Website of the Week:

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The website and twitter feed that I visit frequently is Tony Vincent’s Tony began this website back in 2002 as a classroom website. Over quick the years, the devices in his school and his position have changed. He eventually became a technology consultant, but will be returning back to the 5th grade classroom this fall.

Tony gives daily tech tips that can assist an educator who uses technology rarely, to a tech guru. Whenever his tweets pop up on my feed, I stop to immediately read them and click on the accompanying links.

Practical Pointers for Youtube

One that recently caught my eye was his post titled, “Practical Pointers for Youtube”. In this article, he lists 17 pointers. For music educators, there are numerous pointers that are extremely helpful, and many that probably a variety of music educators did not know.

Some of my favorites are:

  • “If you’d like to share a link to a YouTube video and do not want suggested videos to be displayed when the video finishes, add ?rel=0 to the end of the video’s URL.”
  • “You can create a link to a YouTube video that begins playing at a specified time. This is a great way to skip right into the content you want your audience to view. To do this, pause video where you want to begin playback. Click Share and check Start at: before copying the link.”
  • ”You can use the YouTube Audio Library to get hundreds of free songs and sound effects to use in your videos. Most of the music in the library requires no attribution, but some songs do require you to include credit in your video’s description.”
  • ”Here’s how to blur faces: After your video is uploaded to YouTube, click the Edit Video button. Then click the Enhancements tab, and then click the Blurring effects tab. After clicking Edit next to Blur Faces, YouTube will begin the process of finding faces in your video. It can take quite a while to process, and it’s ok if you leave YouTube and return later. After processing, you’ll see thumbnails for each of the faces that YouTube detected. Click the thumbnail(s) of the faces you’d like to blur. You can play the preview to see frosted circles placed over the selected face(s). YouTube uses motion tracking, so the blur moves with the face. You can save the changes in the existing video or save as a new video.”

There are many more. I highly suggest following Tony on twitter @tonyvincent and to check out his website for more edtech tips. He is also holding a summer online course where you can find information here.


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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: