Björk Comes to the Classroom

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An app-album becomes an educational tool to explore creativity, music, and science.

Björk released Biophilia in 2011 as an app-album. It combined song, technology, video, and games, and since then it has evolved into a unique educational program. The album was built upon further by educators and coders to create the Biophilia Educational Program, which allows users to explore design and ecology, and to learn how sound and science are related. The program utilizes both touch-screen interactivity and hands-on lessons. Each song is integrated with topics such as viruses, the solar system, and earthquakes. It’s aimed at children ages 8-15 and its unconventional format is said to help students with ADHD or learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

There have been Biophilia workshops held in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, New York City, Norway, and the UK. Chris Shoemaker from the New York Public Library says, “Over 20 teens excitedly delved into the Biophilia app to explore music, nature and technology in hands-on after-school programs. Week after week, the teens used iPads to create their own songs and explore the inner workings of the Biophilia universe, while weekly science experiments allowed them to transfer skills and knowledge between the digital and physical worlds.”

While it’s a stretch to see this becoming part of Common Core, the Biophilia Educational Program is slated to be introduced as part of the official curriculum in some Scandinavian schools.

Photo byF de Falso, licensed underCreative Commons.

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