Sunday, September 26, 2010

BP14_Practical Experience

In my continuing journey into Dreamweaver, I have found this endeavor has been more difficult and time-consuming than I had first imagined.  After beginning the tutorials, I realized I needed to research more of the basics in Dreamweaver.  I turned to Adobe TV and watch many videos of the basics of web development, CSS, FTP, HTML, and other acronyms.
I have spent years creating websites with Microsoft tools with minimal knowledge of HTML by using the visual tools rather than the code view.

This method worked well for the projects I have worked on.   I am now trying to go farther into the code to understand how everything works.
I know this will take me months, but I am willing to work on this one tutorial at a time.  I should be creating pages in Dreamweaver by mid-October.  I wish this was going to go faster, but I think this will be a project I will be proud when I'm done, and I will have the knowledge and the skills to really develop great websites.

To see the websites I have created using Microsoft Expression, please follow the links below:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BP13_Practical Experience

Dreamweaver.  I am busy watching video instruction on and have over an hour into the 25 hours of instructions and have just learned about the basic structure of the program.  This is deep!  I have sample files to work with, but I have not begun to work them yet (next session).

DreamWeaver Website

I am learning the power of program as well as how to create a new site and setting up the files to hold the structure of my site.  I am also learning the various page styles such as html and aspx. This will be a long process but I persevere!

I also have spent some time on the Dreamweaver website at and they have huge library of training videos too.  I am really getting an (over) abundance of information.  This should help me create some great websites!

I hope in the next installment in my blog I will show fruits from my time spent in training.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BP12_Practical Experience

My choice of tools to discover for practical experience is Dreamweaver.  I do a lot of work on Microsoft’s Expression for my sites, but I want to move everything to my MacBook.
This is a big change and a big undertaking, but I would really like to tackle this during my time at Full Sail.  I went to Lynda and scanned the coursework, and I can finish the training in 25 hours and get a certificate of completion when I’m done.

Dreamweaver front menu
I know I won’t be able to finish this training this month, but I should get a good start on it and have it completed by December.  Lynda has the course well laid out and as you complete each part it is marked as done.  There is also a large file of examples to work with.
I appreciate the opportunity to have some time to dig into this.  Wish me luck and I’ll show everyone the work when I’m done!


This is my video commercial for Noteflight notation application.

BP10_Comment to Maia Kirkpatrick

Follow my comments to  Maia Kirkpatrick's Blog

Winter Trees, Ironwood, Michigan

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BP9_Comment to Barb Rasero

Follow my comments to Barb Rasero's Blog
Apostle Islands Lakeshore, Wisconsin


As I continuously work on my AR Project, I have been searching for two tools to help me create the web-based interface to help teach scales.  I am looking for something that will create simple music notation samples to show my students and a program that will embed a video recorder into a web page so the students can record themselves so I can grade them.
I found one of them.  It's called Noteflight.  This program is a Web 2.0 tool that creates notation that can be viewed at its site, it can be put on a web page, or it can be added to a blog.  Noteflight also plays the musical example.  To see this tool in action, please visit my site at Noteflight is also designed to integrate with Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Moodle, Blackboard, and blogs such as WordPress.  The program is web-based and there is no software to install.

These features make it a good candidate for my needs.  Noteflight is a simple and free program that also includes features such as multi-user interface for use in classroom with students. As with most of the Web 2.0 sites, this has a simple ‘free’ version and a full feature version for $49/year.  The simple version has more than enough features for my purpose.

There are programs such as SmartMusic and Finale that can do much more than this tool, but they are expensive and complicated to learn.  Noteflight is designed to make musical examples to paste into other media.  I can see not only using this for my AR Project, but also using it for my classes.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I have been actively going through material for my Action Research Project.  My project is to incorporate a web-based tool to teach musical scales. The information I have found has been sketchy but I think I am on the right path.

Turn Up the Music With Digital Technologies (Lamb, Johnson) is a paper about creating music in the classroom and integrating music into your lessons.  This paper has many great links to tools and lessons. This source is a little vague for my project but it has many great links to other great resources.

Educational Applications of Podcasting In The Music Classroom (Kerstetter, 2009) is an article that delves into the use of podcasting to create lessons, student projects, and the publishing aspects of the podcasts.  This pertains directly to my ideas.

Making Scales Mandatory (Bordo, 1994) is an article in The Instrumentalist magazine that hits my main reason for this project.  I am having a hard time accessing the full text.  I have emailed the magazine for access to the article so I can use this important story.

SmartMusic is a program that I use that has inspired me to do this project.   It is a great program but it is memory-intensive and Internet-based.  I am trying to make a system that is web-based but doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet and can operate on any computer from the last 8 years.

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2006). Turn Up The Music With Digital Technologies. Teacher Librarian, 34(2), 55-58. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Kerstetter, K. (2009). Educational Applications Of Podcasting In The Music Classroom. Music Educators Journal, 95(4), 23-26. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Bordo, V. (1994). Making Scales Mandatory. Instrumentalist, 49(1), 50. Retrieved September 12, 2010 from Education Research Complete database.


I made this commercial to show to band directors the value of this web 2.0 tool

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


In searching out Web 2.0 site, I stumbled on a company that really hits my sweet spot for functionality, ease of use, has many options for user interface, and also includes social participation somewhat like facebook.   The site is called ischoolband.


I am a band director and I have had a website for my band for years.  I have news, pictures, resources, videos, and a calendar (shelbybands).  It works great and I have a great following locally and even a farther reach that covers the country through relatives of band students.  The problem comes is that it is work-intensive and I have to format everything from scratch.

ischoolband is a new Web 2.0 tool that creates a complete environment for my students with less work for me and it has features that I haven’t gotten to or have no idea how to do.
The number one feature it has is a secure entrance.  This is great.  All students and parents get an opportunity to sign in and be a part of the site and it is password protected and it is also allowed through our school’s network.

This site is so deep it will be difficult to completely describe in this essay.  But I will begin in saying you can create a location for each of your ensembles.  From there you can add media and documents.  This includes the syllabuses, pictures, parent information sheets, and media that include actual mp3 files and videos. 

The calendar is another feature that is included in the site.  We have a tremendous amount of gigs for all the various groups that needs to be organized and this does it simply.  It also is an email generator that sends out automatic notifications and special announcements.   There is also a place for the student to post about whatever they want.  This means that they can socialize at school!  With everything being stripped away from the access students have this is a real winner for me.  

There is a cost to this program- $199/year, but the savings of time and the depth of it's functions make it well worth the cost.  I have decided to add this tool to my website at school.  We'll see how it works as I add content and get the students involved. Check out ischoolband!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

BP_Diigo Group

Diigo is a collaborative site in which I will be able to do all my research for my projects and have all the information including links, notes, and highlights stored in one place.  It will also share this information with my critical friends easily and quickly.
Although I have spend some time adding articles to this site, I am still working on making the whole thing as easy as the videos show.  I will be spending a lot of time here, so it shouldn’t take me very long to get it under control.

Diigo Library
In my first screen shot I have my library in which I am storing about six interesting articles I have reviewed for my project.  They include a link to the article as well as highlights and notes I have put on them.  I will spend some time going through the sources and adding and deleting, as I need.  This is going to be great!

Diigo Group

On my second screen shot I show my group that is called Curt Isakson’s AR Project.  Not very creative, but I’ve learned to label everything I do very clearly.  This pays off in the long run every time.  Here I have invited my critical friends and have sent an invitation to join the class group.

I think this site will really help me organize my resources.  I need organization to put together my literature review with 20-25 sources for the AR project. I have so much information at my fingertips. Now, back to EBSCO Host!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

BP2_iGoogle Screenshots

Ok, do I have enough information coming at me or what? Setting up my iGoogle portal was a lesson in detail work.  Many items had to be added to pull together this comprehensive gateway to my school, work, and personal Internet life.

Home Page

On my home page, I have included Facebook, Gmail, a notepad, my twitter account, and a set of links to my personal websites that include:
  • ·      ischoolband – a Web 2.0 site I use for my bands
  • ·      isaksonWEB – my home site for my family
  • ·      AOL – I am still using AOL as a homepage as I move all my activities to iGoogle
  • ·      Wombats – my rock band’s site where we have photos and a schedule of events,
  • ·      Shelby Bands – my home site for my bands I direct
  • ·      Shelby Schools – this is the place where I work

FSO Page

On my FSO page, I have all the links to connect with Full Sail University.  Full Sail Online, Wimba, my FSO email, and you can’t forget the FSO support link.  I also have my Listy and my Linkedin search engine.

AR Page

On my AR tab I have all the links for my AR Project.  This includes my AR site and various other links suggested by Rena Hanaway including many links to AP style web sites and literature review sites. I am ready to go to work here!

ETC Page

My ETC page is loaded with links and gadgets including:
  • Blogger – my link to my Blogger account for this class
  • Google Reader
  • Box of links which includes 2Web20, most useful web tools, ETC Wiki, my ETC Viddler account, ETC FLickr account, and FSO online.

Now I should be completely linked-up, loaded, and ready to go.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BP1_Google Reader

NPR Music 

      I knew there was a lot of information out there, but I wasn’t ready for the onslaught of information that I started receiving after I subscribed to the feeds I was initially drawn to.
      I am a band director and my AR Project is about creating a web-based program to help teach basic concepts to my students in a self-directed way.  So with this in mind, I first picked the International Journal of Music Education ( for a great source for peer reviewed articles.  The next site I chose that really delivers great information for music teachers is the music education section at (  There are great tips, software solutions and even lesson plans.
     I also found (, a site that really addresses the technical side of music education.  This has been valuable to me in finding solutions that will work for my classroom and the AR Project.  National Public Radio (NPR) has always been my favorite radio station and I have always wanted to check their music site.  I have now subscribed to NPR Music ( and I love it!  It keeps me informed of new music, old music, and all the happenings in the music world in a global view.  Sibelius is a software program that I use to compose and arrange and they have an RSS feed (, which is loaded with great shortcuts, video instruction, and tricks of the trade from leading experts.  I plan on using this program directly for my AR Project.
     I am really excited to learn this efficient way of collected information that’s important to me.  I just need to continue to refine my RSS feeds so I get what I need and don’t get so much that I cannot keep up with the information.