The SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition )Model was used to audit my music curriculum using technology.. I chose a typical week in the Year 9 Music Curriculum which is not planned into sequential units but rather a mixture of different areas of study which are covered each week.
The 5 areas of studies are
- THEORY: notes, musical literacy scales, etc
- AURAL: Listening, identifying melodies, rhythms, intervals scales etc by ear
- MUSIC APPRECIATION: Researching different style of music and identifying sspecific music elements which are characteristic of each style,
- COMPOSITION: creating original pieces of music or short examples
- PERFORMANCE Performing set pieces each week and progressing. Building skills confidence and musicality through class performance and workshops.
Here is the audit with the curriculum outline, the Current audit and the re-imagining of the use of technology for each of the 5 areas of study.
The article reminded me about the importance of ‘letting go’ of preconceived notions and ideals of what makes a successful and vibrant learning environment. The TPCK reinforces the importance of combining pedagogical knowledge with technology and content but in a creative and flexible environment.
Teachers are no longer ‘teachers’. We are guides and instigators and at times equal to students in the learning process. Exploring how and what we learn together is crucial and exciting and allows the learning environment to be creative and free. This takes time, but also takes courage. Courage to let go of safe practice and clear boundaries. This is the challenge.
I intend to continue challenging myself by seeing the classroom learning experience through the eyes of the students. What are they learning? Are the bored? Why cant I let them decide how to come up with the solution? Do I have to know all the answers and do all their research? Do I actually have to be present in the classroom, or can I ‘teach’ online as a guide. These are all burning questions that I ask myself . I have abandoned many safe and fool proof methods because they simply don’t have the same impact. Students are always curious and multitasking and it is a challenge to keep up but it is a harder challenge to stay behind. In all I am fascinated in how students have changed in recent years and how they learn in so many different ways. I too have changed and will continue to change in the classroom and hope that I can be part of change and not a hindrance!
The 21st Century learning principle that I and Louise Sharpe have chosen to unpack is Rethinking the delivery and distribution of learning.
Our focus area is the implementation of on- line assessment of our curriculum in all senior school music year levels.
We are currently reviewing the music programs we have licences for and have introduced and trialled the cloud based theory and aural training and assessment programs Auralia and Musition. We will be able to monitor and assess students’ progress and design specific tests and activities through these programs. We have also trialled the programs Garage Band and Acid where students have been working on original compositions.
We are also using Dropbox to allow students access to resources such as mp3 files for musical analysis. The students will also use Dropbox to send us their recorded digital compositions and filmed performance assessments to be marked. This is a major development for music teachers who have for a long time struggled with program compatibility conflicts etc. and the time saved is going to be enormous
As for our Learning Teams topic from Marzano, we have chosen to focus on the process of chunking information. We have linked this with 21C learning strategies by implementing new ways of delivering and distributing information, in particular the monotonous skills of melodic and rhythmics dictation.
We developed an interactive audio visual analysis of a melodic dictation for the Year. 11’s which broke down, in to digestible bites, the strategies and steps that should be implemented in order to maximize the amount of information attained. By teaching this with an interactive presentation on the computer it provided; a visual stimulus for the students to assess their own skills, discuss how others were achieving the same results in different ways and also develop new skills presented to them. We surveyed students and their results indicated that having information broken down into smaller bites and allowing students time to consolidate their learning and skills through discussion and interactive demonstration better results were achieved.
This year has been a trial and error year in trying out new ideas using technology and looking at the different ways students learn effectively. We have removed textbooks from the booklist in 2014 as they are dry and now impractical and will attempt all class work via Ipad and laptops. Already music work and examples for holiday homework (normally provided by CD) are now located on Dropbox which has been easy to organise and smooth for all students and staff. Other aims are to deliver online music tutorials, submission of solo performance assessment via video, possible collaboration between classes (eg Year 7 Garage band joining compositions between home groups).
It will be an exciting year ahead especially as students will have more access to their own devices and we become more confident in our new learning environments and delivery.
Exploring the ways I might need to adapt the way I can approach teaching of 21st Century Learners
As a music classroom teacher it is crucial that I keep informed of the latest developments with music and technology. It is important that i am aware of how students listen to music, how they access and download their music and how their store, create and produce their own music using 21st century technology and learning practices.
No longer are textbooks, music manuscript paper useful resources in the classroom. Students find them boring and restrictive. I noticed this in Year 7 classes where we still retain the ‘Master your Theory’ Textbook which has been used for well over 50 years in schools. It is a great resource but i found it limits students. It doesn’t really allow for exploration of theoretical ideas, it limits students to set questions, it is dry and uninspiring. My Year 7s don’t like using it. In 2014 i have courageously removed the book from the booklists and instead will use Ipads and apps in Year 7 music for theory and other music activities in class.
It is a new and exciting and scary notion that the students will be ‘flying solo’ but I think it is necessary for the class to be active and successful in their learning There will also be gammification where music and theory games will be used to teach musical concerns. Mash Up apps/composition /recording apps will allow for instant access to sounds, will allow students creative outlets with their creative and practical work.
I expect there to be new discoveries how the students access the materials and how they store and retrieve information. In senior years I have removed textbooks as well and will be adapting and allowing students to have access to MUSITION and AURALIA cloud based programs which offer a vast array of theory and aural questions. The work is online but stored in cloud. Students can work on this in class, at home, at night, wherever and whenever. As administrator of the program, i have the freedom to move students in and out, provide access to different levels and different types of exam questions. Work can be saved results sent to me automatically. There is no paper involved. All cloud based. This is a new initiative which was trialled this year in VCE Music. It allow students the freedom to work at their own pace and to be challenged
The other area I am starting to use is Dropbox where recordings of music can be sent to DROPBOX (aural examples, melody , samples of songs and music) which before had to be downloaded, burnt onto CD etc. Students now have a link to the dropbox and can work a lot more effectively and freely from home. The cloud based Dropbox allows for quick transfer of materials and resources which often have large data size and this allows me to give more work to students for holidays (eg VCE).
I find myself adapting almost on a weekly basis in the classroom and letting old and habitual practices go. I am finding that students are responding much better to interactive and online activities, seem more engaged and productive with these activities and is making the classroom a more interactive ad and less structured environment.
The digital age has had a huge impact on music making and education, particularly in the way of APPS. I found this article which I thought you might find interesting.