Unleash Your Stories: Jono Howan

Jono Howan is a current graduate student working towards a diploma of teaching in music for secondary schools. In his placement at a school in Auckland, Jono noticed the time he spent drawing a series of musical notes on the board would hinder the progress of the class, causing students to become disengaged. Likewise, he noticed that when he asked students to draw their answers on the board, other students would lose focus and become distracted. Thus, Jono set out to solve this problem, aiming to develop a method which would be convenient and efficient, and would not affect the momentum of his classes. 

Jono, with the help of the Create and Maker Space, designed and developed a full set of laser-cut magnetic notation symbols to be placed on the classroom whiteboard. The items have been named ‘Magnotes’ by his students and himself. He has also made a box organiser with several slots and engraved labels to store the Magnotes. Jono has been able to use these as a supplement to his lessons, and as a focal point. He has used the Magnotes in a sequence for students to clap the rhythm. Jono has also run competitive games where he will clap a rhythm and two students will race to arrange the Magnotes into the correct rhythm on the board. These lessons are particularly helpful to Jono’s students that best learn by doing. Kinesthetic learning, often an ignored learning method, involves learning in a practical manner, with students carrying out physical activities instead of simple listening and or watching.

Having attended his training for the laser cutter three weeks prior at the Create and Maker Space, Jono had no thorough knowledge of laser cutter or the applications of laser cutters. Hence, Jono relied on the assistance of the Creative Technologists (CTs) at Unleash Space to make his project come to life. The CTs’ help and advice made the cutting process smooth and fast. 

The Magnotes have been effective in the purpose Jono set for them. They have enhanced his lessons while being easy to incorporate into his teaching. Jono is considering commercialising his product in New Zealand due to its ability to cater to students that benefit from kinesthetic lessons. 

Have you noticed a problem in your day to day life? Come to Unleash Space to be inspired and develop a possible solution to make your life, and potentially the life of those around you, better. Find out more about using the Create and Maker Space here.