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ERIC Number: EJ1063831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: EISSN-1449-9789
"ICreate": Preliminary Usability Testing of Apps for the Music Technology Classroom
Order, Simon
Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, v12 n4 Article 8 2015
Some educators have expressed a belief that smart phones and tablet devices will revolutionize teaching in technology-based music instruction. Arguably, such devices are the next step in music pedagogy. Some have suggested that the emergence of the iPad in the music technology landscape will democratize music making further in the same way that the emergence of digital cameras made photography and film making available to anyone (Tough, 2009, p. 4). There are some distinct advantages to tablet devices, being relatively cheap compared to laptops, they are smaller, more portable, software updates are usually free and touch screen interfaces are simple to use. The culture of app development is also moving the technology forward quickly and there is still a lot of novelty attached to tablets as music production devices. These are strong reasons why students may find engaging with tablets a fun and creative experience (Dorfman, 2013, pp. 190-191). However, in comparison, to existing Windows, Apple or other PC/desktop audio applications, the iPad is a new technological environment for music production. The iPad's lack of maturity will present challenges for educators but these may be mediated by the benefits arising from the novelty, portability and a sense of ownership/intimacy of the device itself (Goodwin, 2012, p. 22). Preliminary research points towards the notion of "embeddedness" where the tablet device becomes a part of the student's daily cerebral processes as a tool to resolve problems, socialise with the world, and perform common productivity tasks (Puentedura, 2011). Early thoughts also cite the iPad as a "curiosity amplifier" (Brown, 2010). These factors may motivate creative learning via music technology on the iPad and there is support for this belief. Teachers believed that optimal use of iPads was attained when students used content-creation "productivity" apps as this developed higher order thinking skills and provided creative and individualised opportunities to express their understanding (Goodwin, 2012, p. 8). In light of Goodwin's observation, this paper presents the preliminary usability tests of five content-creation loop-based music technology iPad apps, prior to trialling in the classroom. The testing has been undertaken with the guiding intentions of provoking student creativity and secondly, encouraging immersion (focused attention) (Witmer & Singer, 1998) in sonic composition in the classroom.
University of Wollongong. Available from: Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources. Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel: +61-2-4221-3140; Fax: +61-2-4225-8312; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A