MusicEdNews.Com is about education... Music Education. With the deluge of information that is added daily to the Internet (at ever-increasing and frightening rates) must come some way to navigate the stream more efficiently. MusicEdNews.com is the latest technology tool in my ongoing research to categorize, evaluate, and make VALUABLE Music-related information available in an easy-to-use AND easy-to-navigate fashion. Quite frankly, MusicEdNews.Com is needed and has been needed for quite some time.
In 2005, I decided to start a blog that would put "better information" about Music and Music Education "out there", somewhere, on the Internet. First at JPisano.com/blog and then later in2006 with the launching of what would, arguably, become the largest and most visited Music Education and Technology Blog Today, MusTech.Net.
In 2006 and 2007, I learned the concepts and value of the viral nature of WEb 2.0, in particular RSS and Atom Feeds. I started a number of projects including the PO-EM project as it is now known and made music information pages on both PageFlakes and NetVibes that started aggregating information about Music and Education... the problem with this was that there were not many people, freely, putting out this type of information (good, better information about music and music education). Most of the "good information" was safely tucked away in impossible to access print journals and "member only" Websites and organizations. It was during the middle of 2007, that I decided to start a very successful music, education, and technology podcast series along with broadcast engineer, Darren Morton that continues to this day.
This prompted me to start a year long campaign to get 100 Music Educators Blogging about Music, Education, and Technology. This campaign was known as the ME Blogger project. It was successfully launched in January of 2008 and successfully completed on January 1st, of 2009. NAXOS, in conjunction with myself and MusTech.Net, gave out $1000's of dollars in free music library subscriptions to help encourgage Music Educators to "take the plunge" and be a part of this seminal event. Through it, hundreds and thousands of musicians, students, and music educators became aware of the concepts of "Blogs", "Web 2.0", and "RSS Aggregation". It was toward the end of this time that I co-founded the Music Education Blog Carnival with Joel Wagner. The carnival is a another way for people writing great materials about Music Education, Music, and Music Technology to be found and "heard" in the vast ocean that is the Internet. It brings readers to writers and vice-versa.
In 2007 and 2008, I along with a number of my colleagues began discussing SKYPE for use in classrooms and began to "SKYPE" ourselves and others as expert speakers into each others classes and courses. This culminated in a ground breaking collaboration with Travis Weller where we SKYPED 3 composers, LIVE, into a high school concert to talk with the student performers, directors, and the audience. Something like this was never done before and opened up a firestorm of press about the usefulness of Skype for Music and Music Education.
2009 and 2010 was met with new challenges... with it came the formation and general awareness of Social Networking Sites which I frequently wrote about as I joined and "signed-up" for a, seemingly, endless parade of the new technologies. Andy Zweibel and I began our long term collaboration in this regard. He and I along with a couple of others started the first ever Music Educator's Google Wave as part of the BETA Invite to Google's latest Collaborative Web Technology and use Google Wave today for a number of our "lab" projects. Somewhere in here, I began frequently talking about and "Tweeting" national and state Music Education conferences...and encouraging others to do so. It also brought about my non-official, though highly scrutinized for caliber of people, Music Educators to Follow on Twitter List(s).
Late in 2009, Andy and I again started talking about new ways to bring Music Educators online. After he had observed a number of educators using Twitter as a global platform for "chats", we began discussing it over e-mail, Face-Book, Twitter and even SKYPE. Frankly, I was so busy with other projects that I didn't give it too much energy. Andy contacted me in early February and said that he wanted to give the Music Educator Twitter Chat a go and had begun to work up the details on his site: MusicEdMajor.Net (another ground breaking idea for Web 2.0). After we spoke, I told him that I would support it in anyway that I could and help him to moderate it, publicize it and work out a number of the technical details. Andy successfully launched what is now known as the #MusEdChat on Twitter on March 1st, 2010. It has been on FIRE ever since!
That brings us to my current project, MusicEdNews.Com. I've been working on this for years and now the technology (and my servers) have gotten to the point where I can finally bring about a FREE and PUBLIC online RSS aggregator that is smooth, efficient, and "pretty". This Website is the culmination of much of my understandings of RSS feeds, the need for Music Education Information dispora, and the need for easey of access. It will provide a Spring-Board for what comes next...
I've asked Andy Zweibel to be a large part of the MusicEdNews.Com project and he has agreed to be the Chief Editor of this site. I hope that it will open up many avenues of learning and information finding for all that read and come across it. Happy Landings!