Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tech Integration Tips

Yes, I know I keep saying that I'm going to blog more regularly, then I get caught up in my Boise Classes. Just for fun, here is a link to graphics I created this summer for EDTECH 506 - Instructional Message Design. Feel free to use anything you want. Like the other content I have created for my EdTech classes, these will live on the Boise State server until after I finish my degree program. I only have four more classes to go, but none are offered in the summer, so that means two more years. At some point between now and then I will move them to my non-Boise Web site. And now, on to the real topic for this post.

A friend is interviewing for an elementary music teaching position and I put together a few tips, should the topic of technology integration come up in the interview. Here they are ...

Share what you’ve done and what you want to do:
  • What technology are you comfortable with for personal and professional use?
  • Check out NETS for Teachers to see where you fit on the continuum.
  • What technology (equipment, software, online) was available in your previous position? How did you use it?
  • What technologies are you familiar with that were NOT available in your previous position? Discussion with other music teachers, workshop topics, etc. may have given you a peek into other possibilities.

Take advantage of free online tools. Consider:
  • Curriculum - Determine what curricular goals and objectives need support then choose the most effective tool. Considering tech tools first (choosing a new fun thing then trying to find an educational application for it) is putting the cart before the horse.
  • Terms of Use – Some sites are only for those 13 and older.
  • Platform - Online, free download, Mac/Windows.
  • Privacy - No personal information! Some online tools need e-mail accounts for each user/student.
  • Tracking - Some allow teachers to set up “classes” and track student progress.
  • Logistics - One computer w/projector vs. mobile lab vs. computer lab/separate location. Balance benefits of tech with impact on class time, but remember that there will be fewer bumps farther down the road.
  • Integrating technology in the music classroom is about much more than just music tools. Many tech tools that are part of the “regular” classroom (blogs, wikis, for example) apply to any subject area.

Benefits of technology use in the classroom:
  • More possibilities for differentiation of instruction.
  • Illinois Learning Standards - Goal 26A: Understand the processes, traditional tools and modern technologies used in the arts.
  • Multiple Intelligences – Flexible means of interacting with content and expressing understanding.
  • Authentic Learning – Use of tools that are commonly used by practicing musicians/composers. For example, computer-based composition instead of pencil and paper.
  • Global Connections (Illinois Goal 27):
    - National Geographic World Music
    - Putumayo Kids
    - World Music Network
    - YouTube (safety features: create own channel, use safe mode, embed player)
    - (for YouTube videos only, allows editing of in/out points, masks all
    content except the video itself).

Professional Development Opportunities:
  • Many districts offer training for specific equipment (interactive whiteboard, for example) and tools (district-hosted Web sites and blogs).
  • Find people/groups to follow – See what others are doing and think about applications to your own classroom. When you find someone you like, see who they are following.
  • Blog/Website/Wiki: Carol Broos (lives in Gurnee, teaches in Northfield - Golden Apple Recipient, frequent presenter at tech and music conferences, lots of links to follow)
  • Blog: High Techpectations (Lucy Grey)
  • Blog: Educating Educators (general tech for teachers)
  • Organization: Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME, resources, conference, newsletters, classes)
  • Online tutorials for specific software/tools (example: GarageBand)
  • Workshops, conferences and classes (TI:ME offers specific, sequential training)
  • Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom
    - 2008
    - TI:ME / Hal Leonard publication
    - Detailed lesson plans
    - If I could only buy one book, it would be this one
  • Technology Guide for Music Educators
    - 2006
    - TI:ME / Thomson Course Technology
    - Very helpful if you are working with hardware – covers types of equipment and set-up
    - Does not include newer technologies (iPod, open source/free tools).
  • YouTube in Music Education
    - 2009
    - Thomas Rudolph and James Frankel / Hal Leonard
    - The majority of the book deals with consuming YouTube content (creating an account and channel, etc.) but there is also useful information about creating and posting videos (including a great section on copyright).
  • Music Technology Workbook: Key Concepts and Practical Projects
    - 2008
    - Paul Middleton and Steven Gurevitz / Focal Press
    - A great deal more technical than the books listed above.
    - Mostly MIDI with some info on recording and mixing. Most appropriate for advanced middle school or high school MIDI Music Labs. I would suggest reading this only for those working in an advanced composition lab situation.