“ The one thing that I was hoping for was getting myself more used to using technology in the classroom and I think that has been accomplished because I have started to think where I can use these applications, and when.” Francesca Adamo, Prince of Peace Grade 6 TeacherGrade 5 and 6 students combined for a full day of hands on learning with their iPads and Garageband. The result was 60 new songs, created by 60 enthusiastic kids as part of a cross curricular learning adventure. The children were asked to bring in artifacts that were “personal, and had great emotional meaning to them” and by applying their newfound knowledge of what “Mood, Tempo, Pitch and Dynamics” in music means, go and create their own song that best represented their feelings about the artifacts.
“So phenomenal, that we want to have more kids being able to learn (GarageBand).” Martha Fitzpatrick, Prince of Peace Elementary School PrincipalIt was an endearing process as many of the children brought in photographs of their family members accompanied by a short description of their thoughts. We managed to post 52 of the songs on Youtube for the kids to brag about! We even managed to coax a few of the students into laying down a vocal track! In addition, the workshop gained rave reviews from teachers at Prince of Peace as well as the Principal herself, Martha Fitzpatrick but seriously, there’s nothing more heartwarming than the approval and excitement of the kids once they’ve experienced the feeling of making a song that they’ve dedicated to their loved ones!
“The kids we all lined up, (at recess) outside looking in here and I could see they all wanted to get in on the action”
What Happens neXt, Happened HERE!
High-density capabilities of Meru wireless network ensure success of first mobile launchMeru Networks has announced that Blackburn-based Pleckgate High School is supporting the deployment of 1,200 iPad minis distributed to pupils in the school in one day with a Meru Education-grade (MEG™) wireless solution. The mobile launch – a first for the school – coincided with the first day of the new Autumn term, and was chosen in favour of a phased rollout due to the Meru solution’s proven high-density handling capabilities. “At my previous school, we rolled out iPod touches, but found that the Cisco wireless network was simply unable to cope with a high number of devices connecting at the same time. We switched to Meru with great success,” said Lewis Hall, e-learning manager at Pleckgate High School. “When I moved to Pleckgate, we expanded the existing Meru network, which has been able to cope with everything we threw at it and more. People said we were crazy to deploy 1,200 devices in one day, but, using Meru, it went even better then we imagined.” One of the government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) successes, Pleckgate became one of the first schools to trial a free iPad mini programme last year. Such a large-scale mobile device ‘switch on’ was deemed a worthwhile risk, with Pleckgate having already deployed Meru’s Wi-Fi technology throughout the school and with management’s prior experience with Meru’s ability to support high numbers of users and devices simultaneously. Each member of the Pleckgate staff also has an iPad mini or an iPad2, as well as a MacBook Air, while every classroom and learning space is equipped with Apple TVs, with use enabled by the Meru Bonjour Gateway – all deployed within the space of the last 12 months. The school will eventually move to an all-mobile environment, phasing out desktops PCs and laptops in classrooms to improve student-teacher interaction and accelerate independent learning. Pleckgate makes extensive use of Apple TV units powered by the Apple AirPlay service. Meru’s Bonjour Gateway support, integrated into the Meru MobileFLEX architecture, helps ensure that transmitting devices and the displays connected to Apple TV units are appropriately co-ordinated on a per-classroom basis, to avoid interference and confusion. Meru’s access points and controllers manage the service dynamically. “iPads and mobile devices are not a quick fix, we know that, but are an enabler to delivering better learning and teaching,” said Hall. “I knew from previous experience that this approach could work. At my previous school we doubled our GCSE results within two years of deploying mobile devices and teaching and learning went from 60 per cent ‘inadequate’ to 70 per cent ‘good’ in Ofsted results. A mobile device strategy can be effective, as long as the right infrastructure is in place to support it.” “Pleckgate School took a calculated risk in deploying thousands of mobile devices in a single day, knowing that its wireless network would be able to stand up to the challenge,” added Sarosh Vesuna, vice president and general manager of education at Meru Networks. “Increasingly, schools and other educational establishments need to know that their Wi-Fi can deliver each time every time and cope with the rigorous demands of large numbers of users and devices.” Meru’s Education-grade (MEG) wireless solution is designed to solve educational institutions’ BYOD (Bring your own device) issues and support their learning-essential applications. MEG starts with three simple steps: 1. On-board quickly with BYOD provisioning and secure wireless access mapped to IT policies. 2. Connect all BYOD devices reliably anywhere on campus. 3. Learn by deploying validated learning and teaching applications on BYOD devices over the MEG wireless solution. Pleckgate joins more than 3,000 schools in the UK and Ireland who are currently using MEG solutions. Additional information about the Meru MEG solution is available here: http://bit.ly/15vW5Oh.
When I was a kid in school, the only hope I had for ever becoming involved in the recording end of the music business was to land a job in a recording studio, and the average kid’s chance of that ever happening was about 1 in a million. The only other possible option was to get a huge loan from the bank and build your own however, without the experience necessary to run a recording studio, banks didn’t look to favorably on this option.
Even as technology advanced toward the days of the home studio, companies such as Teac/Tascam began making 4 track open reel recorders but for a young teen, these too provided many financial woes. It wasn’t just the recorder that you needed in order to make recordings. You also needed a mixer, microphones, keyboards, guitars, amplifiers, speakers and the list goes on. The kicker is that, none of this high tech, expensive recording equipment guaranteed you with a “hi-fi” result. The equipment was only as good as the operator.
Assuming that you’d made a decent recording, how were you ever going to get it out there to the masses? There were no YouTube or Facebook sites for you to boldly solicit your awesome recordings. You were at the mercy of record companies, managers, publishers and the like. Once again, as a recording engineer, producer or songwriter, you were in the “dime a dozen” category. Millions were trying to do exactly what you were doing but without the assistance of social media.
There were no schools at that time specializing in Recording Engineering or Music Production. You were pretty much on your own unless you happened to know someone in the “biz”. By the mid 1980’s it became even more complicated. Digital technology was introduced. All of a sudden, and in the matter of a couple of years, analog technology was being weeded out in favor of the new digital technology. Vinyl recordings were being replaced with CD’s and computers were being introduced to the recording studios. If you didn’t embrace them, your days were silently numbered.
More and more recording facilities were using a digital recording system called ProTools. The majority of seasoned professionals scoffed at the idea of using a computer to record “high quality” records with and to this day, there are still many who are hanging onto that the theory that analog recordings are still the way to go. Unfortunately, those professionals are now mostly unemployed.