Getting more creative with iPads using GarageBand and Everyone Can Create

In October last year we previewed Apple’s free resource, Everyone Can Create, designed to help inspire teachers as well as pupils and students to extract maximum creative and educational value from iPads.

Example of an Everyone Can Create resource.

The resources sit alongside Apple’s #EveryoneCanCode campaign, and focus on the impact that the technology and apps can have in supporting every student through music, drawing, photography and video. The teacher guide has 300 ideas from educators on how to integrate projects with maths, literacy, science and computing alongside other core subjects.

We were impressed, especially with the curriculum content. There’s plenty on offer for every school, whether primary or secondary, and, crucially, there is also food for thought even if you have limited or no access to Apple technology.

More pro features

Since then, Apple have released more and more pro features for iPads.  It is definitely worth exploring what is now possible creatively and how creating digital sound and art differs (or not) from using physical instruments and tools.

For example, for teaching principles and exploring and working with sound and composition, technology such as GarageBand opens up new possibilities visually, and the touch screen guitar is an excellent introduction, but doesn’t replace the physicality and achievement of playing a real guitar.

Combining analogue and digital

It’s important to define the creative outputs before choosing the software and make a choice about the best way of achieving that. Sometimes that will combine analogue and digital resources. For example, you may do a drawing on paper then photograph it and add movement in an app, or create a backing track in GarageBand that you would then improvise over using a real instrument. Or use your real voice on a track recorded into GarageBand.

Technology is also good at making the process visible – take Hockney’s use of the brushes app on iPad where you see the finished work but also the process.

A creative springboard

The Everyone Can Create resources can be a great starting point and a way of becoming competent in using the software, with the added inspiration of stars such as Justin Timberlake introducing song structure.

All software has some limitations. It’s important to know when technology is the right thing to use and when another kind of creative approach might work better. Treat Everyone Can Create as a kick-off point, and a springboard for thinking outside the box, and you can’t go far wrong.

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