Crawford, R. (2009). Secondary school music education: A case study in adapting to ICT resources limitations. Australasian Journal of Education Technology, 25:4, 471-488. http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet25/crawford.html
I chose to examine this article because it has an Australian focus and because it addresses a problem that many music teachers face: lack of resources. Crawford proposes that by focussing on authentic teaching and learning, even schools with few resources can successfully incorporate ICT into the music classroom.
This article raised the important issue of defining music technology. Many schools surveyed included MP3 players, CD players and amplifiers in their list of music technology owned by the school, despite the survey cover letter clearly stating that such items were not to be considered as ICT. Many teachers surveyed also included time students spent researching assignments on the internet or word processing as examples of ICT in action in the music classroom. Different definitions of ‘ICT in music’ must be taken into account when comparing different journal articles and surveys.
Although this article claims to focus on authentic teaching and learning, much of the article is devoted to problems experienced by music teacher ‘Ms Smith’ at ‘Ocean Blue Secondary School’. Ms Smith is frustrated by the disconnect between what the school says (promoting ICT and having state of the art facilites) and the reality of the music classroom (no computers in the class, access to school computer lab not prioritised due to low status of music at the school). Executive staff at her school are often unaware of the need for technology in music education and therefore unsupportive or uninterested. This is an argument for the importance of educating school leaders about the benefits of technology in music classrooms.
Authentic teaching and learning that relates to the students’ ‘real life’ is called upon as a solution to low resourcing and support, but the article mentions many times that almost all students have access to a computer at home, modern rock and pop music now is inextricably linked to technology, and students find technology relatable and even expect it. Music technology also removes the barrier of music notation when composing, allowing students to explore sounds and notes they can not write down or read. Relatable teaching therefore requires good ICT integration. I do not feel that this article showed that authentic teaching and learning is a solution to low resource levels, but that modern, reliable and age-appropriate ICT resources are necessary for authentic teaching and learning in the digital age.