Bookmarked Learning Synths (

Learn about synthesizers via Abletonโ€™s interactive website. Play with a synth in your browser and learn to use the various parts of a synth to make your own sounds.

Ableton provide an playground space that serves as an online synthesiser, as well as a teaching tool.

แ”ฅ “Stephen Downes” in Stephen’s Web ~ Learning Synths – Playground ~ Stephen Downes ()

Liked Tools (

There are two kinds of tools: user-friendly tools, and physics-friendly tools. User-friendly tools wrap a domain around the habits of your mind via a user-experience metaphor, while physics-friendly tools wrap your mind around the phenomenology of a domain via an engineer-experience metaphor. Most real tools are a blend of the two kinds, but with a clear bias. The shape of a hammer is more about inertia and leverage than the geometry of your grip, while the shape of a pencil is more about your hand than about the properties of graphite. The middle tends to produce janky tools unusable by everybody.

Replied to (

Yes, we need to know the numbers, and be able to craft a narrative, but we also need to know how to harness the power of the tools we use to make sense of our numbers, and to transmit and share our narrative to its intended audience.

This is a great point David. I agree that actually being able to use the tool is essential. I just am mindful though of focusing too much on the tool. This often leads to discussions about SAMR and redefinition of learning. Although I think that change and transformation is important, I prefer Doug Belshaw’s discussion of digital literacies.

Doug Belshaw's Digital Literacies

Bookmarked Toolographies โ€” the new essential ingredient of student research? by Matthew Esterman (Medium)

Perhaps we need to have students include a toolography, a listโ€Šโ€”โ€Šperhaps annotatedโ€Šโ€”โ€Šof the tools they used to source, to organise and to present their information.

This is an interesting ideas in regards to the evolving place of research and libraries.
Replied to The myths we live by, limitless tools & silent study by Oliver Quinlan (Quinlearning)

Faced with limitless possibilities, creativity can really struggle. But there’s no reason why we have to use all these possibilities. In fact, a lot of what I learned about visual artists when I was at school was how they often seek to restrict themselves. The George Fitzgerald interview linked above really got me thinking, as rather than just showing off all his music equipment, he really gets into why he uses a room full of ageing 70s and 80s electronics when he could emulate it all in a laptop. It all comes down to restrictions. He takes each limited piece of equipment and finds the few ways in which it can do something special, then repeatedly uses these to create music that sounds unique.

It has been interesting to see the transition in soft synths Oliver. The interview with George FitzGerald reminded me a short clip involving Jack Antonoff. He too restricts himself to original equipment:

Antonoff condenses months of creativity into eight minutes. It left me think about how much learning is assumed to get to a point of understanding the technology to get to a point of control. I remember when I was young, I had a Roland G707. I would use a cassette player to record tape after tape of tweeking with the various sounds. There was something about the physicality of it that was never matched when I moved onto Fruity Loops.

Bookmarked The tools matter and the tools donโ€™t matter (

You have to find the right tools to help your voice sing.

Austin Kleon reflects on the pride and place of the tool for the artist. Although he suggests that it does not necessarily matter, he also argues that we need to find the right tool that helps us sing. So often we talk about transformation or redefinition, but how often do we consider that the tool for each student ‘sing’ maybe different?