Original topic post is from Educators Unite-Shared Ideas for Mac Apps. in the Classroom
Educators Unite-Shared Ideas for Mac Apps. in the Classroom
(This post has been moved from the 'Logic Pro & Logic Express' Forums and has been modified to serve more appropriately as an opening thread in this forum).
I recently started to use Logic Pro as a tool for educating, inspiring, and motivating my students in the classroom and for live performances. In this thread, I'd love to exchange ideas, techniques, etc. with anyone who uses any of the Mac Apps. for creative use in the classroom. I am a music teacher, so my interests mainly lie with Logic and GarageBand. But Mac Apps. - iLife, Final Cut, Photoshop, etc. - have so much to offer in this area, and I'm sure that a lot can be learned by anyone who teaches and uses any sort of technology in the classroom. This is the direction that education is going in, with digital and computer technology becoming more and more a part of every aspect of our lives.
Until I started using Logic with some of my students about four months ago, I didn't think it would have as much to offer educationally as I now realize it does. Here is a general overview of what I've started to do using Logic with my students:
The first thing I must mention is that I work with special ed./learning disabled students. So, a lot of what I've used Logic for so far is designed to make it easier for the students to make music. Like using a Roland SPD 6 (electronic drum pads) to trigger midi notes channeled into a chord memorizer in the environment, so that the striking of the pads triggers some motown - like horn stabs. Or adjusting velocity so that a students keyboard playing comes out more evenly.
I did a show just before Thanksgiving where I was able to use Logic to receive midi data from a few different controllers sending live data into Logic on different midi channels simultaneously (thanks to the auto-demix by channel checkbox). Some of the controllers were keyboards split into zones via channel strip parameter boxes and an instrument object in the environment.
This is real basic midi, I know, but the point educationally was the inspiration it provided for the students playing the instruments and hearing the wonderful sounds that they were producing through Logic's software instruments and effects. On one number during the show, I was able to run the project in real time, while the students played their instruments live through the project, complete with a drum-machine track (ultrabeat), channel strip settings, software instruments, effects, automation (one student really loved the effects he was getting from the automation, which was a tweeking of an LFO in an ES1 - I think), and keyboard splitting and layering into an instrument object in the environment.
My first post to these forums was asking about 'logiconizer' and how to get icons into Logic without using Photoshop. (Photoshop would do the job perfectly, but I was looking for freeware, and GIMP was recommended to me by Rounik). My reason for this was to start tapping into the great visual aspects of Logic. I can sometimes use a smartboard in my school (smartboards are basically just big touch screens) and I can put up pictures of instruments and link sound clips to them, so that a student can touch a picture of an instrument and hear the sound of that instrument. (These sound clips can come from Logic, of course - like the JamPack loops). So what better than to use pics that can also be icons in Logic. That way, a student can transition from just touching a picture to produce the sound of a desired instrument, to recognizing that instrument as a track icon on a track in Logic, so that the student can then start to play, maybe the caps lock keyboard, or an attached USB keyboard, to produce the sound of that instrument themselves.
Following Steve H.'s suggestions to always use colors fits right into education - especially learning disabled students, because some of them are very visually oriented. I should also mention that my school has students ranging from 6 yrs. old to 21.
So, some of the older, higher functioning students could actually be taken into the environment and shown a lot about sound routing, effects, delay, arpeggiation, cabling, and just sound and midi in general. I think an entire course on sound could be taught just by using Logic to visually and aurally demonstrate in a way that would be interesting and memorable. But, that's where I'd like to go with it, and of course, I still have a lot to learn myself.
So, please feel free to chime in if you've done anything like this with any Mac Apps. I'll post reports on progress, or new ideas, and hopefully this thread will fill up with a lot of rich ideas from people using the power of these wonderful technologies to help educate our youth - not just learning disabled students, of course.
P.S. I think my next exploration will be touch tracks objects - awesome stuff!