Bring It On(line)

CategoriesEDLD 5318professional learningTagged

The completed draft of my professional learning plan’s online course component has been submitted. It feels good to have it committed to a final form, if only to have something to revise later. As my mother has been fond of saying, “It’s good to have a plan, if only to have something to deviate from.”

Part of this week’s assignment, related to the submission of the online course, was to consider what courses in my own school might be ripe for redesign into online courses. I didn’t have to look far….

1) Technology-Assisted Music. This is a course I currently teach, and I’ve actually been trying to work out a fully-online version almost since the very beginning–in fact, it’s one of the things that led me into the graduate program that I’m inching closer to completing. Students in the class learn about music creation and audio production by exploring various hardware and software tools. In fact, many of the music technology concepts and skills I’ve incorporated into my professional learning course come directly from this class. 

2) Music Theory. Students in this course explore the fundamentals of music analysis and appreciation through the study of melody, harmony, form, and other musical concepts. There are many online tools available (tools I would have loved to have at my disposal when I was in college) that make an online version of this class a viable option. I’m teaching this course this year for the first time in about 20 years, and as I do, I’ll be keeping an eye on ways to make the jump to a fully-online version.

As my district continues to work toward increasing online course offerings, in order to meet state requirements that all students complete some form of online course before receiving a high school diploma, online versions of these two courses would allow students an opportunity to further their musical studies while receiving online experience. These two courses, probably more than most music classes, lend themselves well to online learning.

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About the author

I teach guitar, technology-assisted music, and music theory at James River High School in Chesterfield County, VA. I hold a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Richmond, and a Master of Education degree with a focus on Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University. I believe that every person has the need, the desire, the ability, and the right to learn, and that as educators we must meet our students wherever they are, and help bring them to where they want and deserve to be.

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