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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

ChoralTech: Technology is not a Goal

There’s a set of rules that anything that was in the world when you were born is normal and natural. Anything invented between when you were 15 and 35 is new and revolutionary and exciting, and you’ll probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re 35 is against the natural order of things.
--Douglas Adams (author of "The Hitckhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
I struggle with the term "technology," which is an awkard place to be when the word is in my job title. As a school Director of Technology, it's my job to help teachers and students use things like the Internet, and handheld recorders, and computer programs, in order to make better teaching and learning. As a member of ACDA's National Technology Committee, my job is very similar, but replace "teaching and learning" with "choral art." The reason I struggle with the word "technology" to describe these things is that, as Mr. Adams says, they are normal and natural to me. They do not belong in a mystical magical box labeled "Technology and other Black Magicks." They are not a part of some shady additional discipline. These things are simply methods and assistants to help us facilitate our goal, be it teaching, learning, art, or all three.
I fervently wish the word "technology" could be stricken from our language and replaced with the word "tools." If we think about technology not as something additional that must be mastered, or a threat or mandate to be managed, but instead as the root of the word intends-- as a tool for us-- then we can think differently about its role for us as artists and professionals.
What is the role that "tools" play in your organization? How do you use "tools" to help you solve problems as a choral conductor or teacher? What "tools" do you wish you had access to or knowledge in, in order to make your job easier, more effective or more fun?
The ACDA National Technology Committee is, at its core, here to faciltate this discussion. Over the next few weeks, we'll be asking for your thoughts about what tools you need, or want to see, or want to share. The beauty of ChoralNet is that it allows us all to peep over the parapets and learn from each other's successes, struggles and efforts. We look forward to learning about the tools of your trade.
on November 16, 2012 8:49pm
The tool I use the most is the digital voice recorder. I can record the choir and we can either instantly listen and critique ourselves, or I can take it home and make good notes about what's needed to fix. As a newbie to MS and HS choral directing, I haven't re-developed the "instant ear" yet, and this tool is important to me!
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