IMPACTConfThis past week, I attended NYU’s IMPACT Conference, where I presented on Acclaim alongside Jillian Harris, Professor of Dance at Temple University’s Boyer College. I also participated in a short discussion section called the “App Petting Zoo”, in which professors shared their thoughts on web and mobile applications for music learning, listening, and composition. The conference gave me an opportunity to hear from many inspiring educators using technology to enhance collaboration and learning within the multimedia arts classroom.  In the following post, I’ll talk about Jillian’s presentation, and highlight a few of the coolest apps that I learned about at the “App Petting Zoo.”

PICTURED: Jillian talking about assessment, and Aksel (that’s me!) hiding in the background.

Using Acclaim to Assess Performance, by Jillian Harris

Jillian has been using Acclaim as a way to assess her students’ performances within Modern Dance classes. Dance is a visual, artistic medium, and throughout her experience of teaching and delivering feedback, Jillian experienced frustration with traditional grading methods. How can you sum up a student’s entire performance with a simple score, or even a rubric? Could there be a more direct way to demonstrate to a student where practice has made perfect, or where there is room for improvement? We have now been working with Jillian Harris for almost a year and she’s been integral in helping us envision new pedagogical possibilities for Acclaim. Jillian uses Acclaim to bring qualitative assessment into her grading process, using our video commenting feature to allow students to better understand their own performances.  After Jillian spoke, I gave a brief presentation on how we developed Acclaim, our dedication to students, and on the potentialities of video to improve education within other disciplines. The audience provided Jillian and me with positive feedback and engaging questions.  I also had the chance to hear from Robinson McClellan and Stephen Wilcox (Rutgers) on how they built an entirely online music education masters program, and meet with Jim Criswell, who teaches at St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia, and Stephanie Nugent, an independent dance educator.

Read more about Jillian Harris and Video Assessment

App Petting Zoo:

IMPACTConf2S. Alex Ruthmann, Professor of Music Education and Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt discussing the digital platforms he uses to demonstrate music composition

At the App Petting Zoo, I heard from instructors and other attendees regarding their favorite apps for music education. Here are 6 that jumped out at me immediately, and one additional resource that might help you find out more about the music apps space in general.

7 Mobile and Web Apps for Music Education:

  • Three Ring: Three Ring is a way to store content (images, as well as video and audio files) for later use. Think of it as a digital three-ring binder.
  • NearPod: NearPod allows you to create and share interactive slideshows with others.
  • Samplr: Samplr is an iPad app that allows you to create songs or audio clips through combining sounds from different instruments.
  • Chordion: Also an iPad app, Chordion allows you to choose chords with one hand and play melodies with the other.
  • Jam With Chrome: Amazing web application. Jam With Chrome allows you to play live music with friends online using the digital instruments that are built into the web application. You can even map your keyboard so that the keys replicate those on an instrument.
  • OnMusic Dictionary: A dictionary for music which allows you to look up terms, composers, notes, etc. This is a valuable tool for students new to music composition and history.

Lastly, I also heard about a great resource that can introduce you to even more web platforms for music education! Music ToolBox aggregates reviews for all of the ed tech resources on the web, with a focus on music and music teaching.

I would love any questions and comments below. Fire away!