Demo

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Assessment

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It is the design of such a product that assessment will have to occur in stages and at an opportune time that address engagement and learning development.  Since this study has been IRB approved, a learner test study, to see if learning is actually taking place, has been designed and once a proper flow was developed for the learners; then and only then can we proceed to do a proper learner study.  Unfortunately, the development process of the prototypes took longer than expected and proper learner tests could not have been administered.  Throughout the development when learner testing was conducted, each learner informed the future design of the prototypes.  Therefore, at this stage of development, any sign of learning that was taking place was immediately informing the design of the prototype.  Therefore, in future studies it will be important to carry out the learner study, mainly: 1) Are math proficiency levels improving for learners; and 2) Can the learners write meaningful metaphors and similes.

However, there were pre-tests and post-tests conducted to all learners about their engagement with the product.  In the end, learners preferred this activity compared to a paper and pencil activities (graphs below).  From the surveys, there is a good reason to believe that learning is taking place because most learners felt that the Edubeats activities were a good way to learn math, English, and music (graphs below).  From the results, there’s an assumption that music is being used to reinforce topic components in math – order of operations, and English – writing verses using metaphors and similes.

Survey Results

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       At this point, this study is in position to generate the next assortment of data concerning evidence in learning.  Furthermore, assessing the products design principles with more scrutiny will be done in multiple rounds of pretests and posttests with learners to generate such data.  In addition, testing the activity in classrooms is now being considered based on findings from current learn testings.

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Aha! Moments

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          During the activity, some quotes that stand out are listed above.  Quotes and dialogue excerpts from learners should be thoroughly analyzed and tested against the products design principles.  Moreover, most of the learning seems to take place during group activities when learners are supporting each other during the activity.  Steps to code the learner’s discourse should be considered in further studies in more detail.  Learners were found quite often-saying phrases like, “Don’t takeaway my swag points!” and this was a sign that the points were a factor in how the learner was feeling during the activity.  In addition, how some learners responded to the swag points was interesting.  While some learners stuck to the task of the activity to score 400 points, some learners enjoyed getting Math Swag Points .  Again, how this contributes to learning should be based on further study’s, however, there is some reason to assume the Math Swag Points may contribute to raising the level of some learners self-efficacy – which hopefully leads to improved test scores. Some learners even discussed the sounds in great detail; even being able to distinguish which specific sounds were not correct, “the second [tone] was off!” (or something similar) was a common phrase.   This proves the theories that this activity has been based on, however, it would be ideal to know on what level these tones contribute to the learners understanding of the content, as well as how the music is reinforcing the content.
          Concerning literacy, by the learner following through and singing the verse they wrote to the beat they earned, is the ultimate display of the power of literacy.  It is my bet that the learners will not understand the quality of the experience by themselves; however, it does make room for mentors and educators to discuss the value of literacy skills in a context that can be better received – that way this activity becomes one big metaphor for valuing literacy skills as they are taught in school and valuing education.  This learner would have truly demonstrated a sense of ownership by singing their song which is meaningful to them so that others can potential see and share; this is the power of literacy when the learner can effectively shape their world using literary devices as they are taught in school.

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o   The three pianos were important because it minimized the number of clicks the user made.  I noticed through the number of clicks the users were making, I was loosing the attention of the learners.  So designing an activity with the minimum number of clicks resulted in better experience for the learner.

o   The Math Swag Points were a good motivator.  The learners reacted very well trying to get more points.  To them they were feeling good receiving Math Swag Points, and this translates to the amount of math and English work they had to complete.  As a result, they felt really good completing the activity if they received a lot of Math Swag Points; and this seemed to improve their self-efficacy.  More time to conduct the study is needed to actually determine if learning is taking place and the learners scores improve.o   More instruments may improve the learner’s interest in the activity.  Being able to take advantage of these opportunities to keep the learner engaged may be more advantageous in future development.o    Though not intended, this activity was better as a group activity where the learners could support each other through the activity.  Through dialogue, the learners were able to reinforce their understanding of the order of operation through sounds; and were motivated to write verses with metaphors and similes to a beat that potentially they could be a song they sing together – a very memorable moment.  Methods to take advantage of this product as a group activity should be investigated in more detail since this is the scenario that had the best results.


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What Next?

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          Currently, there are no products developed to teach the order of operations as I described or to encourage users to become productive writers – at the same time.  The products that do exist either: are popular songs remixed by amateur artist teaching what the order of operations (PEMDAS) is on Youtube2 3 4 , musical devices without any confluence to any literacy skills as described, virtual worlds without any confluence to literacy skills as described, and the strongest tools out on the market that give users tools to enhance their literacy skills are Scrivener and Evernote.  They unfortunately, don’t assign tasks in the method as is described in this paper such that the user is encouraged to continue writing.  There is theory that supports the power of music.  Levitin says that, “Music is distributed throughout the brain” (9).  Levitin goes on to say that, “no one until now has taken all this new work together and used it to elucidate what is for – the most beautiful human obsession.  Your brain on music is a way to understand the deepest mysteries of human nature” (12).  Since Levitin points out the fact the research isn’t as prominent in this area, there is the possibility that even with the best research used to develop this product, there’s will be many unforeseen failures along the way that can ultimately change the design of this game, however, it is a road worth pursuing.
 
“It is only the attempt to write down your ideas that enables them to develop” (Pea, 1).

-Ludwig Wittgenstein


Current Product

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Reinforcement

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        Previously, I mentioned the abstraction of tunes as a source of feedback for the learner.  There have been studies to prove the positive effects music-reinforcement has on learning.  “Music listening has functioned as reinforcement contingent upon proper social behavior, upon the number of correct math problems completed in a specific time period, and upon correct scale singing.  One finding revealed that sixth-grade black students in an elementary school preferred music listening to candy when given a non-contingent “payoff” although candy was slightly, but significantly, preferred when the “payoff” was contingent upon improved scale singing performance” (Madsen et al, 52).  Coupled with Schellenberg’s findings of the “Blur Effect” there’s good reason to believe that using music the learner is interested in can be used as reinforcement and still accomplish the same results as Madsen (et al.) implies.
          The power of music can be seen by the remarkable results of academic time spent learning math while listening to music.  “Investigation revealed that academic time could be cut in half with an increase in correct mathematic responses when music listening activities were used as reinforcement for correct responses. The other related study demonstrated that music subject matter could be effectively programmed via closed-circuit television to develop music listening skills for first-grade disadvantaged students” (Madsen et al, 52).  This gives strong implication that same results can be achieved by the use of touch-screen interactive technologies (i.e. mobile devices and iPads), which provide an added layer of interaction, agency, and engagement, creating a relationship between music, mathematics, and English being learned.In general, Dan Levitin, a PhD Neuroscientist at McGill University and a visiting professor at Stanford, mentions in his book, This is Your Brain on Music, “music is distributed throughout the brain” (9).  Through his research the activities that I am proposing in math and English can be considered one big brain activity, and this is a good way to view the activity.
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Verse Writing

In Theory, It’s One Big Brain Activity

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                     A Metaphor  – Where Learning Takes Place
          By providing an environment for one to develop the skills to become more familiar with a particular writing structure – verse, as thought of in poetry and music includes metaphors, analogies and similes, and allegories as taught in 4th and 5th grade standards.  Specifically in verse structure the learner typically leverages their strength in story telling (narratives) and this actually is a good thing to express while learning.   Moreover, when it comes to using metaphors and similes, research shows that it is a physical connection in the brain.  In 2008 at The Commonwealth Club, George Lakoff an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley discusses concepts from his new book, The Political Mind.  In it, he says that, “a metaphor is recognized through a neuro-structure in the brain…every word in every language is defined relative to a frame” (Lakoff, 161).  Here we begin to see that metaphors play a very important role in how we all engage with the “world”, or depending on your fluency in metaphor, “worlds”.
          Other types of writings structures include paragraph writing, essay writing, report writing, academic writing, fiction writing, and legal writing which all have structures which define them.  And more writing structures can be categorized, however, the point is to develop literacy skills and strategies by becoming more familiar on how to use one writing structure that will set one up in acquiring additional literacy skills and become writers because of the freedom to be creative [verse writing] structures provide (Womelsduff, 23).  Moreover, Womelsduff used six criteria to guide her students into writing meaningful content that her students would use to evaluate each other with.  These criteria are:  ideas and content, organization, sentence fluency, word choice, voice, and conventions.  It was the students’ task to convey something that they were passionate about that is interesting using similes, metaphors, and correct syntax and punctuation whole presenting them in a very meaningful way (25).  These strategies were adopted, as a strategy to develop the best methods to get the learners to write metaphors of their own while creating Edubeats.
          After this activity, learners would have created meaningful writings.  And although not immediately a part of this activity, a supplementary activity would be to shape the learner’s writings to have proper vocabulary terms and grammar marks.  At least it’s a hypothesis that the learner will better receive this activity because the learner will be using their own writing, and hopefully it will continue their meaningful learning experience.

Cognitive Performance

In Theory, It’s One Big Brain Activity

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                   Cognitive Performance and Intelligence

          So how does this all tie together with music?  Does music actually make you smarter? It’s hard to say with evidence that convey music listening to stimulate alpha-brainwaves which are better known to describe a subject as “calm” or “tranquil” (Wagner, 5), but who is to say this is not an advantageous state of mind intellectually?  Music listening and music lessons have been claimed to confer intellectual advantages. To be specific, Schellenberg’s research shows that “music lessons cause improvements in intellectual ability” (Schellenberg, 319).  These abilities include:  reading, mathematical, verbal, and spatial abilities.  Taking advantage of this knowledge in the context of improving the perception of literacy skills for learners will only be perfected by trial and error especially if music listening and music lessons short-term and long-term cognitive benefits are not backed by any kind of formula or prescription of how to elicit these type of results.   From Schellenberg, two important points can be utilized to develop such a product.  First, children perform better on spatial test after listening to pop music (Blur Effect) compared to listening to music by Mozart (Mozart Effect) or a scientific discussion and contributes to improving children’s creativity …”upbeat, age-appropriate music can improve listeners’ arousal level and mood, at least for short periods. In turn, effects of arousal and mood extend beyond measures of spatial ability to tests of processing speed and creativity” (318).

           Secondly,  “music promotes intellectual development because of its inherently abstract nature…a tune is defined solely by relational information” (Schellenberg, 320).  Since “tunes are abstractions” this is a perfect compliment to fundamental concepts taught in mathematics, order of operations, in which tunes can convey information.  Inherently, feedback in a non-traditional manner can be programmed for the learner as a sequence of tunes that resembles a mathematical expression being simplified by following the order of operations as it is taught in institutions (Levitin, 15).  (Throughout this paper, the term mapping will be used to refer to the arranging mathematical expressions on a keyboard, and coding the solution as a tune.)  In addition to “the association [to a] constellation of abilities that music lessons train and improve – abilities including focused attention and concentration, memorization, reading music, fine-motor skills, expressing emotions, and so on” are qualities that enable a learner (Schellenberg, 319).  Participating in activities where the learner listens to music they engage with can be beneficial to the learners development.

          It is important to know that this paper doesn’t claim music to be the sole answer our target needs to improve their understanding of literacy skills.  Schellenberg says that, “any association between music and intellectual functioning would be notable only if the benefits apply reliably to nonmusical abilities and if music is unique in producing the effects. The available evidence indicate that music listening leads to enhanced performance on a variety of cognitive tests, but that such effects are short-term and stem from the impact of music on arousal level and mood, which, in turn, affect cognitive performance; experiences other than music listening have similar effects (i.e. sipping coffee, or eating a small bag of candy)” (Schellenberg, 317).  According to Wagner’s research, this short-term effect may have something to due with the alpha waves produced by listening to music, which contribute to tranquil and calm states of mind that lead to not focusing or disuse of the rational mind (Wagner, 5).  Moreover, the uncertainty of the range of alpha waves and the diverse ways music listening effects the listener may contribute to its random effect on learners since the alpha wave range is between delta waves (comatose, deep sleep waves) and beta rhythm waves (alertness and externally oriented attention) (Wagner, 4).  Schellenberg goes on to state, “music lessons in childhood tell a different story. They are associated with small, but general and long-lasting intellectual benefits that cannot be attributed to obvious confounding variables such as family income and parents’ education. The mechanisms underlying this association have yet to be determined” (Schellenberg, 317).  Although music listening may have short-term or long-term affects intellectually and have no effect on variables such as family income (job), it’s my hypothesis that literacy skills will be learned in a meaningful way in this manner such that the learner appreciates them and raises their self-efficacy, and gives the learner their daily dose of music; optimizing the use of technology.


Product

Prototypes

Physical Prototype
With a piano that allowed me to pre-record a primed tune, I went through a few prototypes and settled on mapping problems onto a piano as you see in Figure 7.  This was based on the research done by Dan Levitin about the ability humans have to distinguish sounds, and we all have the ability to do this because it’s actually a brain process to distinguish pitch sounds, and the piano was perfect. These tones were to serve as a form of feedback to know if you were right or wrong.  Now this activity already is starting to eliminate some users because of the dependency to hear sounds; so tone-deaf persons will not be able to participate in this activity.

After a couple of reactions that informed me that learners were able to distinguish the sounds.  “It does sound different!” (or something similar) became a common phrase as some learners, young and old, experimented with the order in which they were pressing the piano keys.  They experimented until the keys they pressed matched the primed tune.  It is interesting to see the learners desire to use the tools they learned to help solve the answers.   They used songs, and mnemonics such as Please Excuse MDear Aunt Sally, or PEMDAS for short.  These same math literary tools are taught in school, and without being told to use these tools, they were asking to use them as a reminder.  It wasn’t always the case that the learner knew how to use the tool, but at the least they were asking how to use the tool because they knew it was useful.  I took these initial insights and began to flush out the framework more, completing the English component as described earlier and the exogenous story line.

‘Math-Swag Points’

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It was time to take my physical prototype and leverage the power of technology.  Figure 7 shows the framework of the activity.  To assist with the transitions of going between math, music, and English, Math Swag Points was created because ‘swag’ is a word in pop culture, which contains very powerful ideas concerning an individuals confidence, almost like it’s the “highest measurement” if one could measure confidence.  So, for this paper, the word swag is defined as “an effortless overall display of confidence or conviction, style, and demeanor; or an exclamation of highest appreciation of praise or respect; and due to the current music kids listen to, swag is everything to these kids, and has been for the last five years.  It’s a perfect term that refers to the heights of where the learner’s self-efficacy should approach when using these literary skills if used properly.Referring back to Figure 7, the math activity had badges you could acquire that referred to the exogenous story line: Prove you are best lyricist get 400– Math Swag Points.  After every 100– Math Swag Points, the learners earned one of the four music layers of the beat, and were given a lyrical challenge to write a four line verse.  And they were told they would get more Math Swag Points if they use a metaphor or simile in their verse; therefore, it wasn’t a requirement, but a choice to use a metaphor or simile; but a challenge.After 400 – Math Swag Points, the learner has written 16-Bars, and they had a beat that they had earned by completing the math and English literary activities.  Afterwards, the learners were given a choice to perform their song (Figure 9 – First Web Prototype).

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Map Order of Operations out to Tonal Sounds (web) A) Press the hint button o hear the sound, B) the hint sound matches one of these three problems, C) Previous and Next buttons were provided to change which problem is showing on the keyboard, D) Badges to motivate learner to practice using lyrical devices in context of finishing the activity.

 

 

Learner Testing #1

My first learner testing was with Bryan.  He’s a member of the Boys and Girls Club, speaks English, however, English is his second language.  He just finished the fourth grade, however, before this activity, he says he never learned the order of operations, nor does he know what a metaphor or simile were.  He still participated in the activity because he wanted to create a song, which is a good sign of intrinsic motivation.  To do this activity, he had to receive tutoring lesson covering the topics of order of operations, metaphor, and simile.  In the end he knew what order of operations were, and could tell what a metaphor and simile were.  However, the clutter on the site was distracting for him throughout the activity, and he never could get into a flow of working independently; I always had to guide him. However, this tool, made him excited learning these topics to create a song, and that was great to see.  He got 400 points, and then created his song.

Learner Testing #2

While working with Bryan, I learned of a better method to present the activity, so that it had a better flow for the learner.  Since it hadn’t yet been programmed, I described the flow to Eliot (Web Prototype 2) when I first started working with him.  Eliot is in the fifth grade.  He plays the guitar and was excited about the activity because of the music.  When the activity was explained to him, he expressed that he wished there were guitar sounds instead of the piano sounds; he also says he enjoyed math and was good at solving expressions.  After working with Bryan, I also decided to use a worksheet to describe the activity (Appendix-B).  This worksheet became a pre-activity and post-activity to warm the user up to using the web prototype.  Then I told him to imagine the flow of the game is like Web Prototype 2 (below), even though at the time the prototype looked like Web Prototype (above).  He received these instructions pretty well, however, it still took a couple of repetitions for him to experience the flow like I envisioned.  Once he did, he was able to complete the math portion of the activity with no problem.  He was able to finish the activity getting 400 points, however, Eliot was very apprehensive to write and perform.  I had to think, how would this activity work if the student doesn’t want to write, or in context of this activity, they are not motivated to write?  This was a question that I carried over to my next learner testing after I redesigned the web prototype to match what I felt would improve the flow of the activity (Web Prototype 2).


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Web prototype redesigned to have more of a left-to-right feel for the user. In addition, three pianos for each problem minimize the number of clicks by the learner; unfortunately there was some scrolling because the third piano isn’t visible. One of the pianos will match the sound of the hint. Learners start by pressing the hint (A), determine which answer matches the hint (B), and select the correct answer (C).

       After Eliot, and the changes were made, I truly felt the flow had improved.  So now there’s three piano’s, no ‘previous’ or ‘next’ to scroll through problems, and the layout was reorganized to have more of a left-to-right flow; however, as you can see here, the 3rd piano isn’t visible so there was still some scrolling. As far as my hypothesis is concerned, I ended up spending a lot of time creating a good flow for the activity so that the music, math, and English could work together in the same environment.Testing this prototype, I saw the learners were excited for the very first time.  They were working independently discussing the operations, and trying to get the maximum Math Swag Points, and writing funny verses.  They were genuinely having fun, and this was the first time this happened on this level, and I would like to call this an unintended success story. Robin, Betsy, and Kevin will be starting the fifth grade in a couple weeks and they are also members of the Boys and Girls Club.  Initially, I was only working with Robin; however, Betsy and Kevin were around and had to join because I learned that they always hang out together.  This probably was the best decision made to test this activity.  I wanted this to be an independent activity, however, I learned that it made an excellent group activity, as these kids were learning together, and the issue of not wanting to write music (like Eliot was having) was solved by them working in their zone of proximal development – where they “ behaved beyond their actual age, and their daily behavior” (Vygotsky, 102). From what I was observing, I began to envision how this activity would look in a classroom, so that students could benefit from working together.Another enlightening moment came when I asked them, “What would happen if you did this activity in school?” Betsy puts her hands up, imitates her teacher, stands up, points to Robin and says, “Sit down!”   This became a very powerful statement because I was considering this to be useful for schools, however, it maybe that this activity is useful outside of schools as well in the eyes of the learners.

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Evolution of the metaphor example (left-to-right). The learners are to use this example of a metaphor to write a metaphor of their own.

 

 

   Image above shows the evolution of the metaphor example. Trying to find an example that inspires the learner is a process.  The first prototype example, none of the students read it or understood it.   When told that it is an example to help them write their own verse, they couldn’t relate or engage with this example.  The second prototype example, although more detailed in explaining what a metaphor is, tries to use color codes that the learner would use to help explain what a metaphor is.  For the same reasons as the first prototype example, the learners couldn’t relate or engage with this example.  The third prototype example was the most successful one.  It is a line from the hit song, Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes.  Students who read this example instantly new the song, and were able to understand a metaphor a lot better in this context.  In addition, they became more creative because of the process, and having fun creating their own metaphors.   Since they were having fun, this experience seemed very meaningful for them.

 

Approach

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          So I started out with this framework, and decided to engage in a process that would inform the design of the activity.  It was my hypothesis that this would work: where music would act as the bridge creating this learning environment connecting the two literacy skills.  In summary, There’s evidence that: 1) music listening cause improvements in intellectual ability; 2) music listening leads to enhanced performance on a variety of cognitive tests; 3) music-reinforcement provide positive effects on learning.

Mathematics – Order of Operation

          The order of operations can be taught by using the abstract tunes, and the ability of the brain to distinguish between consonance and dissonance of pitch, rhythms, melody, and meters (Levitin, 72) vis-à-vis order the operation procedures – as a form of reinforcement.  For example, in a game of memory where the user is primed with a tune, and a math problem whose operations corresponds to the tune, consonance would correspond to tunes of math operations done in correct order and matches the primed tune, and dissonance would correspond to math operations done in the incorrect order or doesn’t match the primed tune.  Leveling up features of the math portion of the game will be defined by the complexity of the tune to be learned by the user.   Beginning levels of this game would not emphasize the user being able to do arithmetic to solve the problems.  It would only focus on the user’s understanding of the order in which the operations should be solved, correctly.  As the user increases in level (like the famous game Tetris), the user’s ability to complete the arithmetic, in combination with faster and longer tunes/math expression, may become more of a factor of difficulty.

          Wotlz describes learning the order of operations as a skill for processing instance memory.   “Instance memory is another form of representation that could partly or wholly underlie the acquisition of sequential processing skills. That is, sequential skills could develop as the result of storing large numbers of processing episodes, in which each episodic memory includes a specific sequence of operations.   Eventually, skilled performance could rely on direct memory retrieval of solutions to well-practiced instances” (Wotlz, et al, 2).  This theory goes on to propose that if a large number of instances are represented in memory (as a result of practice), direct retrieval will replace the use of slower memory processes over time.  This activity should give learners the practice they need, and hopefully the learner’s confidence will improve overtime as they become more acquainted with the activity.

English – Writing Verse

          Verse writing would be defined by fifth grade common core standards as defined in the state of California.  Moreover, depending on the type of music the game is scaled to, the user would be required to perform written tasks that correspond to his/her favorite musical genre.  For example, a verse in hip-hop is 16 bars (lines), rhymes, and contains lyrical strategies such as metaphors, similes, analogies, and allegories (content in 5th grade California Common Core Standards).  Developing enticing writing tasks called lyrical challenges such that the user is developing their verse over time will give room for the learner to be creative.  The learner will be able to write freely parts of verses, and be able to revisit, and organize their writings to compose meaningful verses because of current technologies, powerful, tagging features, but ultimately with the aid of an instructor.  Think Scrivener meets Evernote where we are leveraging scaffolding features that aid in the creative process of writing long texts, andthe ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience (creative control), respectively.  Using the power of current software that makes everyone a great writer is a meaningful tool.  Moreover, because of the scalability advantages offered through technology, writing has the chance to at least be enjoyable and not feared by a large, diverse, and deserving group of learners.

          What’s even more enticing is these same technological features are skills most instructors are able to bring into the classroom.  When talking with Laurn Bevilacqua, MT-BC, a board certified music therapist, she says that she sees such an activity “being best used in a classroom”.   It is my intentions to design an activity for a single learner outside of the classroom; probably because of the pessimism people have about music ever making it back into the classroom.  However, Laura reminds me to be mindful of opportunities that this activity could have inside a classroom.


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Current Products

Existing Technologies

 

Description of strong, existing technologies that influence Edubeats

 

  • Scrivner: founded in 2006 with the sole purpose of creating software that aids in the creative process of writing long texts.
  • I am T-Pain: Now you can create  your own music videos straight from your iPhone 4 or 3GS, complete with the T-Pain effect and T-Pain’s background tracks. Or, tune your pets, friends, or local law enforcement officials, capturing the result with video. With a single click, you can upload your video straight to YouTube.
  • Singboard: Singboard mashes up official music videos, karaoke tracks and song lyrics to create an online karaoke experience.
  • Evernote: Gives everyone the ability to easily capture any moment, idea, inspiration, or experience whenever they want using whichever device or platform they find most convenient, and then to make all of that information easy to find. From creating text and ink notes, to snapshots of whiteboards and wine labels, to clips of webpages, Evernote users can capture anything from their real and digital lives and find it all anytime

Design Principles


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 The Order of Operations is a puzzle.  This Freedom of Expression to relate to an abstract concept like Order of Operations is misunderstood!  Music can facilitate in this expression

          Writing a song involves well structured tools – a piano, a vocabulary, a tune, a long history of musical genres — each requiring a mastery (a kind of literacy) enhanced by mutual connections with each other (and across persons: teachers and students, composers and lyricists).  Lyricist composing lyrics to musical instrumentals or beats must rely on ones own creative use of lyrical devices.  Therefore, the literacy experience that I am interested in should: 1) Sustain the students’ interest in learning.  It is important to enhance ones understanding of ‘literacy’ to not just simply acquiring skills through oral or written forms of literacy skills, but the expectation for actually doing something with it to gain more skills for a future that provides more opportunities in the eyes of the user (i.e. jobs) thus making the literacy skill / literary event and outcome meaningful; 2) Must be educationally appropriate.  By using the writing structures and fundamentals of mathematics to provide an experience that has just the right amount of fun that values the creative currency provided by each user in a musical environment can be summarized as one big brain activity; 3) Use technology and music to bridge the literary gap for the target audience.  Aligning with Common Core Standards as described for 4th and 5th grade writing and crafting standards – using literary devices and the order of operations in mathematics; 4) Enable music and technology to represent the confluence of literacy in both writing and math skills, so that a meaningful experience is created for the learner (Chiong & Shuler, 24).  These principles are adopted as the prescription to optimize the learner’s time using the media, such that the highlight of the activity is that it fun and engaging.

 

**Key Education Design Principles**

1)  Create apps that are developmentally appropriate.
2)  Create apps that sustain children’s interest and learning (Chiong & Shuler, 23–24)

 

**Key Tech Design Principles

1)  Use math problems in a similar format that student sees daily
2)  Multiple Instant Feedback Connections
3)  Doing Arithmetic is leveling up


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