Blog

February 2013

Working on an exciting iPad  called Global eBook Projec with a local schoolt and two fellow ADEs Elaine Wrenn USA and Jane Ross Indonesia.

Very exciting to be part of something across the world.

January 2013

Finally completed the iTunesU course Write a Rap, iBooks Author has been a nightmare for me over spell-checking and proofreading.The course involved writing three iBooks and teacher doculmentation plus various support sheets. It took me a long time to realise that I was proofreading the same documentation and that even though I had saved my corrected spelling and grammar etc iBA had not saved it - I think I was on the third proofread before it clicked that my changes were not being saved.  I made a report to Apple about this and in the end had to delete iBA and re-install it.

I fully expect my stuff to come back since there were errors picked up in graphics How can that be? It saw a capital A as needing to be A with a full stop. Also, since I used slang/colloquialisms and contractions like "ain't" the program did not like my content.  I realised pretty early on that if i was provideing a lyric sheet for a rap I had to provide it as a pdf (proofread of course)  A rather long learning curve for a post christmas person I must say.

December 2012

My fellow ADE colleague Ian Wilson is kindly looking over the videos in my Write A Rap Course.  My course just needs a bit of proof-reading and it will be ready to go. Its been a long journey but well worth it, I do hope other teachers find it useful to use in their classroom around the world.

November 2012

My iTunesU course (along side other projects) is really taking shape now. everything is based around the iPad so I am using iBooks, iOS Garageband and other apps. I have spread the course over 4 books so that downloading all the intro videos etc will mean that each book is under 50 Mb There are over a dozen support pdfs and Teacher documentation.

I am just trying to get other musicians to check over the videos to make sure I have not missed anything out but this is very difficult sonce most people are really working hard at this end of the year.  

I have a real concern -after watching my 18 month granddaughter experience the iPad and the iPhone - she is immediatley delighted when she sees them and although she can't talk yet signals that she wants nothing more than to sit with me and flick through the apps.  My concern is that this gorgously rich milutimedia environment is taking away her desire to sit and read with a real book (yes i know she can read on the ipad too) but it really is not the same. Could this then hamper her reading progress? As a teacher we all know that language is the key to education.  At the moment I believe the activity of experiencing a paper book is more reflective and meaningful than using a tablet. I really want to be wrong but I dont think I am. Its the same conundrum with my husband a dedicated guitarist who sees the iPad as a devious counter-revolutionary to his art. Despite having an iPad that he uses every night for Ebay has no inclination to even attampt to have a look at Garageband.  He regards it as subjugating  his art.  This is small thinking - those who are enlightened know there are so many extraordinary possibilities ahead using a small mobile tablet.  (Whilst I was in Cork my fellow musicians- some working at an extremely high levels ie composers using Stienberg holding public international  just said no when I told them the days of the macbookpro are numbered.  (Well they will be when the iPad parallels their capacity/power/integrity etc


October 2012

Still working on my iTunesU course and after due reflection I have made some changes to the course in particular to the name which although sounds great ("Rappin in the classroom" ) after reading through the iTunesU rubric sent by Apple to us I have realised that in order for people to actually find my course they need to have simple keywords "rappin" and "classroom" might work but "write" and "rap" would work better when teachers initiate a search - so much for creative titles. I love the bright Jamaican colours on the Title Page  and have used http://www.graffiticreator.net to create the wild text.  Interestingly the dichotomous relationship with Rap /hiphop and all the ugliness associated with it as opposed to the absolutely brilliant musical genre that I think can be so educationally supportive is a really weird scenario.  When I was in need of an image of a rapper - researching the internet brought up two stereotypical images that I thought would do the trick --- wrong.  The first one was Tupac Shakor (brought up in a Black Panther environment and shot  down in Vegas in his mid twenties) and the other image I eventually tracked down was off a most wanted criminal list …...so much for stereotypes.  Eventually it was beholden to me to be completely original and therefore my colleague and friend Phil Gregory stepped in to act as my virtual rapper.  I have to say that the use of Morfo on the iPad  is really superb. At first I was going to ask Phil to do all the videos or at least record the audio for them but with Morfo I could use the low pitch option in Morfo. However I did have to revert back to GB on my Mac the low pitch was not really working for me. I found recording my voice and then lowering it by -5 worked,  I then recorded my voice with Morpho while holding it over the MacBook Pro. I decided to have no more that 1.30 mins of video (kids get bored easily) also, my version of Morpho only allows me to do 30 secs so I had to make more than one recording.

Meet Gregsy my virtual Rapper aka Phil Gregory ADE

Screen Shot 2012-09-26 at 09.13.37


September 2012

Spent most of this month researching and resourcing my iTunesU course for Apple. All images chosen (and I use loads) have to be my own or copyright free, its really made me think about what the kids are using in school every day, to them it is nothing to screenshot an image and use it in their work. I am providing a basic "How to Course" for the non specialist music teacher to deliver straight out of the box (so to speak)  I have decided to wrap the 6 lessons between two iBooks - 3 lessons in each. Here are the front covers. I am also providing a Teacher ibooks to contain all the documentation they will need. There will be other materials which I will  provide in the materials list - e.g. support sheets which teachers might want to print off or have available digitally to their students. I have put screenshots inthe iBooks so that both teacher and student can see what is available .

Screen Shot 2012-10-21 at 11.09.10


August 2012

Getting involved in my iTunesU Course that I am putting together with other ADEs from around the world. Very exciting to be part of this team who are very knowledgeable and have a wide range of classroom scenarios.

I envy those who teach in the international schools, with students who want to acheive, parents who care and are prepared to push their kids. Musically it must be a dream to teach in one of these schools what amazing stuff you can do with them.  When I first started teaching I could walk into a classroom and tell a teacher I needed the choir all morning and the orchestra all afternoon. I had a very musical head teacher and of course no SATs just the odd O or A level to pass. - those were the days!! Inconceivable to do that now of course.

Our official photos from Cork arrived this week and I have put small versions of them alongside the collages I made of the event.


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Flickrd all my Cork Pix just click on a photo in the thumbnails and it should take 

you straight to the Group………………….


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Too little time and so much choice...





I

ts taking longer than i thought to write up my experience at Cork its far too important to just jot notes. initially I agonised over the format - should I use pages?  keynote?  but since our US Colleague Chris Tulley had created such a great template for our Cork ADE Journal how could i ignore this opportunity. 

I am also currently involved in a primary school using iPads and planning their needs

I am in the middle of digitising my videos from VHS to DVD at least- also tapes of my own synth music ideas from a Fostex 4-track recorder to mp3s.

I captured a great deal of information and links from Cork and want to follow all of them up and write them up for everyone else to enjoy and learn from. Its obvious that sharing is a very powerful this is something I took away from Cork.

I've started - I have reduced all my 286 Cork Photos - well the ones I am not ashamed to own - that is.

I have asked for a place to upload to go with everyone else's however although I managed to Airdrop 30 odd photos on the 2nd day - I believe that they may have disappeared into the Ether.

I have emailed Ivey Schrunk for a place to upload - looks like it will have to be Flickr I will give it the #ADE2012 so that as many Ades can see them as possible.



First Post

ADE Global Institute Banner


Its ironic or maybe even prophetic that my first post should be about Apple…. but not surprising to those who know me.         

I have just come back from a marvellous CPD experience which was organised by the Americans and hosted by the Irish (what a great combination) for the "Apple Distinguished Educators Global Institute 2012 Cork Ireland". I shall eventually put up a detailed reflection about this event under the  menu of this website since I am keen to share the experience with as many ADEs and teachers and learners as I can and will  provide links to all the ideas and resources.

First of all I have to say how astonished I was by the amazing thought and care put into organising such a large event by the US team, everything that could have been, was. No stone was left unturned to get everything right - from which bus or tutorial we were attending to the constant supply of drinks and food available to us while we were working. The choice of hotel (Fota Island Hotel - Cork)  was also key to the week's success with such gracious and kindly hosts - between them they are a top model for all events worldwide.

A few years ago I won a £10,000 week's holiday to Atlantis in the Bahamas staying at the marvellous Royal Towers - well ask me which week i would prefer? ….yes this one just gone. Not only for the comfort and organisation but for the companionship and shared learning experience - it was memorably  priceless.