This post is primarily aimed at my colleagues in and near Minnesota, but the overall message applies to anyone interested in technology in music education.
Today the Minnesota Music Education Association Mid-Winter Conference begins, and at the same time, TI:ME had its national conference sessions yesterday, and additional TI:ME involvement continues as part of the Texas Music Education Association convention today. I am heading to MMEA today, but believe me when I say that I wish I was with my music technology colleagues in warm San Antonio, too.
If you haven't heard about TI:ME, it was begun as an institute through which to determine technology standards for music education, as well as to offer training and certification in music technology, and to serve as a place for music education technologists to interact with each other. This happened in 1995, as part of NAMM (NAMM originally provided funding). You can learn all about TI:ME at their website, ti-me.org.
Many things have changed since 1995, and technology has evolved from being a specialty to an area where every music teacher uses (or needs to use) technology-based tools in education. Although many national and state professional organizations discuss technology in music education, and even have sessions at their conferences on the subject, TI:ME has grown to become the primary professional organization for technology in music education. Put another way, for the existing organizations in our nation and state, technology is a concern but not a primary reason for their existence.
Although TI:ME has members across the world, including Minnesota, its most active members reside on the East Coast and in the Ohio area. At present, it can be difficult to justify a membership in TI:ME in Minnesota because there are no resources at the state level–we have no state chapter.
My proposal, on this first day of MMEA, is that we try to form a state chapter for TI:ME in Minnesota. I can see a number of reasons to do so:
- We can develop a nucelus of technology experts who support each other in our state
- We can begin a Minnesota music technology newsletter or blog, encouraging new posts or posting member's existing posts (with permission).
- We can act as an advisory team to MMEA if they have technology questions (all of us will be members of MMEA anyway)
- Perhaps a state chapter of TI:ME could organize or provide feedback about the tech offerings at the MMEA convention (this could be outside the sphere of influece)
- We can organize additional training sessions and ed camps in our state to teach both TI:ME materials as well as to address emerging technologies, such as 1:1 integration and applications
- The state chapter could collaborate with other state organizations such the Perpich Center of the Arts to help with their technology offerings as well
- We can bring some of the wonderful things going on in Minnesota back to the national level of TI:ME
What I would like to ask of my Minnesota colleagues is this: consider joining TI:ME, and join me in my quest to begin a Minnesota chapter of TI:ME. The annual membership is $50, and my hope is that the combined national and (proposed) state resources would make that $50 a worthwhile annual investment.
I will be floating around the MMEA convention the next few days; I invite you to stop by and say hello and let me know if you are interested in helping bring a TI:ME chapter to Minnesota.