Presenting at Yokohama International School’s “Bridging the Gap” Conference

20 11 2009

Yokohama International School recently held its yearly conference called Bridging the Gap. This forum is designed for teachers and parents to learn and discuss the future of education and learn about new ideas. For my contribution, I presented on using web conferencing and how it can be used for long distance education and team teaching. Last year I teamed up with the University of Vermont music program and started to explore a collaborative long distance education project using Skype or online conferencing. We started by using a directed lesson on how to write a melody. Students used a new online music notation Web 2.0 software called NoteFlight to compose their melodies and then sent them away to Vermont from Japan for assessment. It worked out so well that we have expanded this years lessons in both number and type of lesson given. This style of teaching has plenty of interesting possibilities. We decided to introduce instrument teaching in real time. We are currently exchanging African djembe, jazz swing drumming and koto lessons online. We knew live performance would have some limitations as there is a short delay with the audio when using skype. This latency makes it impossible to both play together at the same time. Keeping this in mind, we found it was still very possible to give a real time lesson and give instant feedback. More later.

Brad Johnston
Yokohama International School
Teacher of IB Music, Music and Media Technology

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