Tech EDGE: Mobile Learning in the Classroom
We are in an age where technology is really making strides in regard to accessibility and convenience. We can now type reports, publish websites, practice skills, take high quality photos, read, plan, and schedule from devices smaller (and lighter) than the average notebook. While the (rather archaic) approach to technology in academia has been to shun and fight innovation, we are in a new phase where technology is being welcomed in many schools as a learning aid.
In his podcast series, Tech Edge: Mobile Learning in the Classroom, Guy Trainin explores how iPads can be used in the classroom for learning. His podcasts cover a wide range of subjects and topics including, history, science, language, student engagement, how they can be used as a teacher aid, and more. A typical podcast will include a review of 2-3 apps for any given topic and application as to how they can be of benefit to students and teachers.
To my absolute joy, Guy hosts a music series which includes 6 podcasts devoted to music apps for various purposes in the classroom. Since engagement is such an important topic in education, I decided to check out the podcast below to find out how I could use iPads to support Music Engagement in my classroom. Below is the podcast as well as a review of two apps which can create opportunities for musical engagement in the classroom.
Price - $4.99
(View in App Store)
Apple's Garage Band has been around for years now, and is clearly a solid tool. It has been often praised for its simplicity and ease of use. In the age of the iPad, this functionality has gone mobile. Users are able to record and arrange at their leisure (or in haste!). A favorite feature of mine in this app is the availability of smart instruments. With an understanding of desired chords, a composer can lay out the path of the instruments (by clicking the and let the program fill in rhythmic patterns through the simple arpeggiator feature). If a composer does not know how to build the chord on an instrument, there is no problem! They can simply choose the "chords" option and select chords instead of building them. This is wonderful for a student composition project, as students are able to arrange music according to any given set of rules without being required to possess the performance skills of each instrument included. This tool can be used quite simply as a paintbrush to help to turn ideas into something tangible. This could also easily be used in music theory in learning about harmonic progressions.
Price – FREE
(View in App Store)
What a wonderful tool for both beat creation and (from an educator's perspective) the exploration of rhythm! Auxy makes it easy drag and drop beats, making the opportunity to hear how a change in rhythmic notation effects the sound of a composition. This app is so intuitive that I opened the app and immediately created a loop. In relation to a classroom environment, this means little training is necessary to prepare a student to compose through this app. An interested teacher could just as easily assign creation of a rhythmic loop (or short composition) as a 5 minute warmup to begin class as they could expand the assignment to serve as a weeklong project.