WV public school music teachers' use of digital audio technologies for teaching and learning
Mark R. Williams, West Virginia University, United States
Doctor of Education, West Virginia University . Awarded
The wealth of new digital audio technologies, when implemented in classroom music instruction, has the potential to support increased student engagement and enhancement of the musical experience more than in any other time in the 100 year history of public school music education. The purpose of this study was to identify if digital audio technologies are currently being used by WV music teachers, their skill levels, what decisions are made when using the technology, what was the effect on learning, and to gauge whether teaching practices were changed. It is a picture of what teachers are currently doing as well as the barriers they have faced.
The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The quantitative instrument used was an on-line survey titled Use of Digital Audio Technologies in Teaching Environments. The qualitative component was interviews of K-12 music teachers who rated their digital audio technology use as high and experienced. Classroom observations also contributed to the study. The main elements characterized the current status of digital audio use and its' implications.
While migration to Compact Disc as a source of audio is the accepted norm in West Virginia, very few teachers currently utilize other sources of digital audio formats. Similarly, while electronic keyboards are commonplace in classrooms, a significant number of teachers do not use MIDI applications or functions. Skill attainment and decisions to integrate digital audio technologies face three barriers. Teachers believe a lack of significant funding and content appropriate training has equally served as obstacles towards their adoption and integration of many audio technologies. Existing infrastructure has contributed to this challenge.
Decisions to use digital audio technologies in teaching are met proactively with the teachers embracing the wealth of new content, the positive and immediate receptiveness with their students, and the assistance gained in meeting both state and national content objectives. Music teachers in West Virginia are cognizant that there is a different type of student learner and are beginning to modify their delivery methodology and teaching strategies appropriately.
This study shows the current applications of digital audio technologies in WV music classrooms as a snapshot of what is currently being used. It illustrates that WV music teachers, while aware of the changes in type of learner and learning style, as well as the benefit of audio technology use, are not using, as a collective, digital audio technologies in many contemporary ways.
Williams, M.R. WV public school music teachers' use of digital audio technologies for teaching and learning. Doctor of Education thesis, West Virginia University.
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