In the current course I’m teaching, we’re using an online tool called Recap. It’s a platform for students to create video reflections and share them with the teacher. It is not specifically designed for collaborative learning or knowledge building, but rather, individual student reflections. It can be set up so that students see one another’s videos, but it’s not easy for them to see or access others’ responses. The benefits of the platform are expediency of sharing, security, and ability for the teacher to set a time limit on the length of student videos. I look forward to hearing my students’ opinions and perspectives on Recap.


Knowledge Media Design Collaborative Program Seminar

PracticeCactus is a mobile app created through the Participatory Design (PD) process for use by private piano teachers and their students to enhance and augment independent piano practice between weekly lessons. Stakeholders in the design process included one researcher, 22 piano students ages 7 through 17, three piano teachers, and three programmers. In response to students’ feelings of isolation and boredom during independent piano practice, a virtual pet cactus was designed which “listens” and responds to student practice. Self-determination theory is used to frame the motivational structure for the app (Ryan & Deci, 2000; Ryan, Rigby, Przybylski, 2006). PracticeCactus also includes a web portal for teachers to access detailed information about students’ practice history. These data can be used by teachers to inform student-centred approaches to piano teaching such as “listening as pedagogy,” (Gouzouasis & Ryu, 2015) and teaching for critical and creative agency (Allsup, 2010).

Let’s Talk About Race

Singleton and Hays (1994) suggest a framework called “Agreements of Courageous Conversation,” which can be used to help guide discussions about race. The four pillars of the framework  include staying engaged, expecting discomfort, speaking your truth, and accepting a lack of closure. These agreements were developed based on research in K-12 settings, and provide strategies for effectively leading students through difficult moments which can arise during conversations about race.

Participatory Digital Media ♪

I facilitated a class this week in which we considered musical participatory digital media practices. Tobias (2013) lists examples of these including covering, arranging, parodying, satirizing, multitracking, remixing, sample-based producing, mash-ups, tutorials and visualizations. I invited the people in the course to contribute examples of each of these, and they are included in the slides below. Our note-taking is recorded below as well, which was guided by the following questions:

  1. What motivation is represented?  Why did this person make this video and share it?
  2. What knowledge is needed?  What skills and abilities did the person have or develop in order to create this video?
  3. What is the message?  Is the person making a statement through the creation and/or sharing of this video?


Tobias, E. S. (2013). Toward Convergence: Adapting Music Education to Contemporary Society and Participatory Culture. Music Educators Journal, 99(4), 29–36.

Music Class

Checklist for music classes:  ☑ listen ☑ sing ☑ move ☑ play

Here are three songs that can be used for an improv activity. Plan a set of movements to go with the first song. Then, when you hear the second two songs, do the same set of movements, but how can you change them to reflect the new music? Think of one element of dance to focus on as you make changes.

Sweet Home Alabama
Prokofiev, Dance of the Knights
Hip-Hop Rap Instrumental Beat

The PS22 Chorus is a choir for Grade 5 students  elementary school students in Graniteville, Staten Island (New York), directed by Gregg Breinberg. Their YouTube channel can be a source of ideas for popular music which is appropriate for school.


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