Sunday, November 29, 2009

Web 2.0 Tools: RSSFeeds for Musicians

Chad Criswell’s feed, Music Ed Magic, collects information from various authoritative Music Education sites and blogs (such as MENC). The “footwork” that Chad has put into this collecting the information on this site gives me a great repository for the various facets of music education.

“Music, Education, and Technology” is authored by Debbie Cavalier, the Dean of Continuing Education at Berklee College of Music’s online extension school, Berkleemusic. Berklee is one of the forefront music schools in the world. Dean Cavalier’s articles on technology in music education are priceless as they are gathered from real-world situations.

“Music Tech” is authored by Dr. Joseph Pisano’s. He pulls information music education and technology from various places around the globe. Since I emphasis cultural diversity in my classroom his “Monday Morning Music Mix – Education News from All Over” posts are great sources of information.

“Elementary Music/Music Technology” is authored by Amy M. Burns. Her postings consists of using cutting edge technology to reinforce the elementary music classroom. Posts from PodCasting in the elementary classroom to how to use Skype to prepare for concerts are something very “FullSail-like.”

“Music Technology in Education” is authored by Dr. James Frankel. His posted information has a heavy emphasis on the technological aspect of music education. He shares his personal experiences from conferences, software developing and more.

Web 2.0 Tool:

I researched ( “TubeRadio is a music player for the Web built that is built around YouTube, so it has the largest music library in the world because you can have anything that is up on YouTube. And YouTube has millions and millions of songs” (TubeRadio, n.d.).
I was quite impressed with this tool. For those who are familiar with Apple’s iTunes ( it follows a similar layout to that software’s music player. TubeRadio allows the user to search for songs and create playlists from these searches. Since the songs are pulled from YouTube users oftentimes are able to see the associated music video as well as hearing the song. The unique thing is that you can share these playlists with others, sharing via email, FaceBook, and Twitter, to name some.
I am a music teacher who teaches grades K-12. My use of TubeRadio would be focused on my senior high school students. My high school music class is organized in “pop band” format, vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, and drums. The music styles that are learned in this class are very contemporary, rock, pop, r&b, hip-hop. The students study real-world artists whose songs have recent releases. From a teacher’s point of view, I can easily create a playlist of the songs that the class will be performing in an upcoming concert or chapel, and email this playlist to the students. The students will then have an actual audio reference to practice with.
For student assignments, I’d have students search for live performances of the original artists or if necessary, live performances of others. Watching live performances would give students a visual guide, help them maintain their interest, and decreases developmental time. (Hudson Music, 2009). Another student assignment would be for them to independently find a number of live performances, make a playlist, email it to me, and then I would assign them a performance to learn and perform it in class.
TubeRadio is a great resource that I plan on making use of immediately.

TubeRadio. (2009.) Welcome to Retrieved November 29, 2009 from
Hudson Music. (2009). New media brings new benefits to music education. Hudson Music: Education plus Inspiration. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from
Image is user created screenshot of taken November 29, 2009.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Web 2.0: Educational Uses 4 Blogs

Here are some findings I came across when I was searching for how blogs are used in education.
“Scaffolding for struggling students” by Sara Kajder and Glen Bull (2003) is from one of my favorite technology in education sites, The article describes how blogs can reengage students with text. The article lists 6 instructional characteristics of a blog and 10 instructional activities divided into the following 3 groups: literary, revision and grammar, and reinvented blogs. “Perhaps the most significant instructional potential of blogs is student engagement.” . Student engagement is the thread that continues throughout this article and all the articles I’ve read. One idea that really cemented itself in my mind because I’ve seen this in my own students’ journals is the recognition of student created sketches . “Student journals have traditionally incorporated images and sketches. Blogs offer this capability as well as sound, motion, and an expanding list of new possibilities that engage struggling readers and writers in unique ways.”
David Huffaker writes in his article “The educated blogger: Using Weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom” that “weblogs provide an excellent opportunity for educators to advance literacy through storytelling and dialogue. Storytelling and literacy are the foundation of language development, and more so, the foundation of learning.”(2005). His article lists specific examples of how elementary teachers are using blogs to “encourage writing for third graders” (2005) and how mentor teachers and new teachers use blogs to “document, reflect, plan, mentor, analyze, and to communicate.” (2005).
Paul Anderson’s article, “What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education”, is an exhaustive overview of Web 2.0 tools, from Wikis, to Blogs, to Professional Learning Environments (PLEs), etc. Anderson writes and quotes a reference as how “alternatives to this [ugly moniker of user generated content (UGC)] include content self-publishing, personal publishing (Downes, 2004) and ‘self expression’. I like the thought of self-expression in education. It ties into the previous established thoughts that Blogs allow student engagement.
Yoany Beldarrain’s article, “Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies” discusses Blogs and other Web 2.0 tools as how they pertain to online learners. Yet even in this virtual environment, the idea of blogs assisting student writing is emphasized. “Blogs lend themselves to…enhancing writing…as student portfolios to keep record of an individual’s progress, accomplishments, as well as reflections.” (2005)
Researching how Blogs can be used in education was very insightful. I’m hoping to begin using Blogs in my Yearbook class as a way for students to develop their story writing skills (using photos they’ve taken) and to develop their critical analysis skills by giving each other feedback on their stories. Now, if I can think of a way to use them for my music classes…

Anderson, P. (2007, February). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. JISC Technology and Standards Watch. Retrieved, November 23, 2009, from
Beldarrain, Y. (2006, August). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139-153. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from
Huffaker, D. (2005, April). The educated blogger: Using Weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. AACE Journal, 13(2), 91-98. Norfolk, VA: AACE. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from
Kajder, S. & Bull, G. (2003, October). Scaffolding for struggling students: Reading and writing with blogs. Learning and Leading with Technology. 31(2), 32-35. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from