Music in Pictures

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

11 tools Reflection

My favorite tools were the iPod Touch and Digital Storytelling. I will probably use the iPod Touch in my classroom as a center. Since they are first and foremost mp3 players I will probably have students listen to music on them. However, my favorite application for the iPod Touch was the iTalk Recorder. So I will use that tool to have students record themselves singing one of our curriculum songs. That way I can evaluate and assess their singing. Also, the students can hear themselves sing.

I believe that music itself is interactive and experiential. Music must be experienced and shared by people in community. Music builds community. In some ways I think that technology strips away the feeling of community and the experience of music as a group. When you are interacting with a computer or iPod screen you are not interacting with another person and sharing music with them. When you are playing "pretend" guitar on a app or video game you are not really learning to play an instrument. However, technology greatly enhances our ability to share music with others who are not in the same room with us. It bridges the distance between states and countries, and in that way we can share our culture and ourselves with each other.

I was surprised at how many programs and apps are out there that I had never heard of before. Not that I am up on all the newest technology, because I am not. Still, I was surprised at how huge the internet has grown and continues to grow. The possibilities are endless.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tool #11 Digital Citizenship

I think the three aspects of digital citizenship that stood out to me the most were:

Internet Safety - passwords and private information
Copyright Laws
Digital Etiquette/CyberBullying

All three of these concepts are important for children to understand as they navigate the web and technology.

I think that I would use the videos and activities from BrainPop to introduce each concept. There are also extra activities that can be printed out for follow-up on each subject. Students could use think-pair-share groups to discuss each topic and then share with the class any questions or comments they had on what they saw.

For music purposes, I would stress the importance of making sure they had permission to use music or music videos before they used them for a project.

Tool # 10

Today I looked at a couple of free apps called iTalk Recorder, ArtLite, and USA Factbook. iTalk Recorder allows you to record your voice and sync it with a computer. I could use it as an assessment tool, by having students type their name into the program and then record them singing. When listening to the singing later, I could write down their grades.

ArtLite has full color pictures of famous artwork from many different time periods and styles. I often discuss time periods in history when talking about music composers. Students could use the iPod Touches to look up artwork from the time when Beethoven was alive. Then we could discuss Classical style vs. Romantic style.

USA Factbook has a feature called USA music map which could combine Social Studies with music. I did not get to actually play with this one on the Ipod Touch but I am thinking that students could look up each state song and listen to it.

I was able to use the iPod Touches during a district training earlier this summer (see post called iPod Touch Training). It was a very fun training and I could definitely see how the iPod Touches could make students more excited about learning.

In the music classroom I could see iPod Touches being used mostly for recording purposes and playing music. Students could always use them to look up supplemental information about songs, composers, and places of origin for songs and instruments. I think that they will probably have to be used as a station in a center until I am able to have a full class set.

Tool #9

Students could use Jing to take a picture of something they are working on and share it with other students or their teacher. Teachers could use Jing to create a training video for students, showing them how to access their san folder or how to notate a song in music software. I have a project with kindergarten and 3rd grade where I record the students singing a simple song and then I save it to their personal folder on the network. I usually use class time to show them how to access it and listen to it, but I could make a training video that they could view during their computer or library time.

Skype could be used to share performances with other schools. While I always believe that performing for a live audience is the best option, Skype would offer opportunities for teachers to perform for one another and their classes. If the schedule or budget does not permit students to have live performances then teachers could set up a performance and broadcast it to another school in the district.

I have been using Skype for personal calls for about a year now. I am able to talk with friends in other states and see my nieces and nephews who live in Michigan. I really enjoy using Skype because it seems like the other person is in the room with you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tool # 8

I found my first video on YouTube. It is a performance of the song "Defying Gravity" from the Musical Wicked. I would use this video in the classroom to introduce a unit on Musical Theater. Aside from taking the students to see a Musical, the next best thing would be to show them a video of what it is like and then have the students perform a few excerpts from a Musical. The second video that is posted here is "The Dance of the Reed Flutes" from The Nutcracker ballet. This video clip could help to explain ballet to students who have never seen or experienced ballet for themselves. Both of these videos meet the music TEKS that address how music relates to other subjects and other art forms.

Tool # 8 Defying Gravity Tony Awards

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tool # 7

I am very familiar with iMovie for Mac because I already use this program to edit classroom videos. I have an Opera Video project and a Music Video project that I do with my 4th and 5th graders. Students must act out an opera using a classroom video camera. Then I edit the clips down to make a video that I show on the morning announcements. I made this video using PhotoStory 3 for Windows. I was not familiar with this program. It was fairly simple to upload the pictures and add text. I wanted to add a voice-over, but I do not have a microphone for my laptop. So I added some music that I found on one of the suggested websites. All in all it was a pretty easy process.

Like many others, I struggled to upload the video.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tool #6 Wikis

Most of my experience with wikis has to do with Wikipedia. I have used it extensively to research all different topics. In a music classroom, students could use a wiki to plan and organize a talent show. They could each submit songs or acts for approval by the teacher and check back to see if their ideas were approved. Then the teacher could put the acts in order and the students would have an order for the program. The students could then help to create a handout for the talent show on the wiki.

Between teachers a wiki would be a very useful tool for sharing ideas, posting links to helpful websites, organizing a choir festival, etc. I get e-mails from teachers all year long with links to helpful websites. Once the e-mail is buried under all my other e-mail, I can't find it any more. If teachers were sharing websites on a wiki or a site like delicious or diigo then they would be easy to find.

Friday, July 16, 2010

#5 Social Bookmarking

The following are a few websites I found while browsing the social bookmarking sites Delicious and Diigo.

The tags I used to find all three of these websites were "Elementary" and "Music". It seems to me that a tag is like a keyword you type in to a search engine.

I explored membership in both Diigo and Delicious and found that Delicious was more user friendly for me. I thought that Diigo was difficult to understand and required more time to understand how to use it than Delicious. So I joined Delicious and added the buttons to my browser.

I think that Delicious and Diigo would be most useful in the classroom as a research tool. Teachers can set up a class account and add tags for students to research different topics. For instance in the music classroom some tags might be: worldmusic, instruments, and composers.

In addition, a site like this will help with lesson planning. Suppose a teacher wants to show a website for a particular lesson. He/she could tag the website to a Delicious or Diigo site for quick access during the lesson to show on an activeboard or screen.

Tool #4 Google Reader and Google Docs

I set up my Google reader and I am following a few blogs:

Free Technology for Teachers

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day

Mary's Art Spot

MWE Transition and Rebuilding

While I think this is a handy way to keep all of the blogs I want to read in the same place. I find it difficult to spend very much time reading blogs online. My eyes get tired and there is a constant flow of new materials coming in to read. It is a little overwhelming for me personally.

However, for the classroom, I could easily set up a Google reader for the students to follow that includes all of the blogs pertaining to our school or district music events. It might be possible for them to access a school Google Reader site from the Library. Then students could follow blogs like the music blog, construction for MWE blog, or the Purple Martins blog all in one place! There would have to be one adult in charge of the Reader so that there is accountability for blogs that students are exposed to.

Google docs is much more exciting to me. The possibilities are endless. I created a grocery list to share with my husband at work and he edited it and then I printed it out. For school purposes we could create shared calendars, a timeline for planning events, newsletters to be edited by each grade level team, letters home to parents, etc. This is very useful for documents that need to be translated into bilingual materials before they are sent home. It eliminates the need for 2 and 3 copies of everything.

In the music classroom, Google Docs could be used to help students create and notate new songs as a grade level. Each class could work on a song by writing words to a song in a Google Doc and sharing it with other classes. Also, students could create a power point for a song and share it with each class. They could create power points to go with their concerts as well.

Teachers can share lesson plans and assessment forms and get input from other teachers. I love it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I-pod Touch Training

I attended the district staff development for the I-pod touch on Tuesday, June 22nd. I had no idea there were so many apps out there. There is an app for just about anything you would ever need or want to do. Creating apps must be a very lucrative business. Now I want an I-phone or an I-pod touch of my own! I could see myself using it every day and spending a lot of money on apps too. ;-P
I was also one of the lucky winners of the raffle for the class. I won 4 sets of earbuds that will be delivered to my classroom in August.

Tool #3 Image Chef

I used Word Mosaic on the website to create this word image. I like it better than wordle because it makes a shape with the words. However, it is difficult to read some of the words because they run into other words. This image generator and Wordle could be used in the classroom to post words that are grouped together under a category. Such as Parts of a Note: note head, stem, flag, beam, etc. Perhaps it could be used as an assignment in which the students could color certain words in particular colors, depending on their meaning or how they relate to each other. For instance, tempo (fast or slow) words could be placed into Word Mosaic and students would color all the words meaning fast in red, all the words meaning medium speed in green, and all the words meaning slow in blue. All in all it is a very useful tool. I also explored a bit and I realized that while it is a powerful tool, it will definitely take some time to learn how to use it.

Tool #3

I created this image using Comic Strip Generator. It was fun to use and would be a great tool to help kids to get excited about writing. However, as I was browsing through the options of pictures to edit, I saw a few inappropriate pictures of women. Also, I had some difficulty figuring out how to download the image without having to pay for it. In addition, there were many different links floating around the page that one could click on. There is always a possibility of downloading a virus from clicking on links. I did this exercise at home so I wonder if the Spring Branch system would block some of the inappropriate images and links????

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tool #2

I think that collaboration among educators is wonderful! I really value different viewpoints and the advice of my colleagues. I see two ways that online communities can be helpful.

1. Online communities allow people to share without having to schedule meetings.
2. Readers can take or leave the ideas that are presented in the blog they are reading.

Music teachers in our district already have a folder on the district server in which we share power points, mp3s, listening maps, and ideas for teaching the curriculum. I have enjoyed the ease with which we can share.

When reading the commenting advice I was most affected by the idea that you should add something meaningful with a comment. Leaving a one word comment like, "Great!" might be nice and good etiquette, but it doesn't make the blog better.

I found commenting on blogs took up A LOT of time. I had a difficult time finding blogs to comment on because I had to read quite a few to find blogs that I could identify with or had an opinion about. I commented on the following blogs:

1. 2 Cents Worth
2. Websites of the Day for ELL, ESL, and EFL
3. Southbound 45
4. Mary's Art Spot
5. Mrs. Dixon's Blog

These were all good blogs. In the future I will be on the lookout for websites, apps, and blogs having to do with teaching music. Suggestions are welcome!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tool #1 - New to blogging

I have had a little bit of practice with blogging before, so setting up this blog wasn't too painful. I had a lot of fun decorating and playing with my Voki avatar. I might still change her some more, but after an hour of playing I just HAD to move on to the next step. One drawback I noticed in setting up these accounts is that there are a lot of accounts, usernames, and passwords to keep track of in this process.

I could see myself using a blog like this to keep in touch with my students' parents about upcoming concerts and music events at the school. I could also post pictures of concerts and events that are finished. In the classroom, I could have students create videos to post on the blog. Videos could be anything from Animoto slide-shows of our concerts to creating their own opera.

Students could read the blog and post comments at any time about pictures or events that they see posted.