Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beauty of Online Education

Well, development of the course is continuing, and what I like the best about this type of delivery method is that it isn't static.

Just the other day, I had the opportunity to tune a piano known as an "Aliquot" strung piano, something I had never heard of or done before. Luckily the name "Aliquot" was inside the piano, and even more luckily I had my smart phone with me and was able to google how to tune a piano strung like this.

It took me to good old Wikipedia, which had a photo that matched exactly what I was seeing, and I was able to proceed to the tuning.

Naturally this is something that I wanted to include in the course that I hadn't previously considered in the original design. What I needed was a short tutorial on tuning pianos like this. Even though this type of stringing is rare, and are proprietary to English piano manufacturer "Bluthner", I thought they should be discussed in my course.

I reflect on how hard this might have been to include if any other format of delivery had been used. Even though this type of discovery is the first time this has happened, I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. I always marvel, even though I've been doing this type of work for 15 years now, at how much I learn every day about servicing pianos, and how much I look forward to sharing my knowledge with future piano technology students.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hard to put into words...

Not that I'm unusually surprised by this, but in an online learning program, like the one I'm developing in piano technology, everything has to be put on paper. Unlike a traditional face to face program, where the discussion can go in a number of directions, and a class leader can start with a set list of topics to cover and let discussions flow if they wish, an online instructional designer must carefully consider what possible direction, or what possible questions a student might have.

So it involves thinking of the bigger picture and presenting it in a clear and concise matter. The finest detail must be considered and presented to the learner. It is definitely easier to think on the fly than it is to write ti all down.

So I predict a few extra grey hairs, but it will be worth it in the end.