- By Timo
About 10 years ago my friend Antonino sent me the link to the Pop Culture video by Madeon. A 3:24 mashup song consisting of 39 song samples. At a time when everything was said about mashups.
A: Listen to this!!!
T: Wow! Is this really played live?!
A: YEAH! And he’s only 15!
Even then, the topic of digitization in schools was a hot topic of discussion, and if we’re honest, not much has happened since then.
That is not surprising. After all, it’s often not even clear what exactly we’re talking about. Some talk about programming lessons as part of the curriculum, others about functioning WLAN in the school building, and quite a few are even already in the midst of the digital transformation and offer their 10-finger writing courses on the PC with Word. Wink, wink.
And as I sit in the ever-looping parent-teacher conferences and social committees, I can’t help but think of the little 15-year-old boy in the YouTube video, producing electro-pop song thunderbolts in his teenage bedroom somewhere in France (current count, by the way, is over 58 million views) – while here, young, aspiring music producers of the same age are recreating the soundscape of the forest with Orff instruments.
Nothing against wooden percussion instruments! But what I’m saying is that the artistic and creative subjects far too often fall short. And of course that also applies to the subject of digitization. Young adults leave school and suddenly have to decide on a career. But very few music- and art-loving students have used a sampler, worked with a graphics program or even tried their hand at a graphics tablet during their school career.
This thought regularly makes my head explode. Yet digital tools offer fantastic opportunities to open up access to artistic topics and creative work for children who were previously rather put off.
If you look at the school’s curriculum, it quickly becomes clear: With the current equipment and strategy, the teachers basically can’t do justice to the teaching mission. For example, creating your own radio plays is part of several subjects. But how is this technically implemented in practice? Students tell us that they take turns using the voice memo function on their smartphones. Especially in a country with such a rich tradition of radio plays, this is a bit of a tragedy. (Attention! Clever introduction to shameless self-promotion)
Using a smartphone is a good idea after all. As big radio play fans and software developers, we were firmly convinced that it just needs the right app: a simple interface design, gesture control and the ability to arrange individual recordings on different tracks. The result is our new app FOX & SHEEP AUDIO ADVENTURE.
Your own audio adventures can then be easily shared or exported – for example, to put them on a creative tonie. We’re certainly not solving the prevailing problem, but hopefully we’re making a small contribution to pushing the topic of digitization in the right direction.
Smartphones can be so much more than modern gameboys with a phone function. Used correctly, they can encourage children to become creative themselves. Away from pure consumption and toward creating their own content.
Like the boy from France, who first absorbed the music like a sponge and then, with the right technical aids, formed it into something new and completely his own. At the latest here you should chase the song again at full volume through your Bluetooth speakers. If you want, you can also beat the timbre of the forest to the beat.
If you want to try the app with your kids: