Playing in the Sandbox: Creating Excitement for Tech by Playing

  This week I’ve had the privilege to guest speak at a college class up at my Alma mater Plymouth State University. I had the same opportunity last year but only went up to speak for a day, this year I had two class periods to share my knowledge and resources on music technology in the elementary music classroom. Day 1 consisted of blowing their minds with as many resources as possible (I think I saw some smoke) but Day 2 I really wanted them to get their hands on a lot of what I was talking about. So after a quick sharing session on some websites they had already tried out, we did a tech sandbox.

What is a Sandbox?

The term Sandbox is a place to “try things out with coding or software without actually destroying the world;” a place to try things without committing them to an actual finished project. (http://bobsprankle.com/bitbybit_wordpress/?p=3018)

In other words, just like a real sand box you get to play with all the tech tools. There are three main things you get from a Sandbox:

  • Hands on time with a product, you get to see and feel it for yourself, therefore learning more about it then just hearing about it from another source.
  • Experimentation; your mind works differently than the person next to you. Use Sandbox time to bounce ideas off others in the room, see how many things you can figure out about the piece of technology before recess time ends.
  • No fear of failing. Don’t you hate that feeling of getting so pumped to try something new in your classroom only to see it fail? Use Sandbox time to try out those new ideas before it hits your classroom. With others around you, you can experiment and get feedback to create the perfect activities with your new tools.

It is also a great way to have fun while you learn! It was really cool to see the students in the classroom have such a great time playing with the tech I brought. The Makey Makey was probably the star of the show!

IMG_0270

PSU Students making a music stand piano!

   Want my powerpoint of resources for this class? Check out the link below and click on the PSU Elementary Methods link for download:

http://www.cdwinal.com/conferencepresentations.htm 

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