A quick idea using the great site inBflat.net which is an online project that got people to film themselves performing simple drones in the key of Bflat and then allows the viewer/hearer to turn them on and off at will. Everything sounds nice because its all in the one key. I opened this up on my electronic whiteboard and then gave kids a chance to come up and experiment and create little arrangements. Its a great little site that enables the kids to instantly hear what it is like when you add a bass, or how the sound changes when a single note instrument like a trumpet comes in. It is also a great chance for them to hear music making using non traditional instruments and instruments that they might never have seen before.
In term 3 myself and my fellow music/ICT teacher Andrew Williamson were given the opportunity to work with a group of 30 grade 6 students for an hour a week doing whatever we liked in the area of ICT (computer’s). Instead of devising a curriculum for the class with an end goal in sight we decided to go the other way and hand over the power to the students and see where they would drive the curriculum. We proposed to them that they would be responsible to find web 2 open sourced software of the internet that would lend itself to some form of creative output -what form that was didnt matter it just had to be something that was of interest to them and would provide them with an opportunity to create something. They would then have to add this to a collective list. Each member was then rquired to investigate the applications that the others were discovering and write a review on them. All of this helped to instill in the kids a sence of responsibility to the group learning and hopefully a much more powerful group intelligence would emerge than anything Andrew or I could have come up with.
Once all the reviews were in the kids could then go to any of the programs they liked and start making thing, music, pictures animations, tessalations, game making, programming, cartoons films whatever. The medium is unimportant the process and ability to express ideas is the real thing of interest so discovering new mediums that will help you do this was exciting for all the kids.
We used Google Wave as our place to communicate as a class. A place to add your reviews and a place to chat about how you were going what you liked and didn’t etc. As this no longer exists you could create a wiki for your class to do the same thing
The kids loved this class, so much great stuff was made. I have quickly raced around and grabbed a couple of screenshots but it really doesnt give you a good reflection on the amount of diverse work that was being outputted from this class.
This is a great example of what can happen when you simply set up an environment and trust that children have an inate desire to express themselves and to learn.
SOme online programes that were chose were
goanimate – a simple animation programe
Tagxedo – a tagcloud generator
Glogster – a poster creator
Aviary – a online image manipulator and music creator
Toondoo -a cartoon creator
Seashore – an image manipulator
SumoPaint – an online art program
NoteFlight – online music notation program
Scratch – Game maker