Good Teaching: By Design

The almighty mouse I was just watching a great documentary called Objectified (free if you have Netflix streaming). This is a fascinating look at the importance of good design, and if you appreciate design I highly recommend it.

At one point they interviewed Dieter Rams, former Design Director for Braun. He made these statements.

Good design should be innovative

Good design should make a product useful

Good design is aesthetic design

Good design will make a product understandable

Good design is honest Good design is unobtrusive

Good design is long-lived

Good design is consistent in every detail

Good design is environmentally friendly

Last but not least, good design is as little design as possible

Hearing those maxims, there was something very familiar ringing true to my mind. Consider:

Good teaching should be innovative

Good teaching should make a concept useful

Good teaching is aesthetic teaching

Good teaching will make a concept understandable

Good teaching is honest

Good teaching is unobtrusive

Good teaching is long-lived

Good teaching is consistent in every detail

Good teaching is environmentally friendly (think resources)

Last but not least, good teaching is as little teaching as possible (think PBL)

I know it's pc to use the word learning almost to exclusion of the word teaching these days, but I think we need to remember that deep, meaningful learning is the result of innovative, honest, and consistent design.

SoundPrism for iPad

Here are a few developer videos for a very cool iPad app called SoundPrism. I've seen several music teachers on Twitter looking for apps for younger students or older students new to music, and I think this might fit the bill nicely. Take a look:

My First eBook: Yours Free

"25 Things About Music Teaching and Education" started a few years ago as a post on Facebook during the (short-lived) craze where everyone was posting 25 things about themselves. I moved the post here when I started this blog and have continued to refine it. Now, with Apple making it so easy to export ePub files from Pages, I thought I would make an eBook out of it. I hope you will enjoy reading it on your reading device of choice.

Download here:

Seline HD - new iPad music instrument

Take a look at this new iPad app called Seline HD. For those of you interested in using iPads in a music class for live performance, this could be your ticket. It provides a logical approach to modes, provides expression capability (volume, vibrato, pitch), and has numerous sound choices. The input method is really unique. It's great to see developers present viable alternatives to a traditional piano keyboard.

Teachers: It might be time to give Twitter lists a try

Here is a quick screencast to show you how easy it is to create lists on Twitter. Lists can help organize twitter users by criteria you choose so that you can narrow or focus your reading from time to time, rather than just using your timeline view. For example in the video you'll see my Admin list which is comprised of over 50 principals and superintendents that are using Twitter regularly. I review this list a few times a week to get a sense of how admins are using Twitter and to see what they are reading and discussing. Since I don't particularly interact with those folks on Twitter I chose to assign them to a list rather than follow each one of them. This frees up my timeline for people that I regularly interact with on Twitter. In addition to assembling your own lists, it is also very easy to "follow" public lists that many of us have already created.


Visit my page if you'd like to see my lists and follow any of them: