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Day two of the MTEC conference began with my keynote address titled, “How Technology is Transforming the Way We Teach Music in the Elementary Classroom.” Though this keynote had an elementary focus, it addressed all of the music educators in the audience because it showed how technology could be used as an effective tool in any music classroom. The keynote showcased the wonderful music examples from my students at FHCDS. I showed how technology has enhanced an elementary music classroom from performing in virtual and acoustic ensembles, to assessing their musical skills, to creating music, to composing music, to cross-curricular music projects. I hope that those who listened to this keynote came out with a new prospective on how technology can be an amazing tool to enhance teaching in the music classroom.
After the keynote, I was able to attend some more wonderful workshops. I attended one from a middle school music teacher who is having her students create great music history posters with QR codes and assessing her younger students with book creator. I then attended a workshop where the presenter talked about the Time-to-Adoption Horizon’s annual report where it researches technology and makes predictions about where technology in education is heading in the future. He stated that these reports have been very accurate. The current predictions are: this year, bring your own device and cloud computing; in two to three years, games and gamification and learning analytics; and in four to five years, the internet of things (examples given like refrigerators and machines) and wearable technology. I also attended a session to learn more tips about iDoceo. Finally, the conferenced finished with the final keynote speaker who was brilliant. James Humberstone gave the final address, which summed up the message of the conference: teaching and creating music in a way that will relate to your students.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Australia and I personally thank Katie, Glenys, Adrian, and all of the conference crew for all of their hard work to present a wonderful conference. Australia is a beautiful country and even though I only got to spend a few days here and to explore the surrounding area, I am so thankful to my school for supporting me to go, my parents for taking care of my girls all week, my husband for sending so many supportive texts throughout the conference and making sure our girls were happy, and all of my friends who supported me while I was here and gave my girls extra hugs during this week.
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