Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ruminations on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

When I saw the shirt last Saturday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I had to have it. And I had to wear it to school at the first opportunity. As reported in I Love My Digital Music:

On the first day of school this year . . . Each of us had to divulge a "secret" about ourselves. I told about my music collection and remarked that... I like my music LOUD. I've now taken this a step further. A good chunk of my music collection accompanies to school in my Macbook Pro. I arrive pretty early this year, and I play my music...loud.

Since posting this, I have gotten into the habit of playing my music pretty loud at every class passing, choosing a song that fits my mood or a theme for the day (e.g., "Taxman" on April 15).

So what does this have to do with educational technology?

Well, this is clearly a case where digital music offers a means of self-expression, while signaling to the kids that my classroom is different and our approach to learning may happen to a different beat.

Secondly, during my three day road trip with my son that ended in Cleveland was a total blast. And part of the fun was posting pictures on Facebook and Flickr, along with a daily reports to friends and family. It was a kick to get so much feedback during the trip and to be welcomed back, today, with remarks from co-workers commenting on my adventure. I love this kind of social media activity.

Finally, the Museum itself, is a wonderfully rich multi-media experience. Tomorrow, I will be talking to my sophs about using media tools to build their wikis and the museum trip has served as great inspiration. The exhibits at the Hall of Fame are so accessible. I saw little kids and old folks in wheel chairs enjoying the music, the films, the sculptures, etc. I watched a terrific 17 minute film that paid tribute to the blues, jazz, and country musicians of rural American who grew the roots of rock n' roll. Other exhibits offered opportunities to learn much more, but I enjoyed thinking of how many thousands of folks would get this lesson in such a vivid way at the museum. Of course the music business lends itself to multi-media exhibition. But think for a moment about how the industry has adapted with technology changes from vinyls, to tape, to CD, to music video, to mp3, etc.

I'm sure that many musicians-- like some teachers-- bemoaned each change as the day the music died. But the beat goes on, doesn't it? And imagine me trying to play a 78 rpm record (loudly!) on my Victrola between every class!

Photos by Erin K. (3/1/10).

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