping all questions and answer in this open forum, we can share ideas and solutions.

Ask away!

VET Video Task

By the end of this week, I need an email with:

-Equipment List

-Signal Chain

-General outline of your presentation

QR Codes in Education

So I did some guerilla wallpapering around the campus today. QR Codes, as used in a couple of the MTEC sessions. I don’t think any of the students took notice, though they were intentinally a bit small. A couple of the staff did notice them, though but I let them go until I could get an explanatory video done. Unfortunately, the video I created has vision of current students so can’t be made public without written consent… Oops.

Anyway, there are a few reasons I can see for using QR codes in an educational environment (thanks to MTEC presentsers for some of these ideas):

– sharing websites that are of interest to students

– more efficient real-estate: place on walls with links to references rather than the more traditional posters (easy to update or replace)

– more ergonomic access to classroom references (students view references on their devices or laptop directly in front of them, or use their phone next to their laptop/book rather than constantly turning to face the poster)

– easy access to digital copies of print materials when not in class (eg Instrumental Music Timetables – how many students manage to last a term on one copy???)

– additional information eg on posters or gallery displays

 

Negatives of this (which really are small):

– students/users need internet access to view the content (either through school or personal 3G)

– students need to be able to access school network drives (ok from laptops, not from personal devices eg phones)

– the school Intranet/LMS is not set up for off-campus access or cannot easily host or link to resources

 

The negatives are small but can have a really significant impact on the uptake of new technology and ideas – for many teachers, they’re simply too busy to try someting new if it doesn’t work easily, reliably and the first time they try.

 

Please post any other ideas or questions you have relating to their use in class.

 

SG

Paint.NET

Why do we study image editing? So we understand a bit about reality in the modern, digital world. What is reality when we have Video Green Screen (for weather presenters), Virtual Airbrushing of magazine covers, etc. By creating some altered-reality of our own, we can understand a bit more about what others are presenting as reality and make more informed decisions for ourselves.

OK, some basic skills that you need to remember when using Paint.NET:

Always open files in Paint.NET before modifying them, or before copying them to your background.
Always save your work as a Paint.NET file (.pdn) so that you can work on all the features later. If you need to share your work with someone else, save a copy as a PNG or JPG file, but don’t try to edit this version.
Always paste new objects in to a new layer (Edit-Paste in to new layer) so that they can be edited seperately.
Rather than trying to Lassoo-select an object before copying, use the lassoo to delete sections of the background, then Rectangle-Select the whole thing (including the checkerboard pattern) and paste in to new layer. The Checkerboard pattern won’t show up as long as you use a new layer.

Vocaltronix

Well, I had my mind blown last week by the boys from SUADE (, a modern barbershop quartet. I don’t want to give too much of their ‘secret’ away (though they graciously shared one with us) but the way they’re integrating technology with live performance was astounding. In practice and on the day, it aims to be a simple process that they’re running, though having seen the background work that went in to it, I’m still in a spin.

I’m now planning to start something like this at school, though on a much simpler scale, as a way to get some of the more contemporary students into the department by choice.

At this stage, I’m planning to start with some simple things like loops played through Ableton Live, mixed with some beatboxing (also looped). I’ll also plug in a guitar pedal for some basic Wah effects and I’m keen to try the Reason demo that I’ve just installed and which I had a quick play with at MTEC. I’m interested in what can be done with a keyboard and their version of autotune.

I have QR codes created to link to youtube videos giving a quick overview of the project. Lets see how many of the kids actually follow them up!

Welcome

This site is one of my responses to the Music Technology in Education 2013 Conference that I attended here in Melbourne, Australia, last week. Whilst I learned a couple of new tricks at the last conference in 2011, the implementation of ICT within my school has increased significantly and I’ve spent more time playing with the tools since then.

The conference affirmed a lot of what the Music team is doing with technology but has also given me a few ideas about how to revise the classroom music program as well as ways to develop a different stream of the cocurricular instrumental side.

Of particular interest were comments about how Microsoft OneNote works with Sharepoint – something that my school is looking at but which may actually not work too well. Also, some interesting ideas about how blogging can be used as a practical journal for assessment, especially assessment which needs evidence over time.

I intend this site to feature my thoughts on teaching, music & technology as well as including tasks for my students. There will also be links to those whose work I find interesting or relevant.