This past summer, I attended the Apple Distinguished Educators Global Institute in Berlin. I love going to these Institutes. I learn so much from other people and I meet the most amazing innovative minds in Education Technology. This year, my biggest takeaway from the Institute is the new and improved GarageBand on the iPad. HOLY MOLY!! I'd use a stronger idiom here but I might have some delicate readers so shall refrain and only say such things in my head. But GarageBand. WOW.
Once upon a time a person had to know a little bit about music in order to create a song. Now, I reckon my cat could probably lay down a sweet track while bathing in a sunspot. It's that easy.
GarageBand no longer needs to be relegated to the music classroom or the music savvy. I'd like to see teachers using this app regularly in their classroom.
Because there are those students who learn, process, and retain information through music, sound, rhythm, and movement. There are students who are utterly engaged with this medium.
Take, for example, the Year 5 student who comes to my class during her free breaks to show me what she's creating in GarageBand.
She and her friends are creating a movie in their own time and each student is responsible for creating a different type of sound. One girl is creating a happy piece, one girl a sad piece, and one girl is creating a mysterious piece. And they're spending HOURS / DAYS on this project. Just because they want to.
Imagine, then, a classroom assignment where these students were given the opportunity to create their own piece. Perhaps it's a soundscape to accompany a poem they wrote and need to recite. Perhaps they need to create a song that helps them remember the periodic table in Science. Perhaps they need to create a rap using rhetoric (I've done that with AP English Composition, by the way - on their exam, they remembered their terms to be sure. The students were seen nodding their heads as they worked their way through the songs they created. Ha. That would have been a sight). Whatever the subject, whatever the task, there is room to offer a musical option. Now that would be a Total Tech-Over. And GarageBand has made it that easy.