Monday, February 28, 2011

Open Letter to Tennessee (and WORLD) Technology Coordinators

Greetings, All,

Those of you who know me and my professional history—14  years as a technology teacher at University School of Nashville and now Virtual Learning Curriculum Coordinator at Metro Nashville Public Schools—may also know that I am deeply involved at a national level in the field of virtual environments for teaching and learning and in various other projects tied to positive change in the way we teach and learn.

On January 26, 2011 the PC version of one of those other projects launched - JamParty:Remixed. Console versions for xBox, Playstation and Wii will be released in the near future. The console versions will have a live social interaction component.

Arkansas educator and dear friend Cathy Walker was involved and helped with the design of this program and along with her I am now serving as Education and Charitable Communities Liaison for the project. I receive no compensation for this role. It has been our hope and the hope of the “game’s” creator, Dan Sullivan, that the gift of music creation finds its way to the hands of children and to the child within the rest of us.

This is a unique gaming experience and has a Studio Mode where music can be created, played, and shared. Using this mode, students can create their own music (.mp3) mix for PowerPoints, videos, dance routines, etc. I personally am enjoying using the program to make intro, outro, and background music for instructional videos and podcasts—yes, I use JamParty:Remixed in my work!  

Long story, short: We have PC versions that I can give away for free to schools, children's hospitals, community centers and such.  I asked if I could start by offering it to folks at home ... you guys here in Tennessee. My wish was granted. This Education Donation project differs from “freemium” programs in important ways:
  1. Many free programs are either “Trial” or “Demo” versions of the software they are trying to promote. The JamParty:Remixed software your school will get is the complete, fully functional version that is offered for sale at the Zivix site for $29.99. Nor is this an old program the makers just want off their shelves to promote a newer one: It’s only been available anywhere for one month!
  2. Most freemium offers limit installation to a single computer. You will receive a version licensed for UNLIMITED installation within your school. We even show you how to open up the entire program with a cheat code so your kids don’t have to “level up” to open up sound banks and genres
  3. Other offers like this (not that I think there really is one) will charge you a hefty shipping fee to send you any physical product. You don’t even pay shipping here!
  4. Many other softwares send you their program knowing that you won’t be happy just having it--you’ll want to spend dollars later on further functionality. Again, this is a fully functioning version. We’ve even created our own JamParty4Education website that will be populated with lesson plans, downloadable add-ins, and more and it will be there for you in perpetuity. It’s already shaping up with videos, tutorials, links to relevant research to support adoption in your school, and a growing FAQ.
Contact us at  jamparty4ed@gmail.com if you are interested, or simply go to jamparty4ed.com to learn more and apply for your very own school (unlimited install) copy of this amazing, potential-laden software. Bookmark that website: See number 4. above.

Importantly, we are not sure how long this free donation program will be available. If you want your own school copy with unlimited installation license, now’s the time to get it.

Please be patient.  I obviously won't be responding to requests during school hours and both Cathy and I have busy families: This is a weekend avocation for us.

This message, by the way, is in no way sponsored by any of my professional organizations and does not reflect any of my employers' or professional organizations' views or interests.

Warm Regards,

Scott Merrick

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It's all at http://scottmerrick.net

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