Online Learning in Brick ‘n’ Mortar Schools

While most students enter the classroom carrying 25-40 pounds of books from core classes, my students have no excess baggage when leaving the music technology class. There will be no chiropractic care bills required for these students.

Why? Digital instructional materials weigh essentially ZILCH.


Just today, students examined their core technology vocabulary.


Mr. W: First off, “I need you to open the pdf article from Sunday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution called String Quartet Technology. And, btw, what is a PDF?

Student 1: Hmm. “A..a.a. personal… hmm.???”

Student 2: “I KNOW what it is, but…”

Mr. W: (Without blame for not “knowing” the term). Everyone, do a Google search for “PDF”. What is a PDF?

Most students: (After using digital technology to find out)…”Portable Document Format!!

After reading a current journal article that ties the amazing journey of a traditional string quartet into using digital music score reading during concerts, these students saw first hand WHY digital media has connection with the real world.

A PDF is a file format that provides an electronic image of text or text and graphics that looks like a printed document and can be viewed, printed, and electronically transmitted.

Our Classroom Textbooks

First off, there is no textbook for this course. How frightening! Yes and no. By design, digital music media courses are:(a) hands-on courses (CAI); (b)real-world focused; and, (c) project-based learning environments. Do I advocate having course materials? By all means… when they are available and relevant.

Web 2.0 Instruction

Essentially, as an online EdD student in Teaching/Learning, I have learned (since 2009) the value of teaching students how to succeed in a mock online learning environment. Within this setting, students learn how to: (a) access digital learning materials (school website, Google, Google Documents); (b) save/store/attach files to upload (website, email); (c) understand asynchronous versus synchronous learning environments; and, (d) communicate digitally within the “brick and mortar” high school building. As as online student, some of the most challenging and important aspects of learning include correctly formatting/loading documents and meeting due date deadlines. Students in music technology are challenged to learn the many aspects of digital media learning (core knowledge, core computer skills, digital audio/video editing). By using the Internet in an online simulated/asynchronous learning environment, students are learning how to be successful.