Websites, Apps, and IWB, oh my!
Last week, I spent two days presenting “Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom” in Pinellas County, Florida, to 50+ wonderful elementary music educators. This group of devoted teachers was amazing! They were willing to jump right into the tech tools that I was showing, as well as share their own tech resources and ask excellent questions. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Here are some of the highlights from the two-day workshop:
- Websites – On the first day, I showed numerous websites that would assist the teachers in assessment (like Plickers), organization (like Planbook.com), recording music (like Audacity), creating music (like Incredibox and Soundtrap), composing music (like Noteflight), finding lesson plans, finding curriculum, and so much more.
- SMART Board – Since most teachers had access to a SMART Board and almost all of them had access to SMART Notebook, I showed them the basics to advanced strategies of using an interactive whiteboard in the elementary music classroom. I also showed them SMART Lab, briefly discussed SMART Amp, and showed where they could find many free resources and lessons.
- iPads – Since most of the teachers had access to at least one iPad, I showed them numerous apps for music creation (GarageBand), virtual instruments (how to create a virtual and acoustic ensemble), iPad Band (thank you Dan Beal!), ear training (Do Re Mi 123), note reading (Flashnote Derby), performing (StaffWars Live), composition (Noteflight), assessment and organization (iDoceo), flipping the classroom (Explain Everything-thank you Cherie Herring!), and so much more.
- Cross-Curricular Connections – In this portion, I showed how technology can enhance cross-curricular projects; however, they might play a very small role in the process. As Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model shows, and from listening to him speak on the subject, technology can be a part of the Substitution (S), Augmentation (A), and Modification (M) phases, but might not be a part of the Redefinition phase, because the technology played a portion of the role to bring your unit to the redefinition phase. We explored cross-curricular activities from integrating art, empathy, social emotional learning, science, social studies, math, reading, and finally, STEAM. We ended by Facetiming in my science teacher, Jen Wagar, so we could present our third grade STEAM unit. In addition, bringing her in via Facetime (Skype or Google Hangout would have worked as well), demonstrated a way of communicating globally, which in this day and age, is so important to connect our students and our curriculum to reach far outside of our school. This shows the students how music can be so universal.
- My final highlight was the location.
I thank David and Lisa for making me feel very welcome and giving me a great group of educators and a fabulous music room to present (thank you, Laura for the use of your room).
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