CCSU Class: The Tech Geek in the Front of the Class

This past week I have been down at Central Connecticut State University taking my first grad course EVER. It was called Technology in the Elementary Music Class Room with the wonderful Professor Amy Burns :). I’m sure many of you are wondering why me of all people would be taking a technology class, don’t worry I had a good reason for doing so. It has become apparent to me over the past few years that I have been gaining a lot of knowledge about technology and its uses in the classroom I wanted to take this class not only because Amy was teaching it but also because I wanted to focus on the philosophy behind why we integrate and be more prepared to say with confidence why we should integrate if I get thrown into teaching a professional development opportunity in my area (we all know this is probably going to happen soon.)

The most important thing I took from this class was the SAMR model by Dr. Puentedera. Amy added an E to the beginning making the model E-SAMR

Substitution

Augmentation

            Modification

            Redefinition

*Experimentation

This is a fantastic way to step through the meaningful integration process bringing technology into lessons that not only is beneficial to students but will also make sure they remember it for a long time after.

I learned some great new tricks about Garageband and Audacity on our second day, (I’m still fairly young and can still pick up new things!) One big thing I realized was that Garageband podcasting is such an unused but amazing tool I could be using in my classroom. I can see my 5th graders doing their own in the future. I made a movie using the Garageband Podcast area about my recording studio:

To go along with this video another assignment I created was a wikispace about my recording room in my classroom: ESSPSSRecording  a place for my students to post work and get it anywhere, and for there parents and my administrators to see what students are doing in class! I have realized that I am REALLY bad about updating my current wikispaces and hope to use this new space more and display even more student work so they can access their creations and compositions.

Making tech more interactive is the ultimate goal for any teacher. I hate having to have my poor 5th graders sitting down and doing their digital portfolio work. Changing it up is they key, sure it takes time but never get into a comfortable rut when it comes to technology. My main goal this coming year is to change up what I do, sure this past year was very stressful and busy, but now I’ve over come it and it’s time to shake things up and create a little excitement! The Smart Notebook program might be a new tool to use. Even though I do not have a Smartboard I can put it on my iPad and use those tool that way to bring more song and movements into my room

On Thursday I gave a quick presentation on Quaver Music to the class (and the class after). I’ve realized that I cannot just talk about Quaver for just 15 minutes! I gotta work on my speel, but another product of this class was a nice small power point going over Quaver that I can use again if I need to: Quaver Powerpoint. Quaver is an amazing tool and I’m chomping at the bit to try to even get a look at their new curriculum, for now I’m loving the technology integrated into this resource.

We also discussed the 1st Draft of the NCCAS Standards, I have been staying sort of in the shadows with this topic since they came out, but after we talked about them yesterday, I just couldn’t help but post a blog about it yesterday: My Reaction to the New Standards. It was interesting to see everyones reaction in the class, it seems the consensus is that the standards need work.

Our final project was to create a lesson using technology. I decided to try out the Smart Notebook program since I have never used it before and built a lesson for my second graders about Bugs, You can read about it in my lesson plan here: Bugz lesson and if you would like the Smart Notebook file you can grab it here: Bugz notebook file

This class was a great way to experiment with things I have not tried yet, I was able to figure different things to try out for next year and got a lot of work done this week that I probably would not have gotten done at home. Its also always great to talk to Amy too because I learn more and more about branding myself and dealing with the politics of music education, I’m just getting into all of this and can never have enough advice with these sorts of things. I am walking away with a nice page of things I can use for next year and some new ideas to put together this summer for the upcoming year. I also came out with some great ideas on how to organize my conference presentations I’m giving next year as well. NHMEA! I’m coming to impress in October!

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