Sometimes it is hard to realize how much technology has changed our daily life. I had my first personal desktop when I was in third grade. I did not know how to use it back then. Although I have now learnt how to use computers, I only switch off my laptop once I have finished all the work. Technology influences our daily life, and I can barely imagine life without it. I would be miserable and I would feel lost if I lost my iPod. Technology has influenced different sectors including education. Many people are getting the opportunity to learn and advance their education by taking online courses. According to Fox Business, “The number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed six million and nearly one-third of all students in higher education are taking at least one online course” (Driscoll).
I first used online classes during my junior year in college. Since then, I have loved the idea of online education as I found it flexible and I was able to fit my schedule. My first online class was Writing and Rhetoric. The professor uploaded learning materials, which included videos and reading assignments, every week. We had to finish watching the videos and reading the papers before the end of the week. We would then post reviews on the class forum and upload our assignments over the weekend. We had to maintain strict deadlines and since it was my first time to do an online class, I found it hard to keep the deadlines. However, as I got used to taking the classes, I became more familiar with the system and I ensured that I completed my work before it was due. I could take lessons whenever I wanted to, which enabled me to plan my time well, and I did not have to be in the class physically.
I enjoyed my first online class, and this encouraged me to take other online courses. I am currently taking Japanese classes online, with Hujiang Online School. I have taken this class for almost one year. I passed the JLPT level3 test in December the previous year and I proceeded to do the level to test in July this year, which I am hoping to pass. In addition, I enrolled in a music production class offered by Point Blank Music School at the beginning of this year. I started my classes in February. Online courses are satisfying and rewarding. I enjoy all my classes and I am motivated to learn. I especially enjoy my music classes, which are entertaining and at the same time educational. I am gaining a lot from taking the online courses, and I have acquired a lot of knowledge (Kirshner par. 3).
Detail and Background
The product that has impressed me most is the online music class by Point Blank Music School. The school has been offering its services for the last fifteen years, although I have just discovered it recently. The school began in 1994 and it has more than 30, 000 former students. The school has made great achievements since it first began, and it has been voted as the “Best Music Production & DJ School” for six times, by the DJ magazine T-Scan Awards. The school’s physical location is in Shoreditch in London. One does not have to go to London to take the courses since all the courses are available online. It offers different courses such as Ableton Live Course, Logic Pro Courses, Native Instruments Course, Mixing and Mastering Courses, Pro Producer Course, DJ Course, Cubase Course and Music Business Course.
I took the music production with logic pro certificate course. The program has three modules, which include Logic Pro 1, Logic Pro 2 and Mixing Dance Music. Taking this course has been a rewarding experience for me. The limited number of students enrolled in the class is an advantage, as it enables the tutor to provide feedback and pay attention to all the students. There is a lot of communication between the students and between the students and the tutors. The class is able to communicate through the class forum, using email, and using DVR.
Students upload their homework files to Point Blank every week and get feedbacks the week after using DVR. The tutors take the time to explain to the students concerning their editing, and they suggest the best alternatives to use. The tutors then record the process of editing into DVRs and they post the DVRs back, under the homework pages. This feature is very personalized. Each individual steps into very different and specific problems while making music. Moreover, students learn differently, and the teaching materials do not suit all the students. Therefore, the tutors have to go through the assignments one by one and try to give out useful information, which is not possible through mass production. So the DVRs and the small class attributes help the students relate to the classes individually.
The school uses class forums for communication purposes. This is a common method in schools offering online classes. The school offers exclusive forums, as only the tutors and the students of a specific class can use the class forum. Using this forum makes me feel involved and I feel that I am part of the class. Through the forum, students get a chance to interact and they exchange ideas. Students discuss different things concerning music and music production, technologies, headphones, music artists, and music news. They can talk at anytime. A student with a concern posts it on the forum and others respond to it. Students also seek help from other students and from the tutor through the forum. Although I do not post on the forum frequently, I enjoy reading other students posts and reactions to them, and I get an idea of their thoughts concerning different topics. The system sends alerts to everyone on the forum whenever there is a new post. This can be annoying, as the mails come through someone’s inbox constantly.
Point Blank is similar to other online educational services because of the flexibility it offers. I would not be able to attend the school since it is located thousands of miles from my home, but the online option has made it possible for me to enroll for an online course in the school. Online education reduces the cost of learning. In a traditional classroom, students have to be concerned with many things including the cost of travel, accommodation, and tuition among other services, but this is not the case with online education. Online education offers flexibility in terms of time. Students can attend classes whenever they have time, read notes and watch videos whenever they want to. They can also post their assignments when they want to provided they meet the deadline set. I used to take a music production class in-house, which means I had to physically stay in the classroom every Friday morning from 9 to 12, before I started taking the online classes. One drawback of the traditional classroom is that I cannot go back to the same class again if I want to review some part of the class. However, through online education, students get the chance to review the learning materials often.
I am impressed by the design of the school’s website. I like the website because it is user friendly, and a person can get all the information he needs. This design saves a person a lot of time, because one does not have to figure out where to get the information he needs. I was able to get all the information I wanted including a brief introduction of the school and the courses that I wanted, course information, and contact information. I was able to get the requirements of what I needed to enroll in the school. People without adequate knowledge of technology are able to navigate the system because of its simplicity. During the first few weeks of classes, students are given enough time to familiarize themselves with the system. Once they begin learning, they find it easier and quicker to use the system.
Recommend to whom
Some people find the traditional classroom approach better than distance learning. They have the perception that distance learning is less effective compared to learning in a classroom and that the students and instructors do not interact often. However, this is not the case, and as Krishner notes “Rather than remove the human element, online programs actually help educators and students to interact in more personalized way, creating engaging, productive learning experience”. Point Blank makes the interaction easier. Students can download each other’s work, and they are welcome to leave commons. Listening to other people’s work and reading the commons are motivating. Distance learning can be more challenging compared to the traditional classes offered on campus. It requires the student to be disciplined and responsible especially in time management.
I would recommend Point Blank Online Music School to people who are interested in electronic music production, but do not have time to study as either a full time or part time student. People who are tied up in work should consider Point Blank Online Music School as an option, since the learning process is more time saving than the traditional education. Students can ask their instructors questions whenever they want to. In addition, I would recommend the school to people who might want to enhance their learning experience. Furthermore, I would like to recommend this class to people who want to have collaboration with students from all over the world. Point Blank has a large student body, comprising of students from different areas of the world. People from different places have different genres of music, and their listening experiences impact their music creation. It is very inspiring to listen to other people’s music. This opens the students to a wide range of experiences, and it gives the students a chance to learn from the experiences of others
Although online learning is flexible and time saving, irresponsibility can have the negative effect, and this can make online learning more challenging. As Dana Norton observes, “Online classes offer a flexibility that traditional courses may not, but the commitment you need to succeed in a virtual classroom can be time-consuming (1).” Students who are self-motivated to learn have a higher chance of succeeding at the school. I would recommend this class to people who enjoy self-directed learning, as they will not need any compulsion to take the classes. They will attend the classes because they understand the benefits they will get, and they are clear of what they want to achieve.
Own Product Proposal
The concept of online education and the flexibility that it offers enhanced my interest on the benefits offered by services offered through the internet. I now realize that technology has made it possible to get services that would have seemed impossible to get. This has changed people’s lives for the better, and it has made it possible for them to improve their economic conditions and living standards. Technology has reduced the limitations that hindered people from realizing their goals. It is not concerned with a person’s geographic location, and neither is it concerned with a person’s socioeconomic status. With this knowledge, I realized that there is much that people can do with the available technology. People can use technology to solve the problems they are experiencing.
I am interested in music and I do not miss a chance to learn more about it whenever I can, hence my reason for taking the music class. I attend different shows and concerts where I know that I will get a chance to listen to music. Although I like music and I usually buy tickets to attend different concerts, I do not get the chance to watch all the shows. This is because of the many commitments that I have to fulfill. Sometimes I have so much work to do that I cannot afford to attend concerts. Although I wanted to attend all the shows this year, I was not able to do so because of all the work that I had to do and the deadlines that I had to meet. I had to start my internship at the beginning of the year, I went to Beijing for a recording class in May, which lasted for one month, I took my JLPT test in July, and I had to practice for my driving test. I only managed to attend one concert although I had bought many tickets, because of all the work that I had to do. This made me think up of a way that people not to miss any concerns they wanted to attend, and I developed the idea of internet concert.
The idea of using internet concert is to enable people to view the concert without being concerned with the geographical or time limitations. The biggest competitors of this service are online streaming websites and concert DVDs. However, these methods do not have the benefit of emotional involvement, which the internet concert offers. This service will be broadcast as it happens, and this means that the consumers will have the same experiences as those people attending the concert. This differs from concert DVDs which are edited and released some time after the concert happens. I hope to attract innovators and the early adaptors, who are usually the first ones to try out new products and services and to gain social status. Spool notes that the early adaptors and innovators experience the thrill of having something before anyone else does and they like having details of what is happening (Spool). Early adaptors and innovators like to have the details as they emerge and they are not willing to wait for the release of DVDs, as this means that the information is no longer news.
The concept of the internet concert will be designed to ensure that people have the most enjoyable experiences online. People attending concerts get the chance to have personal experiences. Studies conducted by Leaf Boven and Thomas Gilovich suggest that experiences make people happy. The authors claimed that people are happier with experiential purchases, than they are with material purchases. Therefore, people lead happier lives because of the experiences they have and not because of their material possessions (1201). Based on this, the internet concert will ensure that the consumers can maximize on their performances. Consumers will view the concert from different sections, just as they would if they were to attend the concert physically. There will be several cameras shooting from different angles and offering different views of the concert.
The concert hall will have plug-ins, which allows the online audience to make screen shoots or short videos, and this will enhance their experiences. Users will have a platform where they can interact with other music fans and upload their screen shots and videos. They can also edit movies or photos using this feature. The system will enable people with the same preferences to interact. The system will be interactive, as it will enable the online audience to comment on what is happening, as the concert goes on. There will be a screen in the concert hall that will reflect selected comments of the online audience. This will encourage additional people to participate, as they will be able to make a positive contribution. This offers the advantage of immediate feedback, as the performer can decide to respond to some of the comments made.
Boven, V. Leaf and Thomas Gilovich. “To Do or to Have? That Is the Question.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85.6 (2003): 1201. Print.
Driscoll, Emily. “Higher Education Trends to Watch in 2013.” Fox Business/Money 101 28 Jun 2013, n. pag. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. <http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/01/28/higher-education-trends-to-watch-for-in-2013/>
Kirshner, Sandi. “Online Education: Greater Choice, Flexibility.” Research & Innovation Network. 2 May 2012, n. pag. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. <http://researchnetwork.pearson.com/online-learning/online-education-greater-choice-flexibility>
Norton, Dana. “Members say Learning Online Offers Flexibility but Demands Extra Commitment.” TechRepublic/U.S. 16 Nov 2001, n. pag. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. <http://www.techrepublic.com/article/members-say-learning-online-offers-flexibility-but-demands-extra-commitment/>
Spool, Jared. “Why People Adopt Or Wait For New Technology.” User Interface Engineering. 21 Dec 2011, n. pag. Web. 7 Aug. 2013. <http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2011/12/21/why-people-adopt-or-wait-for-new-technology/>
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