Tagged: K-12

Welcome to 2013

Following a rocky server migration that took longer than anticipated, L2Ork is now ready for another exciting semester. As part of the server migration our website has gotten a face-lift and a lot of behind-the-curtain systems have been updated and cleaned up. Hope you like our new design :-)

I am also thrilled to report that L2Ork has now become one of the signature initiatives of the newfound Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and its Integrative Mind & Performance through the Arts, Creativty, and Technology (IMPACT) studio. With the grand opening of the new Center for the Arts less than nine months away… things do not get any more exciting than this.

L2Orkists spent the bulk of the fall 2012 semester helping with the infrastructure overhaul, namely laptop refresh (more about that soon), and a rigorous beta-testing of pd-l2ork software. As a result, we now have a formidable and ultra-stable platform we can continue building upon. Pd-l2ork is now leaner and meaner than ever. As a matter of fact, just a couple days ago we released our first officially stable snapshot (version 20130111). Enhancements are listed on the git page. The new builds now also support debian binaries for both 32-bit and 64- bit installs and the installers have been overhauled to make compiling from source easier than ever. For more info on this and a myriad of other cool features (like universal preset system) go to our Software page and download the latest version. As always, your comments and feedback are most welcome and appreciated–so, please consider joining us on our l2ork-dev mailing list.

This past fall, we’ve continued working with the Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Virginia and consequently improving on the pd-l2ork K12 module. The result is a robust tool with a growing body of documentation linking it to K12 education.

This past fall, I was contacted by an old friend Michael Barnhart, who expressed interest in starting a K12 satellite laptop orchestra based on L2Ork’s K12 framework. I am pleased to report that Shawnee State in Ohio is now a home of yet another K12 satelllite laptop orchestra :-) Around the same time, we’ve had another inquiry from Florida about a possibility of organizing a similar K12 initiative in the Orange state. This opportunity is currently pending. I cannot get excited enough about the prospect of growing number of K12 programs like the one we started here at Virginia Tech a couple years ago.

With the infrastructure now being as solid as it gets and our education-based outreach growing, it’s finally time to shift our attention back to music, which is a good thing as I’ve been itching for some time to write another piece for the ensemble. If any of you out there are interested in writing for the ensemble, do not hesitate to contact us–there has never been a better time than now to write for us! And as we look forward to this next semester and all the opportunities it may bring, I guess this is as good time as any to remind all VT students to consider enrolling in the L2Ork ensemble. L2Ork is always on a lookout for a new talent, so please do not hesitate to contact us!

As always, we have some exciting new announcements to make in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more updates soon!

And so begins the fourth year of L2Ork’s journey…

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Pd-L2Ork K-12 ModuleAs we prepare for our presentation at this year’s NIME conference (for those attending NIME you can see us during the 130pm demo session later today), it is my great pleasure to announce a new version of Pd-L2Ork programming environment (the backbone of our software infrastructure) featuring the K-12 learning module prototype. Geared specifically towards K-12 students, the newfound module addresses the lack of a robust sound- and music-oriented programming tool for elementary, middle, and high-school students. The current prototype is a first step towards a tiered granular design of learning objects that aim to recontextualize pd-l2ork into a K-12 learning tool. The resulting first iteration offers a limited set of coarse-grained objects geared primarily towards 4th and 5th graders. This, however, has not deterred Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia students participating in the afterschool program from making some quite evolved instruments using Nintendo Wiimotes and their satellite laptop orchestra in less than three sessions 1-hour–a rough-cut video footage of our most recent session with the students after the break.

For more info on Pd-L2Ork see our Software page. To enable the K12 mode, simply start pd-l2ork with the -k12 flag as follows:

pd-l2ork -k12

I would like to hereby encourage all interested in furthering the said tool to join us on the l2ork-dev mailing list. We are particularly interested in growing a library of coarse-grained objects pertaining to sound generation and signal manipulation. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to like us on our new facebook page ;-)

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Ladybug L2Ork Hemi PrototypeYes, the rumors are indeed true. Last fall L2Ork has partnered up with the Boys & Girls Club of Roanoke, VA and the Music Lab at the Jefferson Center and with the help of grants from 21st Century and Bank of America, we are now in the process of designing and building a satellite laptop orchestra for the 5th graders. As excited as we are about our upcoming version 2.0 of our shiny hemispherical speakers, we simply had to share this photo with everyone. The red hemispherical speakers offer a number of structural improvements over the old design, as well as the new red look. The new hemis have already become famous among l2orkists as “ladybugs.”

As part of our ongoing partnership with the Boys & Girls Club, this coming Friday we will be hosting 5th graders here at Virginia Tech DISIS who will assist us in building the remaining “ladybugs” as well as have an opportunity to interact and “jam” with VT l2orkists. The event will be held on Friday March 19th 3:30-5:30pm (EST) in DISIS. We would like to use this opportunity to also cordially invite all VT Stakeholders to join us in celebrating this exciting event. For directions to DISIS, please click here.

To top this all off, I have a number of other exciting announcements to share with you, so stay tuned for more updates.

Let the ladybug invasion begin!

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