Put Learners In The Drivers Seat

I use GarageBand for creating and capturing music almost daily. The interface is clean and I have become quite proficient with editing and manipulating audio. Usually, I am the one behind the computer pushing all of the buttons and making the technology a transparent piece of the music making. I need to be the one “driving” so the musicians can focus on the scenery more than the car controls. This year, after upgrading to Logic Pro X, my thinking has changed. Logic Remote is an iPad app for Logic Pro X on the Mac. Designed to provide new ways to record, mix, and even perform instruments in Logic Pro X from anywhere in the room. Turning your iPad into a keyboard, drum pad, guitar fretboard, mixing board, or transport control.


Download Logic Remote from the App Store here 

 Logic Remote can navigate inside Logic projects, control recording controls remotely, act as a second screen for the Mac, and also remotely trigger Logic Pro X key commands. The app also allows you to customizable buttons. Musicians can play instruments such as a piano keyboard, guitar fretboard, drum pads and drum kit. An awesome new feature is the addition of the Arpeggiator plugin to any instrument. Understanding that there are many ways of being musical has broadened my design of musical experiences. Experiencing audio is a unique way of being musical. I have accentually given the steering wheel (Logic Remote) to the musicians.


The above video is a beginning songwriting experience where a student musician is playing piano while other musicians are figuring out what can go with it. The pianist is playing a MIDI keyboard through Logic Pro X and another student is using the iPad with Logic remote to manipulate the controls. This has had quite an impact on the class culture. They have always taken ownership of their songs, but there has been a shift in the ownership of the craftsmanship. This became apparent to me when I gave the iPad to a student and we continued composing as a class. We stopped and discussed the harmonic progression. The class decided that the chords need to change at a different point in the melody. I asked the “engineer” to erase the track and take it back to the beginning. His reply was “Mr. M, I’m one step ahead of you.” Let them drive. You may find that they get there before you do.


There are devices and apps that scaffold independence. Logic Remote is one of those.

Graphically enhanced “How It Works” Manual 

Augmenting the Classroom

There has been a #ARevolution happening lately. Augmented Reality is not a new technology, but has recently made a strong appearance in education. My students have used Aurasma to augment their art and music compositions with videos explaining their thinking and process. (See Here) Educators like Brad Waid (@techbradwaid) and Drew Minock (@techminock), www.twoguysandsomeipads.com are a couple of teachers from Eastover Elementary in Bloomfield Hills, MI who are on a mission to change the way we learn, teach, and lead by using technology. They are the go-to people for everything Augmented. I have also learned a lot from Charles Cooper (@Trasymachus) and his session on AR. This post was inspired by my children’s reaction to an Augmented Reality Art app called colAR. This app has free downloadable coring pages that can be downloaded from their website.

My son coloring a colAR sheet

My son coloring a colAR sheet


When thinking about technology integration, I have often said, “If you are doing old things in new ways, you are still doing old things”. Well, Ari is coloring, which is an old thing, but it is the ways colAR allows him to interact with his art is a new thing. The app recognizes the outlines of the different coloring sheets and augments them with moving images which take on the colors and strokes of the art on the page. It is quite incredible. A finished drawing looks like this:

photo 1


What I have been most interested in is the heightened engagement when using Augmented Reality. My children love to color. My seven year old daughter aspires to be an artist when she grows up. The reaction of my children from a coloring sheet makes me want to consider other ways of incorporating this technology into my classroom experiences.