Peter Webster, Northwestern University
Chair, Committee on Instructional Technology
David B. Williams, CMS President
Chair, pro tem, New and Emerging Technologies Committee
Our thanks to the members of both CMS technology committees for their many contributions to, and support for the various technology initiatives within CMS this past year. The Society appreciates the continued commitment to both instructional technology activities within the organization and guidance with the overarching technology support that helps carry on the mission of CMS to the membership and our public audience at large. Special appreciation is offered to Peter Webster for his leadership of the technology committee these past three years that included organizing with ATMI the successful pre-conference technology events and overseeing the new CMS Technology Initiative Awards.
In attendance for the San Diego meeting and representing the committee membership for the new CMS restructured technology forums were as follows:
New and Emerging Technologies (NET) Committee - Joe Berkowitz, Frank Clark, Robby Gunstream, Sarah Hagan, Ron Hemmel, Steve Kreinberg, Carlos Moldanado, Peter Webster, David Williams
Committee on Instructional Technology (CIT) - Francesca Arnone, Richard Dammers, Scott Phillips, Ray Riley, Alex Ruthmann (representing ATMI, as president), Evan Tobias, Peter Webster
All of those in attendance were asked to provide a brief review of the important issues they expressed during our lively dinner meeting discussions. These are provided below for your review and consideration and will serve as a starting point, perhaps, for the separate work of the two committees over the coming year. The comments are offered in alphabetical order. Our thanks to all who provided review comments.
Francesca Arnone: At our meeting I was really struck by how we need to get information to our members and provide a means for an exchange of this information. This could be in the form of a blog by our committee in conjunction with emerging technologies but also a way for membership to exchange thoughts on how and what they are using. Often new technology is best applied in ways other than for the purpose it is created. That's the beauty of teaching and exchanging ideas and CMS!
Joe Berkovitz: I think that CMS has made a number of good decisions in terms of choosing technologies, for example migrating the site to Joomla. The challenges facing CMS in applying technology to its mission do not seem to me to reflect any lack of awareness of new technologies. Rather they have to do with articulating goals and then looking at how technology can further those goals.
One theme I raised, and also heard clearly from other participants, was that CMS could be doing more to foster an active exchange among practitioners on its website. Hosting such an exchange between teaching professionals feels like one of the most valuable services CMS could provide.
Selected recommendations include:
1. Consider turning these committees [NET and CIT] a goal-centered agenda, rather than a technology-centered agenda.
2. Look at ways to engage your membership in "solving these goals together." This is what the web is so good at, and the technologies are already there. You have them in place: now CMS needs to employ them in as meaningful a way as possible.
Frank Clark: In exploring emerging technologies for The College Music Society, it is imperative that we are clearly focused on clientele, expected outcomes, and associated costs. For example, marvelous new GPS and geotagging technologies are creating new resources and toolsets in areas as diverse as social media and military targeting. In terms of the constituencies to be served, several fundamental questions must be addressed in assessing, recommending, and implementing emerging technologies. What does the tool do? What is its track record and will it be available in coming years? Does it integrate into existing infrastructures, software suites, or mobile devices? Is it affordable and/or readily accessible? Is this a tool that will be genuinely useful to the intended end-users be they faculty, students, or CMS at large?
One of the constituencies currently under-represented in terms of emerging technologies are music students. In a side-by-side gear check between students and faculty, students would likely win every time. One cannot help but be impressed by the range of technologies students possess and their technical capabilities as end-‐ users and/or developers. For example, it is commonplace for students to have video from a concert posted on multiple sites within minutes of a performance having ended or to stream a flash mob in real-time.
It is also important that emerging technology projects and goals be practical and achievable. Time and money will continue to be precious commodities for CMS staff and committee members. Developing long-term goals that can be realized in modular, sustainable, and affordable increments is key. Using the WebEx system for CMS Webinars could be expanded to include limited live streaming for CMS events, lectures, or meetings. Planning for and adding HTML5 functionalities to the CMS servers, web pages, and apps will be essential. Broader HTML5 adoption will enable Web sites to streamline their multimedia and interactive content across devices, including smart phones, e‐readers, tablet computers and laptops.
Perhaps our greatest impact as members of the emerging technologies group will come from serving as advocates and cheerleaders. While we are already "members of the choir" and spend far more time with computers than may be healthy, are we of service to our colleagues in truly meaningful ways? Even if we only have 15 minutes a week to spend on advocacy, what could we do that would further the role of emerging technology and/or instructional technology?
Richard Dammers: During the last two conferences, I've been reflecting on what has been (and hasn't been) accomplished/prompted by the NASM technology standards. My sense is that a fair amount of structural change occurred (additional courses, etc.) but that has calmed down. I also think that pedagogical change involving technology has not progressed at the same rate, which isn't surprising. Going forward, I think it is important to build connection to NASM and to seek opportunities to advocate for technology within that organization. More importantly, I think that CMS (and ATMI) need to continue to support the maturation of music educators understanding of how to utilize technology. A particular idea of interest that came out of the survey that Bill and I did is to have a Mountain Lake style event for music teacher educators on technology much as the general music teacher educators do. This might be an interesting way to bring back the workshops that you hosted at ISU.
Sara Hagen: We were talking about communications and demographics and how different groups correspond and prefer to communicate. Since we have such a wide range of ages we should be sure to consider all methods of communications via technology. Perhaps we can find someone to champion Facebook and Twitter or take turns? At NDMEA, our new President-elect is young and energetic and he took over the Facebook page, keeping it lively and interesting. As an innovations council member for NAfME, we are taking turns being the discussion forum monitor and feedback providers for one month at a time. If the CMS webinars take off, perhaps those will spin off discussion forums that perhaps volunteers can monitor or communicate with those who are interested? Priming the pump and keeping the flow of ideas going is a challenge that needs to be met somehow. All organizations are struggling with this.
Steve Kreinberg: Our area of the table discussed the ever-increasing use of video in virtually everything that we do: teaching, performing, evaluating, and archiving. The world is fast moving from an audio-only society to a video with audio one. We discussed ways that CMS might use video more for many of these purposes by making them available to members either on the CMS website, though YouTube, or through some other means. We also discussed (briefly) the difficulties that some faculty members having making video and ways that they might be helped in creating video of acceptable quality.
Scott Phillips: We talked about the new trends by universities and professors offering free lectures and classes online (MOOCs): Professors from Harvard, MIT, Princeton and others offering classes or lectures that would otherwise be extremely expensive and accessible to a very limited number of people. The thought was that perhaps CMS could look at this model and somehow increase the visibility of CMS by partnering with or collaborating with universities and teachers who are using this model.
Ray Riley: I am finding myself still struggling to come to grips with the vast resources in open education courseware, the rapid rise of MOOCs, and how this is causing me to rethink how we package courses, credits, teaching loads and programs at our respective brick and mortar colleges and departments. The full impact of online education is still unknown but it seems appropriate to at least begin to work on better understanding this dizzying expansion in free online education. Another point I expressed was a hope that we could develop and teach more courses collaboratively, leveraging video tutorials, lecture capture, video conferencing technologies, integrated course management systems (possibly iTunes U), and new e-Publication tools etc. I also hope CMS and ATMI continue to find ways to recognize and reward innovative methods and pedagogy. Perhaps this can take the form of some pilot projects that we identify and support through the CIT and NET committees. It was amazing to see the CMS mobile app come into existence. I would like to see us do more of these projects. Another point or suggestion I expressed was a hope that somehow we could develop and teach more courses collaboratively, leveraging video tutorials, lecture capture, video conferencing technologies, integrated course management systems (possibly iTunes U), and new ePub tools etc. I think the example I suggested was a course on sound synthesis or sound design which would bring together several instructors from different departments and programs. The course would better prepare students to fully understand and utilize sound-‐synthesis parameters in virtual instruments and programs like Reason or Logic Studio. We would bring together some of the best practices in teaching and learning on this subject. Might be very cool to try. I hope CMS and ATMI continue to find ways to recognize and reward innovative methods and pedagogy. Perhaps this can take the form of some pilot projects that we identify and support through the CIT and NET committees. It was amazing to see the CMS mobile app come into existence. I would like to see us do more of these projects.
Evan Tobias: Key points we discussed at the meeting: It is critical that while we continue to forward the integration of technology in higher education that we ensure we keep a human element present and not fall into a technological deterministic approach in the way we discuss or include technology. Part of this conversation included how sometimes the focus is so much on technology itself that aspects of pedagogy and the people involved in the use of the technology are overlooked.
We also discussed how it would be helpful for CMS (possibly in collaboration with ATMI) to generate and curate excellent high quality resources related to the integration of technology in higher ed music programs/courses/ensembles. This could include tutorials and informational resources along with pedagogical examples. Part of this conversation included the idea that some faculty might be open to the integration of technology in their classes/ensembles but are not familiar enough with what is available and may not have the time to identify the resources that would be most helpful to them. At another point there was related discussion regarding how there are not necessarily incentives (in the spectrum of research, teaching, and service) for one to spend the time needed to learn new technologies so that a useful set of resources might encourage or assist those who have an interest in integrating technology but need to invest time.
The following was not part of our conversation but I thought it might be worth considering the potential for video streaming aspects of the CMS conference online during future conferences and/or building an archive of presentations online. The idea of streaming sessions has taken place at other conferences and I think could be accomplished without much cost I believe for instance using systems such as Ustream or Cover It live. I think this might be beneficial for outreach and to include faculty and graduate students who might not be able to make it to the conference physically.
Peter Webster: CIT with its new emphasis on INSTRUCTION technologies might engage in the following to help our CMS colleagues:
- Overall: Encourage a disposition toward the use of technology that is rooted in a solid philosophy of learning. Technology should be used as a means of learning that is connected with a greater view of the learning process: The use of teaching models in really key.
- Seek examples of practice from those already doing it. Look for examples of professors using existing software. Examples could be the use of SmartMusic for aural skills or keyboard skills, the use of software and hardware tools in the music studio, the use of an instrument like the Diskclavier for piano teaching, use of cloud-based resources like "Turn it In" to help with identifying plagiarism
- Help with the recording of teaching on video and distribution on YouTube channels
- Use software and hardware to help with teaching about self promotion and entrepreneurship
- Ways to use the Internet more effectively for research. In writing papers and doing research, how can we help students better use the resources at hand to do better work.