Cybergogy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Development - The Great Mix-up!

This past weekend, having successfully sequestered myself in my snug and warm Manhattan co-op working on my Dissertation Proposal, I spent some time going through the amazingly wide array of Blogs in cyber-space. There are blogs about dogs, homes, cities, lives, but, aside from what I truly expected to find, I was astonished to find blogs from so many different countries! Mind you, I am as much a linguist as I am a mechanical engineer (NOT!) so I had no idea what information was being exchanged. However, just the simple fact that the world was so amazingly connected was astounding to me. We all know that the internet connects the world in truly earth-shattering ways...simply type a country code after an address and you are instantly transported to another corner of the world. But with blogging, all you have to do is click on the "next blog" button and "poof"...somewhere totally different! I kind of felt like Alice in Wonderland, opening doors to who knows where (mind you...a very well-dressed Alice...none of the ugly blue-gingham material for me!) Which, of course, got me to thinking...

In our educational system, we are constantly trying to come up with something that deals with not only distance learning, but with technology and inter-personal relations. So...why can't we simply "mix all of this up?" Why can't we coordinate a safe blogging system with schools around the country and, ultimately, around the world??? If a safe cyber environment could be created for students, then by simply clicking the "next blog" button, a connection could be made between two students that could potentially last a lifetime and, quite possibly, change the world in some small or even large way!

I do realize that the jist of this class that I am taking is about the use of blogs, cyber-space, the internet and the likes in educational forums. I think that they are great, exciting tools for us to explore what is out there. However, we should try to figure out a way in which to create a system where learning can take place outside of the classroom in a safe, blogging environment. If a safe system could be created, lessons could be exchanged across the country, someone in Idaho could tutor someone in New York...as we begin in our class to figure out an enterprising blog, this will be mine...to set up a distance-learning tutoring site in which students can access my knowledge and passible learn from the things that I am doing. I guess you can say that I will be the first in my class to begin to "mix it up" in this educational way...then again, maybe not. Regardless, hopefully someone will read this blog and be inspired to "mix it up" themselves.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Exposition-A Statement of Themes

I have been spending a bit of time in thought about what exactly a Blog is for and how I can best utilize this blogging site to achieve the purpose of disseminating information about Cybergogy. After a discussion with a fellow teacher, it seems the best ideas are to simply put thi information out there and see who, if anyone, will "bite". So...here goes.

My first "Theme", so to speak, is one concerning the "status" of cyberspace. When I first began delving into the world of the Internet about a decade and a half ago, I had a hell of a time trying to figure out what, exactly, cyberspace was (mind you...back then, the term "cyberspace" was hardly the commonplace term it is today)! An old friend of mine said "try to imagine it as being an ocean...when you go "exploring cyberspace", what you are actually doing is casting your fishing pole into the ocean...you really have no idea what, if anything you will catch unless, of course, you have a map, an address, of where exactly what you want is located." It was clear...me and my little "visual learning" mind now had a relatively clear picture. From that point on, I was going to be a "scuba diver" in the vast ocean of cyberspace.

My second "Theme" is about casting your reel. If you have ever experienced the joys of fly-fishing, you will know that "casting your reel" is a term referring to sending your hook far out into the waters and hoping that a fish will bite. I figure that is what this blog is about...I am casting out into the waters and seeing if anyone will bite...if anyone is also working on building information-gathering systems via blogs. As I have been spending some time on a few blogs of classmates of mine, it seems that so many blogs are just idle ramblings...as my first blogs were. I was told by a very wise man that you get better after time...that your ramblings become points and that those points are occasionally responded to. I am hoping that will be the case here.

My third and final "Theme" is about what I want to accomplish here. I am using this blog to gather ideas and methodologies for how others are utilizing blogging for educational purposes. I am primarily interested in the roles that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Choruses across the globe engage in active educational outreach. I can see that blogs are effective tools to 'disseminate information"...however, if there is really no organized way for a person of interest to find your blog, then it tends to miss the audience that it is intended to affect. I guess I wish that there ws a method for organizing the subject of blogs so that the information is more readily found, as opposed to the random searching and reading of blogs with little or no interest to me whatsoever. If anyone out there has any information about being able to more readily access the specific information of blogs, feel free to let me know...I so badly want and need to learn.

That's it for now...I am going to retreat from here for a bit and continue with my treck down the road of Sonata-Allegro Form blogging later.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cybergogy Pt. II

So, after a bit of investigation, I have discovered that I am NOT the clever person I thought I was. It seems that the term Cybergogy is actually quite the well-known term! I really did think tha I was making up a term! Oh well...life in the fast lane's really tough!

I am typing this amidst the now-infamous Blizzard of 2006. Inclement weather is always an incentive to sit down and write something...and what better to write about than Cybergogy? Speaking of which, this past week in Music Tech class, we were continuing on our quest to work with Macromedia Flash and create some animations using "buttons" to start and stop imbedded sound files within our presentations. I am a bit confused about it, but I am sure after today that I will be an expert. Locked in while there is 16 inches of snow on the ground and 35 mph winds creates a sense of computer-comfort...you REALLY do not want to go outside and do something else!

However, my utilization of the internet and programs such as Flash and Dreamweaver have truly changed my educational life. As I embark upon speaking at conferences around the world, I know that I will soon be able to create presentations that are not only informative, but creative and attention-getting. I have always felt that individuals learn more when they are visually stimulated as well as aurally stimulated. Tools like Flash and Dreamweaver (and, I am sure, the entire Macromedia Suite..) are amazing tools for the utilization of truly effective presentations. As always, I look forward to my continued learning and application of these and other programs to aid in my own personal Cybergogy!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Kuala Lumpur, here I come!

I am extremely excited and proud to have been asked to speak at the International Society for Music Education's 2006 World Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! I will be speaking on musical literature written as educational outreach for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Choral Ensembles. This will be a huge advancement, not only for my doctoral research in GLBT Choral Outreach (http://www.glbtchoraloutreach.com/) but for the GLBT choral movement in general. It is beginning to get some much needed attention! The GLBT Choral Movement has grown into one of the largest community musical entities in the Western world. Additionally, I am both proud and honored to represent New York University on the international level.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What is Cybergogy?

OK, so Cybergogy isn't a real word...YET! You have to admit that it is a clever manipulation of the popular "cyber" prefix and the final part of the work "pedagogy"! I am using this word to illustrate the way that the internet has become a platform for teaching and learning. As we embark upon the 21st century, we are at an exciting place, educationally. Never before has such a vast quantity of information been so readily available to so many individuals. One could also think of this as scary, as the "unknown" of cyber-space can lead to some rather unexpected places.

This site looks to gather information about the utilization of cyber-space to teach...in its vast and varied forms.