Contemporary writing and production assistant chair Andrea Pejrolo led a session about using iPads in the classroom at this year’s Berklee Teachers on Teaching (BTOT) faculty development conference. In this post, he gives and overview of the presentation.

We just finished our BTOT session entitled “iPad in the Classroom: New Solutions for Curriculum Development and Delivery.” The panel that Jerry Smith and I put together featured (in addition to Jerry and me) a diverse group of excellent educators and professionals: Dr. Richard Boulanger (EPD), Suzanne Clark (Harmony), Loudon Stearns (CWP), Michael Sweet (Film Scoring), and Stephen Webber (MP&E).

The idea to have a dedicated group in charge of exploring the possibilities that this new tool brings to the classroom started two years ago, right after the launch of the iPad 1 from a visionary initiative that Jerry Smith started. Last year we presented at BTOT with a smaller group and this year we grew considerably, covering most of the areas of the college.

In our presentation we covered several areas and applications in which the iPad can be used as a useful tool for either creating or delivering educational content both in and outside the classroom. The main goal of this event was to start creating a buzz, a community, a culture for using new technologies and tools for Berklee teaching needs. Here’s a breakdown of the topics we covered and a very quick summary of the event. If you need more details regarding the presentation including direct access to the material covered visit the following link: http://apejrolo.com/btot2012/presentations.zip

In my segment I focused on the “State of the Tablet” where I briefly summarized the last two years since the introduction of the iPad 1. Michael Sweet discussed two notation Apps for iPad: Symphony Pro and Notion which offer import and export to MusicXML (a compatible file format that can be read and written by Sibelius and Finale). Richard Boulanger focused on Dropbox, TouchOSC, and Xcode. Suzanne Clark’s segment covered the usage of the iPad in the classroom by demonstrating apps she uses in her everyday teaching such as: Virtuoso, Shiny Drum, DigiDrum Music Studio. Stephen Webber joined in by Skyping on an iPad from the island of Kauai, where he just wrapped up the fifth annual Berklee-Steelgrass residency, and he is starting his sabbatical. He discussed Audio Tools, VocalizeU, History of Rock, and SteelGuitar. Loudon Stearns wrapped things up by sharing his experience on how he uses the iPad in his everyday life as a news reader, a radio, a movie player, and more.

Overall the session was a great success with an attendance of more than 30 people and we are looking forward to continuing to work on how to use the iPad as a new teaching tool.

Lesley Mahoney
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