Friday, September 9, 2011

Retention. Retention.

        As a Music concentrator at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg VA, I often grapple with retaining long sets of instrumental music. This, of course, is a challenging task, if students, such as myself, are graded on this information. It is, especially, difficult, if many of one’s classes are music-listening based, as opposed to applied-studio based. My question is how then does one, such as an educator, go about effectively teaching students how to retain music from the Middle Ages through the use of innovative technology or multimedia? The 21st Century College Student (in particular) heavily relies on technology to further their academic and social lives. Facebook is still sky-rocketing as the primary source for web-based interaction because social networking has become quite the phenomenon. As a result, studying for classes can and is frequently put on the back burner. I say this as a general statement in lieu of the interactions I have with students as a current student. (I did not come to this conclusion through any statistical research.) Therefore, I ask, would it be beneficial for instructors to use Facebook as a legitimate educational tool to encourage second-year sophomores to retain Gregorian Chant? If so, how? Visuals have repeatedly been a great start, especially PowerPoint, but now it seems that college students are needing/wanting more than what Microsoft Office can offer. 
        Possibly the Nintendo Wii, PS3, or Bill Gate’s XBOX? The world of video games is booming because the generation living now is chiefly interested in live interaction through technological devices. If done well, the price of learning through this technique would be of no monetary value to students if university's fully give their extra dollars to see its mature and developed completion. Students could play with other students in the library who need the same knowledge while social interacting with students across the world since gaming consoles can be connected to the web. In addition, this new, pedadagogical implementation would probably encourage students to take visits to the library as many have been given the boot in numerous American communities due to apathy and low foot-traffic.

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