This session was an introduction to using GarageBand. (If you're wondering why there are no posts about TIE Sessions #4 and #5, it's because I just didn't have much to say about the one I attended for #4, and #5 was my session - which I'll post about a little later).
This session was a whole lot of fun. I justified going to it even though we don't have Macs in the building anymore (and that's all GarageBand runs on) because music creation is an area I know nothing about and I need to learn more. I figured I'd learn something about music creation even though I have no musical ability whatsoever, and there are also rumors that Microsoft is developing a similar product for Windows (possibly shipping with Vista). (And, okay, I figured it would be fun, too.)
Based on this session, I sure hope Microsoft is developing something comparable because I think students would really be engaged using a tool like this. If I can create a short piece of music that sounded halfway decent, I can only imagine what our students could create. And when you throw in the podcasting component, there are just loads of opportunities for students to express themselves in different ways than they normally get to in school. Not only can they use this simply for music creation for it's own sake, but they can create scores for their digital stories and podcasts for their blogs. They can create compositions and post them to our (or their) website, or provide music for various events. It's yet another way for students to take charge of their own learning and make it their own, yet all the while be mastering the content and the curriculum we think they need. It's another example of a technological tool that allows students to do things that would've been next to impossible (at least for most students) five years ago.