My Blogging Experience

March 6, 2010

Collaborative Project

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , — debyj @ 11:10 am

I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with the Seymour (Connecticut) Music Department during the past month and will be spending some more time working with them during the remainder of the semester.

The Music Department has a ning and that is where I have been participating in class activities. So far, here is what I have done:

– posted a blog about myself to serve as an introduction where students responded by introducing themselves

– posted a video that taught them how to count to ten in French (they requested this because I am Canadian and they do not know any French)

– created an assignment where they had to create a short video of them performing a new piece and include a discussion of what they did well and what they need to work on. I responded to each of these videos giving suggests for practice. On Monday, they will be responding to my comments and setting practice goals. About a week later, they will be creating a second video and reflect on their improvements and practice goals.

I think the ning is such a fabulous opportunity for these students to get some experience performing. I am astounded at how comfortable they all are with performing solos. I have never seen a group of students that are so willing to do that (especially beginners) so that is fantastic!

It is also really cool that they can receive comments and learn from someone else with musical expertise in another country. Essentially, they can receive feedback from anyone that is willing with any kind of expertise without having to pay them to come to your school as clinicians. I just think that is great.

Some things that are a challenge – you can never really replace that face to face contact, so just simply being able to respond and have conversations is more difficult on the ning. I found when I was making responses to the videos, I sometimes thought it might be easier to jump in and demonstrate for them instead of trying to write it down.
Another disadvantage is that as useful as it is, it can be time consuming for the teacher to monitor everything that is being posted on the ning.

I am very excited about continuing my teaching (and learning) with this class! It definitely has inspired me to consider using a class ning in my first year of teaching.



  1. This sounds like a great experience for you and the students. Do you have a link to the ning you created? I would love to see the format and the students music 😉

    Comment by Karie Shiels — March 8, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    • Yes I do, but I am not sure what you can see if you are not a member. Let me know what you think! Here is a link to the Ning.

      Comment by debyj — March 9, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

  2. Deborah, sounds like you are having a great experience. I think it is great that they can record their music and share it with you, listen to your feedback and set practice goals. I agree that sometimes it feels very time consuming to write everything down when it might be easier to have face to face contact. Have you considered using voicethread or some sort of voice tool for your comments?

    Comment by Kayla Hanson — March 9, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    • I have considered using voice thread. I was actually considering that for my next assignment. I was also thinking about using Screenr. The problem is that last time I tried to use Screenr I couldn’t get my recording to upload! I don’t like putting all that work into creating something online and losing it. I guess I will have to give it one more try.

      Comment by debyj — March 9, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

  3. This sounds like a very interesting project. I can relate to the complexities of using a Ning. As I sometimes log on to our ECMP 455 Ning and feel overwhelmed.

    Comment by Amy Adams — March 12, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

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