what’s real?

I can still hear you saying those words that never were true,
Spoken to help nobody but you,
Words with lies inside,
But, small enough to hide till your playing was through..

sung by The Monkees. Lyrics by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

Tomorrow’s EdTech podcast topic concern’s authenticity in learning. It’s an interesting topic for several reasons. At the base level, it gets to the heart of the teaching & learning process. Is teaching about something the same as teaching something? For example, does my learning about accounting make me an accountant? What about engineer? doctor? teacher? In other words, how much of learning should focus on being in lieu of learning about? Is that the approach we take? Does it matter?

What about how we use the mediums we use when we teach? Do media such as Second Life offer real experience or real-like experience? What about Rock Band? It’s used as a teaching tool but, what is it teaching? I’m not being cynical asking a rhetorical question here. I am genuinely interested in what is gained from the experience. We’re learning something, but what?

I wonder if I’m asking the wrong question. Looking backward instead of forward. A common counter-argument I hear for the use of media such as Rock Band in music class is that we’re not really teaching music, how to play an instrument, notes, etc. But what if we’re missing the point? What if these are the new instruments?

Finally, is it just a matter of perspective? We’re going to open tomorrow’s podcast with a discussion on the 60’s music phenomenon The Monkees. Were they a real band or not? By waht definition? Also, does it matter? Is the experience of the kids who enjoyed their music any less real because it was The Monkees and not The Beatles? Who’s to say?

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    • Kim Winck
    • March 22nd, 2011

    The Monkees were more real to me, as a kid watching their show. I didn’t know who the Beetles were at that young age of my life. Their music still lives on I just heard “Hey Hey We’re the Monkeys” as a theme song for a “Monkey themed game” on Ellen TV.

    My take is that generally Education is introducing and teaching the basics knowledge needed, but does not guarantee you will become that in which you study or major in. That is a bit different in areas such as Art, or Science in which there is more actual practicing what learning through projects and Labs. That is were internships and the likes are important to actually get hands on experience in a field that is book taught.

    I am curious what Music Professors would have to say about Rock Band. What all is it teaching? Is it instant gratification… playing a tune on rockband guitar that someone just picking up an acoustic guitar could not play.

  1. Hi Winkster,

    Thanks for the comment. You touch on a point that’s been ticking the back of my mind lately. The notion of who’s reality we’re talking about. Is the experience of enjoying The Monkees any less real to the person individual because they do not meet the traditional understanding of a music band? What about learning experiences? Are they different to the end user because they are delivered by other than authentic, experiential means? I’m really struggling with the notion of authenticity. What is authentic?

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