Greetings to all!
This weekend, I am at the NC Music Educators Association Honors Orchestra Festival and Teacher In-service Conference. It is a busy weekend for me as I am chaperoning 7 students from NCSSM that are in the All State Honors Orchestra, presenting a session on Inspiring "Net Generation" Music Students with Instructional Technologies (with my friend and colleague, Phillip Riggs), accompanying the NC Honors Chorus on violin for a Telemann piece, giving a session on electric violin technology, and attending some of the conference as well.
Right now, I am sitting in the Stevens Center concert hall in Winston Salem, enjoying an evening rehearsal of the Honors Orchestra. I love this space and the kids sound wonderful. My friend, Dr. James Anderson from Appalachian State University is the conductor and he is getting the most out of the students. I love his work.
Today, Phillip Riggs and I presented our session on Net Gen Students. We encouraged our audience to think about their role as a teacher in a new way. We encouraged them to look for ways to more efficiently deliver content to their students through the use of instructional technologies. For instance, in my piano and guitar class, I am delivering guitar and piano lessons via my Moodle site on video. Students can access the lessons any time of day or night. The key to this being successful is the ultimate interaction with you, the instructor. Instructors must hold students accountable, provide assessment, tutoring, mentoring, facilitate good learning, help to motivate, and encourage just as we always have. We just need to think about how we might deliver the content of our courses in the most efficient manner possible.
For my orchestra, I provide video lessons on vibrato, upper positions, scale fingerings, bow hold, shifting, and a variety of other techniques. for my piano and guitar courses, I provide lessons on individual instruments, theory lessons, links to theory sites, and other content delivery tools. My class is no longer teacher-centric. It is student-centric. In my Music history class, I provide links to tremendous performances on Youtube, links to great biographies of composers, interactive quizzes, homework assignments, assessments, and more.
Today, if you are a teacher, I challenge you to consider what percentage of your class is spend delivering content - facts. That is the area that I believe we must be more efficient. Even this blog is an expression of the concept. this is where I lay out my more abstract thoughts for my students. I could take time in my class to explain this, but there is no need. Yes - even this blog, my thoughts, is/are content. So I choose to deliver it efficiently.
Consider how you might implement this, too. In small ways. No need to jump in headfirst. Just consider one way that you might deliver your content in a more efficient way. It just might save you some time and inspire one of your "Net Generation" students in a new way.