Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tool #11: Self Assessing and Reflecting

My favorite tools are Pinterest, Youtube, Promethean Planet, Prezi, Wallwisher and Glogster. With Glogster we had all 3rd - 5th grade students research a composer then make a glogster. It had to contain date of birth, nationality, period, 3 famous songs, 2 interesting facts, at least 1 picture and 1 video clip.

I've always been very technology oriented so my thinking has not changed. The only thing that constantly changes are the tools I use and how I use them. My only wish would be more funding for technology, especially in the arts. Fine Arts classes are the most visual classes on every campus, usually with teachers who are wired to be creative, and we are the last to get the latest technology!

The biggest surprise was how many of the tools I already new about and have already used.

My one suggestion as a teacher who is new to the district, would be to have some classes for teachers who may be new to the district but DO have teaching experience.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tool #10: Underneath it All - Digital Citizenship

Students need to know about being good digital citizens. They need to learn internet safety,  whether it's protecting their privacy, or people trying to get information from them. They need to know about cyber bullying. Students should learn that not everything on the internet is factual. Just like a book,  they need to check multiple sources. Proper internet etiquette is also important, just to name a few.

As we worked through our composer project I would share the cool cat teacher blog on digital citizenship and literacy.

In music one of the concepts we would need to stress more is verifying that the facts are accurate. We could show examples of how some information about composers is inaccurate and even false. While researching songs of the composer we could talk about which sites are appropriate and which are not. This would also be a good time to talk about copyrights and downloading music.

For parents, our school has a monthly newsletter that goes out and the music department has a few paragraphs in it every month. This would be a great way to communicate with the parents. We could also use this blog or one similar to it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tool #9: Incorporating Classroom-Based Devices as Tools for Learning

It's important to tie in technology with an objective. If not, you risk the chance of using technology just to use it. It's important that the technology enhance and reinforce the lesson.

Students should be accountable for stations/centers for several reasons. First of all, it shows that they are responsible for the station, the technology and the work being done. Secondly, it teaches them to value things. whether it's the technology being used or the quality of the work being done.

The 2 sites I liked the most were Learning Games for Kids and Thinkfinity. These were the 2 sites that really had the most to offer in terms of music. Although stations are a little harder to do in music it is possible. We have limited technology in our classrooms but that is starting to change. We are also limited by time. Since we do not see the students daily, we really must make sure the station reinforces the unit we are doing so we can maximize the time spent with the students. Some possible stations are listening stations, reading stations (composer books), rhythm station, music math and music theory stations. To hold students accountable, equipment should be checked out. As students move to stations they should report any problems, any misbehavior or misuse of the technology, which should lead to that student sitting out or being disciplined.

Some of the apps we currently use are Nota, inTone, Tap DoReMi plus many songs have interactive apps. For a station the student or students use the ipods or ipads to do an activity for "x" amount of time. Nota for example breaks it into lessons and a quiz. Results from the quiz can be emailed to the teacher.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tool #7: Reaching Outside your Classroom: Online Digital Projects

Music students will learn about musical instruments from another country.

In October students from Hollibrook Elementary will Skype on a weekly basis (for 6 weeks) with students from Ms. Drumm's class at Hong Kong International School. Her students will present various instruments to our students and our students will present various instruments with her class. At the end of the 6 weeks the students will perform 1 song for each other using those instruments.

Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

I am extremely familiar with all the devices except for the WACOM tablets. I honestly did not learn anything new.

I plan on using the ipods to expose the students to different composers and different styles of music. As well as using some theory and instrument apps. Because of the limited amount of technology in the music classroom, management will be the key.

My only suggestion to others is don't be afraid to try new things. Find one way to use one of these devices on a weekly basis.

Tool #6: Using Web Tools to Promote Discussion in and out of the Classroom

Here is a sample of how I would use wallwisher for our composer project. Individuals or classes could collaborate and work on the research.


I would probably not use twitter with my class but I find if you follow the right people its a great professional learning community. I only follow people that are sharing different ideas in music or education.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tool #5 Producing with Web 2.0 Tools

This is a sample of a composer glogster I made for our composer project.
Michel Camilo Glogster

This is a sample of a Prezi for the composer project

Composer Project

Our students are very visual and both of these tools allows them to be creative and visual. Students will be doing research on a composer and presenting it in a fun way. For music it is better when it is experienced. So allowing students to embed audio and video clips will add a new dimension to just doing a book report.