Music Education Works

Major news from a comprehensive study on music’s effects on the developing brain can be found here.

I have always been a supporter of the fine arts, firmly believing in its utility beyond merely learning how to play an instrument. Educational leaders should seriously look into how they can best support their students through music education.

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A new illiteracy?

I read through this briefly this morning and it offered some interesting thoughts on civic engagement and a possible new illiteracy. The excerpt provides food for thought on a number of issues crucial to a thriving democracy. Educators should take note, as an effective public education system is critical to the proper functioning of our democratic republic.

Making the Arts Accessible

I just finished reading this article over at Education Week. I am a firm believer in the arts and that an education is incomplete if it neglects the artistic aspects of the human experience. If our goal as educators is to prepare our students for the world, as I believe we ought, then we need to expose them as early on as possible to the arts, or we are neglecting a critical component of life.

Heather Omara puts forward some good advice on integrating arts on a budget, and targeting at-risk populations who may have little or no exposure to the arts and are thus at a deficit. I highly recommend reading, especially if you are an administrator struggling to find a way to make it all work.

Online Instruction: Choices, Choices, Choices

I am finding, as I work towards building a demonstration of online instruction, that the sheer number of choices for creating content are almost overwhelming. I am young enough, though I do not consider myself a digital native , where the technology is fairly accessible to me. I am finding, however, that it can still be overwhelming. My strategy has been to focus on a handful of useful tools and attempt to not be overwhelmed by the marketplace for technology tools for educators. I recommend, for anyone who has not yet used it, that Prezi is very versatile, especially if used in conjunction with video capture software native to your computer (in my case, iMovie). Combining these enables me to script, rehearse, and record presentations for class, or simply create dynamic interactive modules.