Breaking the Habit

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Gibson Les Paul Studio
We can learn a lot about becoming a better teachers by listening to Linkin Park. If you haven’t listen to the song Breaking the Habit recently, go listen to it now.

What strikes me about this hit from the once-rap/metal band is that it has an intensity to it without any distorted guitars. There’s a clean guitar and some strings, but not this wall of sound from guitars. There’s actually a crazy story behind this recording: when they were mixing the album, they happened to mute all the electric distorted guitars on the mixer. It started off as a mistake, but one guy in the band suggested they keep it like that. If you know anything about electric guitars, you know that this is a major decision that has a huge, huge impact on the sound of a song. To make things crazier, only half the band was in the studio, and they had to make the decision immediately. They decided to mix it without the distorted guitars, and that’s the way that we know the song.

In the clasroom, sometimes less tech is better. As teachers who care about technology, we often feel the need to integrate tech into every little bit of our classroom. There are times, though, where a pencil and paper are the best solution. One are my favorite math lessons from when I talk kindergarten was using an overhead projector to teach students about two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. When you put a three-dimensional shape on an overhead projector, it instantly becomes two-dimensional on the screen. I’ve heard teachers joke about antiquated things in a classroom like an overhead projector, or even a pencil (ah-hem, #pencilchat), but sometimes low-tech or no tech is the best solution. Don’t be afraid to get rid of those iPads, or get rid of those electric guitars, or whatever might be getting in your way. An eduawesome lesson might be right under your nose, and you’ll never know it if you force tech into every lesson.

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