Wednesday, June 20, 2012
1. What are your favorite tools you now have in your personal technology toolbox? Some of the favorite tools that I experienced are: Google docs, Diigo and Skype. I plan to try to Skype with a professional musician during the time that I prepare the 5th graders for their Houston Symphony trip. I plan to collaborate with other music teachers using Diigo and google docs as we share websites that are appropriate and good for the students to use. 2. I am in the process of transforming my vision for my classroom as we just moved into a temporary space. For 28 years most of my music teaching has been teacher-led and guided, and the challenge for me will be to incorporate these new expectations along with the curriculum within the small amount of time I have with the students- 50-75 minutes per week. I see students learning from each other and having fun when I incorporate stations and centers in my lessons. I'm still learning lots of fun ways to create presentations with the active inspire software and flipcharts, and I am excited to give the students the opportunities for individual hands on learning, collaborating, and recording using the macbooks. 3. Were there any unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you? I was surprised at my score on the assessment. There was a lot of material in this course and even though I had taken most of 23 tools offered by the district years ago, I still feel like I am paddling hard to try to keep up. It is comforting to know that Atomic Tools is available for more future learning and for a refresher.
3 things that I want students to know concerning Digital Citizenship are: 1. DO NOT believe everything that you read on the internet. Check the sources! 2. DO NOT SHARE personal information on the internet- BE SAFE do not assume that the person you are "talking" to on line is who or what they say they are. Be CAREFUL. 3. Remember that if you write it or type it on line it is there forever. Cyberbullying is a problem for students, and without scaring students, I might address it by tying into our lifelong guidelines: Treat others as you want to be treated. After reading Vickie Davis' blog about digital citizenship I realized that even though I teach music, I need to state out loud, WHY I chose a particular site to show my students. I will consciously verbalize my choices out loud in class so that students hear and see the reason for the website choice. I enjoyed reading blog "Moving at the speed of creativity- Internet safety" and it cause me to think about our digital dossiers. Brainpop seems to have easy short videos on this topic. Since my time with the students is so short- once a week for 50 minutes, I may not actually show one of these videos, but will refer to the topic in class. Our school Frostwood and district already send home papers at the beginning of the year about internet safety, etc. I will plan to communicate to parents and teachers what internet sites I will use in my classroom next year. I might use the on line newsletter to communicate it or the school website.
I visited several of the interactive websites listed in tool #9. I am reminded of the phrase you have to kiss a lot of toads before you meet the handsome prince. In other words, some of these sites just do not satisfy the goal of tying the technology to the learning. However, I have found a few sites that are applicable to the desired music learning outcomes in my classroom: I got an idea from the Class tools.net website that already had a template for the dust bin game. Fakebook for composers was a fun site to read as well, and I think that the 5th graders would enjoy reading it. In surfing the sites listed in this tool I explored the ARTSEDGE through the Kennedy Center and found so much information that I could incorporate in class. There is a baseball game format that introduces instruments of the orchestra with links to actual musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra. The Musicinteractive website has games that are applicable to the TEKS for music. I have embedded this site in my flipcharts and we have done the rhythm dictation as a whole class. The rhythm dictation game can be used in a station set up along with the Music staff wars which I think could be used in a station set up for the 4th grade recorder players to reinforce note reading in the treble clef. It is important to hold the students accountable for their learning so that they can develop their own sense of being lifelong learners. The way that I will hold students accountable for their learning in the technology stations will probably be using a rubric with detailed instructions on paper for each student to fill out and submit at the end of the class. Because I have so many students coming in and out of my classroom each day with no minutes in between grade levels, I will be able to keep track of which students were present that day. Since I envision using the Macbooks in groups, I will have students assigned in small groups and do some type of verification within the small group that the assignments were completed.
Monday, June 18, 2012
The devices that I am to receive are 3 MACBOOKS. Macbooks are very powerful wonderful machines that I am already familiar with. I have taken some classes about Macbooks last summer, and I have an IMAC at home although it is old. Some of the features on the Macbooks that I plan to use next year are: Garage Band: to help students record themselves and possibly make their own compositions, using the CD drive which will enable me to let the students use some of the existing textbook software to enhance music listening lessons, and I also plan to use the Macbooks when we Skype with another classroom next year. I would LOVE to also have an IPAD because of wonderful musical instrument apps that are available. Maybe I'll submit a request for a grant for one in the future. The challenge for music teachers is that we see the students so seldom, that we want to be sure the technology is used to enhance the music- not just "doing technology" I am very excited to FINALLY get to have some laptops to use in centers with the students, which will also enable me to better differentiate the music lessons. The management of the 3 MACS will be somewhat of a challenge, but I plan to use it as a center with the little spider connections and ear buds which I already purchased last year. This will allow 4 kids at a time to listen to the lesson. I plan to post the rules, and of course spend time to explain the expectations and rules. It might be a good idea to have the district and school-wide computer use rules posted around our school.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
After visiting the resources above, design a collaborative project with another classroom. Post the following about the project: Content objective: Students will learn from other students one of the symphonic works that they will hear "live" at The Houston Symphony Field trip I plan to collaborate with a music teacher in the district using SKYPE about 2 months before the planned Houston Symphony Field trip. After the students have learned about one of they symphony pieces that we will hear on the field trip, they will present their knowledge to other 5th graders in the district. I plan to implement this with the 5th grade classes using the 3 new Macbooks and Skype. I have collaborated with other music teachers for several years in preparing the music for the field trip, but this would be the students sharing what they learned with another school. I will present this idea in our August inservice.
I signed up for Edmodo. It honestly took me much longer than I anticipated to set it up. I originally thought it would be an easy way to communicate to a certain group of students for instance: all 4th grade or all of 5th grade to remind them about upcoming performances, etc. But after doing it I do not know how easy it would be to use with a whole grade level. It seems that many of my fellow teachers at FWE use it, so I can ask them about how they use it too. I think our sub group of district music teachers could possibly use it as a more interactive way to share our ideas instead of the way we currently post to the sweden folder. However it will take more time to look into two places, so the sweden folder might be the best way for us to communicate. I am rambling about this. Below is my link to edmodo. I will definitely use Skype this school year with at least one of my grade levels. The students will enjoy watching other students perform perhaps the same song for the holidays or anytime during the year. We could even skype with other recorder playing classes in 4th grade or 5th graders could skype with some instrumental players when studying about the symphony. Maybe even some real HSO players! That would be lots of fun for the students! I think I'll make that a tech goal for next year.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
I created a video using Stupeflix from pictures from our Cozumel trip. At first the movie kept buffering, but I finally saved it and now it isn't buffering. This would be a fairly easy way to display a year's worth of pictures in a very easy way. I might look into doing this for our end of the year the grade videos. After finishing all 11 tools, I'll probably revisit this website to use as introductions to units such as Recorder unit in 4th grade, Houston Symphony trip introductions, etc. Click to Watch Now I enjoy using Wordle and have made cards for family and friends with it. I would like to copy a wordle onto my first of the year flipcharts and challenge kids to find life skills and music skills embedded in it to get them excited about the beginning of the year. I had to use wordle in regular google not google chrome, because the java script was out of date. Also it is a pain to save it. I found you have to do a screen shot then save it as a jpg and upload the image as seen below. whew.. a lot of work to figure it out.