The ISTE Standards are standards made for teachers who wish to implement technology in an effective way. For this blog post, I will be focusing on standards 1, 3, and 4. Though all five standards hold a vast amount of importance, I feel these three are not always present in the classroom. Also, I will be explaining how I will use technology in my music classroom.
The first ISTE Standard is, “Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity.” In a music classroom fostering creativity is a given, but there is so much more that can be done to inspire creativity through technology. For example, there are many types of music software that students can use to compose and arrange pieces for any type of music ensemble. Through this software, they will be able to put music theory to practice.
The third ISTE Standard is, “Model digital age work and learning.” It is just a fact of the world now that students have to be globally competitive when entering college and the workforce. One of the largest elements of this is “technology fluency.” Music is a collaborative art and can allow you to work with others around the world. In order to do this, you can use Skype, email, and other safe networking sites. Knowing how to use these technologies and others is key in this 21st-century world.
The fourth ISTE Standard is, “Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.” With technology comes the good aspects and the not so good aspects. Teaching students to use technology safely and responsibly in the classroom can be a great help to them. Knowing how to appropriately use technology can make a safer digital world.
Though many think that technology can be hard to come by in a music classroom, I have to say I completely disagree. When technology is used properly, in the music classroom, it can increase learning and knowledge vastly. In my music classroom, if I have the means, I plan to use music composing software, interactive whiteboards, and computers. The majority of my class time will be used to rehearse music for an upcoming concert, I will still need to teach music theory and history. I can teach these two things through activities used through the three technologies I’ve listed above. There is a whole other world to be accessed through the use of technology.
Using blogs as a way to communicate with your students and their parents is a valuable tool for the classroom. This is a way you can communicate with your students and their parents about things you’ve worked on in class, about upcoming events, and use it as a way to introduce new material. For example, if I was taking my orchestra class to the symphony in a week I could post the date and itinerary for the trip so the parents can know exactly what their kids are doing. Also, I could talk a little bit about concert etiquette and the history behind the pieces that were being programed for that performance. This is such a good way to have communication with all who are involved in your classroom.
I have had the chance to work with the websites, Animoto, GoAnimate, and Voki, recently. I really enjoyed these three websites and I think they could be valuable tools to use in the classroom. I have used Animoto once before back in 2010, I believe. After revisiting the site, I’ve noticed many great updates. The website is much more user friendly and has better templates and music to use for your short video. The only down side to this site is that in order to have all the features the website offers you will have to pay, but the trial does allow you to test out the site pretty well. The next website, GoAnimate, was great as well. I liked how it had particular accounts for teachers and students. Videos can be reviewed and edited by the teacher, allowing for safer use of the Internet. The same con is present in this website as the other, you can try it out free for 14 days and after that there will be a fee. One good thing about this is the website offers a cheaper package for teachers. The last website I reviewed is Voki, another site for creating video. This site allows you to create an avatar that can be used to present the information to students. I really like how customizable the site allows you to be. Also, I like that you can record your voice or use a computer-generated voice to create the video. The only downside I found to this website is that the computer-generated voice could be found slightly scary.
After reviewing several articles about Twitter and other social media in classroom, I have discovered some powerful insight into the benefits of using the sites. Since high school I have had teachers create twitter accounts where they would post homework, extra credit assignments, and even extra study questions in order to help their students out. After reading these blogs I’ve found that social media could be used even more than just for that. In the first article the author discusses how another teacher strategically used hashtags in order to talk with others from Egypt and allow his students to do the same. I also read some different blogs about the use of Instagram in the classroom. I haven’t seen Instagram used in the classroom before, so I found some amazing examples! I especially liked the examples given by educational blogger, Dallas. She uses Instagram to post pictures in order for her students to review material for homework or a test. I feel that using Twitter and/or Instagram in your classroom is a great way to expand learning in and outside the classroom. It is a great way to interact with others in the classroom and outside.
After reading Kristin Long’s blog, I discovered we have very similar views on the use Twitter and Instagram in the classroom. I agree with Kristin’s point that social media allows students and teachers to be in contact with other classrooms around the world.
Articles and blogs reviewed for this blog:
I had the opportunity to watch a few videos on some activities to do in the classroom. One was a video of students working with Minecraft in order to build their own world, and the other was on the World Peace Game. I thought that both activities had useful purposes but I felt that the Minecraft software is the best example of 21st century learning because students are on the computer creating, whereas the board game seemed somewhat out dated. Though I did like the principles that came with the game.
I could use blogs in my classroom in order to benefit a multitude of students. I could use blogs to research ways to help students with learning disabilities, students who are ELL, and students who are AIG. I could use several different blogs, like the ones I reviewed in my last blog, to find the information I need. For example, I can research within some of the blog sites to see if there are any new assistive technologies for teaching students with learning disabilities. Blogs are a great and current source to learn about new teaching practices from other teachers around the nation and even the world. Also, I could have my students read blogs about music or other topics I might discuss in my future classroom.
After reviewing some of the links on edjudo.com I discovered some great websites to use as tools in the classroom. One website that I found and have actually seen before is comicmaster.org. This is a website where you can create your own graphic novel. This can be used in the classroom for students to summarize an event they’re learning about or to summarize a story they have read. The only negative I have about this website is that it allows students to freely create. In most cases this freedom will be fine but in others it could lead to some inappropriate material. So when using this website just be mindful of what your students are doing. The second website I found is called embedplus.com. This website allows you to use YouTube to a greater extent. It allows you to put the video into slow motion, make an instant replay, and helps you manage playlists. This website can very effective in the classroom when you are showing your students a video and there are scenes that you want to take a closer look at. Also, it can help you keep your videos and subscriptions organized, allowing easier access to multiple videos at once. The only negative point I have about this website is that the website is somewhat hard to navigate, but once you have it figured out it is fine.
A new technology, well website, I have discovered is edjudo.com. This website provides links to many different and useful websites for teachers. I can find just about anything on this website. I especially like the page for Instructional Videos and Videosharing because I feel that many of the websites listed there could be a valuable tool to me when I become a music teacher. The website listed several links to websites that provide a safe video environment for students.
Here is a story I created using the online service, Storybird. The story is called Why do I need music?.
I had the chance to review several blogs and bloggers who support technology in the 21st century classroom. Many of these bloggers are educators themselves, ranging in academic levels, nevertheless they have great insight as to the role technology plays in the classroom. I really enjoyed reading through blogs on Scott McLeod’s website, Dangerously Irrelevant. I was instantly grabbed from his most recent post on finding the balance between connectedness and disconnectedness in the classroom. A struggle I’m sure is ever present in teacher’s lives. Also, his other blogs are very interesting reads on the presence of technology in the classroom.
As well as reviewing many blogs on technology in the classroom, I have also watched the videos: A Vision of K-12 Students Today and Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner. Both videos offered a great insight into the need of technology in the classroom. The first video, A Vision of K-12 Students Today, presented students calling for a shift in their education. One of the biggest things I took away from this video is that only 14% of teachers allowed their student to create something with technology once a week. The second video, Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner, offered some great advice to combine formal learning with technology in order to have a well balanced classroom. I feel that kids are around technology 24/7 and it can be a great assist in the classroom. It’s a great vehicle to teach them with because they understand how to use it and it allows them to create freely. Lastly, allowing students to be creative through technology allows them to be more competitive out in the world.
Wordle is a great tool to use in a classroom. I created one that contains common tempo markings in music:
This can be a great tool to use because you can group vocabulary together in a fun and readable format. As a future music teacher, I could use to group instrument families, dynamics vocabulary, and parts of an instrument. This is also customizable in the fact that you can create shapes using the words.
Lastly, through reading several blog posts I found a technology that will be very useful in my classroom. It is a website called Dragontape. This is a website that you can mix videos and music for your classroom. This will be a great tool to use when discussing characteristics of different composers. For example, if I’m discussing the works of Mozart with my class I could create a mashup of some of his most famous works.
Sites used in this blog:
Scott McLeod’s Blog site
A Vision of K-12 Students Today
Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner