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There are many times when I have classes that I would like to break into small groups when using technology. With three laptops, I can place students in groups, however, sometimes the smaller the groups, the more successful the musical creations.
This week, my second graders’ goals were to learn the expectations of music class and to create a rap about those expectations using incredibox.com. I am lucky as my classroom has three laptops and four iPads. However, incredibox is a flash-based website and trying to run it on iPads was not ideal. I then read a tweet from Quaver music advertising that their flash-based website can be played on the Photon Flash Player/Browser app. Having experienced how much Quaver music’s website has a plethora of flash-based music activities, I knew that there would be a good chance that The Photon Player/Browser app could support incredibox.com.
The Photon app comes in two versions, one as a complete web browser/flash player that one has to be 17 or over to download and one that is the educational (edu) version. After going through some channels, the edu version was downloaded to the iPads. When I tried incredibox on the iPad, I was happily surprised to how well it worked. I had to hold down the musical element (like effects) for a second to get a grip on it to drag it to the cartoon performer. When I did, the effect drags behind your finger. When I showed the students with whom were grouped to create a rap about class expectations using the iPads, they were ok with the slight lapse in time. The groups used incredibox very well on both the laptops and the iPads. They ended class performing their raps with the incredibox beat boxers.
Both versions of the app are $4.99 each. When you want the browser to support flash, you press the lightning bolt. The app will beep when it is about to time out because it has not been used for a few minutes. I also used this app with Karen Garret’s musictechteacher.com and it worked very well. I was able to score baskets in the rhythm hoops game.
All in all, I am very pleased with this app for what I needed it to do with my students.
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com